Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sony Tips & Tricks: Top Tips for Low Light Shooting

Photo taken during i light Marina Bay 2016 by Derrick See ( Seed Image ). Nikon D750, 24mm, f22, 39 secs, ISO 100

Shooting in low light can be terribly frustrating if you do not know how to make the most of the situation. While the use of a flash is the biggest solution to low light photography, not all situations will benefit from it. Watch this video for some tips on how you can capture the best pictures when there isn’t much light.

1.       Use a tripod whenever you can
Shooting in low light means you need longer exposure so that your camera sensor can capture all the light detail. Using a tripod will achieve image stability and help eliminate any camera shakes that will risk ruining your photo. You can even use the built-in self-timer in your digital camera to trigger the shutter after you’ve pressed the shutter button to avoid any possible shakes.

2.       Bump up your camera’s ISO
ISO settings in your camera determine the sensors’ sensitivity to light. If you want to capture more light, you need to increase the camera ISO to make the sensor collect light faster. But the problem with most cameras is when you increase your ISO level, you introduce sensor noise which will make your final photo look gradient. With Sony’s α7S and α7S II that were built specifically to handle high ISO photography, you can record images in spectacular and subtle detail, from shadows to highlights, with barely any noise.

3.       Use a fast lens
The speed of a lens and how ‘fast’ it is refers to the maximum aperture of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture the faster the lens is. The Sony FE 55mm F1.8 lens has a 55mm focal length and large F1.8 maximum aperture that allow you to take very fast exposures in low light. In other words, you can shoot handheld in low-light conditions while still getting outstanding sharpness and clarity.

4.       Use an app
There are many apps out there in the market that work with your camera. For example, you can download Sony’s PlayMemories Camera Apps for low-light shooting directly onto your Wi-Fi compatible Sony camera to make it more convenient. One such app is the Star Trail app that allows you to shoot a series of starry sky still images at intervals then combines them into one movie – you don’t even need to use a computer or an editing software to do so! Or you can use the Light Trail app to capture light trails from fireworks or the headlights of moving cars in a single magical photo.

Knowing these tips on low light shooting can give us the maximum picture quality in situations like stargazing or watching the sun set. You don’t have to be afraid to pull out your camera when it gets dark!

Using high ISO and fast lens to capture this low light photo. Photographed by Derrick See ( SEED IMAGE ) during Christmas Light-up at ION in 2015. Awaiting for the Singapore President Tony Tan to arrive. Nikon D750, 14mm, f2.8 1/200, ISO 1600. Photoshopped. 

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