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Old Sep 30, 2003, 8:02 AM   #1
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Default Night time Photos with the 4040Z

I'm having trouble with city skyline photos with this camera. Several years ago, I had a Sony Mavica FD-95 that I took to Vegas and was able to casually point and shoot at night with fantastic results. Last week in Seattle, I tried several settings to capture the night skyline and Space Needle and ended up with either blurry images from long shutter speeds, or overexposure with night almost appearing as day. I tried both the Program mode and using Aperture priority. What am I doing wrong? I have only amateur experience but it would seem to me that I should be able to not only equal, but exceed the results of the Sony. I want reallistic looking pictures.

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Old Sep 30, 2003, 12:46 PM   #2
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The Sony has the advantage of having the Night+ mode which makes the camera super sensitive to light (you've probably heard the stories of this type of camera being able to shoot through clothing during the day).

The Oly cameras are more like regular film cameras...you have to learn about things like if you shoot slower than 1/30th of a second you're going to start seeing camera shake from handholding the camera.

If you're a serious night shooter you may want to go back to Sony, but I've gotten some great night shots with my Oly (having had film experience).
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 8:34 PM   #3
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I don't know about the Sony, but I have the C4040. Remember any camera's meter tries to render a scene as a medium grey. So night scenes are usually too overexposed to look like night scenes. The amount of overexposure depends on how many bright light sources and how far away. If you are using an autoexposure mode, set exposure compensation to -2 (all the way). Better is to use manual metering. Or try shutter priority at least 1/30 second, no slower. The f1.8 lens helps here. You really need a tripod at night, but you can get by without one with the zoom lens at the widest angle and the scene is full of bright lights. The best cityscapes are at twilight, a half hour or so after sundown. Then there is a better balance between the sky and artificial lighting. If the sky is pitch black, lights spread too much when the exposure is long enough to pick up any details.
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