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When do you turn off the flash mode?

Recently, I was over to Turkey visiting and touring some of their great Mosques.
All low light conditions.
I have a Canon Digital Elph S400 and had some of my best photography without the flash being used. I did use Adobe Photoshop to adjust the levels and curves later. The results were outstanding with the flash OFF!

At the same time, my wife had a nice little Olympus Stylist 35mm camera. She used the camera all over Turkey. Most photos outdoors came out excellent.
The photos using the flash came out terrible. Really grainy and lousy.

What causes her photos to be so lousy with the flash on?

What causes a poor image when photographing with the flash mode on using a digital camera in some cases, such as low light conditions?

Kevin

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That's far too complicated a subject to give much of an

In reply to: When do you turn off the flash mode?

answer. For starters, the built in flash is not much of a flash. I have mine turned off.

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Complicated?

In reply to: That's far too complicated a subject to give much of an

Kiddpeat, Thanks for your post. Too complicated? I don't think so. Think about when you last had your flash mode on and think of the results. Why did you turn off the flash? Had to be a reason why? Think about it and post back again.
Thanks,
Kevin

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Well, I don't have to think about it too hard. I'm taking a

In reply to: Complicated?

summer school course in flash photography. If you think that can be covered in one post, then you don't understand enough about the subject. How does your camera's flash system work? How do you set the flash for desired results? What is the flash supposed to do in illuminating a picture? How far does the flash illuminate for particular camera settings.

If you are using the in camera flash, you are already handicapped by an inadequate flash. I started turning off the flash when I noticed that it was washing out the colors in photos. Much better results were obtained without it as long as there was no movement while the photo was taken. I had to use the flash (external shoe mounted) when photographing a robotic assembly line. The professor's reaction to the photos? 'Oh! You were using a flash. That's why the photos look so flat and washed out.' They looked fine to me, but I'm beginning to understand what he meant.

Perhaps a bit more study is in order?

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Flash and Flash-not

In reply to: When do you turn off the flash mode?

Rule of thumb.....flash is for people that are near.

Know your camera's flash specification.

The S400 is rated for 11.4 feet.

So you should turn off the flash anytime you want something to be properly lit that is beyond 11.4 feet.

Using the flash in situations where it can do no good, can fool the camera. When flash is enabled, the camera expects to see some reflected light from the flash.

In dim light, the digital camera can usually do a pretty good job without flash.

If it is too dark, you need a camera with manual controls and you need a tripod.


...................

Have you ever watched a big half time show at a football game.

It is funny to see all of those flashing lights in the grandstands. People are taking photos of the events on the football field and they are hundreds of feet from the field.

I assume they expect their little flash to light up the football field. Their flash is only lighting the back of the heads of people a few feet in front of them.

............

When visiting Hearst Castle in California, you are not permitted to take flash pictures inside and you can not use a tripod. I got excellent results without flash.

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Flash and Flash-not

In reply to: Flash and Flash-not

Joe, You are right about the length of a flash and what you can expect in a football field.
What about photographing something that is within distance of eleven feet at low light conditions. Why does the flash interfere with the cameras computer? Why are pictures taken with a flash so much lousier than with the flash turned off with a digital camera?

Still want to know about my wife's 35mm camera and why the picture was terribly grainy. I wish I could send you an example.
Another example: I was taking a photo at 7:30pm the other evening of a garden rose in macro-mode, the flash came on that I thought had shut off. The photo of the rose was a bright majenta instead of a nice rose color. Shut the flash off and the color was fine. So was the picture file.

My son, has a digital 3.2 Canon elph. He sets the lens settings to a longer exposure under low-lite conditions. His photos come out excellent. With my S400, I do not do a time-study and the photos are better.
Question. Better the megepixels, the better the photo? Or is it the lens and the camera computer? Is a 5 or 7 megepixle that much better than a 3 or 4?

Wonder if the different manufactures of cameras have a trouble-shooting web site to ask tech questions? Live help?

Thanks Joe, This Didital Caneras Forum is very, very good and always interesting to view.

kevin

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Flash and Flash-not

In reply to: Flash and Flash-not

Grainey 35mm is a fact of life when shooting in low light if you are using a fast film.

Digital cameras have almost the same problem when you increase the ISO setting to about 400 or above. But with digital...it is called "noise".

....

Some cameras are better than others at ''throttling back'' when the flash is too bright.

All modern external (hot shoe) flash units have a sensor that monitors light that is reflected from the subject. This sensor controls the flash brightness.

Then there is a ''slow sync'' feature that some cameras have to increase the lighting of the background.

..................

Better yet....here is a link to a short course on flash. They cover it all nicely:

http://www.shortcourses.com/using/flash/chapter6.htm

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More advanced cameras have the sensor in the camera

In reply to: Flash and Flash-not

so they can see what coming Through The Lens (TTL). This is an improvement over sensors on the flash unit which can be fooled under some conditions.

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Flash and Flash-not

In reply to: Flash and Flash-not

Joe, Nice link to a world of info.
I'll visit the site again. Wonderful examples of low light and flash. Very well done by the way.

You mentioned increasing the ISO settings on a digital camera. I never knew that was available. Time for me to read the manual again.
Would this ISO setting benefit low-light conditions also?
Reducing the ISO will produce a better picture and eliminate noise? More for me to learn.

Kevin

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ISO settings

In reply to: Flash and Flash-not

You can think of the ISO settings as the same thing as higher speed film in a 35mm film camera.

You double the ISO setting to increase the light by one f-stop.

Good for low light situations.

Higher ISO settings means more noise (grain) in dark areas of the photo. But there is software available that can remove most of the noise.

Typically a digital camera will raise the ISO setting (if necessary) if the camera is in auto mode.

But it usually will not raise it as high as you can in manual mode.

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ISO SETTINGS

In reply to: ISO settings

Joe, thanks for the info on manual settings for a digital camera. Where are the settings on a Canon S400?
Presently, I do not have a problem with auto setting and I always run my photos through Adobe Photoshop for levels and curves.
Still have to read the Canon manual. Again!?
Joe, I have learned PC and the Macintosh. Now I have to learn Canon all over again? I do not like manuals per se.
I would rather have tips from this CNET Forum.
Much better I think.

Kevin

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Changing ISO setting

In reply to: ISO SETTINGS

You have to be in manual mode to set ISO and to shoot with the manual ISO setting.

All other modes will control ISO automatically.

.....................

Canon User's Guide for S400:

Page 49 shows how to switch to Manual mode.

Page 161 chart shows that you must be in manual mode
to adjust manual mode. And it directs you to Page 77.

Page 77 tells you how to adjust ISO settings.


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Reducing ISO will reduce noise, but it will not always

In reply to: Flash and Flash-not

produce a better picture. A high ISO gives you a faster shutter speed, so, if there is movement, the picture may be better in spite of the higher noise level. Some cameras have a noise reduction feature. If the camera sensor is larger, it will be less susceptable to noise.

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ISO Setting

In reply to: Reducing ISO will reduce noise, but it will not always

Kiddpeat, Thanks for your post. After reaading your post and Jos's, I think that I will leave my settings for the S400 on auto. I always will be able to adjust the image with Adobe Photoshop on Mac and PC. Thank goodness!
Time study mode is still an option with low light conditions.
Always more to learn from everyone on these CNET Forums.
We could learn from other members on a different forum. Does not have to be just this this Digital Caneras Forum.

Kevin

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