Used the SX40HS in Very Low Light this week - 600ft in a Cavern

Started Aug 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP pdqgp Forum Pro • Posts: 10,611
Re: Bob....

BobT wrote:

OK. I tried this the other night, and it seemed to work quite well. Took a few shots of my wife as she watched TV, with only what amounted to a night light, near by.

I was surprised at just how bright the image actually ended up. I'm sure that if blown up considerably, it might be pretty noisy. We're planning to stop at Mammoth Caves in a couple of weeks, and I had heard all the horror stories as to the inability of successfully getting some shots within the cave. Well, these might not be ready for Nat. Geo., but they may be OK for me.

You might be surprised in terms of IQ and Noise. I have the SX40 set for Auto ISO which is not what I normally do on my SLR's but it works well here. MOst of the cave shots I think came in under ISO 1000. Even the indoor ones at ISO 1600 came out nicely though.

Mammoth is fun. Haven't been there for years. Not far from us so we will likely be going soon.

Just one more question regarding this SX40 camera setting.

Will the camera automatically deal with the intensity of the artificial light? I'm assume it will; as it did with my night light situation. Obviously the caves are naturally dark. But the tour lighting can be bright, too. I never thought I'd be concerned about overexposure in a cave. Should I be? I believe that the exposure should be taken from the side of the direct artificial light? Not straight at it.....or at the dark shadows either?

Yes, there was some highlight clipping in my shots. I did the best I can to shoot -1EV or whatever was needed. I just turned on the i-Contrast setting so I didn't get chance to use it in the caves. My guess is I can do the same or better lifting the shadows in Post Processing though. It's a guided tour so you have some time but not all day to scope out and compose your shots.

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  • tim


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