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pls help with settings - party tomorrow
OK, I just got a Canon 5S IS - everyone tells me I've got to use manual settings to get crisp images (mine have been wrong ISO and grainy on auto) - here's my situation. My daughter's b-day is tomorrow a.m. in a play place that is my worst nightmare - 20' + ceilings, kids in motion - any chance you can help with settings that might actually take crisp pictures while the kids are running around?.

Here are some pictures from the place before on my Fuji P&S - this is what inspired the upgrade in camera but now I'm struggling!.

Http://www.alexacorcoran.com/2007-12-15-UltimatePlay005.JPG.

Http://www.alexacorcoran.com/2007-12-15-UltimatePlay010.JPG.

Http://www.alexacorcoran.com/2007-12-15-UltimatePlay011.JPG.

Http://www.alexacorcoran.com/2007-12-15-UltimatePlay012.JPG.

Http://www.alexacorcoran.com/2007-12-15-UltimatePlay022.JPG.

Http://www.alexacorcoran.com/2007-12-15-UltimatePlay029.JPG.

Help - my worst nightmare. Do I need to go buy an external flash? ARGH - can I get good pics without a dSLR?.

Alexa..

Comments (6)

You don't have time to learn the basics of your camera and external flash in one day. Read the "getting started" portion of your camera manual. Set the camera on basic automatic operation and use the built in flash. You'll get pictures you'll find are not too bad for your first try. One thing you'll need, if you haven't bought it yet, is a larger memory card. Shoot a lot.

Oh, use the highest quality jpg setting...

Comment #1

Good advice above: you don;t have time to learn everything before tomorrow morning..

One suggestion - when you are using flash (which you'll have to if you don't want noisy pix and motion blur) try to take pictures of groups who are all a similar distance from the camera. Intensity of flash falls off fast with distance, so if you try to take a pic of a roomful of kids, the ones close to you will be too bright and the ones on the other side of the room will be too dark. It is physically impossible for all of a large scene with different bits at different distances from you to be equally exposed with a flash. In contrast if you get a group of kids and fill the frame they should be well exposed; or a close up of one or two on a bouncy castle, etc... but not 'here is the whole room in one go' shots. So get fairly close and fill the frame with your subjects..

Good luckMike..

Comment #2

There are a couple different ways I'd suggest you could set your camera up.

One way:.

Set dial to M ModeSet ISO to 400Set shutter speed to 1/125.

Set aperture to f/2.8 (note: when zooming lens, the aperture will "increase" to f/3.5)Raise the pop-up flash.

Second way:.

Set dial to Tv ModeSet ISO to 400Set shutter speed to 1/125Raise the pop-up flash.

From your Fuji pics:- looks like the place is fairly well lit- the 1/60th of a second shutter speed wasn't fast enough to "freeze" themoving kids.

If you put your Canon S5 on Full Auto, I would think the camera would default to a shutter speed of 1/60th and you'd get blurry pics like previously with the Fuji..

I suggest you "force" the camera to use a higher shutter speed by shooting in a mode that allows YOU to select the shutter speed. The only two modes that allow that are Manual Mode and Tv (Shutter-Priority) Mode..

Once you're there, take a few "test shots" comprised of both close-up shots and wide angle distant shots (subject more than 15ft or so away) - if the images look under-exposed then increase the ISO to 800..

ISO 400 (and thus of course ISO 800 as well) on the Canon S5 is going to be a little "noisy" (ie. grainy), but better a noisy pic than a blurry one and setting the ISO to 400 - the Fuji pics were at ISO 200 - allows you to set the shutter speed faster to 1/125th..

Good Day,Roonal.

'Money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes for an extravagant depression' by golf tournament sportscaster..

Comment #3

I say buy the 430 EX flash. Sure you won't have time to learn all there is to know about flash photography by tomorrow, but you don't need to. Leave the flash settings up to the camera, but give it a more powerful flash than the built in one to work with..

I like what Roonal said:.

Set dial to M ModeSet ISO to 400Set shutter speed to 1/125Set aperture to f/2.8 (note: when zooming lens, the aperture will"increase" to f/3.5)Raise the pop-up flash.

The 430 EX flash is powerful enough that you should be able to lower the ISO to 200 to reduce noise in the pictures..

Take some test shots tonight with the flash at ISO 100, 200, and 400 and look at them on your monitor to see what you think about the noise at the different ISO settings..

Roonal wrote:.

There are a couple different ways I'd suggest you could set yourcamera up.

One way:.

Set dial to M ModeSet ISO to 400Set shutter speed to 1/125Set aperture to f/2.8 (note: when zooming lens, the aperture will"increase" to f/3.5)Raise the pop-up flash.

Second way:.

Set dial to Tv ModeSet ISO to 400Set shutter speed to 1/125Raise the pop-up flash.

From your Fuji pics:- looks like the place is fairly well lit- the 1/60th of a second shutter speed wasn't fast enough to "freeze"themoving kids.

If you put your Canon S5 on Full Auto, I would think the camera woulddefault to a shutter speed of 1/60th and you'd get blurry pics likepreviously with the Fuji..

I suggest you "force" the camera to use a higher shutter speed byshooting in a mode that allows YOU to select the shutter speed. Theonly two modes that allow that are Manual Mode and Tv(Shutter-Priority) Mode..

Once you're there, take a few "test shots" comprised of both close-upshots and wide angle distant shots (subject more than 15ft or soaway) - if the images look under-exposed then increase the ISO to 800..

ISO 400 (and thus of course ISO 800 as well) on the Canon S5 is goingto be a little "noisy" (ie. grainy), but better a noisy pic than ablurry one and setting the ISO to 400 - the Fuji pics were at ISO 200- allows you to set the shutter speed faster to 1/125th..

Good Day,Roonal.

'Money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes for an extravagantdepression' by golf tournament sportscaster..

Comment #4

(Sorry for the repeat if you see this on Canon board, but I wanted to close the loop with you guys too)..

Hi there.

With all the partying (ha!) and the amount of pictures I took, I've been buried - and am just now getting around to thanking you and bringing closure to my question. Well, let's say that I got some good shots - and then... children moving down a slide at a rapid speed in a poorly lit room of moonbounces presented one of the greatest challenges EVER!.

I ended up:.

1) buying the external flash and returning it. I don't have $260 to spend right now and it was larger than the camera and really made it hard for me to use. I know it would have helped for the action, but I don't need it when I use the right settings for good light (or even my favorite, more interesting light). Is there any recommended external flash that's a bit smaller that will still work with the Canon S5?.

2) I did buy Noise Ninja and sort of love that. I need to get the profile for the S5 though - where can I get that? And, I bought the plug in for Photoshop (which I have) but could that also work for PElements? I use the latter for quick red eye fixes, so red eye and noise fix would be perfect..

In the end, I took - yes, you guys told me to take a lot - about 600 pictures over the weekend - and about 200 more this week. MANY at the party were blurry and horrible but some were wonderful, and I got the moment and can "tell the story" of the day, which is what I always want to do..

I haven't had a lot of time yet to go through and see the settings on the good ones, but I used the P setting a lot - with either ISO 80 or 100 - or ISO Auto. That really helped, especially in my favorite sun-stream lighting. I did manage to get to where I could take those indoor shots without a flash in some light - and I like a lot of them..

Now, I'm not a great photographer - much to learn which is my hope, but here are some that I really like from the 4-year old extravaganza this weekend. Was really trying to get more candids than posed:.

Http://www.alexacorcoran.com/Charlotte-Bday-Cakeface-crop.jpg.

Http://www.alexacorcoran.com/Charlotte-Bday-Smile-0376-crop.jpg (ISO 800 somehow, but I like the softness of it, actually).

Http://www.alexacorcoran.com/DigPics/IMG_0841-crnn.jpg.

Http://www.alexacorcoran.com/DigPics/IMG_0752-nn.jpg.

Http://www.alexacorcoran.com/DigPics/IMG_0672-nn.jpg.

Http://www.alexacorcoran.com/DigPics/IMG_0856-nn.jpg.

Http://www.alexacorcoran.com/DigPics/IMG_0870-nn.jpg (too much light but I like the moment).

Http://www.alexacorcoran.com/DigPics/IMG_0983-nn.jpg.

Thanks again for EVERYONE'S advice. I'm going out now to buy some books, use the websites recommended, and even see if I can find a local course. I've got the bug - and really want to get better..

Alexa.

P.s. In case you were a part of my total indecision on cameras, I'm sticking with the Canon 5S. The usability was great for me this weekend - and, sorry to say to those who don't like it, the video was awesome. The stereo sound and zoom function really made for some great moments...

Comment #5

It's too late to help, but the best luck I had with P&S digital cameras in situations like that was to set it in manual mode at the hyperfocal distance, and then everything within a certain range is in focus. (See http://www.dofmaster.com/hyperfocal.html).

I have a predecessor to your camera (S1 IS) and set up this way everything from roughly 5' to infinity was in focus, and all I had to worry about was exposure. I took halloween photos in near darkness and had them come out beautifully..

What's more, in manual focus mode there's much less (almost no) shutter lag..

It's not a panacea, and the first time you try it's a leap of faith, but the proof was in the results..

HTH, Jeff..

Comment #6

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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