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Old Apr 9, 2006, 11:55 AM   #1
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I just bought a tiny Panasonic DMC-FX01 and even though I love it to death ( size, construction, daytime pics) , it fails on NIGHT PORTRAIT (SLow Shutter) mode and the pics come out full of noise and grain. Lowering the ISO, the pics would come too dark.

I wonder If using an slave flash, like the METZ and lowering the ISO would solve this issue, or slaves are mainly use to light objectives in simple mode (no NIGHT PORTRAIT) that are a little too distant?

Check the pic to see what I'm talking about.
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Old Apr 9, 2006, 12:26 PM   #2
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Your shutter speeds are not long enough to expose the buildings.

A flash wouldn't help much (except for the area closer to the camera). You can't light up an area that large with a flash, especially at lower ISO speeds. ;-)

The night portrait scene mode is designed for portraits (someone closer to the camera). It works by leaving the shutter open longer than normal (to try and expose the background better), then firing the flash to illuminate the foreground subject.

The photo you took was using a 1/8 second shutter speed at f/2.8 and ISO 250.

If you want the buildings to be brighter, you'd need to use a slower shutter speed.

So, you'd probably need to go with one of the other modes (manual exposure would be best), experimenting for best results.

In conditions that dark, a tripod would be needed, too. I'd also use a lower ISO speed and expose even longer.

Night scenes like the one in your example are also high dynamic range. So, if you expose so the buildings are bright at the tops, the areas around the lights may be overexposed. There is no good way to get both exposed just right in that type of scene. So, you'd need to decide what's more important in the photo and expose for just that part.

As an alternative, there are techniques for combining more than one image in software (one taken to expose the highlights and another taken to expose the shadows).

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...blending.shtml

If you decide that using higher ISO speeds is easier (versus using slower shutter speeds with a tripod), you can get tools to help you reduce the appearance of noise. But, you best bet is to use lower ISO speeds and longer exposures using a tripod.

Popular tools for reducing noise are Neat Image , Noiseware , and Noise Ninja

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Old Apr 10, 2006, 1:14 AM   #3
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Jim, thank you so much!!! as you might noticed I'm an ignorant in this matter.......

Well, I'm posting 3 pics with ISO 80, 100 and 200, all of them at 1 shutter speed ( the slowest I could get), they seem much better than the one on the original post and NO flash. Obviously, the noise ones with ISO 80 and and 100 is not that nad

Additionally, I found a picture mode, Starry Sky or something like that takes either 15 , 30 or 60 seconds to take a nocturnal pic with no flash. I understand it is a new feature in most of these cameras, an even though it cheats taking a second picture and getting rid of the noise it provides and interesting shot in these particular cases.

The only drawback is that sometimes the yellowish color of the light bulbs shows up and there's no way to adjust the white balance using this feature. Is there any software that could fix the white balance?

Thanks
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Old Apr 10, 2006, 1:22 AM   #4
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The first one was at ISO 80, this one is at ISO 100, a little bit noisier, but I thinkk the softwares you suggested will do the trick.
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Old Apr 10, 2006, 1:22 AM   #5
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The first one was at ISO 80, this one is at ISO 100, a little bit noisier, but I thinkk the softwares you suggested will do the trick.
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Old Apr 10, 2006, 1:29 AM   #6
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This is the one with the Starry Sky Mode, a litttle artificial, isn't it? However I like it. I hope it will do the trick in a 6X4 print.
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Old Apr 10, 2006, 9:50 AM   #7
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You are really getting there mariowar

I relly like the last one


Allso the ISO 80 picture is great (the noise is more in control).


Keep on posting... :-)


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Old Apr 10, 2006, 10:09 AM   #8
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The photo at ISO 80 is more controlled and natural looking. Considering the distances involved in the photo environment,a slave flash would only light the front portion of the environment, and the fade off.

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Old Apr 12, 2006, 11:40 PM   #9
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Well, I ended up returning the cute Panasonic CMD-FX01, to be honest the pics did not meet my expectations. I know it was hard to beat the Powershot s60........

Well, I just sold my beloved S60 and ordered the s80, I'll have it on friday. I just don't see how it will beat the S60......

I want ot share this pic with you, took it with my Powershot S60 at Georges's Ranch in Houston, obviously it's an indoor pic. I used no flash, zero post editing, iso 50 1/20 f2.8 and no tripod.

What do you think?
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