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HerHusband 11-07-2012 03:20 PM

What type of camera for pictures in large rooms?
 
We have a Nikon P300 that I chose mostly for it's large sensor and low
light capabilities. Unfortunately, we have the same issue with it as most
cameras in large rooms such as weddings, retirement parties, etc. The
natural lighting is inadequate, but the subjects are too far away for the
flash to do any good. The pictures nearly always turn out dark and grainy.
Any of the "low light" settings are nearly impossible to use handheld
without blurring due to the long exposure times.

We're just amateurs, and won't be lugging around a big tripod or giant
flashes. And, we wouldn't really know how to use all the manual settings on
a DSLR camera. We just want a portable camera that can take decent
pictures.

My Panasonic TM700 camcorder seems to do fine in these kinds of situations,
so it seems like there should be a digi-cam that would work too.

Any recommendations?

Thanks,

Anthony

tony cooper 11-07-2012 04:04 PM

Re: What type of camera for pictures in large rooms?
 
On Wed, 7 Nov 2012 15:20:08 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband
<unknown@unknown.com> wrote:

>We have a Nikon P300 that I chose mostly for it's large sensor and low
>light capabilities. Unfortunately, we have the same issue with it as most
>cameras in large rooms such as weddings, retirement parties, etc. The
>natural lighting is inadequate, but the subjects are too far away for the
>flash to do any good. The pictures nearly always turn out dark and grainy.
>Any of the "low light" settings are nearly impossible to use handheld
>without blurring due to the long exposure times.
>
>We're just amateurs, and won't be lugging around a big tripod or giant
>flashes. And, we wouldn't really know how to use all the manual settings on
>a DSLR camera. We just want a portable camera that can take decent
>pictures.
>
>My Panasonic TM700 camcorder seems to do fine in these kinds of situations,
>so it seems like there should be a digi-cam that would work too.
>
>Any recommendations?


My recommendation is to adjust your expectations to what is reasonably
possible with the equipment you are willing to use.

There's nothing unreasonable about not wanting to lug around bulky
equipment, but it is unreasonable to think that you can accomplish
something that the equipment you are willing to use cannot do. A
different compact camera is not going to provide the flash output that
external slave flash units or external lights on stands will.

Instead of trying to shoot wide shots in dimly lighted rooms,
concentrate on the close-up shots your camera was designed to take.
Work *with* the camera and learn what it can do.

Just to correct what appears to be some misunderstanding about dslrs,
all of them have some sort of "auto" setting that doesn't require
knowledge of how to use all those manual settings. There are some
limitations to "auto", but a dasher can be used as a "point and
shoot".

The dslr camera's built-in flash is not that much different from your
P300's built-in flash. For better lighting, an external flash is a
requirement. Even an external shoe-mount flash on a dslr isn't going
to illuminate a large dark room.













--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida

tony cooper 11-07-2012 04:05 PM

Re: What type of camera for pictures in large rooms?
 
On Wed, 07 Nov 2012 11:04:42 -0500, tony cooper
<tony.cooper214@gmail.com> wrote:

>On Wed, 7 Nov 2012 15:20:08 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband
><unknown@unknown.com> wrote:
>
>>We have a Nikon P300 that I chose mostly for it's large sensor and low
>>light capabilities. Unfortunately, we have the same issue with it as most
>>cameras in large rooms such as weddings, retirement parties, etc. The
>>natural lighting is inadequate, but the subjects are too far away for the
>>flash to do any good. The pictures nearly always turn out dark and grainy.
>>Any of the "low light" settings are nearly impossible to use handheld
>>without blurring due to the long exposure times.
>>
>>We're just amateurs, and won't be lugging around a big tripod or giant
>>flashes. And, we wouldn't really know how to use all the manual settings on
>>a DSLR camera. We just want a portable camera that can take decent
>>pictures.
>>
>>My Panasonic TM700 camcorder seems to do fine in these kinds of situations,
>>so it seems like there should be a digi-cam that would work too.
>>
>>Any recommendations?

>
>My recommendation is to adjust your expectations to what is reasonably
>possible with the equipment you are willing to use.
>
>There's nothing unreasonable about not wanting to lug around bulky
>equipment, but it is unreasonable to think that you can accomplish
>something that the equipment you are willing to use cannot do. A
>different compact camera is not going to provide the flash output that
>external slave flash units or external lights on stands will.
>
>Instead of trying to shoot wide shots in dimly lighted rooms,
>concentrate on the close-up shots your camera was designed to take.
>Work *with* the camera and learn what it can do.
>
>Just to correct what appears to be some misunderstanding about dslrs,
>all of them have some sort of "auto" setting that doesn't require
>knowledge of how to use all those manual settings. There are some
>limitations to "auto", but a dasher can be used as a "point and
>shoot".


Sorry...that should be "but a dslr can be used...".


>
>The dslr camera's built-in flash is not that much different from your
>P300's built-in flash. For better lighting, an external flash is a
>requirement. Even an external shoe-mount flash on a dslr isn't going
>to illuminate a large dark room.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>


--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida

David Taylor 11-07-2012 04:27 PM

Re: What type of camera for pictures in large rooms?
 
On 07/11/2012 15:20, HerHusband wrote:
> We have a Nikon P300 that I chose mostly for it's large sensor and low
> light capabilities. Unfortunately, we have the same issue with it as most
> cameras in large rooms such as weddings, retirement parties, etc. The
> natural lighting is inadequate, but the subjects are too far away for the
> flash to do any good. The pictures nearly always turn out dark and grainy.
> Any of the "low light" settings are nearly impossible to use handheld
> without blurring due to the long exposure times.
>
> We're just amateurs, and won't be lugging around a big tripod or giant
> flashes. And, we wouldn't really know how to use all the manual settings on
> a DSLR camera. We just want a portable camera that can take decent
> pictures.
>
> My Panasonic TM700 camcorder seems to do fine in these kinds of situations,
> so it seems like there should be a digi-cam that would work too.
>
> Any recommendations?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Anthony


Many DSLRs have an "auto" setting that might work just fine for you.

The quick answer is that recent DSLRs such as the Nikon D3200 and
just-announced D5200 are a lot more sensitive than the P300 and can
produce good images even at ISO 3200 (smaller-sensor cameras may be OK
up to ISO 800), so that's a quarter of the light level, or 1/4 of the
exposure time. For the best low-light pictures, get a wide-aperture
lens such as the Nikon 35mm f/1.8, which is not expensive, but isn't
wide-angle either....

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d3200
http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/nikon_35_1p8g_n15

Here are some pictures made of the Northern Lights with a Nikon D5000
and the 35mm f/1.8 hand-held.


http://www.satsignal.eu/Hols/2010/No...0435-05-a.html

--
Cheers,
David
Web: http://www.satsignal.eu

James Silverton 11-07-2012 05:22 PM

Re: What type of camera for pictures in large rooms?
 
On 11/7/2012 11:05 AM, tony cooper wrote:
> On Wed, 07 Nov 2012 11:04:42 -0500, tony cooper
> <tony.cooper214@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Wed, 7 Nov 2012 15:20:08 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband
>> <unknown@unknown.com> wrote:
>>
>>> We have a Nikon P300 that I chose mostly for it's large sensor and low
>>> light capabilities. Unfortunately, we have the same issue with it as most
>>> cameras in large rooms such as weddings, retirement parties, etc. The
>>> natural lighting is inadequate, but the subjects are too far away for the
>>> flash to do any good. The pictures nearly always turn out dark and grainy.
>>> Any of the "low light" settings are nearly impossible to use handheld
>>> without blurring due to the long exposure times.
>>>
>>> We're just amateurs, and won't be lugging around a big tripod or giant
>>> flashes. And, we wouldn't really know how to use all the manual settings on
>>> a DSLR camera. We just want a portable camera that can take decent
>>> pictures.
>>>
>>> My Panasonic TM700 camcorder seems to do fine in these kinds of situations,
>>> so it seems like there should be a digi-cam that would work too.
>>>
>>> Any recommendations?

>>
>> My recommendation is to adjust your expectations to what is reasonably
>> possible with the equipment you are willing to use.
>>
>> There's nothing unreasonable about not wanting to lug around bulky
>> equipment, but it is unreasonable to think that you can accomplish
>> something that the equipment you are willing to use cannot do. A
>> different compact camera is not going to provide the flash output that
>> external slave flash units or external lights on stands will.
>>
>> Instead of trying to shoot wide shots in dimly lighted rooms,
>> concentrate on the close-up shots your camera was designed to take.
>> Work *with* the camera and learn what it can do.
>>
>> Just to correct what appears to be some misunderstanding about dslrs,
>> all of them have some sort of "auto" setting that doesn't require
>> knowledge of how to use all those manual settings. There are some
>> limitations to "auto", but a dasher can be used as a "point and
>> shoot".

>
> Sorry...that should be "but a dslr can be used...".
>
>
>>
>> The dslr camera's built-in flash is not that much different from your
>> P300's built-in flash. For better lighting, an external flash is a
>> requirement. Even an external shoe-mount flash on a dslr isn't going
>> to illuminate a large dark room.
>>


Real estate agents have been using wide angle lenses for years (and also
removing about half of the furniture to make rooms look even more spacious.)


--
Jim Silverton (Potomac, MD)

Extraneous "not" in Reply To.

DanP 11-07-2012 05:33 PM

Re: What type of camera for pictures in large rooms?
 
On Wednesday, November 7, 2012 3:20:09 PM UTC, HerHusband wrote:
> We have a Nikon P300 that I chose mostly for it's large sensor and low
>
> light capabilities. Unfortunately, we have the same issue with it as most
>
> cameras in large rooms such as weddings, retirement parties, etc. The
>
> natural lighting is inadequate, but the subjects are too far away for the
>
> flash to do any good. The pictures nearly always turn out dark and grainy.
>
> Any of the "low light" settings are nearly impossible to use handheld
>
> without blurring due to the long exposure times.
>
>
>
> We're just amateurs, and won't be lugging around a big tripod or giant
>
> flashes. And, we wouldn't really know how to use all the manual settings on
>
> a DSLR camera. We just want a portable camera that can take decent
>
> pictures.
>


Image quality is greatly influenced by sensor size. Whether you buy a bigger sensor camera or use your Nikon P300 you still need to set your camera right.

Find out the highest ISO that is acceptable to you (400, 800 or even 1600), set your camera to Av (aperture mode) and dial in the lowest f number you can (1.8 on your Nikon P300).

Your camera has the smallest sensor on the market, 1/2.3". See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_sensor_format . Four thirds is just under DSLR size, consider them and make sure you get a lens with a low f number with it.


DanP

tony cooper 11-07-2012 07:04 PM

Re: What type of camera for pictures in large rooms?
 
On Wed, 07 Nov 2012 12:22:43 -0500, James Silverton
<not.jim.silverton@verizon.net> wrote:

>On 11/7/2012 11:05 AM, tony cooper wrote:
>> On Wed, 07 Nov 2012 11:04:42 -0500, tony cooper
>> <tony.cooper214@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> On Wed, 7 Nov 2012 15:20:08 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband
>>> <unknown@unknown.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> We have a Nikon P300 that I chose mostly for it's large sensor and low
>>>> light capabilities. Unfortunately, we have the same issue with it as most
>>>> cameras in large rooms such as weddings, retirement parties, etc. The
>>>> natural lighting is inadequate, but the subjects are too far away for the
>>>> flash to do any good. The pictures nearly always turn out dark and grainy.
>>>> Any of the "low light" settings are nearly impossible to use handheld
>>>> without blurring due to the long exposure times.
>>>>
>>>> We're just amateurs, and won't be lugging around a big tripod or giant
>>>> flashes. And, we wouldn't really know how to use all the manual settings on
>>>> a DSLR camera. We just want a portable camera that can take decent
>>>> pictures.
>>>>
>>>> My Panasonic TM700 camcorder seems to do fine in these kinds of situations,
>>>> so it seems like there should be a digi-cam that would work too.
>>>>
>>>> Any recommendations?
>>>
>>> My recommendation is to adjust your expectations to what is reasonably
>>> possible with the equipment you are willing to use.
>>>
>>> There's nothing unreasonable about not wanting to lug around bulky
>>> equipment, but it is unreasonable to think that you can accomplish
>>> something that the equipment you are willing to use cannot do. A
>>> different compact camera is not going to provide the flash output that
>>> external slave flash units or external lights on stands will.
>>>
>>> Instead of trying to shoot wide shots in dimly lighted rooms,
>>> concentrate on the close-up shots your camera was designed to take.
>>> Work *with* the camera and learn what it can do.
>>>
>>> Just to correct what appears to be some misunderstanding about dslrs,
>>> all of them have some sort of "auto" setting that doesn't require
>>> knowledge of how to use all those manual settings. There are some
>>> limitations to "auto", but a dasher can be used as a "point and
>>> shoot".

>>
>> Sorry...that should be "but a dslr can be used...".
>>
>>
>>>
>>> The dslr camera's built-in flash is not that much different from your
>>> P300's built-in flash. For better lighting, an external flash is a
>>> requirement. Even an external shoe-mount flash on a dslr isn't going
>>> to illuminate a large dark room.
>>>

>
>Real estate agents have been using wide angle lenses for years (and also
>removing about half of the furniture to make rooms look even more spacious.)


For sure. A photographer who belongs to my camera club gave a
presentation on real estate photography a while back. For interior
shots he uses all off-camera lighting...slave units that are triggered
with a "pocket wizard" and things to reflect and direct light.

The OP's problem, though, is photographing in low light. The places
he's talking about often have multiple light sources (some daylight,
some incandescent lighting, and some fluorescent light) that play
havoc with white balance. The ceilings are not such that he can use
bounce flash even if he has a shoe-mounted flash.





--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida

ray 11-07-2012 07:59 PM

Re: What type of camera for pictures in large rooms?
 
On Wed, 07 Nov 2012 15:20:08 +0000, HerHusband wrote:

> We have a Nikon P300 that I chose mostly for it's large sensor and low
> light capabilities. Unfortunately, we have the same issue with it as
> most cameras in large rooms such as weddings, retirement parties, etc.
> The natural lighting is inadequate, but the subjects are too far away
> for the flash to do any good. The pictures nearly always turn out dark
> and grainy. Any of the "low light" settings are nearly impossible to use
> handheld without blurring due to the long exposure times.
>
> We're just amateurs, and won't be lugging around a big tripod or giant
> flashes. And, we wouldn't really know how to use all the manual settings
> on a DSLR camera. We just want a portable camera that can take decent
> pictures.


I used to take indoor pictures at the community theatre with my 1mp Kodak
DC using another flash and a hot shoe slave. Worked quite well.


>
> My Panasonic TM700 camcorder seems to do fine in these kinds of
> situations, so it seems like there should be a digi-cam that would work
> too.
>
> Any recommendations?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Anthony




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