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Canon PowerShot S315 problems

Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:52 am

First, let me say that I am no photographer. But I certainly want my photos to look their best.

Can anyone tell me why my indoor shots are looking so grainy?

And when I take outdoor shots - the pictures tend to be too dark.

I have tried different settings, but tend to stay on automatic since I have no real idea what to do.
Any suggestions.
Thanks in advance.

Re: Canon PowerShot S315 problems

Wed Aug 06, 2008 12:48 pm

Let me tell you what normally would be involved with the problems you mention. Before I begin let me say that I do not have knowledge specific to your camera (I use a Canon 5D).

Interior shots (low light level) are grainy because digital noise is more pronounced with most cameras at low levels.

On the dark photos taken outdoors, it should be noted that the light meter in a camera tries to average the exposure to an 18% gray card value. Now if you have more than a normal area of brightness (snow or beach scenes are often mentioned in this context) the camera, when set on automatic will make the scene too dark because it is not capable by itself to determine that the subject has a greater than normal perponderance of bright values. Large expanses of sky...especially if the sun is included in the scene will have the same effect.

Most cameras will allow the user to manually bias the exposure for either excessively bright or excessively dark subjects. The normal adjustment would be to give more than recommended exposure for excessively bright situations and less than recommended exposure for excessively dark situations. In snow or bright beach scenes it would be normally be appropriate to give 2 stops more exposure.

I hope that this helps answer your questions.


Re: Canon PowerShot S315 problems

Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:09 pm

Thanks Don - I appreciate your help.

Re: Canon PowerShot S315 problems

Wed Aug 06, 2008 9:35 pm


I am not familiar with your camera but if it has the capability for you to control the ASA (ISO) that is the only way to reduce noise (grain) in low light situations. The drawback to keeping a low ASA in dark lighting is that you will need to use a tripod. If this is not acceptable then you have no choice but to live with the limitations.

Dark pictures outside means underexposure. You may have unknowingly set your camera to spot metering or the exposure compensation may be set to minus instead of zero.

Matrix metering is best for 90 % of the time.

If you have a histogram (check your manual) learn to use it. I used a handheld meter for 25 years and sold it to KEH when digital histograms came along.

You will never get good rich blacks in a photo if it is severely underexposed.

Automatic mode is not as foolproof as many would believe.


Re: Canon PowerShot S315 problems

Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:53 pm

I think that maybe you are refering to camera model S3iS (es 3 eye es). Am I correct?

Are your indoor photos that appear grainy taken with or without flash?
Are your outdoor photos taken in bright light with your subject in front of the light - as suggested by previous reply?

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