Help: night photography canon s3is

RobertNZana used Ask the Experts™
I am in Hawaii on vacation. I have a canon s3is. This evening I was trying to take some night shots, like my wife in front of some tiki torches with more in the bg. I could Not get a good shot. No tripod. What settings should I use exactly?  Camera has settings like tv, av, p, etc but I don't know what to use. Pls help! Thx.
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Top Expert 2009

After reading extracts from:

They good some good night shots when setting the shooting mode/scene mode to "Night Snapshot" and then set the ISO to 80.

I'm no wizz with Camera's, but the above might help!


Most Valuable Expert 2013

In general, the single most important change you can make is in ISO. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive the camera is to light. The maximum ISO for your camera is 800 (which, unfortunately, is quite noisy in your camera). The ideal ISO for nighttime photography is likely to be around 400, which should be a balance between longer exposure times and noise. You set this by repeatedly pressing the ISO button on the back of your camera to cycle through the ISO settings. You can also set it to one of two auto modes, which will adjust the ISO based on available light (but will bump it up to the somewhat noisy 800 ISO when the light is low).

The other thing you can do is use a bit of fill flash. Use the flash, but  set it to a negative Flash Exposure Compensation (like -2), so it puts a little extra light into the scene without under-exposing the darker background.

And, make sure your Image Stabilization (IS) is turned on, this should give you better shots in darker settings.

Some combination of these three settings should really help in getting good shots - your camera is a decent camera, but I do encourage everyone to practice with their camera and settings BEFORE needing to get "the shot that counts".


Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial