canon s2 is/general photography help!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jmc, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. jmc

    jmc TPF Noob!

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    Greetings!

    Last year I was given a Canon S2 IS for christmas as a gift. It was somewhat of a mix up, as I felt it was a little "too much" camera for my needs.

    Anyway, I told myself I would get used to it and kept it.

    I have taken some really great photos with it, especially outside. However I am having two specific problems with it.

    One, what is the best way to take an indoor picture in lower light? Typically these photos are from a distance. For instance, I tried to take a photo of a wedding party (standing for photos from a real photographer) from a long way across a church. If anyone is moving at all, it is blurred. And even when my hands shake a bit, it is blurred.

    Another example, I tried taking an indoor photo of a couple dancing from maybe 30 yards away, every photo except one was blurred.

    My second problem is that I am having no luck with the macro mode at all. Supposedly if I activate the macro mode I should be able to take very close pictures. But when I try this, the photos come out blurry as well.

    All my shots are done on the "auto" wheel setting, which may be the source of my problems. Is there a general guide to photography online that I could read to familiarize myself with the many features of this camera?

    Thanks for any help given.
     
  2. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    The manual should cover the technical parts of macro issue but when you're that close, the depth of field is very shallow and a tripod is a virtual necessity.

    Inside pictures in poor light require more lens speed thus wide open apertures and slower shutter speeds. Thus the movement blurs the shot. If you use a long focal length, they are VERY susceptible to camera movement thus sensitivity combined with a long focal length almost ensures any movement in the subject will cause a blurred shot. Wedding photographers have a lot of experience in compensating for these problesm, usually with fast lens, lots of flash power, posed pictures for sharpness.

    If any of this isn't clear, you need to read a basic book on photography to give you a decent grounding in the principles.
     
  3. aparis99

    aparis99 TPF Noob!

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    Using P (with a flash if the objects are close) and without if not. P usually works better and when u hold the shutter halfway down for it to focus, it should show you how long it will leave the shutter open, whether is 1/60 or in lower light maybe 2" seconds. If its a 2" then yea, u better have a tripod and any objects that are moving are going to be a blur...
     
  4. jmc

    jmc TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the advice. What book would you recommend for the basics?
     
  5. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Any large bookstore will have lots. Just browse till you find one, whose format you like and whose level of facts suits your needs. The basic ideas are so well established that there is little to no chance of getting a wrong steer.
     
  6. Phazan

    Phazan TPF Noob!

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    I have the S3 IS, and the manuel helpped me a ton with those same problems. I read through the whole manuel, and now I pretty much understand completly how to take non-blurry pictures. The manuel contains a TON of good stuff.
    Also on macro mode, is the picture not focused, or is it blurry from the camera moving?
    One last thing! Make sure the image stabilization is turned on! It helps with shakey hands.
     
  7. jmc

    jmc TPF Noob!

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    I will read through the manual again but it didn't really help me for the low light problems I am having. Image stabilization is always on. Outdoors or in heavy light the pictures are great. Indoors from a moderate distance = blurry. More blurry than it should be, in my opinion. I can take a simple point and shoot camera of my friend's and take much sharper pictures than I can with the S2-IS in the same situation. That is the part that doesn't make much sense to me.

    I figured out the macro problem. I was too close for the regular macro mode, and needed to put it in Super Macro mode, which requires you to be out of Auto. I finally got the macro part to work! So I am excited about that.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This could be due to the longer focal length on your S3. The longer the focal length, the more you have to worry about blurriness.
     
  9. Frost

    Frost TPF Noob!

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    I've been struggling with these same issues and so far with the help of your suggestions and JMC for finding this forum I've solved a few (blurry photos, super macro setting, etc.).

    The one question I have is about the taking of indoor pictures. Setting the camera to auto with the flash on stops the blurry photo problem because it allows the camera to automatically select the apeture and shutter speed. That's great. But what if we are indoors at a wedding? A flash is usually requested to be turned off during parts of the ceremony but when the flash is off, and people move slightly the pictures are blurry.

    If I use a setting in the camera such as P, Tv, etc, (where you can adjust the shutter speed) and turn the flash off; then the camera takes 3 consecutive pictures, extremely slowly which creates massively blurrry and dark photos. So my question is how do you take a picture without the flash but without having dark blurry images?
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This is where we are getting to the limits of what we can expect these cameras to do. If there is not enough light...there just isn't.

    The first thing you can do in that situation is to use a higher ISO. Unfortunately, non-DSLR digital cameras don't fair so well at higher ISO...the get a lot of noise...but that's the only way to get a higher shutter speed once you are already using the maximum aperture. If you had a camera with an interchangeable lens...then you could get a lens that is more suited to low light. For this you would want a very large aperture. F1.4 or even F1.2...but those lenses don't come cheap.

    Even if you have a very fast lens and a high ISO setting...it is sometimes still not enough to fully freeze the action...or it's just too noisy. The photographer has to make a choice between what is too noisy and what is too slow of a shutter speed.

    There are other things that you can do, so help get sharper shots. The use of a tripod or monopod or anything for support will help to eliminate camera shake...but it won't help with subject movement...so you have to have good timing and snap the shots when the subjects aren't moving so much.
     
  11. Frost

    Frost TPF Noob!

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    So should we have purchased an SLR camera instead? I just don't understand why the camera has to wash out color so badly with the flash. It seems to me that the flash is just way to strong.

    For instance, at x-mas when the tree lights are on in the evening and we're all sitting around talking; taking a picture with the camera set to indoor and without the flash the color looked good but the blurry pictures were back. So then we turned the flash on and the flash is so bright that all the color is washed out but no more blurry pictures. Is there not way to prevent this? There must be a happy medium?
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Not necessarily

    You camera should have FEC (flash exposure compensation). Basically, this is the 'power' of the flash. You should be able to turn it down though the menus somewhere...check the manual.
     

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