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· Just another modeller
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QUOTE (Lancashire Fusilier @ 9 Jul 2008, 08:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hardly an expert by any stretch of the imagination but I do use a similar Camera to you which is the Nikon Coolpix S9.

I am still experimenting with this myself and as per the comments received from others it is very evident that the flash "washes out" the colour definition and removes any "warmth" from the image when used on the auto mode.

The following image is on my modelling workbench using auto mode and about 200 Watts of halogen light (4 x 50W) about 2m above the signal. By the way these are the normal room lights not some specialist camera lights I have procured!

The following information relating to this photo was made available to me on the Flickr website where I host my photos. It provided all the information about the settings that the camera had used even though the camera (as can be seen in the folloiwing information) was actually on the Auto setting.

Camera: Nikon Coolpix S9
Exposure: 0.033 sec (10/303)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 6.4 mm
ISO Speed: 64
Exposure Bias: 0/10 EV
Flash: Flash fired, auto mode

Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
X-Resolution: 72 dpi
Y-Resolution: 72 dpi
Software: QuickTime 7.2
Date and Time: 2008:05:17 23:33:04
Host Computer: Mac OS X 10.4.9
YCbCr Positioning: Centered
Exposure Program: Normal
Date and Time (Original): 2008:05:15 11:30:09
Date and Time (Digitized): 2008:05:15 11:30:09
Maximum Lens Aperture: 36/10
Metering Mode: Pattern
Color Space: sRGB
Compression: JPEG

To turn the flash off of the Coolpix is easy to do just press the lightening flash symbol on the back of the camera and a menu of flash options appears and select the one that shows the flash crossed out and that turns it off.

However, this means that in low light conditions like shade and inside regardless of my 200 W lights, the exposure time is longer to compensate for the lack of flash and as such the slightest movement in the camera during this exposure will blur the image and the camera will tell you that the image is blurred and ask if you want to keep it or not. Tripod was then duly brought out of the cupboard but even my finger presses caused blurring so now I am trying the 10 second auto timer delay such that I am not actually touching the camera whn the exposure is taken.

Notice in the photo above that the colour is actually not too badly washed out bu the depth of field is somewhat limited as indicated by the relatively short focal length in the text. This is the ongoing trade off between aperture, light and exposure time.

I am also continuing to experiment with flash off settings to see if I can produce something better but as the others have mentioned above the solution will probably lie with some portable lights that can be set up for photos.

***Not sure what Nikon call it but learning to set the "white balance" in my Canon G5 camera was the one thing that really made the difference with my photography - For a nocive like me it wasn't easy to work out the "Japlish" of the manual as some terms wren't familiar so perhaps with some camera manuals its actually easier to get the manual as a PDF file as you can therefore search for the things you want by key word rather than have to plod right through the manual to interpret it????

With the resolution of many current ameras you shouldn't need super close up - take the image at say 600 to 900mmmm and with full resolution - you will be able to zoom with the PC to a painfully close detail level then anyway - and depth of field isn't so compromised....

As others have mentioned you can also manually select a smaller aperture to restore some depth of field in close up shots.... which WILL in turn slow the shutter speed so a remote or delayed exposure will be helpful in stopping blurring.

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