Top Ten Digital Photography Tips
Subject:   Using a camera where no flash is allowed
Date:   2003-10-05 15:30:42
From:   anonymous2
My husband gave me a Sony cyber Shot DSC-p10 for my birthday (5.0 mega pixels). I love it and I am a novice when it comes to photograpy. I was disappointed with my Nikon coolpix 2500, the previous digital camera. I think it had 2.5 mega pixels. One nice thing it did have was a museum mode but since the low pixels many shots at St. Peters Basilica were poor and that was a once in a lifetime trip. There is no museum mode on the new Sony. How do I get good shots with no flash in these fantastic indoor places? I am very much aware of not flashing the beautiful paintings.... ie..the museum mode. We need a book on this subject alone. I loved your article. You make it very understandable. Thankyou, Maureen
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  • Using a camera where no flash is allowed
    2003-11-07 06:26:23  anonymous2 [View]

    Actually my wife and I were at St Peters Basilica this summer as well. As one of the other poster's mentioned you can just turn the flash off. This worked great for us. We had a Canon Power Shot 200 I think (it was 2 mega pixel, I get mixed up with the different model numbers.)

    My question and slightly off topic is how to get the same pictures to turn out with a 35mm camera. We had both and all of the digital pictures were great and the 35mm were a bust. I suppose a slower speed film would help (I think we were using 200) but we didn't have a tripod so keeping the camera still would be hard. Am I missing something nice and simple?
    • Derrick Story photo RE: Using a camera where no flash is allowed
      2003-11-07 13:37:13  Derrick Story | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

      For film cameras, you would want a faster speed film in low light situations with the flash turned off. ISO 800 speed print film and 400 speed slide film are much improved these days over just a few years ago.

      Then find a steady surface to rest the camera on, put it in program mode, and use the self-timer to trip the shutter. You should get pretty good images that way.
      • RE: Using a camera where no flash is allowed
        2007-05-12 21:07:39  John.H [View]

        Use a faster film NOT a slower film. Usually ASA OR ISO 400 is good enough.

        If particularly dim conditions are experienced use an even faster film such as 800. Set film speed on camera and let it take care of working things out.

        Some museums and other public buildings will not let you set up a tripod for fear of tripping someone, or blocking traffic - so holding camera still may be a problem for some people. If you are concerned about this then consider carrying a MONOPOD - like a one legged tripod.

        Make sure you understand the difference between slide film and print film.

        Before any once in a life-time trip splurge on a couple of rolls of film and practice in museums and art galleries in your home area.

        John H - Ex RN Photog.
  • Using a camera where no flash is allowed
    2003-10-15 09:29:57  anonymous2 [View]

    I am using a sony DSC- V1 wich Im sure is similar to the on you are using. When taking pitctures with no flash the slow the shutter speed is the more light you will get in the picture. Practice this at home in a dimly lit room and without a flash change the shutter speed settings on your camera. The manual you got with the camera should explain this more in detail. As an example while at the carlsbad cavers in NM i found that my flash was useless because the cavern walls were so far away it would not reflect off of them. I found that slowing the shutter speed down and playing with my settings a little bit I could adjust the light absorbtion to what ever level I wanted. The only downside to this is that if you move the camera at all the picture is blurred, so it is very important to either use a tripod or rest yourself on something. In a museum the lighting problem is not near as drastic as in a almost pitch dark cavern so you will not need to hold the camera still as long. just remember to light a room in your house as you think a museum would be lit and practice on your favorite wall hanger till you get the settings down. Also remember to write yourself notes for each picture you take. This comes in very handy when trying to remember what settings you used in different light situations. Take a pic, take a note, and so on. It seems like a lot of work but once you get the hang of it you wont need the notes anymore and you will be able to shoot a good picture in any lighting situation, flash or no flash. I hope this helps. Any questions for me feel free to email me at
  • Using a camera where no flash is allowed
    2003-10-06 20:05:11  anonymous2 [View]