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Old Sep 2, 2004, 9:18 AM   #1
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Steep learning curve with this camera. Would like to hear from experienced users re. best overall settings for indoor/no flash usage. What I've done with settings still gives too slow a shutter speed, even @ ISO 400. Thanks in advance....
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Old Sep 2, 2004, 12:02 PM   #2
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Well, a typical home interior (with lights on), has an EV (Exposure Value) of around 6 (this is how light is measured). Lighting will vary from home to home though.

See this table to get an idea of shutter speeds you'll have in different lighting. It's based on ISO 100; so each time you double the ISO speeds, you can use shutter speeds twice as fast.

http://home.earthlink.net/~terryleed...tes/tables.htm

So, at ISO 400, shooting at full wide angle (where the Autoexposure will be able to select the widest available aperture of f/2.8 ), you should be able to get shutter speeds up to around 1/30 second. This is about right for a hand held shot.

The "rule of thumb" is shutter speeds of 1/focal length or faster to prevent blur from camera shake. So, if you're shooting at full wide angle (28mm equivalent focal length on your 7HI), you'd want shutter speeds of 1/28 second or faster. Now, this is assuming that your subject is stationary (versus a moving person, since you'll get motion blur from subject movement).

If you use zoom, shutter speeds will be slower (because less light reaches the sensor through the lens when using zoom). Also, your shutter speeds would need to be faster as more zoom is used (since the extra magnification also magnifies camera shake). So, you'll want to try and stay on the wide angle end of the lens; carefully squeezing the shutter button as to not cause enough camera shake for blur.

Chances are, the Autofocus Algorithms are already using f/2.8 (the largest available aperture) anyway at full wide angle. So, camera settings won't help. You could try to shoot in aperture priority mode -- forcing the camera to use f/2.8 (but I don't think it will make any difference in lower light -- since the autoexposure should already be selecting the largest available aperture in these conditions).

So, if you really need faster shutter speeds, you'll need to go with ISO 800 instead (which will have extremely high noise). Even at ISO 400, most users find noise to be objectionable.

So, I'd consider using the flash (and buying an external flash). Shutter speeds are not critical using flash (since the flash itself has the effect of freezing the action).

In the meantime, try software to reduce the appearance of noise if you need to use higher ISO speeds:

Noise Ninja: http://www.picturecode.com

Neat Image: http://www.neatimage.com

Noiseware: http://www.imagenomic.com/ (this one is free)

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Old Sep 2, 2004, 12:55 PM   #3
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ackman wrote:
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Steep learning curve with this camera. Would like to hear from experienced users re. best overall settings for indoor/no flash usage. What I've done with settings still gives too slow a shutter speed, even @ ISO 400. Thanks in advance....
Not to discount what Jim has said...lock your camera onto ISO 100 & get a tripod. I've taken thousands of ambient light indoors images this way. Also set your display priority to display vs exposure. In low light, the camera will go into a B&W "night vision" that lets you compose in almost total darkness (it still takes the image in color, BTW).
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Old Sep 2, 2004, 2:23 PM   #4
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Thanks to JimC for that detailed post and Kalypso's suggestions: appreciate the time and consideration. I'm not a tripod guy unless I'm doing marco work. Still have a 35mm Leica mindset, where I use to take pride and boast 'bout my clear and detail images in low light at very slow shutter speeds. This was helped bya tripod of the human dynamic: elbow against a stationary object, neck strap tightened to a triangle shape and a long exhale. As a newbie to this cameraI would like to shoot at ISO 100 .
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