Low light situations - camera seems less forgiving of low light
I've had this camera for 3.5 years, and lately I notice that shots I expect to have enough light, although not bright sun, are coming out blurry. It's as if the light receptors in the camera (if there even are such things) aren't working well. I'm missing lots of pictures this way, and it's very annoying.
Any suggestions? Is this camera age? Is this something that I can fix?
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It's probably acting normal. Every camera (in one of the auto modes) must focus before it takes the image. In low light situations, or low contrast situations (white dog against a white background), many cameras have difficulty finding focus. This causes a delay before the shutter clicks. Try taking your camera out on a nice sunny day and take a pic. If there's no delay, there's your answer. If in a low light situation, click your flash on. That may help a bit to reduce the delay.
You can find the manual here. They have some suggestions for shooting in low light:
Set scene to "NATURAL LIGHT" Capture natural light indoors, under low light, or where the fl ash can not be used.
or set Scene t "PARTY" Capture indoor background lighting under low-light conditions.
Use a tripod if available, or brace the camera against a wall, table, or other fixed object when taking pictures to reduce blurriness. If you don't have an object to brace the camera against, use these techniques to reduce camera shake. Press the camera button instead of jabbing at it. Search the internet for "low light photography" for more tips. The PARTY and NATURAL LIGHT settings on your camera should boost the ISO on your camera. Do some test shots before hand in low light situations to see what works best.
This sounds like an issue due to low light. The card will not cause the video or pictures to be grainy, but high ISO settings (used to compensate for low light) will. In low light, auto-focus has a hard time and usually a camera won't take a shot unless focus lock occurs.
Assuming you were shooting in a low-light situation, the solution is to add more lighting to the scene. Note that the flash on your camera is only good for a distance of about 10 feet.
Indoor actions in low-to-moderate light are very difficult. This is why professional photographers pay thousands for DSLRs with high quality high-ISO settings, and thousands more for big and heavy lenses that can shoot with a large aperture (small f-stop number) to get the most light into the lens and onto the sensor.
Your Olympus D-555 only goes to ISO 400, which is not suitable for indoor action shots, and the lens is f/3 to f/5 which is not a fast lens. What you are trying to do is simply not possible with this camera. You need good quality at ISO 1600 (or higher) and f/2.8 or faster for the lens. This will give you 8 to 16 times as much light gathering capability in low light situations, letting you use a much faster shutter to capture action shots in low light.
1.Digital cameras do not do well in low light, unless you want to spend $750 and carry around a bulky camera. The smaller and thinner the digital camera, the less you can expect high IQ(Image Quality) in certain types of conditions; low light, moving objects, long zoomed shots when camera has no IS(Image Stabilization), and long flash shots(Flash is only good to about 10Feet.
2.Your cameras display is small compared to a computers display, so the picture will look better on the camera because you cannot see the detail(pixels) as well as a much larger computer display. If you limit your prints to standard 3X5 or 4X6 or 5X7 view, then you will get a better idea if they are worth keeping for printing in these sizes later.
Read digital photo forums and start with your manual under Taking Pictures, or such, to learn about digital photography and how to live with limitations.
I think you will find the advantages far outweigh the limitations.
I remember reading a review of the K100D that mentioned that it had poor low light performance. I know mine has a really hard time focusing in low light situations. It does the sweeping back and forth & most of the time never ends up taking a picture. (Even when it bursts the flash to try to focus.)
I've just started experimenting by using a flash light aimed at the subject I want to focus in low light situations, and the camera seems to be able to focus & take a shot more reliably.
If this works, I'm going to rig up something to hold the flash light underneath the camera so that I can use it more often.
* Get AF off the shutter release and onto the * button using the custom function.
* Use the center focus point only. Force yourself to pick what you want in focus, AF, then recompose and shoot, a habit far more effective than computer driven multiple AF points for just about everything.
* AF performance degrades in low light no matter what camera you own. This is life. At least if you control the when/where of AF, you can try and choose high contrast points in the scene to focus on, points that will help mitigate the low light.
* Not sure if this applies to you, but it does apply to many a pixel peeper...if something prints sharp at 8x10 or 11x14 then AF has succeeded even if it's a little off at 100% in Photoshop. AF is not perfect and the tolerances are not necessarily up to producing 40" enlargements, which is what 100% in Photoshop is. Having said that, in good lighting with good target contrast the AF on your 20D often will nail focus so perfectly that it will hold up even at 40".
what's probably happening is this: Since the light is low, the shutter must remain open for a relatively long time. If you're hand-holding the camera, you'll get blurry shots. Using a tripod will eliminate this. It doesn't typically happen outdoors because there's usually enough light to permit very fast shutter speeds (>60th of a second or so). Some newer cameras offer image-stablization for those lower-light situations. The camera or lens makes very quick adjustments to compensate for your moving when taking a shot. Hope this helps! Best wishes
Without seeing a photo, here are a few possibilities.
1) Shutter speed too low (camera shake).
2) Camera is focusing on something in the foreground.
3) Focus not locked, low light, low contrast scene.
Items 2 and 3 can be corrected by manual focus. Set the focus to 1 click below infinity, depth of field will insure everything is in focus. For item 1 remember that the shutter speed must be 1/125 sec or faster at full zoom to avoid camera shake.
First, try to get more light, particularly natural light (window); second, try using shutter priority (S mode), setting the shutter speed at not less than 1/50, faster if you are shooting motion/action (check the Properties of the blurred pictures that you've been getting in Camedia software - the shutter speeds are probably too slow because of the low light), and experiment with higher ISO settings (either 200 or Auto, not 400) though there's a trade-off in noise levels.