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How can I take better indoor pictures? I’ve used the Indoor scene mode but sometimes my images still come out dark, even when I use the flash.
Indoor photography presents many lighting challenges. There are several issues that can prevent your indoor shots from turning out “pixel perfect.”
If the subject is well lit, but the background is dark, you may just need to move a little closer. Most Olympus compact digital cameras have a maximum flash range between 8 and 15 feet when shooting full wide, and between about 5 and 11 feet in telephoto. You’ve got to get your subject and the background within this distance in order for the flash to properly illuminate the entire scene.
However, if you are too close, the bright flash can reflect too harshly off your subject. Fortunately, there is more than one way to add light to a shot.
Most Olympus compact digital cameras released since 2006 allow you to boost the light sensitivity of the imaging sensor. Higher-end cameras will let you adjust the light sensitivity directly by increasing shutter speed or ISO ratings, but even our FE Series models have some pre-set scene modes that will change the settings automatically. Examples of these modes include the Indoor, Available Light, or Candle scene modes and any mode or function that uses Digital Image Stabilization.
If you have an older camera without these features, you will have to rely on other options. In the daytime, for example, let in outdoor light. After dark, turn on as much available lighting as you can.
The background is well lit, but your subject is dark. This happens when your subject is indoors and in front of a window on a sunny day. Or, when your subject is dark and you’ve composed the shot so the subject is against a bright background.
When shooting in front of a bright background, or where backlight is an issue, change your metering mode to Spot metering. Most Olympus compact digital cameras default to ESP metering. This means the camera determines how bright the exposure should be by taking measurements of the light levels in all parts of the frame and averaging them to attempt a balanced exposure.
When you select Spot metering, the camera measures the light levels only within the area indicated by the AF target mark (the brackets in the center of the LCD screen). Compose the shot so that the AF target mark is squarely on the subject, and the camera will expose the subject properly, regardless of the brightness or darkness of the background. Note: You’ll still need to keep the flash working range in mind if you want the background to be properly exposed.
For more information on how metering works, click here.
If the foreground and the background are too dark, you can use the camera’s Exposure Compensation tool to lighten the entire image. This is helpful when your subject and your background are either predominantly dark or predominantly light. Learn more about Exposure Compensation here.
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