Originally Posted by Simca
My camera supports 2000, 2500, and 3200 ISO with ISO Boosts called H0.3, H0.7, and H1.0. There's also a camera setting that reduces high ISO noise and another that reduces noise from long exposures. I'll try both of these settings tomorrow night along with my new found skill of focusing. I hope these tactic churn out better results. May end up buying a wide angle lens as well.
Gonna try raising shutter speed to 1/30 and 1/60. See how that changes things..
For night shooting use a tripod or as Sean said a bench, trash can, whatever you can find. I have used a lot of things in my day as a makeshift tripod with good results. Use the timer if you don't have a remote to let the camera settle after you push the button. If you can use mirror lockup to provide further vibration prevention.
Set ISO to 100, no need to introduce unneeded noise.
Use AV mode and set aperture to between f/8 and f/10.
Let the camera figure shutter speed. Compose and focus.
For focusing let the camera do the work. If you want to manual focus use liveview and zoom way in on the screen, manual focus though the viewfinder is really hard in good light much less at night. I prefer to use liveview auto focus when shooting like this as its a bit more accurate, although slower.
From there review your shot afterwards. Check focus and exposure. I often take a shot and then will take a shot or two with brighter exposures. Often the meter doesn't get where I want and my post processing usually requires a brighter shot to start with.
You can also shoot in full manual if you have a solid understanding of the relationships of each setting. It is sometimes easier as I often am compensating for the cameras meter.