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Old Sep 23, 2005, 3:08 PM   #21
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Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
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An example:

With an EV (Exposure value) of 5, which is typical for a home interior, at f/5 (the largest available aperture at full zoom on your model), shooting at ISO 1600, you'd only get shutter speeds up to around 1/20 second.

That's nowhere near fast enough for preventing motion blur from camera shake at full zoom.

Yet, if you shot at your camera's wide angle position in the same light, it would use f/2.8, and you'd get shutter speeds of 1/60 second at ISO 1600 (which is fast enough to prevent motion blur from camera shake at your wide angle lens position).

Your camera only lets in about 1/3 the light at full zoom (the more zoom you use, the less light the camera sees).

I'd take a look at the EXIF to see what shutter speeds you're getting at different zoom positions in the lighting you're trying to shoot in. Then, you'd have a better idea of whether or not you'll be able to get away without a flash in those conditions.

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Old Sep 23, 2005, 3:15 PM   #22
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jim, thanks for the explanation.

but this is happening every time i turn the flash off, even when i'm not using any zoom at all.

maybe the room i experimented in was too dark (two 60 watt bulbs in a 14'x11' room with 9' ceilings)?

i'll see if i look at the EXFI for more info.
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Old Sep 23, 2005, 3:23 PM   #23
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You may need to shoot at ISO 1600. The EXIF will tell you the ISO speed that was used, as well as the shutter speed.

If it's not 1/focal length or faster, you may need more light (or a flash).

I can usually get away with hand holding a camera at shutter speeds of around 1/15 - 1/20second at focal lengths up to around 40mm to 50mm (non-stationary subjects), even though the "rule of thumb" says you should be at around 1/40 to 1/50 second at those focal lengths.

But, I am very careful about controlling my breathing,smoothly squeezing the shutter button, and making sure it's steady until after the photo is taken.

Most people are going to need faster shutter speeds (around 1/30 second or faster at a camera's widest lens setting) to prevent motion blur from camera shake, or faster shutter speeds as more zoom is used.


If I know my shutter speeds are going to be too slow, I sometimes deliberately underexpose a photo, too (which will increase noise). You can use Exposure Compensation to do this (set it to a -EV value). I wouldn't go more than 1 stop (-1.0 EV) underexposed. But, if you try to do this shooting at ISO 1600, it's probably going to be pretty ugly.

You can use this "trick" to simulate ISO speeds a camera doesn't have, too. For example, if you shoot at ISO 800 with a -0.5 EV setting (1/2 stop underexposed), it would be like shooting at ISO 1200 (but you'd need to brighten the photo up using software).

Another trick is to use continuous mode. After I squeeze the shutter button down, staying as steady as possible, I'll let the camera fire off several shots before I release the shutter button. That increases your percentage of keepers (one shot may have less blur from camera shake compared to another).

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Old Oct 13, 2005, 6:39 PM   #24
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Jim, I think your opinions are pretty spot on. However, I think 827 is using a digicam that has no direct way to adjust shutter speeds. If so, the only thing left to do is to steady the camera if you can't use the flash (or are aiming to capture an existing light shot.)

Here's my tips, for what it's worth.

1. Use a tripod when you can. Not always practical, but a big help in most circumstances.

2. If you have to handhold the camera, brace against a wall or table if possible.

3. Always prefocus by pressing the shutter halfway down.

4. After prefocusing, hold your breath before you fully depress the shutter.

If you don't get a clear shot, no amount of post-capture processing will clean it up. You can reduce noise and grain to some extent. But if you have a blurry image, there's not much you can do with it.

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