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Nikon d40x camera, Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikor, 18-55mm f3.5-5.6G EDII lens. Been reading the manual and taking photos as I go along. Last night decided to take some night photos using manual settinngs. Set the camera to (S) shuttler priority and let the camera take care of the rest. No matter what timeframe I used I always got "Subject is too dark" on the LCD. Tried (A) aperature and (M) manual and got the same things, no matter what settings I used. The only way I could take anything (except of course Auto) was to use (P) programand let the camera make all the decisions. Very frustrating. The strange thing is that when I looked at the specs for the pictures taken it was using settings I had tried manually.

Does anyone have any ideas what's going on, what I was doing wrong, how, if possible I can disable the "warning" messages so I can take a picture no matter what, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated. ('bout getting ready to go back to my good 'ol 35)


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Perhaps check the ISO settings. I shoot with a Sony a200 and take great night photos with it. I shoot most of my stuff in Apature Mode or in BULB mode on a tripod with a remote for night stuff. Sounds like the aperture or f-sop is to high. Also not exposing the photo for long enough could be a problem as well.
it seems to me that you may have a camera fault, I don't have a Nikon but use a canon 10D and 350D and it doesn't matter even if you leave the lens cap on it should still take a photo
It's possible that you were trying to operate outside the camera's normal shutter-speed and aperture ranges. For example, in Tv if you set the shutter speed at too fast, then the camera would not have the size of aperture required to get enough light to the sensor. Similarly, if you were in Av mode and set the camera aperture too small (large aperture number), there may not have been a standard speed slow enough. Basically, the camera would sense the available light and understand whether the selected combination of SS and aperture were adequate enough to produce a good enough exposure - hence the "too dark" comment if it couldn't. Options include:

1 In Av mode - use large apertures (low aperture number)

2 In Tv mode - use slow shutter speeds.

3 Do it all again with a very high ISO setting and seeing if that works.

4 Using Bulb "B" setting.

The only guaranteed solution is the bulb setting - read your manual to understand how that works. If not, respond to this and I'll give you a quick set of pointers. Regards.
I think it is the ISO that's changing in (P) mode (I don't have the manual with me). The one feature that I have found very useful for low light setting is to set the camera to auto adjust the ISO. It's one of the menu options, again I don't have the manual or camera. I also set the ISO not to go above 1600 and I get good results with ISOs up to 1200.

Hope that helps
I agree with the RMStringer. It does seem as if the camera exposure time should be set to a couple of seconds and the aperture at about f7.1. This allows the shutter to stay open and absorb any available light for a good couple of seconds.
I would guess that P is very good for daytime when it works out shutter speed and aperture for you, but night shots take a little bit of setting up. The ISO can remain very low say 200 and still be able to cope. Tripods are a must in this situation and also use of the self timer - say a 10 second delay before shutter release also prevents any blur in the shot.
Hope this helps.


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