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Old Oct 16, 2005, 1:25 AM   #1
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I have PAS Sony P93. It carrys well, runs on AAs and takes good pics and decent movies. My problem seems to be indoor shots at at parties. When I hold down the button to take the picture I see the camera adjusting the light/?gain. Mid way through this cycle the color/contrast/lighting look good to me (on the little LCD) then at the end of its "adjustment" the screen "gains down" and is very dark. Then the flash seems to "bright out" my subjects even when I am 5-10 feet away. The color/contrast look good with the flash turned off but without a tripod I cannot hold the camera steady enough to get a shot without some blurr. Is there any way to mute the flash a bit or have the automatic gain control tone down the bright parts? I really do not know what the heck I am talking about as far as the way this thing takes pics... so I hope you can make sense of my descriptions.

?New Camera
I have been looking at the new Cannon IS 2 with the image stabilizer ?may help me with above situation keeping the blur down on shots without the flash.

Any suggestions to the "over flash" problem from some of the seasoned photographers?

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Old Oct 16, 2005, 7:39 AM   #2
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Your camera has two flash settings...'normal' and 'high' intensity. Check to see which setting your camera is currently on. Try an experimental shot (identical conditions) with both settings. Then try prefocusing on the lightest area of your subject. Try this again on the darkest area of your subject. Try this at both the 'normal and 'high' flash settings. What differences, if any, can you detect in the pics?

The reason you see your LCD 'gain up' while prefocusing, is because your camera has an AF assist lamp, which temporarily illuminates your subject to enable auto focusing to work.

Your camera struggles in low light situations (without flash), because it only has a maximum ISO rating of 400. This is the sensor's ability to gather light - sort of like the speed of photographic film...the higher the number, the greater the light gathering capability. The low light is compensated for by slowing the camera's shutter speed to allow more light to strike the sensor. The longer the shutter remains open, the more chance you, or your subject, will have to move, thereby creating blur.

Before you run out and buy an expensive replacement for your existing camera, compare ISO ratings. The S2 IS has a maximum of ISO 400 - just like your P93. While IS will remedy some of your camera shake, it can't stop your subject from moving...subject moves - blurred pic. If low light photography is your main concern, check out some reviews of the Fuji F10. It is ISO 1600 capable, and will perrmit much faster shutter speeds in low light situations.


Let us know how you make out with your flash experiment.

the Hun

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Old Oct 16, 2005, 9:10 AM   #3
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Make sure you are focusing and metering on your subjects, versus the background.

If the camera focuses and meters on a darker area of the scene, then it's going to try and keep the flash burst long enough to expose that area.

So, if you're focusing on something in the background, and you have a closer subject in the foreground, the foreground subject can be overexposed.

Your camera has a multi-spot focus system. So, if you're not careful, it can focus on a closer subject, when you're trying to take a photo of a subject further away and vice-versa.

You also have more than one metering mode. If you've accidently set your metering to Spot versus Multi-Pattern, and meter on a darker area, it may overexpose the scene.

Personally, I prefer using Center only Autofocus on a camera (and you can set yours that way), then lock AF by half pressing the shutter button, reframing and pressing it the rest of the way down. That way, I don't have to worry about what focus pont a camera selects.Some people appreciate the multi-spot focus systems you find in many newer cameras (I'm just not one of them, since I don't usually take photos in conditions requiring this kind of flexbility).

If you're sure you haven't messed up any settings (for example, changed metering to spot), and your camera consistently overexposes, you can change the Flash Level, too (High, Normal, Low).

You can see the record menu options for your camera here:


One other thing you may wantto do... Athough it's a different camera, I had a Sony P10 that's very similar to your P93 at one point. I did notice that exposure was very inconsistent with it, if I tried to adjust things like Contrast. So, you may want to make sure those things are back at factory defaults until you figure out the problem. To be fair to Sony, my P10 may have been defective, too. I only kept it about two weeks beforereturning it to the vendor for a refund(mostly due toinconsistent exposure, and what I'll refer to as "flourescent greens" that looked too artificial to my eyes).

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Old Oct 16, 2005, 10:59 AM   #4
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First of all, I really appreciate the responses. :love: I did a bit of playing with the controls. Sonys menus are a bit cyrptic and I have misplaced the manual. I re-read steves review (linked above) and figured out I was trying to use the "P" setting as the manual mode. I was wondering why it was taking 30-45 seconds to process my shots :-O On the "M" mode I switched the Autofocus from Multi to center which I think will do the trick. I also, tried cranking down the flash which I like too... IT seems easier to help lighen up darker areas than to tone down a bright flash.

Only thing about changing to the Center focus is that the AF lamp does not always come on. I know its crazy but I actually use this think to line up my shots when I am "shooting from the hip" Alot of times I cannot get in right spot for a shot (like kids in a
throng opening presents). So sometimes I will hold camera at arms length to get favorable angle on say .....birthday girls face and use the red light on her face to make sure I have the camera at the correct angle.

Ok, quick and true story on AF lamp red light. Was visiting away from home and decided to take kids by to show them my grandmothers old house. Dusk around 6:30PM I stuck camera out of the window to take a shot of the house. Had only been stopped for less than one minute. Guy comes out of house ...quite drunk... having some war flashback of red lights shining in his window. Took me several minutes to calm him down that I was not going to sniper him. :ak47: Moral is 1> My grandmothers old neighborhood has gone downhill and 2> AF lamp not always good :?

Thx for the link to the Fuji F10. Looks like a good camera. I like the Canon S1 IS but I guess I will hold off for now. Overally, I have been pleased with this little Sony's pics. ( I had thought about the Canon IS 1 6 months ago but I happened to win one of my "low-ball" bid at a uBid auction on this Sony for $194 refurbished)

Oh, I just found the Sony P-93 manual online here:

So I have no excuse not to do some reading.
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