Taking night pictures with high ISO? no flash?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by a1157814a, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. a1157814a

    a1157814a TPF Noob!

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    This might be a dumb question but can you get a good visible picture at a dark place by using no flash but setting ISO to like 1600
     
  2. frXnz kafka

    frXnz kafka TPF Noob!

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    Depends on your camera. 1600 on a 5D or a Nikon full frame (D3 or D700) is perfectly usable. 1600 on something like an XT...that's pushing it.

    1600 on film would be fine too. I've been working on a project shooting at 3200 on TMax at night.
     
  3. a1157814a

    a1157814a TPF Noob!

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    so is it possible to take visible pictures at dark places without flash? i don't actually have a good enough camera to actually test that out but that sounds pretty cool
     
  4. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    Yes, you can get the exposure if there is enough light, but the problem will be noise in the darker areas, unless your camera has high ISO capabilities.
     
  5. a1157814a

    a1157814a TPF Noob!

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    noise as in grainy pics? I'm new to this
     
  6. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    Yes, it can be graininess (sic?) or chroma noise. There are programs available to deal with this, but only to a certain degree.
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    longer exposure on a tripod???
     
  8. Do'Urden's Eyes

    Do'Urden's Eyes TPF Noob!

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    It really depends on your definition of 'dark places'. That can range from inside a theatre to night time outdoors. if youre looking to freeze anything thats in motion a flash is definately needed, unless there is a source of strong-ish light ie. a theatre's stage, in which case youll be using a very high ISO. BUT if youre trying to freeze action outside w/o a flash at night, even with the cameras highest ISO in use you wont be able to, there will be a lot of motion blur. Now of course im talking about the worst outdoor night conditions, not in the city on the sidewalk with tonnes of street lamps and signage.

    As usayit... said, use a tripod with a long exposure and knock down the ISO to reduce all possible graininess. obviously long shutter speeds wont be freezing any motion though...
     
  9. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    The human eye can only see down to around ISO 800. So, a camera can take photos of things that you cannot even see due to very low light. The problem may be focus however, since focusing automatic or otherwise on something you cannot even see, is quite a challenge to say the least. The focus light on your DSLR may or may not be reliable.

    I have shot in the dark, and yes noise can be a problem but there are approaches and software filters to deal with it and produce a useable image.

    skieur
     
  10. puyjapin

    puyjapin TPF Noob!

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    if i were in a busy resturant for example, with the cooking taking place in sight and i wanted to freeze action, assuming there is some internal lighting would shutter priority be the best option with a little exp comp added in?
     
  11. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Would you care to elaborate about that? Given the definition of ISO film speed ratings, I struggle to grasp the concept of ISO rating for the human eye (this a genuine question. I am not trying to say you're wrong but I don't get it).
     
  12. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I shoot 1600 on a XT (350D) frequently. They look fine to me, after some noise reduction. You loose a little sharpness, but that's acceptable for me. To me loosing a little sharpness is worth being able to shoot hand-held in very little light.

    Obviously, they don't look as good as 100 ISO pictures - but considering the situation, they're not too bad.

    edit
    I would say 1600 on the 350D (after noise reduction) looks about the same as 800 ISO film. Maybe slightly noisier...
    I haven't actually used 1600 ISO film before, so I don't know how it compares to that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2008

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