When I first read about hand-held night mode, my first reaction was that grumpy what will they think of next. It’s that leftover purist thing.
I didn’t see a use for it. But of course, there is a great use for it as the following picture shows. Here’s a grainless, handheld picture shot at 10,000 ASA, f5.6 and 1/40th of a second.
How is that possible? In the night hand-held mode (it’s selected from the top dial) if you hold the camera steady, it will take four (yes 4) images one after another and somehow use them to figure out what is noise and should be removed and what should be kept.
It combines them into one JPG (the large size).
And by God, it works. I would say that there’s less noise (if you want to compare noise and film grain) then 100 ASA color film. Or comparing it to noise on the same camera, it is similar to ASA 100! Yes, that deserves an exclamation point.
It has the drawback in that you have to be steady with the camera, and I’m not sure how it decides on the shutter speed / f-stop / ASA combination and of course the subject CAN’T MOVE. I was shooting with a 30mm f1.4 lens, so maybe it figures that 1/40th should be about right. But f5.6? If I were choosing I would go for a slightly faster shutter speed and maybe f4 for the f-stop.
Anyway, here’s the web version. I’ll put up a section of the full image later. But take my word for it – the priest who was watching me kept asking if I wanted to have the lights turned on, or why I wasn’t using flash. It was really that dark.
As you can see, I didn’t futz much with the alignment or colors.. still it seems to have a unique look… I have more to play with later.
Then I used the internal HDR mode. Again, I had to ask why would I want to use that? I’ll write about it in the next post because I don’t know the answer yet, or if there is an answer.
Here’s a piece of “full crop” with nothing done to it (10,000 ASA) with Night Handheld Mode. I could bring it back by adding some sharpness, but the point was really to show the full size and the crop at such a high ASA to show the noise – or lack of it.