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TriPod and Flash question
Hi there,.

I am just getting started, and want to seek suggestions here:.

Currently I own Canon xTi + 50mm f/1.8 + 17/40 f/4L + 70/200 f/4L.

My main subjects are:.

- kids (candid shots)- family photo (posted shots)- kids sports (baseball, soccer)- school events (field trip, performance etc)- travel photos (landscape, buildings etc).

I feel the xTi is quite noisy when taking picutre on high ISO. I am seeking a solution for shooting at low ISO in low light condition. Given that I can spent about $500 on equipment, what would be your suggestion a Tripod or external flash?.

Thanks..

Comments (13)

Zheng wrote:.

Given that I can spent about $500 on equipment, what would be yoursuggestion a Tripod or external flash?.

No brainer, get a flash and tripod. Flash is most likely more important to your situation, but a tripod would also be useful. Get a 430EX, and with the money left over buy a half decent tripod (around $200 should do it)..

On to your types of shots:.

- kids (candid shots).

Definitely flash. If you need a tripod to keep the camera steady, then you are already at a speed where the kids will be just a blur. You need more light!.

- family photo (posted shots).

Posed photos? If you are going to be in it a tripod is useful. Regardless, a flash (or two or three...) is useful to get the light where you want it..

- kids sports (baseball, soccer).

Neither tripod or flash will help much..

- school events (field trip, performance etc).

Flash. Same reason as candid, plus do you really want to haul the tripod around?.

- travel photos (landscape, buildings etc).

Neither. I like to travel light..

You can drag a tripod around, but you won't be allowed to use it inside many buildings, and even on sidewalks in touristy areas. There are other ways to keep a camera steady (bean bag, string monopod, leaning against a wall, etc), and of course there are IS lenses..

You can bring along a flash but it won't help you capture the ambience of the place. If I need fill flash I just use the pop-up..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #1

I would vote for the flash. on indoors low light shots..

Also you mentioned nloise make sure that you exposure is correct. nothing gets you noise faster that underexposing your shots. you simpl,y do notend up with enough image data to keep the noise low. if you are underexposing can be checked by using a histogram. you camera has one to see the taken pics. make sure that the wiggly line(the histogram) touches the floor of the histogram as far right as possible but not touching right wall first..

The histogram is a 3 sided box with the open side facing up. the vertical left wall is the dark side limit and the vertical right wall is the highlight limit..

In use the histigram after the shot should have a wiggelly line between the 2 vertical sides. idea is to have the line hit the floor of the histogram before it hits either wall. hiting the left wall can be tolerated and sometime cannot be avoided. but hitting the right wall is to be avoided at all costs. if the line hits the right wall you have blown the highlights somewhere in the picture. ANY HIGHLIGHTS BLOWN CANNOT BE RECOVERED.

No postprocessing is to bring them back..

The phrase "expose to the right" means shoot the scene with an exposure that puts the line in the histogram as close as possible to the right wall but does not touch it before the line hits the floor. this exposure puts as much data in the sensor as possible without causing an overload and blowing the highlights. upon returning to the pc and after downloading the picture may seem somewhat bright, (this is the effect of exposing to the right), this can corrected by simply lowering the brightness of the overall scene. the simplest way of doing this is to use auto levels in pe or csx. or the use of other adjustments...

Comment #2

GaryDeM wrote:.

Hiting the left wall canbe tolerated and sometime cannot be avoided. but hitting the rightwall is to be avoided at all costs. if the line hits the right wallyou have blown the highlights somewhere in the picture. ANYHIGHLIGHTS BLOWN CANNOT BE RECOVERED..

Hitting the left wall can mean leaving shadows too dark. ANY LOST SHADOW DETAIL CANNOT BE RECOVERED..

OK, I'm done with shouting..

The point is that you need to figure out what you want to capture. You are always going to lose something. Sometimes you'll lose more shadow detail and blow less highlights, other times you'll blow more highlights and get more detail in the shadows..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #3

In any photo instructions or advice I have ever seen the emphasis is on avoiding blowing the highlights. the shadows can sometimes be recovered during pp, but the highlights never..

If you can find instructions that state one sahould blow the highlights so as to see the shadows, and that is the only image and you are not combining the image with others in some way, then I would like you to tell me where. and I am not speaking of hdr, in which the -EV shots or shots will blow highlights trying to get the shadows...

Comment #4

Thank you!this is really detail and helpful info..

Any specific suggestion on "half-decent" tripod?.

Thanks again..

Comment #5

GaryDeM wrote:.

In any photo instructions or advice I have ever seen the emphasis ison avoiding blowing the highlights. the shadows can sometimes berecovered during pp, but the highlights never..

If the shadows are black you will not recover them. It's the same as if the highlights are white..

It all depends on what you are trying to capture..

If you are trying to shoot something where you really want the detail in the shadow, then highlights be damned. If the sky in the background, through the window, or whatever is blown, so be it..

If you are trying to shoot something where you really want the detail in the highlights, then shadows be damned, they'll all be black..

Usually we want something in-between, and we'll lose some shadow and some highlights..

Photography is all about tradeoffs. Highlights vs. shadows are just one of those tradeoffs..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #6

Zheng wrote:.

Any specific suggestion on "half-decent" tripod?.

Depends on what you want and how you expect to use it. Here's the high end of your price range (assuming you are also getting a flash):.

Http://www.bhphotovideo.com/...en_Manfrotto__055XPROB_Tripod_Legs_Black_.html.

You can go cheaper with shorter, less adjustable legs, or a 3-way head instead of a ballhead..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #7

A tripod allows you to take longer exposures, a flash adds light. Both can be useful ways to deal with not having enough light..

With landscapes you may want a smaller aperture to increase depth of field. flash isn't real useful in many landscape scenarios. If you want silky water in a waterfall, flash won't help at all..

Other times, like interior "people" shots, at parties and gatherings of various sorts, you need the speed of a fast exposure and the extra light of flash, perhaps bounced, etc. Tripods aren't real handy in crowds and often not permitted...

Comment #8

Zheng wrote:.

My main subjects are:.

- kids (candid shots)- family photo (posted shots)- kids sports (baseball, soccer)- school events (field trip, performance etc)- travel photos (landscape, buildings etc).

Possibly #2 and #5 won't likely require too fast of a shutter other than making sure you have it match appropriately to the focal length, so a tripod and ambient light could work....or an IS Based lens..

I feel the xTi is quite noisy when taking picutre on high ISO..

Are you shooting RAW or jpeg? where is your sharpening set at and at what ISO is high to you?.

I am.

Seeking a solution for shooting at low ISO in low light condition.Given that I can spent about $500 on equipment, what would be yoursuggestion a Tripod or external flash?.

A good external flash would be the way I would go for now. Flash photography takes some practice, but in the end, will give you good results. Do read up on it though as to not get frustrated and better understand the variables. It will help you get the desired results vs just a flash-like photograph..

Here's a quick sample of a 40D and 580ex bare flash on a cloudy day.http://www.pbase.com/image/98589497.

Thanks.

TimNW Columbus/Dublin, Ohiohttp://www.pbase.com/pdqgp..

Comment #9

Zheng wrote:.

Thank you!this is really detail and helpful info..

Any specific suggestion on "half-decent" tripod?.

Thanks again.

Here is a link to a half decent tripod made by velbon.

Http://www.bhphotovideo.com/...lbon_SHERPA200RF_Sherpa_200RF_Tripod_Legs.htmlFUJI FINEPIX S100FS,FUJI FINEPIX S9000http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=12031129733..

Comment #10

Thank you!.

Since I took people shots way more than landscape, I probably get flash first...

Comment #11

While shooting at 800 or 1600, 400D seems pretty noisy. I do use RAW most of the time..

And why shooting at ISO higher than 400, I usually give minimum shapening to avoid exagerate the noise, when shooting at 800 or 1600, most of the time I would use NoiseNinja to de-noise..

Does this seem correct approach?..

Comment #12

I own a 40D so keep in mind I don't have first hand expereince with the 400D. However, I can review the photos Phil has here to give my opinion later..

I have "heard" the 400D is noisier, but again, only what I've read and heard about it..

Your approach is good. I tend to use zero in camera sharpening. I usually shoot RAW too..

DPP is what I use to reduce Chroma Noise and then remove lumen. noise with Noise Ninja in Photoshop..

I have some high ISO shots here for you to view and compare:http://www.pbase.com/.../gallery_camera_13_come_see_what_the_canon_40d_can_do.

Overall though, you have a good procedure..

Zheng wrote:.

While shooting at 800 or 1600, 400D seems pretty noisy. I do use RAWmost of the time..

And why shooting at ISO higher than 400, I usually give minimumshapening to avoid exagerate the noise, when shooting at 800 or 1600,most of the time I would use NoiseNinja to de-noise..

Does this seem correct approach?.

TimNW Columbus/Dublin, Ohiohttp://www.pbase.com/pdqgp..

Comment #13

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