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Old Feb 12, 2005, 3:15 PM   #1
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If you were at a dinner banquet where the light is not sufficient but dimmed, what are the settings that you would use on your camera?

I can't imitate the setting to practice so I would appreciate to get some advice from experienced users.


OBJECTIVE: Take nice shots of the people in the setting described above. Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 13, 2005, 10:55 PM   #2
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i wish i know a little more about your camera but i ill try to give a couple of options/solutions.

1. Avoid using your flash because the light will be harsh and you will probably get a tunneling effect in your pictures (where the flash lights up your subject but the background is left underexposed) if you have a night flash (where the camera uses a longer shutter speed to expose the background and a flash to light up your subject and stop the motion) you may want to experiment with that

2. depending on the resolution of your camera and what desired print size you want, you may want to play with the ISO settings of your camera. by changing the ISO setting from 100 to 400 you can usually achieve the correct exposure with a 2 stop quicker shutter time cutting down on blurry pictures (for example at ISO 100 you may have an exposure time of 1/15" and when you go up to 400 your exposure time would be 1/60") the advantage of changing the ISO is that you use the ambient light in the room to illuminate you picture which usually gives you a softer picture. BUT, all of this does come at a cost of picture quality. the higher you set the ISO the noiser your picture looks.

you can test how much you want to adjust your ISO just by taking pitures around the house with the different settings and comparing the picture quality on your computer

this picture was taken in a restaurant with no flash and an ISO setting of 800 by having a higher resolution camera i am able to adjust the ISO and still get the desired print size (in this case a 5x7 looked fine)


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Old Feb 13, 2005, 11:40 PM   #3
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I'll remember to play around with the ISO setting. Thanks.


I appreciate the response.
The digital camera is a Canon S50 and I will be using the built-in flash only. I could use a generic tripod if necessary.


From the past experience, I used the Auto mode with Flash on and in the dimmed/dark setting, the faces comes out bright due to flash and the background is all black.
The host told me that the light will be lit well so I should not worry to much.
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 10:07 AM   #4
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iKwak wrote:
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I'll remember to play around with the ISO setting. Thanks.


I appreciate the response.
The digital camera is a Canon S50 and I will be using the built-in flash only. I could use a generic tripod if necessary.


From the past experience, I used the Auto mode with Flash on and in the dimmed/dark setting, the faces comes out bright due to flash and the background is all black.
The host told me that the light will be lit well so I should not worry to much.
I would try setting it to shutter priority mode (Tv on your s50) to something like 1/25th second. Check how the picture looks on the lcd. If too dim, you might wanna go to 1/4th or something. Try not to go higher because it'll be hard to snap unblurry pics because ppl move about all the time. Don't worry if they appear a little dark, the final result will have a nice dark overtone that matches real light. Adjust the white balance to tungsten or all shots will be yellow.

Also, be prepared for auto-focus "hunting" for focus a lot. I try to manually preset focus at parties because by the time the camera adjusts focus/balance/aperture/etc the moment is gone. So, I usually preset everything and start snapping.

I wouldn't set the ISO at anything above 100. Previous poster obviously used a much better camera than an s50 whose highest iso is 400 only. My uncle has an s50 and the pics are way too noisy at 200+. Also, dark areas blend in with shadows where a human appears to merge with his shadow. Bizzare effects. High ISOs are generally for action shots in low light, really (when it comes to low end consumer cameras, obv) I've seen iso1600 shots from a 20d and they look really good. Mere mortals have no such luck.
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 10:53 PM   #5
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i agree with what coontie has said and i offer some further suggestions

with the S50 adjusting the ISO can still be done but i would only reccomend it if youdraw the line at ISO 200 and that youare not intending on making larger prints. at an ISO of 200 i dont think that you will see too much noise on a 4x6 print but if you try to inlarge it to an 8x10 i think that you will be very dissapointed.

the thing that i found that helps me focus in low light situations is that i have the camera draw the focus point from the center of the field of view by turning off AiAF in the menu. this will give you a small white box in the center of the frame that the camera will focus on. to me, it seems like canons cameras have an easier time focusing on lines (for example the line where a shirt buttons in the front) so i point the camera at the line and push the shutter release button halfway to focus, pan up to the subject that is an equal distance away and then push the rest of the way down on the shutter and take the shot.

i took some pictures with my rebel at ISO 1600 of an indoor basketball game and the pictures, although noisy, came out fine when printed out on a 4x6 piece of paper.
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 11:26 PM   #6
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lemondster wrote:
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i took some pictures with my rebel at ISO 1600 of an indoor basketball game and the pictures, although noisy, came out fine when printed out on a 4x6 piece of paper.
well, hehe.. Thats why the rebel is the rebel and an s50 is an s50. Can't compare, really. A rebel is an awesome camera.
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Old Feb 16, 2005, 4:57 PM   #7
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I've been having similar problems with my Canon A85. All of my outdoor pictures are awesome, but the indoor ones aren't so great. My 3 main problems indoors:
  • The main subject is lit up, but the surrounding area is dark (tunnel-like)[/*]
  • The main subject is clear, but the surrondings are blurry[/*]
  • Blurry pictures in general
[/*]
It kinda makes you wonder.... If you buy a disposable film camera, it'll take awesome pictures with none of this complicated stuff. Kind of discouraging for someone new to the digital world. My old Canon Sureshot never had an issue. And maybe I'm mistaken, but with film cameras the higher the ISO, the better quality the photo.

If anyone has advice on how to set my camera, that would be awesome. The salesman at the camera shop where I bought it adjusted the P settings for me and I haven't figured out how to make them better. I'll experiment a little though, based on your suggestions above.
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Old Feb 17, 2005, 10:38 PM   #8
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Boldstar wrote:
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And maybe I'm mistaken, but with film cameras the higher the ISO, the better quality the photo.

unfortunately you have the concept backwards, even in film cameras the higher the ISO the worse picture quality

the ISO of film is determined by the emulsion droplet size om your film
- the larger the droplet; the greater it reacts to light (allowing you to use a shorter exposure and/or a smaller aperture) BUT the more coarse the final picture is.
- the smaller the droplet the; the less it reacts to the light (making you use the higher shuttterspeeds and wider apertures) BUT it gives youa finer quality picture

here is some more insight to the subject
http://science.howstuffworks.com/film4.htm


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