Help! Camera questions

in General Discussion edited January 2014
My pictures always come out blurry if I turn the flash off on my Coolpix 3500. I guess the autofocus goes off if the Flash does. However in Scene modes they look blurry too. I got it for Christmas and it was almost $400 so I don't think it should be doing that. I read the manual (thick) and I am not having any luck. Does anyone know what I can do to get crisp picture with and without flash, I'm going on vacation in a day. Thanks a lot! Also I bought a 256 "SuperFast" Ritek Compact Flash card for my camera with 40x read and 20x write IIRC and it is HALF the speed of the cheapo starter 8 meg 8x Lextor card the camera came with. is it normal for larger cards to take longer to record a picture!? I paid $60 instead of $40 for it just for the speed. I was kind of surprised that it was 50% the speed.


  • Reply 1 of 10
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    It may be because, if you turn the flash off, the shutter is staying open longer which makes the shot more susceptible to camera movement. You could use a tripod or otherwise steady the camera and see if that helps.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    yeah,you're most likely shooting in low light situations, andtherefore the shutter is open longer... hence the blurring
  • Reply 3 of 10
    rick1138rick1138 Posts: 938member
    Picture quality will always be lower in low light situations, there will be more noise as well.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    Post a pic taken with no flash and with flash so we can better see what you describe.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Yes of course, the shutter time! I won't be able to use a tripod unfortunately for action shots and going around the city. A hand on something to steady it doesn't fix it. Is there a way to force the shutter to close quicker? I'm missing my ol' manual control on my Pentax! iPeon I think it's a standard digital camera blur I'll post a pic tomorrow. Plus these shots have the blur in bright daylight and in well lit indoors. It seems to lose all automatic thinking when I turn flash off and even with it on it's a tiny bit blurry at full size and yes there always seems to be a bit of noise in the pics even in light. I wonder if there is a way to manually focus it and adjust shutter time. I'll go RTFM and post my picture results tomorrow. Other than that the coolpix 3500 is great. The buttons are easy and the swivel lense is cool, now if I can get some image quality I'll post it and be a a happy camper! Thanks everyone for helping, I didn't think of this until after the local camera store closed.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Lightish or dark conditions? Obviously a bit dark if you're using a flash, but I have to ask.

    I started taking pics with an old manual Nikon film camera about a half a year ago. Then I got a free 2MP fuji camera, and it took horrible pics, or so I thought. Actually, I took horrible pics with it, it's not a good camera, but technique counts. A lot of digicams have bad lag, and you have to be disciplined to keep the camera still when you shoot. I doesn't help that some cameras are too small to handle confortably. I really sucked taking pics with that point and shoot at first.

    Not that I think that's your problem, since you say you only get blurring with the flash off.

    I dunno if it's camera weirdness of or just the AF not being very good in low light. From what I've read most consumer digicams aren't that great at autofocus in low light and some people use a pen-light as a make shift AF-assist lamp. I've read you can get good results that way. Digicams are almost impossible to manual focus properly, so unlike a film body you can forget that.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Yea I just wish I could manually focus and adjust shutter time! Do you mean use a pen light to trick it not to flash or what? It focuses fine but only with flash. It blurs things even when I set it on something and we left our tripod home. Oh well I'll take some cool pics next time I'm in Montreal. They'll probably be a little different since I'm coming back with my college buds instead of my family. Yes the lag is bad for action shots and in the moment pics! That's why I bought "SUPERFAST" Ritek memory but I think I'm going to return it. Is there any reason why a 256 chip which dealmac said was the fastest is half the speed of the starter card with 8 or 12x write compared to 40x read 20x write?!
  • Reply 8 of 10
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    I think a pen light (at closer range) can sometimes throw just enough extra light on the subject to help out the AF without noticeably changing the lighting, basically a make-shift AF assist light.

    Does it focus OK in low light without the flash? If so, then I'd imagine there's something wrong with the camera other than the typical AF limitations. I mean, if it worked within specs, then in dark conditions focus should be either equally good or equally bad with or without a flash. The camera doesn't focus with the light of the flash, obviously, since it's only fired once you snap the shutter.

    The only other thing I can think of is that it's a weird quirk of your camera, or something to do with technique.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Why is the memory card (256) slower then the starter card though. I just had some Labbatt Blue I guess it doesn't matter. I probably didn't spell Labbatt right either. Safari thinks it should be labia or labial. Hehe.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Does anyone know why the 256 SUPERFAST (40x write I believe, I'll look it up later) is slower then the 8x 12 meg starter card?

    I'm going back to Montreal tomorrow and also the camera shop to answer these questions. I'll let ya'll know how to solve these problems which I assume are command and I'll being reading the manual on the way up probably...
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