All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

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Old 16-11-2008, 11:50 PM
rpwarwood rpwarwood is offline
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Question Camera Settings in the dark

Hi all,

I'm finding it really tricky taking photos in the dark (specifically in night clubs, where your subjects tend to move around somewhat and your hand may not be its steadiest...)

The camera clearly has the capabilities to take photos in these conditions, but I just can't seem to find the right settings.

The automatic settings fail miserably in these conditions (blurred images everytime without fail). I can't use any of the scene modes, as these seem to turn off the flash, making the shots useless. This means I have to revert to setting the ISO myself.

In setting the ISO manually, this also means I have to set the flash to permanently on (because the automatic setting fails to detect the need for a flash). Setting the flash to permanently on then in turn prevents me from turning on the anti-shake settings! Nightmare!

Does anyone know the settings that will allow me to capture decent shots in a dark nightclub environment?

Also, there are a few settings that I am not familure with. Namely the "Wide-Dynamic Range" and the "Exposure Metering". If anyone can give me some tips on what the two settings do it would be appreciated.

Cheers!

  #2  
Old 17-11-2008, 02:58 PM
bigeuan bigeuan is offline
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Hi, not quite what you were asking for but i've found that when I use the centre select key to take a picture, instead of the camera capture key, that my pictures come out a lot sharper and less blurry. Just a thought....

  #3  
Old 18-11-2008, 01:10 AM
mowe mowe is offline
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The Innov8 takes pretty crappy night pictures. I really hoped it would be better but they're no better than a Blackberry or any other phone with a flash. To be fair, it does take OKAY low light pictures (with the flash ON) but nothing revolutionary.

To get the best night shots, I'd set the ISO to 400 and turn the flash on (I would say ISO 800 but there's so much noise at this ISO level that it destroys the picture). If you're not much further than an arm length away from the subject, the photo should be decently lit and reasonably blur free. If the subject is moving, you have no chance at getting a good picture.

And all anti shake mode will do is bump up the ISO to trick the camera into using a faster shutter speed, so by upping the ISO manually, you're doing the same thing.

Wide dynamic range is a post processing technique that the camera will do automatically to brighten up dark parts of the picture. You can also do this in photoshop. Brightening up dark areas will likely increase the noise levels in those areas.

By changing the Exposure metering, you're changing how the camera exposes the photo. Matrix Metering will average both the bright and dark areas of the whole picture to give you the best overall exposure (this is most likely what you want). Center Weighted will bias the exposure to whatever is in the center of the frame. Spot metering is like Center Weighted but it puts the bias on an even smaller area in the center of the frame. There is very little difference in these settings that i could see. They're mainly there to pad the specs it seems.
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Old 18-11-2008, 05:57 PM
rpwarwood rpwarwood is offline
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Thanks for the detailed reply Mowe...shame about the content of your message though :(...

Seems you're right though, the camera just can't cope with anything moving in the dark. My previous SE (3.2mp) and Nokia (5mp) could both take photos in the dark when they were new... Its only when they got old and the dust was affecting the lens that they stated taking poor shots. What a waste of what should be a great camera.

I may try lowering to 5 or 3mp, see if the processor can handle the images quicker... I'll report back after next saturday...though I don't hold out much hope

That said, if I am sober, and my subjects are still, the night photos are usually of good quality. (even if the LED flash does make people look as white as a sheet... Why oh why did they make an 8mp camera with no xenon flash :( )
 

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