Camera Shake

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by netronelson, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. netronelson

    netronelson
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    I have searched the forum for a thread about hints on avoiding camera shake, but couldn't find one...

    I've had my 350d for a few days now, fiddling around with the settings, reading the manual and snapping away at my desk and in my living room - but i'm amazed at how many shots are blurred or just rubbish... i didn't expect loads of keepers, but i'm finding it hard to get just one out...

    At first I snapped away merrily, then reviewed the pics and thought Oh, better get a tripod - which handily we have in the office, attached that, more shots, more review - oh. Maybe I need to use the timer so i'm not even touching the camera - snap - oh.

    I 'think' I get the 3 way logic of; fast shutter speed reduces camera shake, which needs more light (lower F-stop) and/or lower (100-200) ISO, (but having lower F-stop and iso = less depth of field:confused: )... but that's too many variables for a brand new budding photographer.

    Can anyone think of any basics i'm doing that I can eliminate and/or what is a good start point, eg, F5.6, ISO 200, 125 shutter = "average shooting conditions"...

    Cheers,

    Nelson.
     
  2. Gizmo 76

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    I know where you coming from because it was the same for me when I first got into the DSLR world.

    From what i've read and experienced so far, try and get you shutter speed up to the same as your focal length, so at the the long end of my 17-5Omm, I look to be around 1/50 and up on the shutter speed. Alot also depends how shakey you're yourself!?!

    Others my have have more experience and a better way of explaining it, and will no doubt be along shortly :D
     
  3. Tobers

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    Hi Nelson,

    To get a faster shutter speed, you need:

    1) higher ISO number (400, 800 etc) to get a faster shutter speed and/or
    2) larger (lower number e.g. f1.8, f2.8) aperture which lets more light in and/or
    3) a good tripod and/or
    4) a decent flash
    5) image stabilisation lens

    It's really about getting a balance of the above items. In some situations, you may not want to use a flash, dont have a tripod, and cant open the aperture any more, then you need to up the ISO.

    I'd be surprised if you were getting camera shake in normal light with the "P" or any of the "green/auto" settings.

    If you were indoors it would be understandable.

    Also, brace yourself when you take a pic, lean on something etc.

    Keep playing!
     
  4. Keyman

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    In an exact situation also, got a 350d few weeks back. I am almost deperate try to get it right ASAP and hope I am not doing something seriously wrong.

    I tried the above points (which are correct) and most of the times I struggle to get the correct shots
    1) too much wash out / exposure effect on too high ISO
    2) got a 50mm 1.8 early last week. This certainly get sharper images for relatively little £, but starting to find the shadow focusing depth a little hard to get right for beginner on portraits. It definitly helped on getting a lower f.
    3) At the moment considering buying one fom Jessop (one on offer mention in this forum)
    4) Got a sigma 500 super yesterday. Still spending a lot of time playing with it. Not sure if the TTL auto mode is doing what I need. Getting way over exposed when subject is close. Have to learn the properties of the flash.
    5) Yes got a IS 70-300 2nd hand too last week. IS is definitely impressive but expensive.

    My conclusion is that although the answers seem simple, it is still al lot of practicing (I am right in it). I also been advice to practice stand and hold.
    Still throwing away almost the same percentage of shots to when I had the camera in the first week. My answer for now, take many more and throw away most until I get better, lucky it is digital.:rolleyes:
     
  5. salubrious_k

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    Maybe you're being a bit too adventurous with your lowlight photography, and should just get out in the sunlight and takes some shots?

    Other suggestions (other than the excellent ones above) are to make sure you hold the camera securely and in a braced position, this can really help reduce camera shake. In a sense you are forming a tripod with your two arms and your head. I find sometimes I can take shots with my 100mm lens at about 1/50s and it not look too bad, try to practise a steady grip.
     
  6. bodoman

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    Apart from all the above good advice a further tip is once you have composed the shot, hold your breath as you press the shutter.
    ( not reccomended for long exposures though:eek: )
     
  7. Brammers

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    Nonsense! At 3200 maybe, but I've got some stunners in full colour at 1600. What high ISOs DO do is stress the importance of nailing the exposure - if you're just a fraction off then you're not going to be able to recover anything. Just added incentive to get your exposure right first time :p

    Center point focus, there's stronger focus algorithms in the center points. Half hold the shutter, achieve focus lock, then recompose. Make sure you're not on continuous autofocus. And practise, selective DoF is a skill you're going to need one day, get started now :)

    Do! Dunno if that one's any good, but a tripod is so useful :)

    You will overexpose when close because the flash simply can't throttle power down enough. It's not like a camera where you can change the exposure by 1/3 of a stop. The 500 can only go from full to 1/64th power. At close range 1/64 power is still plenty bright enough to entirely overexpose the frame.

    There are several solutions. The first is to artifically darken the image, either by using ND filters, closing the aparture right down, placing something over the flash head to dim it or (most usefully) by moving the flash further away from the subject.

    However, when you move the flash away, the camera also moves away. You can combat this by zooming more, but then you'll need an even higher shutter speed to combat the increased shake from the longer focal length. You also get all the different perspectives that a longer focal length brings with it.

    The solution now is to remove the flash from the hot shoe and trigger it remotely, either with a cable, or wirelessly. My Minolta has this built in so I'm not entirely sure about this next step, but I think that for a Canon you need one of these:

    http://www.jessops.com/Products/ProductDetail.aspx?SkuId=12775 for £150. There may be others. You can also use a cable if you're happy that way, again I've never had to play with this so you'll have to ask the Canon shooters.

    You can then place the flash anywhere you want and trigger it remotely, the camera will still calculate the exposure using TTL metering. Clever piece of kit :)

    Yes! It's great isn't it? I get it for free in all my lenses :p

    Yes, yes, yes!!! Check your breathing too. I dunno if you lift weights or shoot, but the technique is similar in both of these too. When you shoot you exhale, then take the shot. Your body is more stable immediately after it's exhaled.

    Another good technique (with subjects that aren't going to move) is to use the 2 second timer - I find I get a lot steadier results this way, probably because I'm not pushing down on the camera when it shoots.

    One final point, are you sure that you're not merely out of focus with a fair proportion of your shots?
     
  8. senu

    senu
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    Cant really add more to what's been said above .
    The 350D has very little shutter lag..cant be that

    With Specific reference to the 350D..
    Use P mode ( which allows a range of adjustments) without you having to bother about too many variables

    Which AF mode are you using?: ( One shot, AI servo AF or AI focus AF) . If you are shooting static objects One shot is the best way to capture fast
    If you cant get outdoor images, use the flash ( even for Fill in) and or tripod If you can
    Use ISO 400 ( the 350D has very little noise even at ISO 800) then less as you get "bolder"
    I take it you are using the kit lens?

    Have a look HERE for hints and tips on how to know the camera
    Lesson 16 has a bit more on low light photgraphy
     
  9. Pirate!!

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    Ahoy!

    Firstly, to help eliminate camera shake, you have to take into account your cameras crop factor in relation to SLR values. I believe the 350d has a 1.6x crop factor. So to start, if you were focusing at a distance of 100mm (check your distance mark on the lens), you would set the shutter speed to a minimum of 1/160 sec or 1.6x whatever the distance mark shows.

    Also, if using in sunny and/or bright light conditions, turn down the exposure value (EV) to around -1 or more if needed. This will also increase the shutter speed. You can experiment with this setting.

    Whilst adjusting ISO to a higher value will also increase shutter speed, personally I hate this method and will leave mine at 100 unless I've selected Auto ISO.

    Set you camera to Aperture Priority (A), and if you have the function, press the Auto Exposure (AE) button before taking the shot. This is in addition to manually adjusting the exposure value (EV) in (A) mode.

    Lowlight images mean slower shutter speed and possibly increasing ISO and increasing (EV) to say +1. You will need a tripod/monopod or a firm base to take slower shutter speed images.

    Another thought is to go onto eBay and search for old SLR lenses say around f1/8 or f2 and get an apropriate lens to camera adapter. Tricky to focus, zoom and adjust f-stop manually though for low-light moving subjects!
     
  10. netronelson

    netronelson
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    Thanks for the link - i'll check it out at home tonight.

    I was on AI Servo, since the book says that it then chooses which AI depending on subject, so i'll switch that to One Shot - looking back at my FlickR stuff I was on ISO 100, so i'll have a go with a higher ISO too.

    For the lens it's both the kit and the sigma 70-300 apo DG macro, same troubles with each... but i really should learn to walk before I can run!

    Breathing and holding are all fine, no arms length waving around going on there. More trial and error to come! let's see if I can get a better shooting ratio with the above...

    Any other feedback, all welcome!

    Nelson

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/netronelson/
     
  11. netronelson

    netronelson
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    Hooray! - Whacked the ISO up to 800 and got 10 minutes in the garden, seemed much easier. I think they are a touch over exposed if anything, but at least they aren't totally blurry... majority were fine too.

    That's more like it!

    Near
    [​IMG]

    Mid
    [​IMG]

    Far
    [​IMG]
     
  12. RimBlock

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    Ok,

    I would suggest......

    Find something to put the camera on (thick cloth on a brick wall with the camera on top), brace the camera by pushing down centrally over the flash housing (of course try to make sure the camera is on a flat base) and gentily push the shutter release. Take a picture of something with a bit of detail and do it on auto settings outside with plenty of light. You could take multiple shots by keeping the shutter button depressed and discard the first and last.

    After a couple of shots, take them back to your P.C. and run them through some software to sharpen them up. I generally found that with the 350D they tended to come out a bit soft without sharpening.

    If on full auto with lots of sunlight, outside, camera firmly braced the shots are coming out blurred then you most likely have an issue with the camera or lens. I would imagine this is not the case though due to the shots shown above.

    One thing I did when starting was to put the camera on auto, half press the shutter release and note the settings the camera recommended for ISO, Aperture, shutter speed, etc. I then switched to manual and used them as a starting point for fine tuning what I wanted to get from the camera.

    Keep raising the ISO as a last option, get the Apeture to the F-Stop you want to give you the depth of field you are after (use the DOF preview button to confirm). If it is too dark then start to lower the shutter speed. Fine tune it until you get either a light enough picture or your test shots become blurred. If there is still not enough light then start to up the ISO.

    On a sunny day you should have no problem getting resonable shots like the one posted above. Indoors, even with the light on it will be difficult. I could only just get a little detail pointing straight at the tv with the living room lights on... You really need a flash for indoors.

    Let the camera lead you on auto and then set the same settings in manual and fine tune. Remember, wasted shots cost nothing but a few seconds of time so try something out and delete, fine tune and delete. If you are not sure then keep it for P.C. review later and take another.

    Hope it helps a little.
    RB
     
  13. senu

    senu
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    Oh Hello RB.. Blast from the past.. :)
    How is your new life? your camera and posts have been quiet!
    Nice to have you back;)

    I guess the OP will use different methods till he feels he's cracked it but certainly the most recent images don't show any blur (although ISO 800 is a bit high for outdoor shots)

    The default settings in the Camera ( 350 .. even 30D on "Neutral/ Faithful) do tone down sharpening and until custom parameters are set USM in software is certainly a good idea but the kit lens itself is a bit soft anyway
    The initial complaint about that lens softness was that it lead to destructive oversharpening in software. As time went on it was clear that altering shooting parameters in camera was a good way to optimise for "sharp shooting"

    Sadly it is the quest for this elusive sharpness that keeps us going back to get costlier lenses!!
     
  14. loz

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    Looking quickly at those photos, and knowing the weather this week, I guess they were taken in reasonable sunlight.

    If so, I am unclear why you need to go as high as ISO800 to get a decent shutter speed to stop camera shake.

    Out in the garden this week in the sun you should be getting high enough speeds with ISO100, unless you are stopping down to very small apertures.
     

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