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04-14-2013, 08:40 PM   #1
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Shake Reduction Vs. Image Quality

I was taking pictures for our school's softball team recently. As I always leave the shake reduction on since I got it last November, and others in Canon talking about if image stabilization would lower the quality of pictures, I am wondering if turning the SR off would improve the image quality a little bit since SR would not be that magical if I am taking pictures of moving objects, plus the shutter speed is already at 1/1000 or faster? Have anyone in the forum done a test like that?

Thanks everyone.

04-14-2013, 08:51 PM   #2
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I am uploading two of the pictures I took for the first time. Hopefully this one will work. 1/1000s f6.3 ISO 400 80mm w/ Pentax-F 80-200mm



04-14-2013, 09:00 PM   #3
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Moving subject or not doesn't really matter with SR as long as the camera is (supposed to be) stationary. SR is to stabilize YOU, not the subject. If you are panning as you take the shot, it would be better to leave SR off, otherwise leave it on as long as you are shooting handheld. At 1/1000s and up, it may not matter, but isn't really hurting either. As a general rule, don't listen to anything Canon shooters tell you unless they are actual pros.

BTW, your shots look great, no problems there...
04-14-2013, 09:09 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
BTW, your shots look great, no problems there...
+1 love the first one, doesn't get much better.

The only thing I'll add is that there is a possibility of shooting before the SR has 'locked in', in which case you will get a noticeable blur. But you would see that easily if it was happening to you. I still pull the trigger a little too quick sometimes and ruin a shot because of it. But from your images, it does not look like that's an issue for you.

04-14-2013, 09:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by 15anthony15 Quote
I was taking pictures for our school's softball team recently. As I always leave the shake reduction on since I got it last November, and others in Canon talking about if image stabilization would lower the quality of pictures, I am wondering if turning the SR off would improve the image quality a little bit since SR would not be that magical if I am taking pictures of moving objects, plus the shutter speed is already at 1/1000 or faster? Have anyone in the forum done a test like that?

Thanks everyone.
I think your theory is correct which is why my "sports" user defined preset in my K-5 has shake reduction turned off. At 1/1000 SR is not going to offer a benefit and can only cause a problem IMHO. I've had a few weirdly blurred shots taken at very fast shutter speeds in the past which I now attribute to SR moving the sensor as the camera captured the image.

Question is where the cross over is? My guess is ~1/600 but that could be totally incorrect
04-14-2013, 09:23 PM   #6
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That second shot is mighty fine. Lots of happiness there, certainly one for the portfolio.
First one is good, a little highlight management and it will be a little better.

The Canon IS system is different, so consider those comments to be out of scope. I disable IS on my Canon lens when shooting sports as it delays the corresponding action in the viewfinder just enough to hinder anticipation. For quick moving sports like soccer that I aim to capture at 1/1500, I've never noticed any improvement in image quality with it activated.

M
04-14-2013, 09:25 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
The Canon IS system is different, so consider those comments to be out of scope. I disable IS on my Canon lens when shooting sports as it delays the corresponding action in the viewfinder just enough to hinder anticipation.
Hmmm...that explains the comment by the Canon person -- Pentax SR doesn't work like that...
04-14-2013, 09:59 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Moving subject or not doesn't really matter with SR as long as the camera is (supposed to be) stationary. SR is to stabilize YOU, not the subject. If you are panning as you take the shot, it would be better to leave SR off, otherwise leave it on as long as you are shooting handheld. At 1/1000s and up, it may not matter, but isn't really hurting either. As a general rule, don't listen to anything Canon shooters tell you unless they are actual pros.

BTW, your shots look great, no problems there...
Thanks for your advice. Anf for sure, I won't take any advice from not-pro Canon users haha.

04-14-2013, 10:01 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
+1 love the first one, doesn't get much better.

The only thing I'll add is that there is a possibility of shooting before the SR has 'locked in', in which case you will get a noticeable blur. But you would see that easily if it was happening to you. I still pull the trigger a little too quick sometimes and ruin a shot because of it. But from your images, it does not look like that's an issue for you.
Thanks for loving my pictures.

I just read a couple of posts and people mentioned the correct way to use SR is to wait until the hand sign in the viewfinder is lighted. I don't know if that is the issue or is my out-of-focus problem. But I will turn SR off for one game next time to see some comparison.
04-14-2013, 10:04 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I think your theory is correct which is why my "sports" user defined preset in my K-5 has shake reduction turned off. At 1/1000 SR is not going to offer a benefit and can only cause a problem IMHO. I've had a few weirdly blurred shots taken at very fast shutter speeds in the past which I now attribute to SR moving the sensor as the camera captured the image.

Question is where the cross over is? My guess is ~1/600 but that could be totally incorrect
Sure I will turn SR off next time because to get a not-blurring photo, 1/800 is necessary for softball.
04-14-2013, 10:10 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
That second shot is mighty fine. Lots of happiness there, certainly one for the portfolio.
First one is good, a little highlight management and it will be a little better.

The Canon IS system is different, so consider those comments to be out of scope. I disable IS on my Canon lens when shooting sports as it delays the corresponding action in the viewfinder just enough to hinder anticipation. For quick moving sports like soccer that I aim to capture at 1/1500, I've never noticed any improvement in image quality with it activated.

M
Thanks. I will turn it off next time just to see what's up.

And I am wondering how would you suggest for "highlight management"? I am currently still using Lightroom instead of Photoshop cuz I have the habit (maybe terrible) of cropping photos instead of using PS to highlight the stuff. Like this one it was at 80mm, but at the left side of the catcher is actually our coach who almost blocked my whole picture but good thing was I moved a little. Thanks ahead for your advice.
04-14-2013, 11:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by 15anthony15 Quote
how would you suggest for "highlight management"
Lightroom is great for this. Your capture was well metered; the bright white uniforms and glare of the sun off the facemask not to mention the neon pink all make this on the hot side.

In the Develop module hold down the option/alt key and find a balance among the Exposure, Highlights, and Shadows sliders. Hots spots will appear with the key held down. You can also use the Whites and Blacks to set the points.

Then tweak things more with the tone curves. To cool down glare in specific areas--her right shoulder, the catcher's helmet and left shoulder, you can use the adjustment brush. There are reduce glare brush presets out there. Essentially you want to be meticulous about the degree of negative exposure & contrast so things don't get grey. Negative clarity can help as can upping the saturation but it is a personal aesthetic call at this point. It is better to go easy than being overactive with the brush.

It's a nicely framed shot and a good one--I like how level you were with the action! It is a shame that the people in the background kill the isolation. That's totally typical for most sports venues--the backgrounds are way too busy and there is really little you can do about it, except maybe shoot at f2.8-f4 with a $2300 Canon 70-200 MK2 (IS aside) which is amazingly sharp at those apertures.

The second one is really fine because (beyond the emotions captured) the background is semi-uniform and diffused enough to not distract. Very well done with the shooting perspective.

M
04-15-2013, 12:44 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
Lightroom is great for this. Your capture was well metered; the bright white uniforms and glare of the sun off the facemask not to mention the neon pink all make this on the hot side.

In the Develop module hold down the option/alt key and find a balance among the Exposure, Highlights, and Shadows sliders. Hots spots will appear with the key held down. You can also use the Whites and Blacks to set the points.

Then tweak things more with the tone curves. To cool down glare in specific areas--her right shoulder, the catcher's helmet and left shoulder, you can use the adjustment brush. There are reduce glare brush presets out there. Essentially you want to be meticulous about the degree of negative exposure & contrast so things don't get grey. Negative clarity can help as can upping the saturation but it is a personal aesthetic call at this point. It is better to go easy than being overactive with the brush.

It's a nicely framed shot and a good one--I like how level you were with the action! It is a shame that the people in the background kill the isolation. That's totally typical for most sports venues--the backgrounds are way too busy and there is really little you can do about it, except maybe shoot at f2.8-f4 with a $2300 Canon 70-200 MK2 (IS aside) which is amazingly sharp at those apertures.

The second one is really fine because (beyond the emotions captured) the background is semi-uniform and diffused enough to not distract. Very well done with the shooting perspective.

M
I am getting my Tamron 70-200mm soon so hopefully I can kill the background next time when I am shooting a run.

Your advices are really really precious. My friend told me to be cautious about the Whites and Blacks but I forgot it occassionally. I knew about the tone curve, but I never knew we can use that trick in Lightroom, thanks, just tried it.

Actually I shot around 200 last weekend and I only picked 6 that is acceptable (including bad framing, lens(like 80mm cannot hold a whole person at the 3rd base), out of focus, stupid coach on the way, and continuous shooting). People said you will have a higher success percentage after practice so I will try my best. Softball - a set on Flickr
04-15-2013, 01:20 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Pentax SR doesn't work like that...
Don't tell the Canon guys, but ours is better, IMHO that is.
04-15-2013, 08:02 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by 15anthony15 Quote
People said you will have a higher success percentage after practice
It does take a lot of practice. Took me about three years of weekly shooting to sharpen my reflexes and anticipation skills. But you've got a really good eye, so it's more a matter of repetition and honing technique. If you find yourself really enjoying sports shooting and doing it a lot, start saving up your money as you'll grow out of your current equipment. You'll have to add another zero to your budgeting for good long lenses and a high performance body.

M
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