Setting Camera Up For Beamshots

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adyscarborough
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Setting Camera Up For Beamshots

Ok i have just a simple point and shoot camera but it does have iso settings and other things;

exposure compensation,
iso speed,
longtime exposure,

these are the few settings i have but what should i be doing with them????
Or do i just keep playing around with shots until i get a setting that looks as close to what im actually seeing???

Or do i need a better camera??!!

thanks in advance,.. ady

ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS
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Buy you a good used $100 Fuji with manual exposure off of ebay.

I set mine for nite shots on manual 1.5” shutter which is 1.4 sec and use a focal of 4 and ISO of 400 on shots that are 100yds or farther. On closer up shots about 1” which would be 1 sec shutter is just about perfect.

I have a Fuji S8000fd. It has a 18X optical zoom. But I never use that much power for beamshots.

ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS
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gadabout
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What brand and model camera do you have now Ady?  You should find the exact details on a manufacturers labels somewhere, possibly the bottom.

If I can find an online user manual I'll have a look for you.

trooplewis
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If you can’t control the Shutter and Aperture settings, you will get pretty much the same beamshot from any flashlight beam that you photograph, except for the actual shape of the beam. It is in the nature of “automatic” settings to make the light look the same brightness and color whenever possible.

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

Bort
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leaftye wrote:
If you have a Canon compact camera, you might be able to reflash the firmware and gain manual settings.
http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK

If Canon’s didn’t have so many problems with lens errors, I’d recommend that you buy one. Their inexpensive cameras with the hack I mentioned are very nice when they work.


tell me more about these lens errors, i may be in the market for a p&s in the next few years and have traditionally bought canons
btw CHDK is awesome

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

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leaftye
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Bort wrote:
leaftye wrote:
If you have a Canon compact camera, you might be able to reflash the firmware and gain manual settings.
http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK

If Canon’s didn’t have so many problems with lens errors, I’d recommend that you buy one. Their inexpensive cameras with the hack I mentioned are very nice when they work.


tell me more about these lens errors, i may be in the market for a p&s in the next few years and have traditionally bought canons
btw CHDK is awesome

I can’t go into great detail, but it’s something that comes up in Canon forums quite a bit. It’s usually the problem listed for parts cameras on ebay. As far as I know, once the error happens, the camera can’t be fixed.

The low mode should be lower.

adyscarborough
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the exact make of the camera is…..

kodak easyshare m522 Smile

mags
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ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS wrote:
Buy you a good used $100 Fuji with manual exposure off of ebay.

I set mine for nite shots on manual 1.5” shutter which is 1.4 sec and use a focal of 4 and ISO of 400 on shots that are 100yds or farther. On closer up shots about 1” which would be 1 sec shutter is just about perfect.

I have a Fuji S8000fd. It has a 18X optical zoom. But I never use that much power for beamshots.

What are your settings for 1 meter beam shots? BTW, I have the same camera.

Also if the photo you are trying to take is roughly 50 feet, what settings would you use?

ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS
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Indoor beamshots – manual settings won’t work right so I use the picture setting an the camera automatically sets the shutter speed which will be a very fast speed.

trooplewis
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ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS wrote:
Indoor beamshots – manual settings won’t work right so I use the picture setting an the camera automatically sets the shutter speed which will be a very fast speed.
Crap, I thought I taught you better than that Sad

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS
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troop,

Did I get that wrong?

ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS
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I know I have tried manual setting during the daytime taking beamshots indoors and it always seems to underscore the beam.

leaftye
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Automatic shutter and aperture is fine if you’re just trying to get the beam pattern, but you need those to be the same settings in every beam shot that compares brightness. That means manual settings. It can take a few shots to determine the best settings.

The low mode should be lower.

trooplewis
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ILIKE, indoor setting are just as important as outdoor settings, they just are not the same because the beam is brighter indoors so you have to manually set a faster shutter speed.

So if you were using 1.4” outdoors at 75 yards, indoors against a white wall you may use 1/60” instead.
What is important is that you find one that works pretty well at the range you have (say, 12 feet) and stay with that Shutter speed and Aperture setting in all your indoor beamshots.

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

agenthex
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If you don’t have a camera with manual setting, the best way to take consistent shots is use a spot or at least center-weighed exposure mode/setting and a reference light in the middle of the image (and target light to the side)

Beamshots in general are useless unless all taken on the same camera with exact same (manually set) exposure setting, but by using a reference for the exposure, the settings are not only reasonably consistent but the measured light is shown relative to the reference.

I looked at your camera’s manual, and your specific Exposure Metering mode is “Center-Zone”. If the spot for the reference light is oversaturated on default setting (spot completely white with no hint of darkness), you can use the exposure compensation to adjust metering downward. You can also try the long exposure mode which is available on your camera.

As an good example:

as a bad example of oversaturated spot.

Reading this makes you smarter: http://lesswrong.com/

adyscarborough
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yeah i might take it out with a couple of lights to have a go this weekend, iv found a perfectly dark golf course on the side of a track i can take the dog down. was thinking i can use a flag on a green as something to aim at to get consistant shots Smile iv not even tried my new nite fighter f30c yet so its a good excuse to go out and have a go with it Smile

ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS
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Thanks Troop. I'll try to listen better. I'll experiment more with my camera on manual exposure for indoor beamshots. I just got mixed up the last time we talked apparently on indoor beamshots using manual settings like I was using outdoors at nite. So my bad.

Chicken Drumstick
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ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS wrote:

Thanks Troop. I’ll try to listen better. I’ll experiment more with my camera on manual exposure for indoor beamshots. I just got mixed up the last time we talked apparently on indoor beamshots using manual settings like I was using outdoors at nite. So my bad.


It’s really only for consistency if you want to compare flashlights. The auto settings will attempt to make every picture exposed correctly, so for a dull flashlight it’ll use a longer exposure (and make it look brighter) and for a really bright flashlight it’ll use a shorter exposure (and make it look less bright).
Extra Bright
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ILIKEFLASHLIGHTS wrote:
Buy you a good used $100 Fuji with manual exposure off of ebay.

I set mine for nite shots on manual 1.5” shutter which is 1.4 sec and use a focal of 4 and ISO of 400 on shots that are 100yds or farther. On closer up shots about 1” which would be 1 sec shutter is just about perfect.

I have a Fuji S8000fd. It has a 18X optical zoom. But I never use that much power for beamshots.

Damn, I was trying to avoid buying a DSLR camera… but the Fuji’s look mighty affordable. Thanks…I think.
damn
damn
damn.

It’s a flashlight…..drawn with a flashlight. Lightpainting 101

agenthex
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The design is convenient but image quality is obviously nowhere near a slr because they use same sensor as compact. Good enough for daytime but avoid for low light (note: doesn’t matter for pictures of flashlights since image quality not important for trite things).

Reading this makes you smarter: http://lesswrong.com/

JaffoAZ
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I just took my very first beam shots today for another thread. They were indoor daytime shots, and I used my Android. Basically, I managed to successfully de-dome an XM-L and wanted to show the results. De-domed XM-L on the left, unaltered but otherwise identical XM-L on the right. I think the HTC Evo did a decent job.

I can adjust the ISO on this phone cam, but not much else besides white balance. And frankly, I don’t trust any of those settings to be camera-accurate. I adjusted the brightness level on the cam until it looked faithful to what I saw, in terms of beam profile. I suspect this will be impossible to do with outdoor beam shots at night, because that is a different animal entirely.

I am a pro photographer, and have a Canon 7D DSLR and know how to use it. I just haven’t felt like breaking it out just for beam shots yet, and I’m already working on so many shoots and projects…BLF is my fun escape/downtime.

That being said, sooner or later I’ll want to do some decent reviews on here to give a little back, so we’ll see.

JAFFO

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leaftye wrote:
The Fuji isn’t a DSLR. I’m pretty sure they haven’t sold one in 5+ years. The S8000 is a superzoom. It sort of looks like a DSLR. They have other cameras that are even more similar to a DSLR, and functions pretty much the same except for having a non-removable lens. I have an older one, the S9000. I love it because I can zoom by turning the lens barrel, which makes zooming very quick so I can turn on the camera and get a picture at full zoom in about a second. These types of cameras are pretty big though, and you won’t want to carry it much. If you want a a Fuji with lot of zoom, then check out the F800EXR. 20X zoom with manual modes, but it’s still compact enough to fit in a pocket. My only concern is that the previous model or two had quality issues that I think involved the alignment of the lens. If they’ve resolved that problem and haven’t come up with another problem, it should be an excellent camera. I’d do a little investigating for you, but DPreview’s forum is broken right now.

I want to be able to do long exposures.

I like my canon P&S, but the exposures are limited to 15 seconds. I’d probably trade macro ability instead of telephoto or zoom capability if it came down to having to pick one.

It’s a flashlight…..drawn with a flashlight. Lightpainting 101