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Old Nov 19, 2008, 10:47 PM   #1
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I'm looking or input regarding a lens I can use indoors, at a semi-low-light Christmas party function. All ideas are welcome.
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 9:07 AM   #2
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3 questions:

1. How low light? i.e. more description of the environment

2. What types of shots do you want - single person portraits or people interacting or group?

3. Is flash an option?

There are 2 major problems with trying to go the high iso / fast prime route:

1. depending on light levels you may still be shooting at very slow (i.e. 1/15) shutter speeds - given the fact subjects move you'll end up with a lot of blurred shots even if you're steady as a rock.

2. DOF. Tough to get multiple people in focus when you're shooting at 1.4 or 1.8 apertures - so it's really not ideal if you want shots of people interacting or group shots.
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 9:42 AM   #3
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Thanks for getting back to me JohnG. To answer your questions:
  1. I'm not sure howwellI can describe thelighting... Basically it'sa Christmas gathering at a friend's house. It's a small place, lamp lighting in the living room, overhead lighting in the kitchen and dining area. [/*]
  2. Most of the shots will likely be portrait style, some single-person but mostly of small groups facing/posing for the camera. [/*]
  3. I plan to be using the built-in flash.[/*]
I started this thread because I'm not sure how my XSi (and my kit lens)will perform. It's an annual gathering and I'm normally responsible for the photography (a role I likely brought upon myself, but one that my friends have come to expect). For the past few years I've been using my Canon S2 IS and the results have been fantastic. I wonder if I should stick with 'old faithful' or take a chance with my new toy. I certainly don't want to be mailing out CDs of blurry images, only to be told afterward in a Steve's thread that I "should have used a tripod," etc.

It's a casual event but I'd like to preserve the memories and share the results. I want to be able to hand-hold my camera and not fart around with tripods and lighting, etc. They don't need to be professional photographs... I'm only looking to capture clear, in-focus pictures. I guess I don't want this to turn into a (seemingly common) scenario where the point-and-shoot would have done a better job.

I'm really hoping you'll say, "don't worry, your kit lens will do a great job, just make sure you..."
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 10:07 AM   #4
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Your gear will perform as well as the S2 did with the exception of zoom. So no real worries there. The real next step is an external flash - for what you're talking about that will give you much better results than an additional lens purchase. But the good news is you shouldn't see a downgrade in quality from the S2 to your current setup. Just make sure you have an extra battery for the new camera. Flash use will really drain battery power.

And if you want a real improvement think about getting the flash.
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 10:26 AM   #5
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Thank you for the reassurance. I was hoping I could attend this gathering without having to buy any more camera equipment.

I completely understand what you're saying about the external flash. And I might add one to my Christmas wishlist. But for the time being, I'd like to try to capture some good photos using only the gear that came out of the box. Since the built-in flash on my S2 did a fine job, I was hoping I could expect the same or better of my XSi. I realize the direct flash is a bit harsh, but I've been pleased with myS2 results.

I'll have to let you know how it all works out. Thanks again.
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 9:26 PM   #6
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Boldstar,

Consider shooting RAW format and use your flash built into your camera.

If your photos turn out dark, there's the option to lighten them up a bit after the fact with software on your computer (up to about 2 stops of light).

Consider turning up your ISO to the max for this event (I think it's ISO 1600 for your camera).

You'll probably get by okay. If I was at the event with you I'd have a few beers and give you better advice based on my own experience at the event - lol.

If your looking for less "harsh" flash, consider the Sunpak Flat Panel flash for $58 from B&H Photo Video:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc....html#features

Yahoo! Enjoy your party!
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