Taking pictures in low light requires a lot more care than does taking pictures with a bright sun behind you — low-light pictures tend to be quite noisy. Here's how to use your flash and white balance to make up for it.
While there is some pretty useful software out there to dial down noise after the fact, the best thing you can do is minimise it before you even take the picture. While having a great camera certainly does help, you don't need a fancy pants DSLR to minimise noise — you just need to add a little bit of flash. And, despite what we've told you about living in fear of cheap flashes, technology blog Tested points out that with a little bit of white balance work, you can get rid of noise without the flatness that cheap flashes inflict on your subject in one fell swoop.
We learned about white balance back when we taught you how to master your DSLR camera, but nowadays, most point-and-shoots actually have this feature built in. On my Canon PowerShot, I just had to put it in manual mode and hit the function button to be able to tweak the white balance settings. There should be a white balance preset called "flash" or something similar, and using it should eliminate the flatness flashes inflict on your subject. Alternatively, you could hack your point-and-shoot to shoot in RAW and use Photoshop to adjust the white balance after the fact. Hit the link for more information, and let us know what you think of this method in the comments.