What is the Night Scene Mode?
You might have seen the Night Scene listed in your shooting modes. If you used it without knowing what it is specifically suited for, you may have gotten results that were less than desirable. The Night Scene mode is actually a special type of mode that when used in the right situation can broaden your picture-taking ability when the sun goes down and in other non-luminous conditions.
Night Scene Mode (sometimes symbolized):
The Night Scene mode uses a longer exposure time than the camera normally does when there is plenty of available light. This will result in a properly exposed scene such as a skyline at night, as displayed in the image below.

There is also another advantage of this mode when you set your flash to Fill-in Flash.
When you use this mode in combination with your flash set to Fill-in Flash, you can get your subject and background to the point where both are properly exposed. Typically, flash shots result in a brightly exposed subject against a dark background. These types of shots make it difficult to have any sense of atmosphere or convey any insight into where the subject is located.

Image shot in Night Mode
with Fill-in Flash set.
The background is properly exposed via the Night Scene mode, while the use of flash illuminated the woman.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when using this mode:
  • Your subject should be relatively stable, i.e. standing still or not displaying any movement.

  • Your camera should remain steady such as when placed on a monopod/tripod or on a steady surface. If you have neither, brace the camera against your body as best you can to keep it as sturdy as possible.
Bracing the camera:

Compose your shot and then press the shutter button half way down to lock exposure and focus. Inhale, then exhale about halfway and hold. While holding you breath, press the shutter button down completely. Then exhale completely.
Note: If your camera also has a Night+Portrait mode you can use this mode to automatically set the flash to Fill-in and incorporate the red-eye reduction mode to keep the image looking as natural as possible.

*** Donít forget to either change back to the regular shooting mode such as Auto or Program on your camera when your nighttime shooting is over. ***