Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot) > Canon

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 25, 2005, 2:51 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
jfrebel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 5
Default

hi i have an S2 IS and i need to take pictures inside. the camera seems to be great for daytime shots and inside with the flash on, but sucks inside without the flash even on the "inside" setting, although that feature does at least make¬* the pictures usable . my problem is that i am going to listen to this famous guy give a speech and i will be way to far from him to use my flash. i can zoom in on him, but the picture will be crappy. are their any tricks i can use?¬*jf
jfrebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Sep 25, 2005, 9:37 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 119
Default

Well,

The shots you're going to take are even a challenge for a digital SLR without the proper lenses. Don't expect to get awesome results with any point and shoot camera, the Powershot S2 (even though I love this camera) will not be the exception.

Now, going to the technical stuff. No flash and few light = higher aperture + slower shutter speed, this can and will lead to blurry pictures, due to hand movement (image stabilization cannot do everything). Now, the third issue is the focal length; at full zoom, any movement in your hand becomes more noticeable in your picture. So I would suggest:

1. Use a tripod
2. Play with ISO settings (200 gives good results, 400 has some noise in it)
3. Play with Exposure compensation
4. Try to use a setting where shutter speed doesn't get slower than 1/10s, and try to frame your subject when he doesn't move alot.
5. Try to avoid using auto settings, play with manual settings.
6. If you're trying with auto settings, try the "party" mode, it has given me decent results.
7. Get as many shots with different settings as possible, this will let you choose the better pictures.
8. Use the cameras function to store one picture with different processing settings (check the manual for this, it applies to exposure compensation for instance).

Hope this helps you a little.
schmiedel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2005, 10:11 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
jfrebel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 5
Default

hi! well my S2 doesn't come with a "party" mode. have they done a firmware update, or have i simply not found that feature yet? i can go manaul, i know how to change the settings but am kind of new to the whole thing. i know what aparture is and shutter speed is and how to adjust them, but i don't knnow what setting is the best. i can deal with the handshake, and i like iso 100, and 200 if i have too. iso 400 sucks big time. it's noisier than two rabid cats in a fight. ha ha okay so i am exagerating a tad, but still iso 400 does reek. it'll be iso 200 at most. now what aparture setting would you reccomend? i guess i could make the number as low as possible (thus making it brighter), and let the camera adjust the shutter speed, using the Av mode, or if i go total maneual, what shutter speed would you use? tomorrow i will see if i can find out hhow bright the room will be. i think it's supposed to be in the college gym.
jfrebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2005, 10:43 PM   #4
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

The camera is going to use the largest aperture (smallest f/stop number) anyway in low light using plain old Programmed Autoexposure.

Setting it yourself won't help (you'd just be setting it to what the Autoexposure would use anyway if you used Av mode with the smallest f/stop number in low light).

Indoor lighting is very dim to a camera. Usually, at best, you'll be looking at an Exposure Value of around 6.

That means, af full zoom (where your maximum available aperture is f/3.5, at ISO 400, your shutter speeds will most likely be down to around 1/20 to 1/25 second. If lighting is lower (around an EV of 5), then you may not be able to get shutter speeds much above about 1/10 second or so at ISO 400.

That's just too slow. You'll need an absolutely motionless camera and subject to pull off any shots like that.

Even at ISO 400, you may not be able to get a lot of keeprs. So, take lots of photos to increase your percentage of keepers (continuous mode can help, since chances are, one photo in a burst will be less blurry than others if you're very careful about smoothly squeezing the shutter button).

A tripod is probably going to be needed (IS will help, but it can't work miracles).

Keep in mind that the "rule of thumb' for hand holding a camera is 1/focal length. So, at 300mm (equivalent), you'd want shutter speeds of around 1/300 second (camera shake is amplifed as more zoom is used). Sorry, but you're far exceeding the design limits of stabilization, even at ISO 400 without a tripod. You might be able to pull it off at ISO 400 with IS if the lighting is up to around an EV of 6, *and* if you're very good. But, I'd use a tripod or monopod at ISO 400 with IS off.

Then, clean up the images later using a popular tool like Neat Image or Noiseware

Now, you *can* try to deliberately underexpose a photo to get even faster shutter speeds (by setting Exposure Compensation to a -EV value). But, that increases noise even more (just as if you used an even higher ISO speed). So, a properly exposed ISO 400 is probably your best bet, using a tripod with IS turned off.

Feel free to try some shooting at ISO 200, but lighting probably won't be good enough (check your shutter speeds to see what you're getting).

Existing light shooting normally requires both higher ISO speeds, and a bright lens. A DSLR with a bright prime is your best bet for indoor photos without a flash.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2005, 11:22 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
jfrebel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 5
Default

hi! well rats! i don't have a DSLR, that's a dream camera, that is well beyond my means. i'll have to do what i can with this one. maybe the fuji f10 is what i need but it doesn't have near the zoom, so i couldn't get a claer shot from the bleachers. i guess i will have to wait until they come out with a mega-zoom point n' shoot with very good iso all the way up to 1600. maybe in a few years. sigh.
jfrebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2005, 11:40 PM   #6
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

It's probably going to be tough, but you may be able to get some keepers if you take lots of shots (continuous mode can help that). Perhaps lighting will be very good (not likely to be higher than around an EV of 6 a school gym, but you never know, and it may be a bit brighter). If it's up to an EV of 7, you may be in better shape (more keepers)..

I've gotten quite a few keepers in low light shooting indoors with a little pocket camera I've got at ISO 200 or so using shutter speeds of 1/15 to 1/20 second (at the wider end of the lens). But, I'm very careful about controlling breathing, and my "trigger finger" when taking the shots. Heck, I've got some nice hand held photos at 1/8 second (but, there are a lot of blurry ones for every good one, especially with a non-stationary subject).

You do have the benefit of IS, so that can help if you're real good about holding a camera steady and squeezing the shutter button with camera shake in mind. But, at full zoom, even with IS, it will probably be pretty hard to do at ISO 200 unless lighting is better than I think it would be.

Hardly any movement can spoil a shot, too when you get down to shutter speeds as slow as you're likely to have (and even a tripod won't help subject movement).

I sometimes shoot at ISO 200 and use around -0.3 to -0.6 exposure compensation (deliberately underexposing that much, which puts effective ISO speed (from a shutter speed and noise perspective) somewhere between ISO 200 and ISO 400 after you brighten the images back up again with software. But, the results are "iffy" using that technique (if you underexpose more than you think, it's pretty hard to get any detail back, as the noise can get bad).

See how it goes, but take *lots* of photos to increase your percentage of keepers, and try not to use any more zoom than you have to (as you're going to be exceeding the design limits of IS if you try to use full zoom indoors). Some users can hold a camera steadier than others. So, practice at it and see how good you can do.


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2005, 11:57 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
jfrebel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 5
Default

thanks for the tips. hey do you have any guess about when they will start coming out with point n' shoot mega zooms with good iso? i know the technolgy is out there is by evidence of the fugi f10, so i wonder when they will put that technology in the mega-zooms? do you think they'll do this with in five years? i sure hope so.
jfrebel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 26, 2005, 12:10 AM   #8
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

jfrebel wrote:
Quote:
thanks for the tips. hey do you have any guess about when they will start coming out with point n' shoot mega zooms with good iso? i know the technolgy is out there is by evidence of the fugi f10, so i wonder when they will put that technology in the mega-zooms? do you think they'll do this with in five years? i sure hope so.
Fuji has some new ultra-zoom models they've announced with higher ISO speed ability. Here's an example:

Fujifilm S5200

But, I don't know how well it will perform. I doubt it will be quite as good as the F10 from a noise perspective (which isn't bad at ISO 800, with ISO 1600 "pushing it" unless viewing sizes are kept small). We'll just need to wait and see. Perhaps I'll be pleasantly surprised. But, these models don't have the stabilized lens of your Canon.

If shooting indoors without a flash is a big priority, I'd budget for something like the Konica-Minolta Maxxum 5D, and find some bright primes to go with one. Then, you'd have higher ISO speeds (up to 3200), and stabilization for every lens. It's selling for $799 (body only) right now.

But, lenses can cost you (not to mention size and weight if you want something brighter), depending on your needs. The used market is pretty good right now for Minolta glass, though (but, that may change quickly now that the 5D is shipping, since demand will probably be much higher).


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 26, 2005, 12:43 AM   #9
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

P.S.

I plan on buying either the Konica-Miniolta 5D or 7D myself soon, and I did manage to find a few good deals on lenses lately (the used market is still pretty good). So far, I've bought a Minolta 28mm f/2, 50mm f/1.7, 100mm f/2, 135mm f/2.8, 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5; Tamron 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5, 35-105mm f/2.8.

I shot with the 35-105mm f/2.8 today (we had a big party) using ISO 800 film in an old Maxxum 7000 I bought to get a lens (but even shootng wide open at f/2.8 with some light coming in through windows, shutter speeds were a bit "iffy" without a flash in some areas). For indoor shooting, a brighter prime would be preferred.

I paid $299 for the brighter 100mm f/2 (used at http://www.adorama.com). That would give you a 35mm equivalent focal length of 150mm on a 5D (since the sensor is smaller than 35mm film, you multiply the actual focal length by 1.5x to get the 35mm equivalent focal length). So, your lenses appear to be longer on a DSLR versus a 35mm film SLR.

I got the 135mm f/2.8 for less ($119.95 from the used department at B&H). It's not as bright as the 100mm f/2 (which would give you shutter speeds twice as fast for any given ISO speed shooting wide open).

But, with stabilization and higher ISO speeds, a 135mm f/2.8 would probably do the trick (working out to a 35mm equivalent focal length of about 200mm on a 5D after the 1.5x crop factor), and it's smaller and lighter compared to any of the f/2.8 zooms that have this focal length available.

That's nowhere near as long as your Canon, but it may be a good compromise for that type of event (especially since you could go to even higher ISO speeds when needed). So, a 5D with a used lens like that would get you in more appropriate gear for indoor events for under $1k (keeping in mind that Depth of Field will be shallow at wider apertures with a DSLR). But, good deals on lenses are probably going to be further in between now that the 5D is shipping (KM plans on manufacturing 50,000 of these cameras per month).

Keep an eye out for Steve's review of the KM 5D (the review is in progress, and it should be posted soon).

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 26, 2005, 12:52 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
jfrebel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 5
Default

well right now i will have to stick with what i have. since i just put down $500 for this canon, i won't be able to get what your're talking about for a while. i'll do what i can with this camera for now, i'll save up and maybe by next year i can go with something like what you are talking about. who knows though, there may be something better by then, you never know
jfrebel is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 1:46 AM.