With a point and shoot camera, you probably will end up shooting a lot of indoor photos, which will require the use of your camera's built-in flash unit. Shooting with a tiny flash unit can be a little tricky, because such flash units usually are designed for basic operation only. Use these tips to improve the results of your flash photos with a point and shoot camera.
- Avoiding red-eye problems with a point and shoot camera is difficult, and it is a common problem. Red eye occurs when the flash reflects off the back of the human eye. Use the red-eye flash setting on your camera, and the camera should fire a pre-flash that will constrict the pupil and lessen the chance of red-eye problems.
- If shooting a photo of someone standing in front of a window or other bright backlight, make the flash fire to compensate for underexposure of the subject. Just makes sure that you're close enough to the subject so that the flash can have an effect. If you can't seem to make this type of photo work properly, consider moving the subject, or adjust the angle at which you are shooting to try to remove the strong backlight from the image.
- With shooting with a flash using the automatic settings on most point and shoot cameras, the camera will automatically slow down the shutter speed, usually 1/60th of a second or slower. For slower shutter speeds, it's important to steady the camera, either by using a tripod or by leaning against a doorframe or wall to steady yourself. Any minor shake of the camera during a flash photo could cause a blurry photo.
- Do not aim the flash directly at a mirror or a pane of glass. You'll receive a glare of light in the image that could ruin the photo.
- If shooting a group photo with the flash, it's important that everyone's faces are close to a similar distance from the camera. If you have one subject a few feet away and another subject several feet away, the flash will be unable to light each subject evenly.
- Check the specifications list for your camera to determine the effective flash range for your camera. Point and shoot cameras often have a very limited flash range, maybe 3 feet to 12 feet. Your flash will still work over distances outside this range, but its effectiveness will be less, and your photo quality will probably suffer.
- When shooting extreme close-up photos that are inside your camera's published flash range, you'll want to change the camera to shoot in macro mode. In macro mode, the camera changes its focus to deal with close-up photos and it should throttle down the flash to work well in close-up photos. Check your camera's user guide to determine whether it has a macro setting.