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Old Sep 8, 2005, 9:32 PM   #1
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Hmm...hopefully this is the right board to post on...

Anyway, I just got the Casio z750 a couple weeks ago. So far I've taken it on vacation, the race track, our school football games, and a few other places. I love the camera, and most of my day shots turn out looking great, but I can't seem to get night shots at all. Here's a couple examples:

Image 1 (4 MB) NOT DIALUP FRIENDLY!

I'm a newbie, so go easy...what am I doing wrong? I've been trying to hold the camera as steady as I can, but most of the time I still get this blur effect. Is it a product of the lighting?

Image 2 (3.6 MB) NOT DIALUP FRIENDLY

Here's another example of what I keep getting. Of course this photo is at 3x zoom, so of course it is much more blurry.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to reduce the blurriness? I've been reading about how a tripod will reduce the camera shake, but honestly, the z750 is a pocket camera, so carrying around a tripod doesn't seem too practical. Maybe one of those mini-tripods?

Am I just doomed to crappy looking photo's at night? Most of the photos I take at night will be under lights (football games, race track, etc.) Thanks for reading all this, and I appreciate any suggestions you guys and girls can offer.
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Old Sep 8, 2005, 10:30 PM   #2
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I do not know the specifics on your camera, and am not sure what adjustments you can make with it, however the tripod or a similair sturdy ledge to rest the camera would help ( like a bench as in the picture from the race,) Also the actual depressing of the shutter button will induce camera shake. With that being said, I am not sure if there is a remote shutter release available for your camera, (that would prevent you from actually touching the camera to make it snap the picture) but it you could use the timer mode, which would take the photo after the pre determined time (10 seconds usually)

The are tips for depressing the shutter such as pre focusing, (depressing the shutter half way to gain a lock on the subject, then finishing through with the shutter) I find my photos are blurred when I rush through the depressing of the shutter button (when not using my remote) Another tip is to breathe in completely, and then take your shot, to reduce shake with your body.

These tips will help if you cannot adjust the different modes on the camera, such as a shutter priority mode, or a night mode...

Hope this helps
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Old Sep 8, 2005, 10:32 PM   #3
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Fishbait wrote:
Quote:
Hmm...hopefully this is the right board to post on...

Anyway, I just got the Casio z750 a couple weeks ago. So far I've taken it on vacation, the race track, our school football games, and a few other places. I love the camera, and most of my day shots turn out looking great, but I can't seem to get night shots at all. Here's a couple examples:

I'm a newbie, so go easy...what am I doing wrong? I've been trying to hold the camera as steady as I can, but most of the time I still get this blur effect. Is it a product of the lighting?
A couple of things:
1. Basic truth: night is dark. Even with stadium illumination, the amount of light available is pretty low for a camera. That means the camera opens the shutter for longer times, resulting in inevitable camera shake if you try to hand-hold the camera.

2. Camera shake is magnified if you use long telephoto settings. Your first photo was taken at wide angle (7.9mm); the second was taken at telephoto (114mm ). They both had exposure times of 1/8second. Which has more blur (shake)? Obviously, the second one with the high telephoto lens setting. If you want stable photographs at night, use wide angle settings, use the flash (for closeups) and/or get used to carrying a tripod around with you. In some cases you might be able to rest the camera on a wall or other stable object as you shoot, but when the shutter starts opening up for 1/8 second at 114mm telephoto and f5 as in your photo here, a tripod is really necessary.

3. A basic rule of thumb is: to prevent camera shake, your shutter speed should be at least as fast as the reciprocal of your lens' focal length. So if you crank your telephoto out to 114mm as in your second photo here, your shutter speed should be 1/114 second or faster. As I noted above, your photographs were both taken at 1/8 second, which is waaay too slow at that focal length. There is no wonder at all that you couldn't handhold it steady under those conditions. Probably no one could.

4. Cameras also have more difficulty focusing under low light, so that may be part of the problem, although I think simple camera shake is more the culprit here.

5. The ISO sensitivity doesn't seem to be listed in your EXIF photo's data, althogh it says "low gain up" so I assume you had it set on AUTO. Also, the exposure program says "action program" which is probably meant for daytime under good lighting. Learn to take it off auto and set it to a manual ISO value under difficult conditions like this; up the ISO to 400 if possible for nightscenes. This will increase the sensor's gain and let you take shots with less light--but it will also add noise to the shots, a tradeoff.

6. When uploading photos to a board like this, it is better to resize them to no more than about 600 pixels high; as the little note says on the reply screen, "the file size should not exceed 250400 bytes"; your files were about 4MB, which take a long time to download for people with dialup internet connections.

Good luck
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Old Sep 8, 2005, 11:19 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies. I actually had it on the "Sports" setting. The little description for that setting states, "Quick shutter speed." I'm going to the football game tomorrow night, so I'll bring the camera and try it out on the manual setting. So, for example, when I'm zoomed in at 3x, I should have the shutter speed manually set to 1/125 (that's the closest to 114 on my camera), and ISO 400? Or would it just be best to experiment and see what works out best?

About the huge pictures, I actually shrunk the first one down to 800 x 600, but you couldn't see much of the blurring effect at that size (which I guess is a good thing :lol. I'll leave 'em up for a little bit longer, but for now I'll put "Not dial-up friendly" or something, if that's alright.

Again, thanks for the replies.
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Old Sep 9, 2005, 1:07 AM   #5
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If you use more zoom, less light reaches the sensor.

Also, if you try to set shutter speeds too fast, you'll get underexposed images.

If you don't keep the shutter open long enough for proper exposure in the lighting conditons, for the largest available aperture for your focal length, you'll get dark photos (much darker than the ones you posted if you tried shutter speeds of 1/125 second in the same lighting). They would probably be totally unusable.

If your settings arewithin about a stop, you may be able to brighten them up some with software. If it's more underexposed than that (and your 1/125 second desired shutter speedswill be in these lighting condtions), then, you may ruin your photos by attempting it.

Sports mode on your model is going to use the largest available aperture anyway (while still insuring proper exposure).

One of your photos was relatively underexposed, probably because the slowest shutter speed allowed in Autoexposure was 1/8 second. You really neededSLOWER shutter speed to properly expose one of your images (but that would have resulted in even more blur).

I'd suggest going to ISO 400 (even though it's going to have a lot of noise). Then, use one of the popular tools to reduce it.

Noiseware

Neat Image

If you are going to be taking these types of photos on a regular basis, it may be a good idea to look at camera models with higher ISO speed capability (making sure they have bright lenses, too). Each time you double the ISO speed, the camera can use shutter speeds twice as fast in low light (given the same aperture setting and lighting).

Here is a handy online exposure calculator to give you an idea of the relationship between lighting conditions (shown as EV for Exposure Value), aperture, ISO speed (shown as film speed) and shutter speed.

http://www.robert-barrett.com/photo/...alculator.html

Your camera model has a maximum available aperture of f/2.8 at the lens' wide angle position, stopping down to a maximum available aperture of f/4 at full zoom (twice as much light can reach the sensor at the len's wide angle position).

So, don't use any more optical zoom than you have to. I'd also suggest using a monopod or tripod (to reduce motion blur from camera shake).The "rule of thumb" for preventing motion blur from camera shake is 1/focal length. So, if you're at a 100mm equivalent focal length, you'll want 1/100 second or faster shutter speeds. That's probablynot going to be possible with your camera in lower light. Use a tripod or monopod.

Also, take lots of photos (even at ISO 400 using a tripod, you're going to get some motion blur from subject movement at shutter speeds this slow).



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Old Sep 10, 2005, 10:14 AM   #6
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P.S.

It may get pretty ugly from a noise perspective shooting this way and brightening up the photo later with software. But, you *could* try to underexpose it deliberately to give you a little faster shutter speeds (but, you'll still need that tripod shooting in the lighting conditions you had in your samples), while still taking advantage of the camera's autoexposure system.

Shoot in Av mode with the largest available aperture (smallest f/stop number). Actually it probably doesn't make any difference if you're in Auto, Av Mode with the largest aperture, or Sports Mode.

Chances are, all of these modes are going to select the largest available aperture anyway in low light (f/2.8 at the lens full wide angle position, losing light as more zoom is used to f/4 af full zoom).

If you bumpup your ISO speed to400, and set your Exposure Compensation to a -EV value, you could push it more (again, it may get ugly).

I probably wouldn't underexpose more than about half a stop (-0.5EV) or so from ISO 400 (giving you the equivalent shutter speeds of about ISO 600). A full stop (-1.0 EV setting) would give you shutter speeds equivalent to ISO 800. Bracket it without underexposing the next time you shoot in this lighting, too (in case noise at anything over ISO 400 is unacceptable after you brigthtenthe underexposed photos with software).
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Old Sep 10, 2005, 11:49 AM   #7
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Alright, got a few things I'd like to show.

Image 1

This image is pretty dark and blurry. But with a little photoshopping, I was able to make it look a bit better.

Image 2

The Shadows/Highlights tool in photoshop really helped brighten this one up. Then I used Noise Ninja to get rid of some of the nosie. The people are still very blurry though.

Image 3

For this one, I tried setting the camera on the bleacher and snapping a photo. Notice how pretty much everything in the photo is sharp. The fence there sucks, but the rest isn't that bad.

Image 4

Another touch up in photoshop, and I think it looks better. I didn't get a chance to mess with the manual settings that much (it was a good game :lol. I'm definately going to have to pick up a monopod or tripod or something. Thanks for the help everybody.
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Old Sep 10, 2005, 12:16 PM   #8
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Increase your ISO speed to 400 and get a monopod or tripod. Then, take lots of photos to increase your number of keepers without too much motion blur.


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Old Sep 10, 2005, 12:39 PM   #9
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After looking at more of your samples, you might be able to get away without a tripod if you stay twoards the wider end of the lens.

I'm assuming that Auto ISO on your model probably goes to ISO 200 (with manual setting up to 400).

I'm alsoassuming that the slowest shutter speed the camera is going to use in low lightwith Autoexposure is going to be1/8 second judging from your underexposed samples at 1/8 second.

If it were me, I'd go ISO 400 (twice as sensitive to light as ISO 200, which Auto probably goes to), which should bring you up to 1/15 second shutter speeds, *if* the photos were properly exposed at ISO200 (and some were underexposed at 1/8 second).

But, I'd go a full stopdown and set it at 1/30 second ising Manual Exposure, shooting with the aperture wide open (f/2.8, which is the smallest f/stop number), at ISO 400.

That would be equivalent to underexposing your last sample of the field under lights a stop down from where it was exposed at, if you set it toISO 400 and 1/30 second (if Auto was going to ISO 200, which is likely where it's ending up with the 1/8 second exposure times).

If light is slightly brighter in some areas, thatprobably won't be overexposed at ISO 400 shooting at wide open apertures from the lighting in your samples, and you can probably salvage them for screen and small print use using something like Noiseware or Neat Image to reduce the appearance of noise later, and you'll need to brighten up any underexposed images using an image editor.

I'd still takelots of photos using autoexposure with ISO 400 in case your settings are off, though.

If you can get it up to 1/30 second and make sure to hold the camera steadyand slowly squeeze the shutter button with camera shake in mind, staying on the wider end of the zoom lens, youmay be OK from a camera shake perspective (although you'll still get some blur from subject movement and have to contend with post processing).

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Old Sep 10, 2005, 11:31 PM   #10
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Cool, that sounds like a plan. I won't be able to mess around with it again for about another week or so, but I'll be sure to post more samples using your suggestions then. Thanks for the tips and suggestions though, I'm really learning a lot.
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