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Old Nov 26, 2006, 10:30 AM   #1
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I understand that I'm asking too much if I expect a PS to shoot awesome night shots, but I think that it should be able to do better than this atleast. Its a Canon A520 BTW. Do you have any suggestions for how I can improve on the shot?










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Old Nov 26, 2006, 10:48 AM   #2
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Why do these shots keep coming out like this?
Because it's dark out? :-)

Metering systems are not going to be accurate in light that low (even with a DSLR). Also, because of the high dynamic range in this type of scene (the lights in the image are much brighter than the rest of the scene), you'll have to compromise on what's exposed correctly. So, if you expose so that you can see more of the buildings, the areas around the lights are going to be overexposed.

So, you'll need to experiment for the best compromise.

First of all, use Manual Exposure.

Your camera is capable of keeping the shutter open for up to 15 seconds. So, if you want a brighter exposure, use a slower shutter speed. ;-)

If the images are not bright enough, open up your aperture. The smaller the f/stop number, the wider the aperture will open. This can have the impact of causing a bit more in the way of Chromatic Abberations and halos around lights. But, if you need a brighter exposure, that may be the best way to approach it.

BTW, you were zoomed in for those photos. Your lens is about 3 times as bright at it's wide angle zoom position. So, if you're not able to get the desired results, try not to zoom in as much and you'll have larger apertures (represented by smaller f/stop numbers) available.

If the images are still not bright enough using a 15 second shutter speed using a larger aperture (smaller f/stop number), increase your ISO speed (which will add noise).

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Old Nov 26, 2006, 10:48 AM   #3
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Have you tried the scene mode night snapshot setting?

Altough you are using quite long exposures thay are just not long enough to capture any available light.

Ken


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Old Nov 26, 2006, 11:04 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tips guys! BTW, I was using the manual mode. I was using the mode where you tell it how long to keep the shutter open and it adjusts the aperature. But, I didn't consider that because it was dark that it might not be able to do a good job of that.

BTW, I have another question, how do you know which option to choose first? I mean I could first open up the aperture all the way, or I could first set the shutter to stay open for 15 seconds, or crank up the ISO. Is there a method for this or is it really just anything goes (any combination)?
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Old Nov 26, 2006, 11:16 AM   #5
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Experiment. There is no right or wrong way if you get the results you want. ;-)

But, you probably don't want to crank up the ISO speed unless you have to.

Your aperture was already opened up almost as much as possible for the amount of zoom you were using.

You'd need to use a wider zoom setting (less apparent magnification) to get it any brighter (to a smaller available f/stop number). That's because the lens on your camera is about 3 times as bright at it's widest zoom setting versus it's longest zoom setting. So, you only have the brightest aperture (f/2.6 on your camera) available at it's wide angle zoom position. The more you zoom in, the dimmer it will be (higher available f/stop numbers).


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