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Old Mar 12, 2005, 1:46 PM   #1
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I was just wondering if there were any settings I can use to improve my dark shots. Whenever I take shots in doors with the flash, it washes out everything, but when I don't use the flash, it's not enough lighting. Are there any advanced settings I can use to improve the picture or am I stuck with what I have?
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Old Mar 13, 2005, 8:03 PM   #2
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Low light pics without flash is very tough and I don't recommend it (if you still want to take low light pics without flash, what you would do is to increase the ISO--to increase the ISO, press FUNC and increase the ISO in one of the manual modes, like the 'P' mode; you can't increase ISO in the 'AUTO' mode. Do note that increasing the ISO increases noise).

Having said that, the recommended action is to weaken the flash. You can control the strength of the flash. It is a setting that is only available in manual modes (just like how the ISO is only available in the manual mode too). What you need to do is to use the 'P' mode (instead of the 'AUTO' mode). Turn the dial to 'P' and then press the FUNC button. One of the choices (the 2nd last from the bottom) lets you control the strength of the flash. Decrease the flash strength and see if it satisfies you.

One other alternative (that may or may not work) is to decrease the EV value. Again, use the FUNC menu to decrease the EV exposure and see if that helps. However, I don't recommend this because this changes a lot of things and you need to know what you are doing (or experiment quite a bit).

So to sum up, the best action is shoot using the P mode and decrease the flash strength. The P mode is pretty much identical to the AUTO mode, except it lets you control a lot of settings.
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 1:29 AM   #3
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I have the shortcut button on my S1 assigned to change the ISO.
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 3:20 AM   #4
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What kind of light metering do you use? If you got it on Center Weighted or Spot it is normal to get dark shots in low light because they will focus on your center of the composition (if the focus frame is not moved) and on a single spot (for spot setting) the spot where is your focus frame in the composition. Use Evaluative Light Metering setting. This one will evaluate the light from your full composition.

If this didn't solve the problems and you want not to use the flash then I will recomend the followings: increase your exposure compensation, if this is not enough then increase also the shutter speed while you keep the aperture at the maximum diameter (use small f-stop numbers: f2.8, f3.1 etc). Increasing ISO you'll get noisy shots. My self I do not increase ISO in any conditions and I try to find another way to solve the situation. Be sure to use a tripod for more than 1/30 sec shutter speed for not getting blurr on your shot.

If you want to use the flash you can do the opposite settings: decrease the exposure compensation, decrease the flash compensation, decrease aperture (use high f-stop numbers like f5.6 or quite f8 ). Do not use slow synchro! because this lightens more your background. Try to avoid shooting direct on surfaces that can reflect the light that has comed from the flash. Avoid of beeing very close to your subject... take a few steps away and use the zoom.

The best way to find your way through this situation is to experiment a lot and see what is the more suitable for you...

Cheers.
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Old Mar 19, 2005, 3:31 PM   #5
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Okay, thanks alot! I really appreciate it. I guess I'll play around with the flash settings... that seems to look like my best option and if not then I'll try some of the others.
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Old Mar 23, 2005, 5:28 PM   #6
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I use my S1 to take pictures in dark auditoriums during concerts - with out the flash at all, using several techniques described by previous posters.

Do what I did, get you manual out and read about the various settings you can control. Then start taking pictures to see what works in various situations.

A must (for me anyway) for low light pictures was a monopole. Even with the S1's IS I needed a little extra help steadying the camera. But maybe that's just me.



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