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Old Apr 18, 2003, 9:03 AM   #1
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Default Need help adjusting 3100 for low light pics

I recently purchased a Coolpix 3100 and am very happy with the sharpness of the images. The problem I have is its performance in low light or even just moderately low light.

I have only taken pictures with the auto setting. Can anyone advise me on some different settings I can try to "brighten up" my pictures? The pictures just seem so dark compared to other cameras I have tested.

It also seems to take so long to take a picture, it's like it has to think about it forever before it decides to flash. I am an extreme amateur when it comes to digital cameras but the Sony and the Kodak I have tested were very quick on the draw compared to the Nikon.

I really want to fix these problems with the 3100 (if possible) because that is the camera I want to keep! Do you think if Nikon would have just included an AF assist lamp on the 3100 then these dark pictures would be a non-issue?
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Old Apr 19, 2003, 8:00 AM   #2
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Salvin:

Are you using the LCD or the viewfinder to take your shot? I read on another thread that if you use the viewfinder, it takes much longer. Something to do with the LCD already having the image in focus vs. the viewfinder focusing when you press the shutter button.
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Old Apr 19, 2003, 11:04 AM   #3
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What Salvin says about the LCD being off is correct b/c the camera won't keep the focus continuously witht the LCD off. When you say your pictures are dark, how far away are the subjects you're shooting? ... and your sure you're not blocking the flash either?
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Old Apr 19, 2003, 12:16 PM   #4
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Salvin:

I recently purchased a CP 3100 to replace a defective Canon A40 and so far I am pleased with it. I have not had any problems with the CP 3100 focusing in low light using the viewfinder, but then I use a technique that I developed back in the 1970's with a Pentax SLR that had manual focusing and "stop down metering" which could result in a dim viewfinder.

When "autofocusing" , 1st point your camera at a part of the subject that has the best lighting and/or contrast so that you can give the autofocus mechanism something good to focus on. 2nd recompose your the view and then shoot the pic. With a little trial and error, you should notice the improvents in focusing. Luckily, digipics are free after the cost of memory.

While digicams are new, good shooting techniques are not.

Good luck,

Steve
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Old Apr 19, 2003, 1:49 PM   #5
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Try using the scene modes. I have over 2000 pix with this camera and i have found the scene setting a lot better for a low light setting.
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Old Apr 19, 2003, 2:25 PM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I didn't think of using the scene mode, that is worth a shot. The subjects of all my pictures are my young children. The tests shots I took had them approximately 3 - 4 feet away from the camera most of the time.

I did use the LCD for all my shots.
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Old Apr 19, 2003, 2:38 PM   #7
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Based on the distances you take your pictures, I'd definitely play around with the scene modes. I read on another site the 3100 seemed to have a weak flash, but it is supposed to reach 9 feet at least. On that same site, the author stated he was able to have better luck over coming the weak flash with the different scene modes. Good luck.
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