What type of camera for pictures in large rooms?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by HerHusband, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. HerHusband

    HerHusband Guest

    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
    HerHusband, Nov 7, 2012
    #1
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  2. HerHusband

    tony cooper Guest

    On Wed, 7 Nov 2012 15:20:08 +0000 (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.
    >
    >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, Nov 7, 2012
    #2
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  3. HerHusband

    tony cooper Guest

    On Wed, 07 Nov 2012 11:04:42 -0500, tony cooper
    <> wrote:

    >On Wed, 7 Nov 2012 15:20:08 +0000 (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.
    >>
    >>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
    tony cooper, Nov 7, 2012
    #3
  4. HerHusband

    David Taylor Guest

    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/NorthernNorway/album/slides/2010-02-15-0435-05-a.html

    --
    Cheers,
    David
    Web: http://www.satsignal.eu
    David Taylor, Nov 7, 2012
    #4
  5. On 11/7/2012 11:05 AM, tony cooper wrote:
    > On Wed, 07 Nov 2012 11:04:42 -0500, tony cooper
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> On Wed, 7 Nov 2012 15:20:08 +0000 (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.
    >>>
    >>> 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.
    James Silverton, Nov 7, 2012
    #5
  6. HerHusband

    DanP Guest

    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
    DanP, Nov 7, 2012
    #6
  7. HerHusband

    tony cooper Guest

    On Wed, 07 Nov 2012 12:22:43 -0500, James Silverton
    <> wrote:

    >On 11/7/2012 11:05 AM, tony cooper wrote:
    >> On Wed, 07 Nov 2012 11:04:42 -0500, tony cooper
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> On Wed, 7 Nov 2012 15:20:08 +0000 (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.
    >>>>
    >>>> 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
    tony cooper, Nov 7, 2012
    #7
  8. HerHusband

    ray Guest

    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
    ray, Nov 7, 2012
    #8
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