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05-29-2011, 08:17 AM   #1
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Noobiest Question Section

My question is noobier than most, bear with me.

I had the idea that I knew what I was doing, using aperture, shutter, combo priorities. While testing at home, I was able to get some good shots. Over the weekend, I was at church for my daughter.

Was a total disaster using the "manual" modes. The light was never enough to get a good shot, primarily due to blur.

At the end, I switched to sensitivity mode and set it to 3200 and then it went ok. That was the last 4 shots of the ceremony.

What do you guys suggest for low light situations where movement is expected?

05-29-2011, 08:33 AM   #2
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This question isn't nooby at all. This is a common problem for many including me.

For motion, I would use Tv mode and set the shutter speed to 1/40~1/50. This isn't fast enough for quick movements, but fast enough to capture enough. Then set the ISO high enough to compensate for that shutter speed.
05-29-2011, 08:48 AM   #3
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My process goes like this:

Set the ISO for the general conditions to get within the range of the camera
Set the aperture to what I need for the shot, depth of field, etc.
Set the shutter speed to get a good exposure

I started with film and I guess I still think of the ISO as the film speed. Inside a church the first thing I would do is see what ISO is needed to get 1/100 or 1/250 at say f/4 or f/5.6. Light will vary as you point at different things but if the ISO is set first you should be able to find a reasonable combination of aperture and speed that will work.

You have to remember to change the ISO as soon as you walk into different light though, by going outside for example. Just like you would change from daylight to indoor film when going inside.
05-29-2011, 09:04 AM   #4
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Thanks guys.

It all makes sense to me, and I thought I was doing that prior to the ceremony starting. I must have over-fiddled with stuff.

05-29-2011, 09:14 AM - 1 Like   #5
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This is a very good question indeed. I shot my nieces graduation last year, in the evening on the football field. I used everything prior to her appearing as an opportunity to get setup. Preparation is the key as jatrax and Jellyfish alluded to.
  • A fast shutter speed to freeze motion requires light.
  • A wide aperture to obtain light, results in a very thin depth of field.
  • So you are forced to a high iso to increase the sensor's sensitivity to light which results in noise.
  • So you need to set a range of ISO with a relative high top value.
  • You need to set the shutter speed just fast enough to freeze motion, while getting as much light as possible.
  • You need to stop down to get a reasonable depth of field, while still getting in sufficient light.

Its all a compromise - therefore the preparation gives you the experience with the opportunity to make the adjustments so your ready when the opportunity comes. Also some good noise reduction utilities do come in handy. Also, shooting in RAW helps you recover items and have a wider opportunity for adjustments.

05-29-2011, 11:31 AM   #6
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You'd have to post some particular pictures you weren't happy with to say what went wrong. It stands to reason that if, in manual mode, you had chosen the same ISO, aperture, and shutter speed that the camera chose, you should have had the same chance of success, and it would have been just luck of the draw if you happened to get a few better pictures when the camera chose those same settings. If you weren't choosing the same ISO, aperture, and shutter speeds, then maybe you can learn something from the camera.
05-29-2011, 12:17 PM   #7
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I understand Marc, and thanks. I didn't choose the same settings that the camera did. I chose my own. Stupid thing I did, naturally, was to test on non-moving targets while waiting, and thinking that the shutter speed was ok. My daughter wasn't running you know, just 'normal pace'

So, yes, I did learn from the camera, and I am sure I'll do better next time. It is just annoying.

05-31-2011, 09:49 AM   #8
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You also may be able to recover the darker images in post-processing. Even using the "auto correct" option in has been surprising sometimes. It also has an option in "curves" to adjust luminosity along various parts of the curve.

Would this situation be a good one for TAv of speed around 1/100 and Ap around 6 or so? Can EV +1 or +2 help here if your ISO range bumps up to 3200 or higher with the new sensor? That's what I'd be tempted to try.

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