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Mac Guru
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Almost a year ago, I purchased a Kodak Z650 6.1 MP for a wicked price (major sale), but unfortunately, I've never mastered night-time photo shooting. What are the tips you experienced photographers can give? The camera takes quality photos, but whenever I take them in the dark with the flash disabled, no image really appears, or it appears very, very blurry. (No.. I'm not photo shooting in pitch dark.) It has an option to adjust the lens for night time shoots, but rarely seems to help. Even if I take a photo directly under a street light, the photo will shoot and you can see what I'm photographing, but ends up blurry. Yet if I take a photo in the day time in the same position, it comes out perfect, which means I'm not shaking or jolting the camera. Then again, maybe my camera isn't the night-time-kind-of-camera. ;) Tips? Advice? Forget about night time shoots? ;)
 

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Yeah, for sure go with a good, solid tripod - many photogs prefer a ball head, some a pan & tilt head. You can get a tripod that can accept different heads. Your model of camera does not have Image Stabilization (IS) so you pretty much HAVE to have a tripod at slow shutter speeds.

Point & shoot digital cameras are not necessarily as good as film SLRs in night shots - some flaring can be experienced - not much you can do about that if your camera has this problem.
 

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Mac Guru
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The shutter speeds for the Z650 are as follows:

automatic: 1/8–1/1700 sec.
manual: 8–1/1000 sec.


So should I manually set the shutter speed lower for night shooting? (Along with a tripod.)
 

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No, just use one of the camera's night scene modes (whatever is recommended in the instruction manual) without trying to set the aperture size or shutter speed yourself. But without a tripod, even the camera's built-in night scene capability won't yield acceptably exposed and blur-free images.
 

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Tritium Glow
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You can adjust the camera's sensitivity (ISO rating), the shutter speed etc. But the higher the ISO and slower the shutter, you'll experience either "noise" or blur or both. Even high end DSLRs are terrible above ISO 800 for noise. Long exposures also cause noise and colour shift.

Automatic modes, and that includes any 'low light settings' on the camera will produce problems because it's the camera making the settings. So with the lens aperture limitation of f2.8, the camera may decide to use a high ISO and a very slow shutter speed which is useless when hand held. You could experiment with a high ISO and a shutter speed of about 1/20 to 1/30 for hand held depending on the ambient light in manual, but don't expect good results. Most people can get satisfactory hand held results at that shutter speed. Anything slower, a tripod is a good idea, but the noise will increase regardless.
 

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Buy a flash? ;)
 
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