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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 28 Nov 2010 (Sunday) 08:21
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Blurry Night Photos with SX20

 
kodeblue
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Nov 28, 2010 08:21 |  #1

We bought the SX20IS some time ago and have been using it mostly during daylight or indoor conditions. We took our kids to a Christmas parade last night and I tried to take some pics in the scene/night mode. All I got was blurry pics. I tried a few other settings and the same thing. I am very dumb when it comes to using anything but auto mode but I really want to maximize the use from this camera and get some optimal pics. Can someone help me out briefly on what settings I could use to get some nice nighttime shots? I even tried the fireworks mode lol. I know using a tripod will work too but I don't think that would work when there is movement, like a float going by us in the parade. Thanks in advance for any help.???




  
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asysin2leads
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Nov 28, 2010 10:32 |  #2

Can you post a sample? It's hard to pinpoint the problem w/out seeing it.


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kodeblue
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Nov 28, 2010 10:51 |  #3

I deleted them on the camera already but I will re-take a few today and post them.




  
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Wilt
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Nov 28, 2010 11:38 |  #4

You mentioned parade at night...most likely your camera's meter determined that it needed to select a very slow shutter speed in order to achieve 'proper exposure', and the person taking the shot was not absolutely still while pressing the shutter and taking the photos.

Until you post an example (which hopefully still has the embedded EXIF information associated with the photo), that is my best guess about what the problem is.


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mike_d
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Nov 28, 2010 12:05 |  #5

Its probably using a absurdly long shutter speed. I was playing with my sister in law's Canon P&S last night and it chose a 1/10' shutter speed indoors with the flash when it could have still raised the ISO. Brilliant.




  
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kodeblue
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Nov 28, 2010 12:18 |  #6

mike_d wrote in post #11358419 (external link)
Its probably using a absurdly long shutter speed. I was playing with my sister in law's Canon P&S last night and it chose a 1/10' shutter speed indoors with the flash when it could have still raised the ISO. Brilliant.

It is using a long shutter speed. I do want the colors so I want to avoid using the flash also. I will definately try and get some pics later on when it is getting dark and post them. I am sure that you guys will know what I can do to get a better photo lol.




  
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mike_d
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Nov 28, 2010 12:51 |  #7

kodeblue wrote in post #11358493 (external link)
It is using a long shutter speed. I do want the colors so I want to avoid using the flash also. I will definately try and get some pics later on when it is getting dark and post them. I am sure that you guys will know what I can do to get a better photo lol.

Keep in mind that P&S cameras have very slow lenses and usually lack manual controls so the camera's only option when presented with darkness is to crank up the ISO and slow down the shutter. You're right about the tripod not helping if the subject is moving. These are the kinds of situations where like any DSLR (even an old one) and a nifty 50 works 100x better.




  
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mike_d
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Nov 28, 2010 17:13 |  #8

I just got a chance to look up the SX20's specs on Canon's site and it looks like you have Av, TV, and M modes. That's good. You'll want to up the shutter speed to avoid burring the moving subject. How much will depend on how fast its moving. I'm going to guess you'll want 1/50'-1/100' for parade floats. So if you use Tv mode, set the shutter speed you want, max out the ISO, and let the camera pick the aperture, it'll probably shoot wide open and still underexpose but at least your subject won't be blurry. Depending on how underexposed you are, you may still be able to fix it in the computer when you get home.




  
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kodeblue
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Nov 28, 2010 17:43 as a reply to  @ mike_d's post |  #9

I did still have 2 pics on from the parade. I had to re-size them because they would not upload.

Pic 1
f/3.5
exposure 1/8 sec
iso 800
max aperature 3.625


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Vermin87
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Nov 28, 2010 17:50 |  #10

1/8 of a second is wayyy too slow to be able to take steady photos at night of moving subjects. In general, you'll need something more along the lines of 1/30th of a second or faster in order to get acceptable photos, depending on how fast the subject is moving, and how zoomed in you are.The faster the subject movement and the more zoomed in you are, then the faster the shutter speed you'll need.


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Wilt
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Nov 28, 2010 17:51 |  #11

Do you have RAW file (or the JPG) with EXIF intact? These both are missing EXIF information, so we only know the parameters which you supplied with the photos, but nothing else (Av mode? Tv mode?).

In any event ISO 800, 1/8 sec f/3.5, so the only thing you could have done was to increase ISO to an even higher one (which likely would have resulted in a noiser image)


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tkbslc
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Nov 28, 2010 17:56 |  #12

It's just too dark to be shooting without a flash. You'd need a newer SLR with a f2 or faster lens to hope to shoot in those conditions.


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kodeblue
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Nov 28, 2010 19:16 |  #13

Wilt wrote in post #11360024 (external link)
Do you have RAW file (or the JPG) with EXIF intact? These both are missing EXIF information, so we only know the parameters which you supplied with the photos, but nothing else (Av mode? Tv mode?).

In any event ISO 800, 1/8 sec f/3.5, so the only thing you could have done was to increase ISO to an even higher one (which likely would have resulted in a noiser image)

Yes, I do have the original file still. It is just to big to upload on here.




  
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tonylong
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Nov 28, 2010 20:15 |  #14

Those conditions will be challenging for any camera. Basically, you need to use your highest ISO and your widest aperture (lowest f-number) to get a decent shutter speed. Using compact cameras will be a challenge! Actually the Sports/Action mode will probably get you closest to the shutter speed you need, but you will still struggle. Take a lot of shots and hope for the best. The idea of shooting in Tv was mentioned, and it may give you some leeway to get a higher ISO since using a mode like the Sports mode will likely limit your ISO, so it's worth trying...


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kodeblue
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Nov 28, 2010 20:46 |  #15

tonylong wrote in post #11360788 (external link)
The idea of shooting in Tv was mentioned, and it may give you some leeway to get a higher ISO since using a mode like the Sports mode will likely limit your ISO, so it's worth trying...

I just tried the Tv mode, whatever that is lol. I was pushing and messing with different settings and was able to get some better shots tonight in my house. I will check it all out tomorrow and post some new photos to get some advice on those.




  
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Blurry Night Photos with SX20
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