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Old Aug 20, 2005, 11:58 AM   #1
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I am a non-expert and first time digital camera owner. I just bought the H1 and am using it in the Auto mode.

I have been trying to take some shots indoors in well lit rooms *without flash* but I keep getting the vibration warning indicator. And my shots are coming out blurry. I don't understand why my shots would be blurry just because the flash is off. If I turn the flash on, well then, I don't get the indicator, the shots come out sharp, but the flash makes the picture too "hyper" ie: the flash feels very strong.

On page 94 of the manual, in the Warning Indicators Section, it says "(Vibration Warning Indicator) Camera shake may occur due to insufficient light. Use the flash, turn on the steady shot function, or mount the camera on a tripod to secure the camera."

I am under the impression that if I am in Auto mode that the Steady Shot function is always active "During shooting". With a camera of this quality level, why am I having so much trouble shooting crisp shots inside a well let restaurant, for example,if I just don't want to use a flash and I don't mind if the shot comes out less than pristinely lit. In other words, there's value in the shot for me even though the lighting isn't perfect, and I would have expected Steady Shot to compensate this for me.

Any suggestions or advice? Basically the flash is just not an option sometimes yet I still want to shoot crisply.


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Old Aug 20, 2005, 12:24 PM   #2
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JayNYC wrote:
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I am a non-expert and first time digital camera owner. I just bought the H1 and am using it in the Auto mode.

I have been trying to take some shots indoors in well lit rooms *without flash* but I keep getting the vibration warning indicator. And my shots are coming out blurry. I don't understand why my shots would be blurry just because the flash is off. If I turn the flash on, well then, I don't get the indicator, the shots come out sharp, but the flash makes the picture too "hyper" ie: the flash feels very strong.
What you think is "well lit" is actually very dim to acamera. A typical well lit interior has an EV (Exposure Value) of around 6.

The Auto ISO on your H1 goes to a maximum ISO speed of 200 (although you can set it to 400 at the expense of more noise).

With an EV of 6 (and light may be even lower in many interiors), shooting with an Aperture of f/2.8 (the largest available aperture on your camera, provided you aren't using much zoom), at ISO 200, your shutter speeds would only be around 1/15 second (or down to around 1/8 second if light is at an EV of 5).

See this handy exposure calculator. Note that film speed is the same thing as ISO speed.

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

The "rule of thumb" to prevent motion blur from camera shake is 1/focal length. So, if you're shooting at a 35mm equivalent focal length of 100mm, you'd want shutter speeds of 1/100 second or faster. Also, some users hold a camera steadier than others (and some may require even faster shutter speeds to prevent blur).

The stabilization system in your H1 can help, but it can't work miracles. It's only designed to help by 2 to 3 stops.

Also, it won't help reduce blur from subject movement. So, if you're trying to take photos of moving subjects at 1/15 second without a flash, you're going to getblurry photos.

To help out, I'd try not to use any more zoom than absolutely necessary (since camera shake is magnified as more zoom is used). Your lens also loses some light at longer focal lengths (stops down to f/3.7 at fulll zoom). You may also want to increase your ISO speed to 400 (although this will also increase noise levels).

If existing light shooting without a flash is a high priority, I'd consider getting a DSLR model instead. These cameras have much larger sensors, so they can shoot at much higher ISO speeds with lower noise levels. But, you'll also want a bright lens to go with one. Brighter primes are popular for this purpose (50mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.8, 28mm f/2, 85mm f/1.4, etc.), since they are more compact than zooms and you can find brighter primes.

Or, simply use the flash with your existing camera indoors. ;-)

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Old Aug 20, 2005, 11:44 PM   #3
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When you talk about a 'well lit' room or restaurant, do you mean lit as well as the average living room in a house? If so, that is completely inadequate lighting. Try taking shots in the kitchen...that room is generally twice as brightly lit as a living room.

If the flash is too bright, try diffusing it by taking a small piece of white paper, folding it in half and rest it on the flash so that the paper diffuses the light. It will make the flash less harsh and costs nothing.

You can also use a little zoom when you use the flash to force you to step back from your subject and so reduce the effects of the flash.
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Old Aug 21, 2005, 8:18 AM   #4
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Ok, these replies make total sense. How do I change the ISO speed to 400 ?
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Old Aug 21, 2005, 8:42 AM   #5
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When inrecord mode, one of your menu options will be for ISO speed. You'll see the menu shown on this page of your camera's review here:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_...ny_h1_pg3.html

Using ISO 400 will give you shutter speeds twice as fast as ISO 200 (the fastest speed the Auto ISO setting will use) in low light. I'd also check the EXIF (a header containing camera settings used) in your images to get an idea of what your shutter speeds are now indoors. Many image editors can see this information. If you don't have one that can see it, download irfanview from http://www.irfanview.com (it's free). You'll see camera settings used for an image under Image, Information, EXIF.

Using ISO 400 will increase noise levels (similar to film grain) So, if it's too bad for the viewing/print sizes desired, you may want to use software to help reduce it's appearance. There is a reason that Auto ISO doesn't go this high on a small sensored camera like the H1. ;-)

Here are a couple of products designed specifically for reducing the appearance of noise in images:

Noiseware

Note that you'll see a free "community edition" of this product on the download page (not the trial versions, there is a totally free edition, too). Look for it (in smaller print). This product works very well. A downside is that it strips out the EXIF (a header in the image file containing camera settings). The non-free versions leave it intact.

Neat Image

This is another very popular product, and they have a demo version that is fully functional. Note that the demo version of Neat Image also strips out the EXIF.

Chances are, you're not going to be thrilled trying to use this camera for existing light purposes indoors without a flash (especially if you havenon-stationary subjects, since stabilization won't help for subject movement). This is not unique to your Sony (it's also true for the vast majority of non-DSLR camera models). But, feel free to give it a shot to see what you think. At smaller print and viewing sizes, things like motion blur and noise are not as noticeable (and you may still get some keepers if you take lots of photos).
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Old Jan 13, 2006, 7:00 AM   #6
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Im lost.

Picture the scene.

Im at a partywhich is dimly lit, running around taking snaps ofthe guests.

How am I supposed to take these pictures manualy without a flash and without the shaking hand icon?

Iv triedchanging the shutter speed, but by the time the shaking hand icon fails to display, the camera monitor is to dark to see the images.

Also; just because the display is to dark to make out the images, does that meen the results will be the same?....... black


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Old Jan 13, 2006, 7:37 AM   #7
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5hane wrote:
Quote:
Im lost.

Picture the scene.

Im at a partywhich is dimly lit, running around taking snaps ofthe guests.

How am I supposed to take these pictures manualy without a flash and without the shaking hand icon?

Iv triedchanging the shutter speed, but by the time the shaking hand icon fails to display, the camera monitor is to dark to see the images.

Also; just because the display is to dark to make out the images, does that meen the results will be the same?....... black

The camera must leave the shutter open long enough for proper exposure for the lighting conditions, ISO speed and aperture.

In autoexposure mode, a camera is going to be using the largest available aperture in low light anyway. You can increase ISO speed (which means that it won't take as long to "expose" the image for a given lighting condition). But, this only goes so far if light is low (and indoors is low light to a camera).

If you switch to manual exposure and use faster shutter speeds than the camera would select for the lighting, you'll get underexposed (dark) photos.

Answer? If shutter speeds are too slow to prevent motion blur in the lighting you're shooting in, use a flash.

Even a DSLR using higher ISO speeds and a bright lens can have problems shooting indoors without a flash. Sometimes, shutter speeds are just too slow. The human eye adjusts well to low light. The camera does not, and light is far lower than it appears to the human eye in a typical "well lit" interior.

You have to use equipment within it's limitations for best results. If the light is not good enough to allow photos without a flash (and in many indoor conditions, it might not be unless using a DSLR with higher available ISO speeds), then use the flash. ;-)

Other than increasing your ISO speed (which is limited to a maximum of ISO 400 with this model), or deliberately underexposing your images (which is going to increase visible noise when you try to brighten them later with software), there is not much you can do to get faster shutter speeds (unless you can control the lighting).

Shooting at the wide end of the lens can help a little bit (as less light reaches the sensor at longer focal lengths with your model), but there is less than one stop difference in light reaching the sensor between extremes of the zoom range anyway with it.

In many indoor conditions, you'll probably need the flash. That's what it's there for. ;-)

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Old Jan 18, 2006, 10:01 PM   #8
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If the flash is too bright, you can adjust the flash level +-

This camera has a very powerful flash and I have to tone it down inside most homes or it's too bright.
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