airplane09
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:52 pm

Best Camera For Night Photos

Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:14 pm

I Currently have a Cannon 10 mega pixel camera and it does not take good night photos I need something affordtable i.e ($100-$200)
 
photopilot
Posts: 3087
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2002 11:16 am

RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:00 am

Look, let's be honest here. You've got champagne tastes and a beer budget. For the price range you want, you'll get mediocre performance at best. And megapixels per se don't matter. What matters is the size of the chip. You'll need to do some reading and research as well.

For outstanding night performance, I'd suggest looking into the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3. I'm continually blown away by what this little camera will do for me at night. Here's a sample. But it's approx $400 USD.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y55/Steve_YYZ/Habana%20-%20Dusk%20to%20Dawn/CentroCaronNightStreet.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y55/Steve_YYZ/Habana%20-%20Dusk%20to%20Dawn/PlazaVieja.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y55/Steve_YYZ/Habana%20-%20Dusk%20to%20Dawn/Ayesteran.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y55/Steve_YYZ/Habana%20-%20Dusk%20to%20Dawn/CapitolioNoche-2.jpg

[Edited 2010-11-06 17:06:48]
 
airplane09
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RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:09 am

Thanks but I am only a high school student so I can't really raise my budget. How does that camera do in broad daylight?
 
user47
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:56 am

RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:14 pm

Christmas is coming up...
Have I mentioned I love planes? :-)
 
airplane09
Topic Author
Posts: 15
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RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:31 pm

Quoting user47 (Reply 3):

Well my parents would not like the price tag!
 
oly720man
Posts: 5761
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:33 pm

Quoting airplane09 (Thread starter):
I Currently have a Cannon 10 mega pixel camera and it does not take good night photos I need something affordtable i.e ($100-$200)

Which camera is it and are you using the Manual setting? The default Av & Tv settings won't necessarily extend the shutter speed range far enough for night photos.

The Canon A480, a 10MP compact, has shutter speeds from 15 seconds which should be enough in many situations.

Otherwise, if there just isn't enough light, no camera will take a decent night photo unless you've got one with a Bulb 'B' setting, and a remote shutter release (or a very steady hand on the button for a long time), so you can take photos over many minutes or even hours.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
airplane09
Topic Author
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RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:15 pm

Quoting oly720man (Reply 5):
Which camera is it and are you using the Manual setting? The default Av & Tv settings won't necessarily extend the shutter speed range far enough for night photos.

Camera Is a Canon Powershot A1000 IS

Quoting oly720man (Reply 5):

The Canon A480, a 10MP compact, has shutter speeds from 15 seconds which should be enough in many situations.

Otherwise, if there just isn't enough light, no camera will take a decent night photo unless you've got one with a Bulb 'B' setting, and a remote shutter release (or a very steady hand on the button for a long time), so you can take photos over many minutes or even hours.


Not much of a camera expert can you please explain carefully!
Thanks for helping

[Edited 2010-11-12 14:16:51]
 
oly720man
Posts: 5761
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RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:33 am

Quoting airplane09 (Reply 6):
Not much of a camera expert can you please explain carefully!

Where to start? You need a certain amount of light to create an image. In routine daytime operation the camera metering can determine a combination of shutter speed and aperture that will give the correct amount of light to hit the CCD (the sensor in the camera). The various camera settings, sport/landscape/etc give different combinations. For sports you want a fast exposure (leading to a large aperture), for landscape a small aperture (leading to a slow shutter speed). If you imagine the amount of light to give the correct exposure as a cylinder, it can be a short, fat cylinder or a long, thin cylinder. Short+fat = short shutter speed and large aperture, long and thin = long exposure and small aperture.

There are other technical issues that come into play with small and larger apertures that are related to the lens performance, as well as the size of the CCD. A large aperture gives a small depth of field so only the main object on the photo is in focus - a single sportsman, for example - whereas a small aperture has a large depth of field - everything in the field of view is in focus,

The preset settings on some cameras (sport/landscape/etc) will give the camera's selection of the best combination of shutter speed and aperture, i.e. one choice.

If the camera has aperture priority, shutter priority or manual, this lets the photographer have more control over the exposure, i.e. you tell the camera what shutter or aperture to use and the camera chooses the corresponding aperture or shutter, according to the light level. And manual control is complete control over the camera, so you choose both the shutter and aperture.

I've just had a look at a 1000IS review and it has a longest shutter speed of 15 seconds which I expect will be set up in the Special Scenes Night Scene (6th image down on the page below).

http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...n-powershot-a1000-is-review-3.html

There doesn't seem to be a shutter speed displayed (but the camera's manual should help here), but there is a +/-0 indicator on the left side of the view which will be an exposure compensation, to allow longer or shorter exposures than the camera decides.

Beware that at night, streetlights and other bright sources of light can mislead the camera's metering. It's better to overexpose at night to stop grainy images. Each element in the CCD (and there are 10million in this camera) needs a certain amount of light (individual photons) to hit it to register any light intensity at all and at night there aren't as many.

Some cameras, but not this one, have B as the slowest shutter speed and this allows the shutter speed to be anything you want for long exposures, but this generally needs a remote shutter release and lock, and good batteries.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
epten
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:12 am

RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:54 pm

Buy a $10 tripod. Any camera with a tripod will make jaw droppingly good night photos.... provided that the subject doesn't move.

For moving objects, what determines the quality of the photos is much more the lens than the body, mexapixels, shmegapixels.
 
Geezer
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RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:12 am

I just read the above post from a young high-school student.

Quoting oly720man (Reply 7):


Where to start? You need a certain amount of light to create an image. In routine daytime operation the camera metering can determine a combination of shutter speed and aperture that will give the correct amount of light to hit the CCD (the sensor in the camera). The various camera settings, sport/landscape/etc give different combinations. For sports you want a fast exposure (leading to a large aperture), for landscape a small aperture (leading to a slow shutter speed). If you imagine the amount of light to give the correct exposure as a cylinder, it can be a short, fat cylinder or a long, thin cylinder. Short+fat = short shutter speed and large aperture, long and thin = long exposure and small aperture.

oly720man, my hat is off to you ! That was a masterful lesson in photography; I especially enjoyed the analogy about thinking of the correct amount of light for an exposure as being like a cylinder ! I have been reading about photography for many, many years now, and I have never heard that before; it is so simple, so "apropo" it is elegant ! I will file that away in my brain, and hopefully, have it available the next time I find myself attempting to explain proper exposure to a newcomer !

Every time I log onto A.net, I am reminded of how fortunate we are to have available to us, the combined knowledge and experience of so many people, in so many countries, all over the world, and they all have a mutual interest in aviation and airplanes !

And Epten, I couldn't agree more, about the value of a tripod !

Incidently, I see you are from Macedonia; I live quite near a small city in western Indiana, named "Brazil" ; there is a very nice small restaurant in Brazil, that is owned by a fabulous young man who came to this country from Macedonia; he not only serves great food, but I really enjoying chatting with him every time I go there to eat dinner. I would like to think that any American going to another country and running a business, would be as good of an "example" of Americans, as this young man is for Macedonia.............but somehow, I seriously doubt if that's ever the case !

Charley
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
airplane09
Topic Author
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RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:30 am

How does the tripod have any effect for good night quality photos?
 
FedexL1011
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:23 pm

RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:56 am

Quoting airplane09 (Reply 10):
How does the tripod have any effect for good night quality photos?

Others correct me if im wrong but it makes the shot more steadier and it allows more clearer and crisper shot because of the the steadiness provided by the tripod. Again correct me if im wrong.

Regards,
J.R. In SEA
722,732,733,735,737,738,739,744,752,753,763,772,319,320,321,DH8,CRJ2,CRJ7,CRJ9,E175,E145
 
Dazed767
Posts: 4968
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:55 am

RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:49 am

I use the A480 at work and while you can pick up a refurbished model for $69 on adorama, it's quite a little camera (and we take photos mostly at night with a mini tripod). Even has a macro feature which works really good. If my A560 ever takes a dump, I might try and get a refurb A480 while I still can.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/z00mpics/4599700094/ a sample shot (not mine).
 
JakTrax
Posts: 4663
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:34 am

Dazed767,

That's a nice shot for a compact. Good WB too given the differing light sources - did you set that manually?

Karl
 
dlowwa
Posts: 7168
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:17 pm

RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:46 am

Quoting airplane09 (Reply 10):
How does the tripod have any effect for good night quality photos?

It allows for much slower shutter speeds than you would be able to use hand-held. I took this shot with a 30 second exposure, something that would be impossible hand-held without shake-induced blur.

http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/804/imgp17074800.jpg

Because of the longer exposure made possible by the tripod, I could shoot at ISO100 and a narrower aperture for better sharpness and more depth of field. You can see in this 100% crop the sharpness and lack of noise that would otherwise be present at a higher ISO and wider aperture that you would need if shooting hand-held. These are the benefits of using a tripod, a tool that is pretty much mandatory for any kind of static night shooting.

http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/9352/imgp17074crop.jpg
 
Dazed767
Posts: 4968
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:55 am

RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:58 pm

Quoting Dazed767 (Reply 12):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/z00mpics/4599700094/ a sample shot (not mine).
Quoting JakTrax (Reply 13):
That's a nice shot for a compact. Good WB too given the differing light sources - did you set that manually?

Not mine  

I'm sure there are better options now since that camera was introduced last summer, maybe A3100IS.
 
soon7x7
Posts: 2267
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 10:51 am

RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:46 am

I have found low ISO setting, tripod (get a good one), cable release, and automatic cameras on all manual settings. (TIP) You can auto focus, then tape the focus barrel, switch to all manual. Sometimes hard to manual focus in the dark while on the other hand, auto focus can be fooled into an auto search due to a brilliant light hitting the camera. either way...these are not quick snapshots...they take time and practice...even some goof up shots can actually come out unusual.
WTC, New York,...
This image I took from the top of the Empire state building. I used 100 ISO daylight film. The winds on the observation deck were 72 knots. I had some family from Sweden shield the camera and tripod with open jackets. the exposure was 4 seconds @ f/11.
fillflash
Alternatively if you have control over the scene then you can use fill flash and ambient light to create a more controlled shot. either way,...the camera best suited for night work should have all manual capability if you want optimum results. This image was recorded with a D300. Flash burst plus 4 seconds ambient light, low ISO...g
 
airplane09
Topic Author
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RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:32 am

What would you say about any Nikon or Sony for that matter
 
rolfen
Posts: 1539
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:03 am

RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:10 am

Quoting airplane09 (Reply 17):
What would you say about any Nikon or Sony for that matter

I suggest you buy a cheap, second-hand SLR, and learn photography basics. The camera is nothing but a tool, like a brush would be a tool for a painter. I think that is the way of thought of most photographers here.

There are some consumer cameras which try to take decisions at your place, and some do a good job. I was really impressed by one of my friend's, but I forgot the name and model, I'll get it for you if I find it out.

If you want to be knowledgeable in technical details, like people who answered your posts here, get an old, second-hand SLR. For $100 you might have a hard time finding a digital SLR, which mean 35mm film, with film processing costs that go with it.

Otherwise, just get whatever you can find for $100 (or less) and try to improve your artistic skills. Even a cellphone cam would do.

But if you want to get technical, I think that budget of yours is just a tad under the minimum budget for that.
rolf
 
Geezer
Posts: 1413
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:37 am

RE: Best Camera For Night Photos

Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:54 pm

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 16):
This image I took from the top of the Empire state building. I used 100 ISO daylight film. The winds on the observation deck were 72 knots. I had some family from Sweden shield the camera and tripod with open jackets. the exposure was 4 seconds @ f/11.

I have been on the observation deck of the Empire State Bldg. when it was windy.........but 72 kts ? WoW ! T think I would have been heading for the elevator ! I wish I could have seen the family holding their coats to block the wind from blowing the camera and tripod off the roof, while you are making a 4 sec. time exposure ! ( in 72 kts. "breeze" ) Even better, how about another camera with a fast lens to "capture" this "effort ? Seriously though, it's a great photo, and I love hearing about anyone going to "great lengths" to get a great shot.

I LOVE the photo of the business jet ! I just bought a new 300s so I'll try to use that trick first chance I get !

This may be a tad off topic............but was the on-camera flash sufficient to light up the jet, or was a bigger off camera unit used ? BTW......thanks for sharing both photos.........I love them.

Charley
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein

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