Many yotties lile me will own a mu (µ) #### Olympus digital camera. There quite good. I won't say great. I had a µ770 SW, most of the pictures on this site were take with it. It leaked after a while, as did another on the same boat as me. I managed to keep mine going till it got home. Sent it back on warentee and now I have a µ1030 SW instead. Woot.
Firstly the µ range is shite in low light, its actually quite poor. Compared to a canon non water proof of simialr pixelness. In addition, use in the dark results in nasty bloches of relfected light. It is possibe to avoid this. the three photos below ilustrate what can be achieve with a little knowledge.
Picture 1: The Globe with flash:
Note the blobs of wierd light and total lack of background. Admitedly this was not on night mode.
Picture 2: The Globe with OUT flash. But camera steadied:
This was shot with no stand with the camera proped on a convienant object In Night Mode.
Picture 3: The same as above enhanced through a computer:
Not half bad, I used a fairly old version of Paint Shop Pro, picasa (free) is as good.
No amount of Photoshopping will turn Picture 1 into a decent photo. Photo 2 is far from bad, the enhanced one is thoughrally respectable. And it was pretty damn dark in there.
Leaves the shutter of the camera open
for serveral seconds.
If you want any night photos's to be more than just memory triggers, I.E. you might show them to someone use night mode, and STEADY the camera. Obviously the grin has to be nailed to your face while it goes off.
Using night mode does tend to be impossible on a yacht, cos one thing you can say about boats is they don't stay still.
There's an accessory out there called "gorrilla Pod" wich is a kind of bendy mini tripod thing. I've not used one, however the deal for my camera came with a mini tripod with bendy legs, small enough for the pocket and nearly as good. I wraped it arround trees. Masts etc. My camera goes everywhere with 3 foot of racing spectra tied to the strap. If I'm snorkeling ties to my shorts. The mini tripod and this string is enough to attach the camera to almost anything.
Its VERY hard to use night mode or even the woobly hand icon without shaking the camera. Its worse if its on the rock. Its oftern worth using the timer, so the button can be pushed and then the camera is steady again by the time it actually goes off.
µ 1030 SW is decidedly better than the µ 770 SW in low light. Its a definatle improvement. I can't pop up any pictures to prove it cos mine was a replacement so I can't prove it.
In even mildly grey conditions use the shaky hand icon NOT the autofunction. The shaky icon does a longer exposure then averages them out, leading to much clearer snap shots in yottie (I.E. wobbly) situations.
The shaky hand mode is my normal mode.
There's not much that can be done about the video features inability to zoom once the video is started, you pretty much have to just shoot like an idiot.
A little processing will help a lot. Those of you know me may be shocked by this, but Microsoft got something right. I don't say that very oftern. Windows Movie Maker appeared, typically without asking me first, on my start menu. It is however quite good. What's more for various probably illegal reason .wmv files are quite easy to embed in web pages, and there support under linux, firefox, opera etc is pretty good. Compared to say Real Spyware Player, and won't go fullscreen and really irritating quicktime.
No seriously pop your olympus movies into Windows Movie Maker, for the ones on here (note the Volcano was shot with a mates better camera) are, I think exported from WMM as "video for Broadband 240kbps" for the Attenbourgh one that gives a size of 2.5meg agaist the original of 17meg. The loss of quailty (see box right) is noticeable but no way proportion to the file size.
For your infomration:
The video's produced by the Olympus (and many other digital cameras) is MJPG or Motion JPG.
VIDEO: [MJPG] 320x240 24bpp 15.000 fps 2853.5 kbps (348.3 kbyte/s)
For a video off a µ 770 SW.
It used to be the case that windows god awfull media player didn't support MJPG by default. We've all seen it totally fail to download a codec too. Its crap. You will be able to see the video, but if you send it to your mate they may very well not. This is cos the camera software installs the codec when you install the camera sofware. By stuffing it through WMM it will be a smaller email and will problably work.
However I don't use Windows Media Player so this might be out of date.
Unlike most digital cameras, the Night Mode gives long exposure