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Old Oct 7, 2002, 12:03 PM   #1
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Default indoor pics with no flash

hi, I recently got my first camera, a fuji finepix 2600 zoom. I like it a lot but have I want to use the manual settings more. I have been trying different flash settings but when I want to take an indoor shot with supressed flash I get the camera shake warning on the lcd unless there is a LOT of light. Its ok with a tripod but is there any settings I could change to make the shot easier to take hand-held and reduce the amount of shake?

Thanks in advance, I'm a total noob to photography
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Old Oct 7, 2002, 1:15 PM   #2
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I'm not quite sure what you mean by "suppressed flash." Do you mean taking photos without flash or something else. I've also scanned the review of the 2600 and it doesan't appear to have any manual settings. There is a manual EV control which appears to be compensation. That's not manual control in the traditional sense but I'll get to that shortly.

Bottom line is you need to get a certain quantity of light on the film or CCD to make an image. The factors of sensitivity of the CCD, the lens aperture and shutter speed combine with the amount of light available to make a correct exposure. With your camera the shutter speed is the main way of controlling exposure. Since there isn't much light indoors the shutter has to stay open a relatively long time.

A more advanced camera may have an adjustable ISO sensitivity. On my Dimage 7 I can set ISO 800 which makes the CCD eight times as sensitive as at the normal ISO 100 as does your camera, but it comes at the expense of noisy and grainy images. If I was using a DLSR I could use a lens with a much bigger aperture which lets in more light but limits depth of field of focus.

The manual EV control is likely a compensation dial that adjusts the exposure slightly differently than what the camer thinks it should be. The review I'm reading isn't detailed but I'm guessing it has options for biasing the exposure up to two "stops" plus or minus. A stop is an expression for a change in exposure value by a factor of two. If I set the exposure one stop plus the camera may leave the shutter open twice as long as it would have otherwise. This will make the image brighter as will setting to minus one make it darker. Changing the exposure by two stops adds a factor of two again. Two stops plus makes the shutter open four times as long, minus two leaves it open a quarter as long.

This is a useful feature for when the lighting situation fools the camera. Say for example the background is more brightly lit than the subject, this is called backlighting. The camera may expose so the subject looks like a dark silhouette against a normal background. Setting the exposure compensation plus 1 or 2 may overexpose the background but improve the exposure of the subject. Another way of shooting backlit scenes is to use flash to illuminate the foreground.

This probably overwhelms you but experiment and it will soon make some more sense. Don't worry about the lack of full manual control as you can take excellent pictures with the camera you have.

[Edited on 10-7-2002 by padeye]
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Old Oct 7, 2002, 5:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice, very helpful. Suppressed flash is Fuji's posh way of saying "no flash".
Theres 5 flash settings:
1.Auto
2.Red eye reduction
3.forced flash - for shooting backlit scenes or under fluorescent lighting.
4.Suppressed flash
5.Slow synchro - slow shutter speed eg. for taking pictures of people at night and capturing them and the night time backdrop.
Just took that from the manual. I've only really tried auto and suppressed. You are correct about the EV control, well described. I havent tried that yet, I will do though. At the moment I'm still learning the things it can and cant do, currently trying out the macro feature, which is pretty good.

Are we allowed to post images in threads or is there a gallery?
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Old Oct 7, 2002, 11:12 PM   #4
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Reducing shake means cutting camera motion while the shutter is open. A fast shutter speed means there isn't time for the camera to move much, so less shake.

Keeping the camera still means being able to shoot at a slower shutter speeds. Try shooting while holding the camera with one hand, elbow far from your body, with one foot off the ground. After having many cups of coffee, not having slept much for the past few days, just as you finish running enough to be breathing hard. You will have a blurred picture even if your "shake indicator" isn't lit.

Take that shot near a lamp post.

Then shoot the same shoot while leaning against the lamp post. Feet spread, both hands on camera, elbows against your body, breathing calmly, and click at bottom of exhaling.

In low light, it is the "setting" of your body that will make the difference. Practice a lot, think about what you are doing, and you will be able to shoot much slower than the shake warning would seem to allow.
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Old Oct 7, 2002, 11:43 PM   #5
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Default SONY = dLeica?

I agree that low light or even average light is the achille's heel of current gen dcams. In part this comes from buyers ignoring something VERY simple ... max aperture! I have the 5700 and it has a puny f2.8 at widest zoom. Heck, the 1958 Rolleiflex had f2.8 and it was easier to hand hold!

Obviously there is a big tradeoff with any fixed lens camera since you can't increase the numerical aperture of an existing lens.

This becomes a catch22 in digicam-ology. The current dSLRS are huge awkward for avail light work. (Try imagining Gene Smith with something this big and then remember WeeGee's Graflex used flash bulbs!). Most prosumer cameras, with the focus on zoom range, have modest numerical apertures.

The one exception is Sony with f2. 1/2 stop (f2.8 to f2) may not seem like a lot, but when you are trying to catch all the pesky quanta ...a 1/2 stop is a lot.
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Old Oct 8, 2002, 12:05 PM   #6
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Default Full Stop :-)

The difference between f/2.8 and f/2.0 is a full stop, not a half stop.

With my camera (Casio 3000), I can fairly often manage a hand-held shot at 1/8th sec (35mm equiv FL). That is with an aperature of f/2.0 - if the widest available was f/2.8 I would have to shoot at 1/4th sec in the same light. That would mean many fewer shake-free pictures.
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Old Oct 8, 2002, 1:51 PM   #7
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A big heavy camera is a distinct advantage for available light hand held shots. When I'm careful I can get crisp 1/30 shots with an 85mm lens with my Nikon F2. I'm sure a big F5 based D1 would be at least as good. You can also use f1.4 and f1.2 lenses with a DLSR., a full two stops better than most digicams. I'm only an aspiring Weegee so I haven't used my crown graphic for handheld work yet as I can't get flash tubes any more and all the Star Wars geeks turned the flash guns into light sabers.
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