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Old Mar 30, 2005, 7:34 AM   #1
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I recently purchased a Sony P93 digital camera and am having trouble with most all my indoor pictures being dark (unless I am close to the subject or there is sufficient light). What do I need to do differently?
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 9:53 AM   #2
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Your problem is quite common but it does not have a magic solution. Your observation that you need sufficient light is correct. The 'photo' part of 'photography' requires light.

Over the years, photographers have tried several approaches to theproblem. The most obvious is to increase the amount of light and the most common way is to use a flash. But, as you have found, the small flashes that are built into most point and shoot cameras have a limited range (about 3m with the P93 I believe) and so there is a need to move closer. For other cameras, they have the ability to add aditional and higher power flashes to increase the range for indoor shots.The P93 doesn't have a hotshoe but Sony has the HVL-FSL1B flash (about US$100) designed specifically for the P series cameras which should give you double the flash range.

Another thing to be aware of is your aperture. The wider the aperture (the smaller the f number) the more light is allowed into the camera. When the P93 is a full wide angle it has a maximumaperture of f2.8...reasonablygood light gathering BUT, if you zoom, the size of the aperture gets progressively smaller...letting in less and less light. At full zoom, the largest aperture you can get is f5.6. So, when you are taking shots indoors, it might be a good idea NOT to use the zoom but to move in closer physically using wide angle and have the camera set for the widest aperture...f2.8. This is called, 'zooming with your feet' .

Of course, it is always a good idea to turn on more lights or to go to a more brightly lit part of the house. (Did you know that kitchens are 3x brighter than the average living room?) or open the blinds and curtains to let in more light (if it is during the day!!).

If you can get more light into the camera, there are many other issues that you will also solve. If there is low light, the camera compensates by selecting a slow shutter speed which makes it more difficult to handhold the camera without the shaking of your hands spoiling the shot and a slow shutter speed also means that, if your subject moves, there will be blurring from their movement as well. More light can equal faster shutter speeds and less motion blur.

Another approach is to increase the sensitivity of the camera to whatever light is around by increasing the ISO. You can go up to ISO 400 on the P93. The disadvantage of this is that as you increase ISO you also increase the visible 'noise' in the image...still there are ways to minimize noise in post processing and it is better to get a noisy shot than not get a shot at all!

So there are several options that you can use to improve your indoor shots but...it all boils down to getting more light!:|

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