Processing Low light GX100 Pictures

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Processing Low light GX100 Pictures

Postby socket » Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:05 pm

Hi,

Can anyone help me get the most out of low-light photos like the ones attached. They were taken last night at a local restaurant and after playing with them a few hours, this is the best I could do. I was just playing with the contrast, colour and sharpening in SilkyPix PRO ... so any suggestions would be welcome.

I was really lazy with the settings at the restaurant. I just changed the ISO to see which would be better, so does anyone have any tips on how to take good low light pics? :)
Attachments
R0011917.jpg
R0011917.jpg (310.32 KiB) Viewed 1083 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:08 pm
Focus length: 7.3 mm
Shutter speed: 1/2 Sec
F-number: F/2.9
ISO speed rating: 400
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: Caplio GX100
Exposure program: Normal program
Exposure bias: 0 EV
Metering mode: Center-weighted average
R0011896.jpg
R0011896.jpg (257.61 KiB) Viewed 1077 times

EXIF-Data
Image taken on: Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:29 pm
Focus length: 10.5 mm
Shutter speed: 1/1 Sec
F-number: F/3.5
ISO speed rating: 200
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Camera-model: Caplio GX100
Exposure program: Normal program
Exposure bias: 0 EV
Metering mode: Center-weighted average
A happy GX100 and GXR owner - http://www.pbase.com/socket
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Re: Processing Low light GX100 Pictures

Postby Charles2 » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:04 am

I brought the JPG into Picture Window Pro, the post-processing software I use.
Applied some of its noise reduction (blur) and a small amount of its advanced sharpening.
It came out brighter, so I then made it a bit darker.
Not a dramatic change, but at least her cheeks have less shine and the skin tone is a little better. You be the judge.
With the DNG file, you can probably do better using PWP.

It's difficult to get a subject not to move for exposure times like 1/2 sec and 1 second. The couple is an example.
Attachments
R0011917-1.JPG
Processed R0011917
(540.87 KiB) Downloaded 748 times
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Re: Processing Low light GX100 Pictures

Postby odklizec » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:09 am

Hi,

OK, your main problem is too long shutter speed. You need to use higher ISO and widest available aperture (in case of GX100 it's f2.5). Also, don't use zoom in low light. Wide focal length is easier to handhold. If you are a man of steady hands, you can easily handhold 1/10 of sec. The problem is, that your subjects of interest may still move and therefore appear blurry despite your steady hands and correct focus. So the shorter shutter speed you can use, the better. Unfortunately for you, it means higher ISO or using flash.

As for processing files in Silkypix PRO, at first, I would suggest you to start with reseting all noise reduction sliders to "0" and then move only the "False Color ctrl" all way to 100. This should effectively eliminate most of the color noise. Unfortunately, it does not work in all cases (it's not very good for clear blue sky). But it should work in your posted photos. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about sharpness. These photos are typical examples of motion blur caused by too long shutter speed. You really need to use something faster than 1/1 or 1/2 of sec.
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Re: Processing Low light GX100 Pictures

Postby socket » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:33 am

Thank you both for the very good advice. I'm trying to stick with one software just now (SilkyPix), but I'll keep PWP in mind in the future. Trial versions of software are a real boon, but I've decided to avoid going that route until I know what I'm doing better. (I also thought of downloading a trial version of Noise Ninja, although I'm not sure it would help in this case.)

Hmm... I'm going to have to hunt down those sliders you are taking about, Odklizec. Now you mention it, I think I know where to look! (Same place for the colour adjustment slider under COLOUR, right?)

I'll be sure to set up the camera the way you suggest, too. Thanks for the shooting tips!

I'm seriously considering picking up a second hand GRD, which pop up for sale every so often, even here in Canada. I have my eye on a couple now. That could simplify things and I'm curious about its JPEGs...

Ah, men and their toys... :lol:
A happy GX100 and GXR owner - http://www.pbase.com/socket
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Re: Processing Low light GX100 Pictures

Postby odklizec » Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:29 pm

Noise reduction shares the same row with Sharpening. It's the second row form bottom.

BTW if you upload somewhere any of your problematic photo (using Dropbox or siimilar file sharing service), I can look on it and send you the Silkypix preset.
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