LowLightFotography

LowLightFotography

Royal Air Force Museum Hendon, London ~ 16thAugust 2014

Royal Air Force Museum Hendon, London ~ 16thAugust 2014

    I had two visits to Hendon with my A7s. I was shooting in RAW on the first trip and back on the computer I had great difficulty processing the RAW images to obtain the same straight out of the camera quality I got with the Extra Fine Jpeg I had used at the Science Museum. The basic RAW image has a lot more noise in it, as it's not pre-processed in the camera like a Jpeg, but whatever I tried using Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 and the Sony Image Data Converter 4 and Lightroom 3, I could not control the noise and maintain a decent image showing detail. Don't know if it was me, the camera, computer or the software so I went back a couple of weeks later with the camera set on Extra Fine Jpeg for another try.

    Tripods are allowed in the RAF Museum, you just need to collect a free pass from the desk at Milestones of Flight entrance, but I was hand holding again and using manual settings. Whereas I had used low shutter speeds in the Science Museum, at Hendon I kept the shutter speed in double figures and consequently higher ISO settings. Wherever possible, if I was taking a side view then I would open up the aperture for a low number like f4/f5 and if it was a three-quarter view then close down the aperture to f7.1/f9 so the subject matter was in focus from front to rear.

     Although there are three custom buttons on the camera, which I still haven't set, I have the control wheel on the front right top set to adjust the shutter speed and the rear wheel on the opposite side to adjust the aperture which I can control with my right thumb and index finger and see the result of those moves instantly in the Electronic View Finder. The quality of the EVF is excellent and at times you could be mistaken for thinking it's an Optical View Finder.  I would start by setting the aperture for best depth of field and then the shutter speed and using my thumb, turn the control wheel on the back of the camera to adjust the ISO. In the EVF I have the Histogram showing so I would turn the ISO wheel until I got a decent mid tone peak in the middle of the histogram and a decent drop off to each side for the highlights and shadows. Doesn't always work out like that depending on the lighting conditions as it can peak either in highlights and shadows and adjust for one and it blows out the other.

    Although it's a small camera and I have a slightly larger hand and with the added weight from the  24-70mm lens attached, I find the A7s comfortable to hold and operate and the grip on the right hand side for the battery compartment is large enough for my fingers to wrap around and hold securely.

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