Monday, March 4, 2013

Panasonic Lumix LX-7 - Handheld Night Shot - A Scene Mode That Really Works!

Late Arrival, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
iso 400, f1.4, 1/13 sec
My flight into Palm Springs was late tonight. I heard a United Airlines employee say "Never, ever, fly on a Friday night." Advice that I'll keep in mind in the future.
When I got off of the plane, I looked back and saw this scene. As usual, the moon looked much bigger to my eye than it did to the sensor, but anyway, I like this shot.
I usually steer clear of scene modes, which are canned sets of parameters built into the camera, designed to give certain looks or deal with certain photographic challenges. However, in this case I was tired and wanted to move fast. It was quite dark, and I didn't have my tripod (it was in my checked bag). So, I figured what the heck. I select the [Handheld Night Shot] scene mode on my new LX7 and fired away. Bang! It really did a nice job!
All the manual says is that this mode reduces blur and noise by taking multiple images in burst mode. I'm very surprised by how well it aligned the images; I'm sure I wasn't that steady after flying cross-country, and arriving at 3AM my time. I also find it interesting how the aircraft attendant, who was moving during capture, came out. It looks like the motion blur I would expect from just a single image.
In any case, I'm very impressed. I doubt if I could have done better with a tripod and more time.
I've started writing my ebook on how I set up and use the DMC-LX7. Stayed tuned for that. I think I may include a series of my own example pictures of some of the scene and artistic modes.