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Camera Settings

RobTheVIP

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Last night I got really angry - at my camera. I couldn't find out how to get any good shots of my beam at night, I could take a crisp picture of my beam without the flash, I couldn't take a video with decent quality showing the beam, and it is a decent camera.

It's an Exilim ex-270 and was about $230. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to pick up good pictures?
 

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RobTheVIP said:
Last night I got really angry - at my camera.   I couldn't find out how to get any good shots of my beam at night, I could take a crisp picture of my beam without the flash, I couldn't take a video with decent quality showing the beam, and it is a decent camera.  

It's an Exilim ex-270 and was about $230.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to pick up good pictures?
As owner of that camera (among a few others), I would debate the "it is a decent camera" comment, but it is a half-decent camera perhaps (sorry!) :D.

For taking video of your laser there's not much you can change on the camera, but there are a few ways to make the beam appear more visible:

First and most obvious is to dim/turn off the lights (if your camera can deal with that). The less ambient light, the brighter the laser will look in contrast.

Second is to not be perpendicular with the beam. You dont want to slip up and shine the laser into the lens, but shining it near the lens, or directly away from the lens will help the beam look MUCH more visible.

Third - buy a fog machine! Even if all you have are 5mW reds, a fog machine is probably the most useful laser accessory you can get. For $40 you can get a $1 red laser looking more visible than $1000 green laser can in daylight.
 

Aseras

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video is hard on digital cameras since they need the long exposure times.

fog is your best bet, and low ambient lighting.

I did this vid on my exilm ( that died after 1 month ), http://208.219.69.31/laser/rpl/rpl.mpg ( 16mb ) without fog in daylight and it's wasn't too bad. you'll notice that you need to be close to the beam to see it well. Once you are perpendicular it'll show right up.
 

Frosty

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I have the camera that is one step below yours, the ex 260 and i couldnt get a good pic of a beam either, course I was useing fog and a <5mw red. and it was pitch dark. I think if you bring up the ambient light jsut a touch over pitch black and use some fog and the other tips like going perpendicular you will have some luck.

Heres what I ended up with from my earlier try in darkness with fog. The beam is bouncing off the mirror creating a big X then hitting a crhome fixture which turns it into a fan, it looked awsome but as you can see, no success!
 

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