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Old Jun 2, 2004, 2:28 AM   #1
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Is it possible to get good night shots with the Nikon Coolpix 2100?

I tried taking pictures of the moon and surrounding clouds but they were all slightly blurry with ahaze of light around the moon.

I set the camera on a handrail to steady it but had to tilt it up to take the shots so there could have been some slight movement. Is it essential to use a tripod for these kind of shots?

I tried attaching one of the pictures here but the file is too big and I don't know how to resize it - that'll be my next question!

Thanks -

Becky


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Old Jun 2, 2004, 2:51 AM   #2
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Any time the exposure is longer than about 1/50th of a second you run the risk of camera shake. This can come from the camera itself -- although with digital cameras there is less mechanical things moving than with a 'normal' film camera -- or from you as you push the shutter, or as you struggle to hold the camera.

The movement will be exaggerated with a zoom lens -- the longer the lens, the more the movement will be exaggerated.



So, the simple answer to your question as to whether you should be using a tripod for this sort of picture is -- YES! If you haven't got one, try bracing the camera against something solid -- a wall, a tree, for example -- where you can be sure of holding it still.

Regarding a sort of halo effect around the moon -- this is normal. I can't remember the scientific explanation, but it's something to do with the light refracting through ice crystals in the atmosphere.
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Old Jun 5, 2004, 10:53 PM   #3
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Thanks John. It kind of sounds like even with a tripod I won't be able to get the kind of image I was hoping for due tothe haze.

It must either take a special filter or a special camera to geta clearshot of the moon. Maybe some day!
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Old Jun 6, 2004, 9:38 AM   #4
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The halo effect won't happen everytime -- it depends on the amospheric conditions at the time. So don't dspair on that score!
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Old Jun 6, 2004, 9:58 AM   #5
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Becky0669 wrote:
Quote:
I tried taking pictures of the moon and surrounding clouds but they were all slightly blurry with a haze of light around the moon.
IMO your camera metering is fooled by the overwhelming darkness of the overall dark sky. When I took pictures of the moon depending on your ISO, the shutter speed is usually high in the 1/250s or higher (not requiring a tripod)... ie the haze is caused by overexposure! :idea:

Try to increase the shutter speed and the moon will come into sharper focus, most of its illumination are reflection from the bright sun anyway, and you'll capture less cloud... If it's not windy try multiple shots with varying exposure then overlay them to get the cloud back

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Old Jun 6, 2004, 6:44 PM   #6
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Can the shutter speed be controlled on the Nikon 2100 Coolpix camera? I think there's a manual control button but I don't know anything about manual controls...

Here's one of the many images of the moon I tried to capture. It might tell the story better than I can (I just discovered how to attach images - yeahhhh!).


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Old Jun 6, 2004, 6:48 PM   #7
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Another image that shows the "halo" better.
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Old Jun 6, 2004, 8:03 PM   #8
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I don't know if you can control the exposure with your camera or not, but if you can .... you need to. Looking at the pictures, it is clear that the moon is over exposed as NHL thought might be happening. If you cannot control the shutter speed, perhaps it'll let you do exposure compensation ... that might help.
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Old Jun 7, 2004, 3:17 AM   #9
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Well, I'm glad to see you got the image size thing sorted out! Next steps:

The CP2100 does allow some limited controls. As far as i can see, it's not possible to manually set aperture/shutter settings, but you do have other options.

YOu could try experimenting with the SCENE and ASSIST modes to see if one of them would give better/different results. For example, try the "Night Protrait" setting (from the rotary selector on the top of the camera), or the Beach/Snow Scene from the SCENE menu (select Scene from the rotary dial first).



YOu also have the possibility to adjust the exposure by steps. This is done from the MENU button on the back of the camera. Press the button, then select SHOOTING MENU, then select EXP+/-.

Nikon's logic is that you choose + to underexpose. To quote them:

[align=left]As a rule of thumb, select
positive values when large areas of the frame are very brightly[/align]
[align=left]lit (for example, when photographing an expanse of sunlit water, sand, or snow)[/align]
[align=left]or when the background is much brighter than the main subject. Choose
negative[/align]
[align=left]values when large areas of the frame are very dark (for example, when photographing[/align]
[align=left]a forest of dark green leaves) or when the background is much darker than the main[/align]
[align=left]subject. This is because the camera, in order to avoid extreme over- or under-exposure,[/align]
[align=left]tends to lower exposure when the frame is very bright and raise exposure when the[/align]
[align=left]frame is very dark, which can make naturally bright subjects look dim and naturally[/align]
[align=left]dark subjects appear over-bright, or "washed out."[/align]
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Old Jun 7, 2004, 5:28 AM   #10
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Thanks for the all the tips guys- I appreciate it : )

John - I'm a step by step kind ofgal-you areawesome. Are you a teacher in your other life? I wish the moon were out tonight so I could play around with these options!
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