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Old Oct 18, 2006, 1:48 PM   #1
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Hello everyone. I recently bought a Canon S80 as our first digital camera after a lot of swaying between Sony H5, Canon S3 IS and the S80. I decided on the S80 cuz I thought I didnt need the extra zoom and image stabilization. Now after a couple of weeks of usage I feel like a complete idiot for not giving image stabilization more weight in my buying process.

The S80 has turned out to be wonderful in every aspect. I really like the warm colors it produces but all of my indoor pics without a flash or night time pics without flash are complete waste of effort. Take a look at the following pics for a comparison:

Without Flash - Accurate colors but completely blurry and useless

With Flash - Crappy colors but sort of useful.

Some consolation:

If u save the images and open them in ur photo organizer u can view the aperture setting etc. So my question to everyone out there is: How can i overcome this image shake? What am i doing wrong? I am convinced the camera is capable of doing better without the flash.....Pls help. My sister's wedding is coming up this 28th and its very important for this camera to perform.
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Old Oct 18, 2006, 2:21 PM   #2
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Ok, the first shot was taken at approx 87mm zoom, f5 and shutter speed of 1/8s

Without IS you would be looking for 1/87s or faster to avoid blur due to hand shake, but even with the typical 2 (possibly 3) stops you would have gained with IS, that would still leave you short looking for 1/22s shutter speed for no blur while handheld.

(1/88 -> 1/44 -> 1/22 (possibly 1/11s))

You camera starts wide angle at f2.8 which is ok, but drops to a very poor f5.3 (very dark, almost two stops darker than wide) when zooming in.

I don't have zoombrowser on my computer thus cannot read what ISO you were using (Canon hide it somewhere not normal so other exif readers can't find it) but you could try boosting the ISO if possible.

So if you where shooting at ISO 50 , ISO 400 would take you up to 1/64s.

You could also not use the zoom and try for a wider aperture ie more light into the camera.

The second was at maximum aperture which is good but the shutter is a full 1sec !

Not a lot you can do there, boost the ISO or use a tripod.

The shot of the chemist using flash , well its ok, but the flash on those little cameras havevirtually no hope of lighting up targets accross the street, really they are meant for targets barely 6ft- 10ft away . Plus again you where zoomed in so the lens stopped down to f5.3.

• Flash range (W): 55cm - 4.2m (1.8ft - 14ft) - auto ISO
• Flash range (T): 55cm - 2.0m (1.8ft - 6.6ft) - auto ISO

So, best to not use the zoom due to the poor f5.3 limit on the lens, so get close, use the highest ISO you can, use flash if very close , bring a tripod or monopod or find somewhere to rest the camera on.

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Old Oct 18, 2006, 3:27 PM   #3
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thx for the response mate. I'll respond to ur post after i digest all of it cuz i am a rookie with cameras. Here's what i am reading beside this thread:


B/w: Can u suggest me how to obtain warm bright pictures from night time indoor functions. The hall will be properly lit for my sister's wedding so I dont know how much the lighting is going to make an impact but generally speaking what sort of settings should I be looking at?

Something like this but without the blur:

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Old Dec 19, 2006, 2:26 PM   #4
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I mean this in no offensive way whatsoever, but you may be expecting a bit too much from your camera. You are shooting in very low light. I get the feeling that many people don't realize how much light these digicams require for proper exposure. I have a Canon A620, which has bit brighter lens than the S80. I get shutter speeds that present camera shake issues on bright sunny days if I'm in a shaded woodland area. To the human eye, it seems brightly lit (your eyes adjust to a broad range of lighting), but not to the camera. It's a reality of photography.

The previous poster is correct in pointing out that the f5.3 at the tele end of your zoom is rather punishing for 100mm equivalent (the A620, by comparison, goes out to 140mm and is capable of f4.1 at that length--not that this is particularly great, but satisfactory for a camera in its class).

The previous reply also noted that flash isn't much good beyond a certain range (should be specified in your manual). The shot of the chemist with flash on is not blurry because the camera set the exposure (and shutter speed) assuming the use of a flash. However, it is underexposed because the flash wasn't strong enough to illuminate the scene.

Generally, when I enter a room I can tell whether or not camera shake will be a problem, and indoors it almost always is. Even rooms that seem well lit to the eye can be problematic for digicams.

The only things I can recommend are keeping the lens at the widest angle you can (BTW, the 28mm wide angle on the S80 is a great feature--most digicams can't do better than 35 or 36mm), using a tripod (or a table top, or bracing against a solid structure if that's your only option), and increasing the ISO setting. I personally don't like increasing the ISO above 50 unless I'm forced to because of the increase in noise, but if you have to try 100 or 200 (I never use 400 because it's just too noisy).

If you do decide on a new camera, there are some Fuji models that boast good high ISO performance (check out the F30). Image stabilization is great, but pictures of people will likely have motion blur anyway, unless they keep still while you snap the pic. Keep an eye on the lens specs--you'll want the lowest f-numbers for best low light shots. If it's really important to you, there are always DSLRs—larger and more expensive, but much better at higher ISO settings, and you have a choice of lenses that are much faster.

Sorry, but what you're experiencing is the reality of low light photography,
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