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Old Oct 11, 2004, 6:20 AM   #1
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I have been blessed with hands that shake especially when taking photos. I am looking for a budget camera (£150) with a quick enough shutter speed to cope, often reviews don't state shutter speeds. Can someone please help with a recommendation? I am fed up with blurred images!!!!
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Old Oct 11, 2004, 6:49 AM   #2
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The shutter speed a camera can use depends on the amount of light available, the aperture of the lens, and the ISO speed. Most models can use a shutter speed of up to 1/1000, or even 1/2000 second. These numbers are in each camera's specifications.

However, just because a camera *can* take photos with shutter speeds this fast, doesn't mean it *will* take photos with shutter speeds this fast.

If you try to take photo with a shutter speed that is faster than the lighting conditions allow for, you end up with a dark photo.

Indoors with most models, you'll need to use a flash, or a tripod (if shooting a stationary subject). Otherwise, the shutter speeds will be too slow.

Shutter speed with a flash in low light is not critical. This is because the flash burst is very short. Since the subject is not exposed well enough for proper exposure exceptfor the very short flash duration, the flash itself has the impact of freezing the action in lower light. Of course, you'll need to make sure that the subject is within the flash range. You see theflashrange for models in their specifications, listed at both wide angle, and at full zoom, since the lens is most models is brighter at the wide angle end.

For outdoor use, shutter speeds are usually much faster. But, the shutter speed a camera needs for proper exposure is still dependent on the available light, aperture of the lens (with smaller numbers indicating larger available apertures), and the ISO speed (which controls the sensitivity of the sensor to light).

Most inexpensive cameras are going to have a lens rated at around f/2.8 at wide angle, dropping down to around f/4.9 at full zoom. Some models have brighter lenses, for example the Canon G series models start out at f/2.0 which is twice as bright as f/2.8 (but probably not models within your budget). Some of the "ultra zoom" models (like the Panasonic Z series) have lenses that can maintain a constant f/2.8 aperture throughout their zoom range.

I would probably look for a model that has a good flash range for indoor use.

A model that allows you to set the ISO speed would also be desirable.

Each time you double the ISO speed, the camera can use shutter speeds twice as fast. However, this will have a penalty. Higher ISO speeds cause higher noise levels (similar to film grain).

Finally, if you can find a model that has either aperture priority, or a sports mode, this is also desirable. If you set the camera to use a larger aperture (represented by a smaller f/stop number), then it can use the fastest shutter speeds possible. In low light, most models will already be selecting the largest available aperture. But, in good light, you may need to tell the camera to select the largest aperture for fastest shutter speeds.

If you can increase your budget a little bit, some models also have stabilized lenses designed to help compensate for camera shake. Panasonic makes some models like this (the new DMC-FZ3 is an example, which sells for around $399 U.S.)

With your current camera (and you didn't say which one you had), make sure to use either the flash or a tripod indoors (and the same will apply to most camera models), stay at wide angle whenever possible (you'll get faster shutter speeds with most models at the widest lens setting, versus using zoom; and also get greater flash range).

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Old Oct 19, 2004, 2:45 AM   #3
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I purchased a refurbished Cannon G3 last week £175BRILLIANT !!!!!!

Thanks for your help
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 3:13 AM   #4
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I realize you already made your purchase, although out of your budget in future (if you ever want to upgrade) as stated above a camera with image stabilization might be a good idea. These cameras automatically adjust for minor handshake (the idea is usually these are long zoom cameras which magnify handshake).

That brings up another point, for indoor photography you should (if possible) get closer to your subject rather than zoom in to them...again zooming in magnifies hand shake.
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