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Old Jul 27, 2004, 10:46 PM   #1
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and don't tell me to get a dSLR - it's too expensive - the S1 was almost at the upper end of my budget.

in many situations, even if I stop down the aperture to F/2.8 (or F/3.1 cause I'm sometimes using telephoto), I have to use ISO 400, and even at a 1/4" shutter speed the pics are still underexposed sometimes. I seem to be making some of my friends be wary of me with my camera, cause I'm having to take so many pics of them cause 99.999% of them don't turn out. I don't want to use the flash, cause it would either unduly surprise them in an unpleasant way, or they are too far away for the flash to work properly.

Are there any suggestions for how to get better pics? I could try taking them in daylight, but in most situations they don't want me taking pictures of them, and I think it's because I've tried to take so many because my pics haven't turned out.

Oh, and getting a Kodak DSC SLR/c or a Canon EOS 1D Mark II or a Canon EOS 1Ds with an F/1.0 100mm lens is not an option.
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Old Jul 27, 2004, 11:45 PM   #2
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Here are some answers, and you may not like them...

Your pictures are grainy because you are using ISO 400, which aplifies the signal entering the CCD and therefore produces more noise. They are blurry because it sounds like you are handholding the camera, and at shutter speeds slower than 1/60th of a second, this is not a good idea. Even with IS, you can only handhold 1/30th of a second, I've never met anyone who can handhold 1/4th. Anyways, if you are still getting underexposed images, the room may be too dark to work without the flash.

So in short, you are most likely going to need to use the flash for the indoor pictures...

And getting a dSLR wont really help in this case....
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Old Jul 28, 2004, 4:56 AM   #3
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many of the pics are outdoor pictures at night, and the subject is probably over 25 to 30 feet away. Using a slave flash (the kind that fires off of the camera's on-board flash, considering it doesn't have a hot-shoe) is not an option, because I like to be considerate of the eyesight of the people nearby whose pictures I'm not taking, but are in such a position as to be seeing the flashbulb fire.

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about by underexposed, noisy, blurry pics.

Any suggestions on how to get better exposures in the same or comparable situations, for example 1/8th to 1/40th of the noise, a much greater dynamic range, comparable to using ISO 100 or ISO 50 in daylight with EV 0, a fast enough shutter speed for the active people's motion to be frozen assuming I'm handholding with IS turned on (although with subject motion IS wouldn't make a difference), and about 4 or 5 stops brighter, and enough depth of field so that everyone in each picture is sharply in focus, and including having the subjects that are overr 50 feet away from the camera be just as bright as the subjects that are less than 5 feet away from the camera?
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Old Jul 28, 2004, 10:51 AM   #4
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At that type of distance, you are going to need an ISO a lot faster than 400, 800 may do.

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Any suggestions on how to get better exposures in the same or comparable situations, for example 1/8th to 1/40th of the noise, a much greater dynamic range, comparable to using ISO 100 or ISO 50 in daylight with EV 0, a fast enough shutter speed for the active people's motion to be frozen assuming I'm handholding with IS turned on (although with subject motion IS wouldn't make a difference), and about 4 or 5 stops brighter, and enough depth of field so that everyone in each picture is sharply in focus, and including having the subjects that are overr 50 feet away from the camera be just as bright as the subjects that are less than 5 feet away from the camera?
What you are asking for here, outdoors at night, with no flash, is impossible...

To get lower noise you need a slower ISO, like 100. but then you need a slower shutter speed to get the same exposure as before. 4 times slower than the one at ISO 400. So the fast shutter speed is not an option either. And for the whole picture to bein focus, you need the aperture to be closed some, say about f/9.6. Which again will slow your shutter speed.

So.... What you need to do is rethink your options and not expect perfect pictures outdoors at night without a flash. It isn't possible, if youfind a way, let all of us here know.
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Old Jul 28, 2004, 3:40 PM   #5
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Look, my apologies if my sense of humor was a little "dry", the last time you asked for help in this area. However, I really don't think you'll find a solution that works well. You have to understand that there are limitations to what a given camera model can do.

In order for you to be able to get a compact model, with a long focal length lens, the manufacturers must use much smaller sensors. Otherwise, the camera and lens would need to be much larger and heavier. The smaller the sensor, the smaller the photosites for each individual pixel. These smaller photosites need more amplifcation of the signal from the light hitting them to produce a useable result. This amplifcation increases noise.

My only suggestion would be to try the tools I mentioned to you in my last post at this link, to see if they improve your results at higher ISO speeds. But, you have to realize that your camera has it's limitations. Again, my apologies if my sense of humor was a little "dry".

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...jump_to=155443


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Old Jul 28, 2004, 7:40 PM   #6
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Ok, i can't afford one now, but when do you think a full-frame dSLR will come out for under $1500 to $2000 that has a no more than 8 megapixel (I could be happy with 5 probably) sensor, and comes with a lens that will go to at least 400-500mm at full zoom with an aperture of, say, F/2.4 at telephoto, and assuming a wideangle in the 30s or 40s or so, an aperture of F/1.4 or something like that? Also I would prefer one that interchangeably uses DVD-RAM, DVD-R, and DVD+R (the 5" variety, not the mini 3" ones) for media storage. (or maybe it might cost as much as $2500).

Who's due (besides Kodak who has some 14-megapixel ones out, but ISO 6400 on those look bad and one reason I would want a full-frame sensor when I can afford a dSLR is so I can use ISO 6400 and have it look as good as ISO 50 or 100 does on my S1 IS)) to release a full-frame dSLR next?
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Old Jul 28, 2004, 8:23 PM   #7
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ISO 6400 by definition can NEVER look as good as any ISO 50 or 100 or even 400 for that matter, and definitely not at the price range you want to pay for it.
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Old Jul 28, 2004, 8:25 PM   #8
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Trust me, "it ain't gonna happen" (with the glass you're talking about).

Also, even ISO 3200 looks pretty bad (on the cameras that have it). Sorry, but you're not going to find ISO 3200 that looks as clean as your ISO 100.

As for the media, forget it. The DVD formats aretoo slow.

Getting back to the Glass. Have you priced lenses for SLR's lately? Remember, because the sensors are dramatically larger, the lenses are too.

First of all, you won't find a lens for an SLR that starts out in the 30-40mm range, and goes to 500-600mm. Sorry. You'll need multiple lenses. Also, you won't find a zoomlens that fast.

In longer focal lengths, even "Prime" (non zoom) lens that are bright (and I'm talking F/2.8 )can get pretty expensive -- especially if you want IS (Image Stabilization).

For example, the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens lists for$6,500.00, but you can find it discounted now for $3,899.95

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...202&is=USA

600mm with IS? Try $12,000.00 list price, and $7,199.95 discounted (and that's an f/4 lens):

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...153&is=USA

Look, about your lowest entry price for getting into a good DSLR, with relatively good noise characteristics, with relatively fast lenses with acceptable quality (that get close to the focal range of your Canon S1 IS),is probably something like the Canon EOS-10D, with theSigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX, and the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM lenses.

This camera, with it's 1.6x crop factor and lens combination, would give youa 35mm Equivalent focal range of around 38-320mm at f/2.8 (no stabilization of course).

If you shop carefully, you could buy this package (Camera + these two Sigma lenses) foraround $2,500.00

However, then you're back to having a depth of field problem (less of your image in focus, as you get further away from your focus point). Remember, Depth of Field is based on the actual focal length of the lens.

So, your little Canon S1 IS hasdramatically more depth of field, at a given 35mm equivalent focal length, focus distance and aperture, than you'll get from these lenses. That's because it's lens is *really* only 5.8–58mm (to give it a 35mm equivalent focal length of 38-380mm).



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Old Jul 31, 2004, 6:34 PM   #9
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The best you can do given the limitations of your hardware is to simply try and take the photos @ 400 ISO with f/2.8 and avoid using zoom (crop what you can instead). Try and take photos of your subjects only when they're standing in the brightest portions of light available. When using a high ISO, you can use one of several photo processing programs later to help reduce the noise level in the image.

You should also set restrictions on yourself. If you have access to a tripod (which you should for this style of photography) and there's minimal subject movement, you could get away with a 1/3 second shutter. If your subject is moving about bristly, you should use at least 1/30 to 1/60 second shutter. If this produces under exposed results, you'll need to do your best afterwards and process the images to come out brighter. The point is, don't try and get normal exposure by reducing shutter speed, even if your hand or tripod is as solid as a rock. If subjects are moving, that too will cause blur.

If you don't mind the sacrifice in resolution, your camera's movie mode can produce higher exposed results than what you would normally get taking still pictures. You can stack a set of frames to obtain an overall image. So if you have 15 frames with no movement, after you stack them the exposed result will improve greatly. There are some neat programs out there that can also help track subjects within a set of images, thus producing a higher grade stacked image.
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Old Jul 31, 2004, 11:41 PM   #10
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I'll have to try the movie trick.

Except, I would prefer at least 1024x768 or 1280x960 resolution for the shots.

Oh, would 640x480 look ok when printed as a 4x6? I don't want to see any grainyness (in this case I'm talking about pixellation, not noise) when I (which I don't normally do but would be mainly for "testing" purposes) view the print from 3 to 4 inches away from my face (or maybe 6 inches depending on how close my eyes can focus effectively). Would a 640x480 resolution be ok for something like that? (or is there such a thing as a 3x4 print?)
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