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bertchoi

Shooting in Dim Lit Settings with DLux 4

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Hello,

 

I just got my Dlux 4 the other day. One of the main reasons why I bought it was the fantastic reviews of users shooting in low light conditions. Granted im still toying around with this beast but the initial shots I've taken have all been a bit soft. I've played around with different settings but I haven't found one that gets me a nice crisp shot indoors with min lighting.

 

What's the recommended settings that I should use to get sharp shots in low light settings (without a tripod)?

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Look at what shutter speeds you are using. If they are below 1/60 of a second any camera movement will cause the image to be blurred, some more some less depending on how much the camera (YOU) moved.

 

Try to keep the shutter speed above 1/125, or at the least above 1/60, and make sure you have a steady hold.

 

The true test of the camera is to do some tests in good lighting, higher shutter speeds, of static subjects that you know the camera is focusing on. If they come out clear and sharp then it is you moving the camera with lower shutter speeds.

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it all depends what you're shooting. if you shoot still life then slower shutter speed is fine. if you're shooting moving subjects then you'll frequently end up with blurred photos. for me, here's what i do:

 

- set camera to M mode

- set aperature to lowest number f stop possible

- set shutter speed to lowest number possible. if you have steady hands, you can dial down the shutter speed to around 1/15th (for me at least).

- set ISO to around 400. from experience i find you can still get relatively good low light photos at 400.

 

alternatively you can use A (Aperature) mode, choose the lowest number f stop and let the camera choose the shutter speed.

 

if you still can't get good crips low light photos, then you know you just don't have steady enough hands for it.

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a shutter speed of 1/30 is easily doable and a 1/15 possible depending on the person

 

this "trick" has helped me many times over many years: hold the camera in both hands and draw the elbows into your side- take a deep breath and hold it by doing so you eliminate a lot of movement

 

fwiw i find asa 400 a little to noisy for me ymmv

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An ISO of 200 works great for me. It's hard to know what you are trying to achieve. Do you want to picture to appear brighter than the actual scene?

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In the analogue world the rule of thumb used to be the focal length of the lens is the lowest speed, e.g. a 35 mm lens could be used at 1/30 or even 1/15. If the DL4 is 24 mm, 1/30 would do OK.

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I will take in review some great features of a d-lux which are sometimes hard to get it out from the manual:

 

- in P mode you can set a minimum shutter speed which help a lot in dim light. - leave the camera parameters to play around like auto-ISO

- 1/30 deliver crisp picture if you don't have shaking hands but only at 24. Once you use zoom optic stabilization cannot handle anymore 1/30, so 1/60 seems like minimum.

- use B&W pictures if you like for indoors. noise looks better on B&W pictures and you can even force an ISO 800 if that minimum light goes well into composition.

- pop-up the flash as last resort - the camera actually does have a flash

 

of course, all advice are ok as long as your photographic subject does not move quicker than 1/30 or 1/60 - which is not case for my kids

 

and a last word, be patient and open minded. even after 4 months I still discover new ways of taking pictures with my leica.

 

have fun,

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Actually, if you don't mind shooting in black and white, then shooting at greater than ISO 400 is fine at night. It gives a certain grit (or film grain) to the image.

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Actually, if you don't mind shooting in black and white, then shooting at greater than ISO 400 is fine at night. It gives a certain grit (or film grain) to the image.

 

Oh heck yeah. I'm discovering that ISO 3200 with dynamic B&W can give you some interesting shots, especially with max contrast and minimal noise reduction.

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I've been struggling with the Dlux 4 in low light too, but maybe I am expecting too much? I have tried various settings, including manual, AE and some of the pre-sets (night portrait etc) but non have impressed me too much.

 

It may be more likely a problem with my technique - I never use tripod for example and many shots have been "street scenes" whereby the subjects are moving. Evenso, I'm interested to read the comments here. I will certainly use 1/30 as my slowest shutter from now on,see if that helps.

 

Is there some reason (in terms of sensor size etc) why low light is less effective?

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