One really big pain in the ass with the vast majority of digital cameras is that they suck in low light situations. Last night i was at a Katy Perry concert in Dublin but to my surprise, the photos with my point & shoot camera came out quite well…
Which pixel is Katy Perry?
That’s the questioned i’m sure most people will be asking themselves today. It’s not really the user’s fault… it’s technology’s fault for not solving this pretty huge problem in the world of photography. Crap controls, crap zoom, crap sensors = rubbish photos. Set to auto mode, the flash will probably be on and you’ll most likely get some nice pictures of the person in front of you’s head. If you’re lucky enough to bypass the head, by the time you’ve semi-pressed the cameras button, the camera will have auto-adjust itself for the current lighting situation.
By the time you press ‘snap’, the lighting on the stage will have changed from complete brightness to complete darkness or vice versa so you end up snapping a picture for extremely low light just when the entire stage lights up. You’re one step behind and you always will be with a point & shoot camera and with auto settings enabled; get over it. Or, you can start learning about how to solve this damn annoying problem… if you’re like me it will be eating away inside of you ‘Ha ha, better luck next time sucker’ – your camera will say to you with every single photo taken. An endless amount of fiddling with settings and scene modes never seems to work…
ISO is your friend
I was fiddling around with settings whilst the warm up acts were on stage and stumbled upon settings that appeared to work ok (but it’s difficult to tell on a 2.5″ screen). I set the ISO level at between 400-800, shutter speed at 1/60th second and kept it there on manual mode with no flash. If that sort of language goes over your head, don’t worry… it goes over mine too. I’m not a hardcore photographer but i like to figure stuff out and i know that shutter speed & ISO are massively important, particularly in low light. So it makes sense to mess around with them and see what works.
Luckily i stuck with those settings for the rest of the concert and here’s what i got (probably the best quality i could have hoped for with my camera);