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Old Dec 22, 2004, 11:04 PM   #1
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Hi all,

Hello to agreat forum from a complete novice. I have read quite a few threads with regards to night time photography using the 6490 in manual modes which I have actually yet to try.

Question.Last Saturday night at a wedding reception, I was trying to take a photo of a couple standing in front of the Harbour Bridge (~2-300m away)in night mode. Basically, the flash was lighting up the people, however the lights from the bridge and surrounding city in the background were not being exposed. I actually took a photo using their Canon DC and it was smart enough to expose the lights of the bridge as well as light up the people in front of me. I would have thought, in that situation, the shutter would have opened first to get exposure from the lights on the bridge, then fire the flash to light up the subject. However all I ended up with were two really bright people on a black background! What sort of settings should I use in the future for this sort of thing?

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Paul
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 6:16 AM   #2
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Check your manual for night mode......also you can go into M mode,,,set the aperature to 5.6 (so you get some depth of field),,,,set the shutter to 1/2 sec,,,,and set the flash to compulsory,,,this will fire the flash,,,,then leave the shutter open long enough to reveal the background too...you`ll have to experiment with settings though...it depends on how dark the background really is,,,and your subjects will have to remain still after the flash fires....settting the aperature to it`s lowest setting 2.8 will work well too but the detail in the background will not be as sharp,,,but in night shots you will not really see too much real detail anyway....



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Old Dec 23, 2004, 12:04 PM   #3
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The 6490 is limited to ½ second in night mode, and that isn't really enough to get a night background unless you crank up the ISO. If you crank up the ISO the pictures get noisy. The camera is smart enough to expose the background and then fire the flash assuming your subjects weren't very brightly lit, but it doesn't have the shutter speed capability to get the shot you want.

You are limited to 1/8 second in automatic, and I would guess that also applies to shutter and aperture priority which are also automatic exposure modes. That pretty much leaves you with manual mode. Start with f5.6 and 4 seconds with the flash on. You can't handhold the camera and expect anything but blurred streaks for the background. If you don't have a tripod try to set it on something solid and use the self-timer.

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Old Dec 23, 2004, 5:36 PM   #4
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Thankyou for the help, it makes sense. I will try f5.6, then slowly increase the time from 0.5s with the flash on and see what sort or results I get. I'm sure it will be interesting experimenting with the manual mode having never done so before!
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 8:04 PM   #5
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Yup,,,that`s how you learn,,,and if you try a bunch or diff shutter times you get to pick your favorite too,,,good luck and let us know....



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Old Dec 24, 2004, 12:29 AM   #6
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Will do. I might even post a few examples.
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Old Dec 24, 2004, 7:38 AM   #7
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Yeah do that ,,we`d like to see how you make out.....



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Old Dec 24, 2004, 8:58 AM   #8
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You can pretty much assume that the camera used its full ½ second in night mode unless the subjects were in bright light. You will need at least 4 seconds at f5.6 and probably more.

This was taken with the Kodak 6490 at f3.2 and 6 seconds of a very bright night scene as an example. F5.6 is over an f-stop slower than he used, so the same shot at f5.6 would have required close to the 16 second limit of the camera. The person who took it thought the exposure was about right, but I would have preferred a little less.:

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/kodak/dx6490-review/


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Old Dec 25, 2004, 1:59 PM   #9
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I had the same problem with night photos that you had. I have tried a tons of stuff and what I learned was that kodak's night mode does not work very well. The best way to shoot in night photo is use the M mode or S mode. Then you should also try and change the white balance settings like from daylight to tungsten and etc. All of those make a diff.
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