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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Why are my "night" photos blurry or too dark?
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10/12/2009 08:04:52 PM · #1
I need some guidance with my camera. I have a Pansonic DMC-FZ30. I'm not a pro, or even a semi-pro, so I am mostly satisfied with the results I get. I usually use the AUTO function,; sometimes I use Manual and set the F-stop and shutter speed.

However, almost all pictures I take at night (especially football games), either are too blurry or dark. I have set the stop from F3.2 (the lowest) to f11 (highest), and the shutter speed from 60 (the lowest) to 1/1000 (the highest), and all combinations between. Nothing seems to wrk - Im getting frustrated.

What am I doing wrong? Or is the Panasonic DMC-FZ30 not a good "night" camera?
I have seen photos in DPC that are excellent and it seems they are mostly taken woth a Canon. Maybe I need to buy a new camera?

Thanks for all your help/suggestions.

10/12/2009 08:15:47 PM · #2
Are you using a tripod? If not, that may be a large part of the problem. When it gets dark and camera is on any sort of automatic function you going to get a shutter/f-stop mix that requires a tripod or really high ISO.

I assume this is a cropped sensor camera, so the old inverse of the lens length flawed so 1/60 of a second is probably too slow, especially if you are zooming to longer focal lengths. that leads to a shutter speed that is slower than you can hand hold and it blurs.

To beat this, you probably need to move to a user controlled function and have some way of holding the camera still.

Message edited by author 2009-10-12 20:16:05.
10/12/2009 08:20:14 PM · #3
Hey John,

You need to use f. 3.2 (that is, actually, the highest aperture of your camera - because smaller is higher in this case)... If you use aperture priority the camera will choose the best shutter speed for this aperture, but maybe that speed will be slow to stop the motion of football (where you will need at least 1/500 - i think)... maybe bumping up the ISO will help you...
10/12/2009 08:20:58 PM · #4
Yes, I am using a tripod. Maybe it could be the ISO? Options are 80, 100, 200 and 400. I totally forgot to change it (told you - Im not a pro). All my night pics have been ISO 100.

10/12/2009 08:28:09 PM · #5
When you shoot night shots, Do you do it using alot of zoom, or digital zoom? If you use alot of zoom your ap is going to get smaller allowing less light in to the sensor, Which will cause darkness and blur in your photo, If you are using digital zoom you will end up with more blur and noise in the photo, Do you use the view finder when you shoot or do you hold the camera a foot away from your face and use the LCD to frame your shots, This can factor into it as well because you can keep the camera more steady if you have it tight against your face.

For best results, you want to try to use the lowest ap on the camera 3.2 You will probably need to use an ISO of at least 400 or higher and you want to keep the shutter speed at 60 or faster to avoid camerar shake and motion blur. And as mentioned by rlewis. A tripod is your best friend while taking night shots.
10/12/2009 08:43:36 PM · #6
Thanks guys! I just took a shot in a dark room using f3.2, ISO 100, and it's dark.
Then I took a shot using f32., ISO 400, and there is a BIG difference - I can see what I am looking at. Looks like my problem was the ISO setting. Told you - I'm not a pro!. Thanks again.
10/12/2009 08:51:40 PM · #7
I do night football photo. First, your camera will not work for night photo because of the low ISO and the aperture. I use a Canon Rebel XTi and a 70-200 Canon zoom lens.
My basic settings are ISO 1600 and shutter speed 1/160 or 1/200. I do not use a tripod as the lens is stablized and the stadium where I take most of my photos is well lighted. I have been to stadiums with low lighting and have to correct the exposures when I post process. I also use auto focus and have to be spot on the player or you will get nice background in focus photos and blurry players.
I hope this helps and Good Luck
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