Many people are talking about F100fd’s performance on dpreview’s forum, especially low light performance. Well, instead of endlessly contemplating and discussing, I took my F100fd out and did test shots and found some tricks. F100fd has a very weak flash. You can make use of its weakness. Normally, you don’t want to fire the flash if you are to capture some saturated colourful light in the night. This picture is shot with “auto flash” on, hand held. Since there was nothing in the foreground, the light of the tiny flash did not really get reflected back to the camera, you hardly notice the foreground flash light. With the flash turned on, you get a shutter speed that is fast enough to keep the hand held image from blurring. At the same scene, I tried with F100fd’s “night” mode and also tried disabling the flash. Both turned out disaster. See here and here. All three pictures are right off the camera, totally GIMP-free, even not downsized.
I am happy the image quality of this one, though the picture itself is aesthetically a total non-sense. Technically it is good enough for me. So I’ll keep this characteristic of F100fd in my mind and use it like this under proper situations. Caution:
- There has to be nothing in the foreground.
- The intended subject (the saturated colour lights) cannot be too far away from your view point. I tried the same trick near a hotel, its very dim and moody orange lights at the entrance were about 50 metres away from where I was. No success. I got almost totally dark pictures. It was beyond the sensor’s capability.
Well, if you want to get really decent low light shots, you should resort to an SLR with a fast lens. And, do not waste too much time talking about the equipments. Just get to know what it can and what it cannot, and make the most out of it. At the end of the day, your camera’s capability is only one of the factors which bring up a great image. And, I guess almost any camera made in the last year is technically more capable than Ansel Adam’s or Henri Cartier Bresson’s camera. Other factors, such as the photographer’s skill and the sophistication of his/her mind weigh much more than the capability of a camera.