What settings do you use for indoor shots?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Senor Hound, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    I have a point-and-shoot, and being inside is NOT pretty. My camera has IS, but its not enough, it wants me to take shots at 1/4 second at f 2.8 and ISO 200 (that's the highest I dare go).

    Does this get better with DSLRs? I do most of my shooting inside, and I dislike flash at night (in camera flash should be used as a secondary source of light, IMO). I want to make sure if I get my camera and go to shoot indoors, that its not going to want me to shoot 1/4 second shots all the time. I mean, part of the reason I want a DSLR is so I can ramp up the ISO without losing as much image quality as my trusty Panasonic.

    I know its impossible to answer this question with any sort of great accuracy, especially having never been to my house (you better not have been! :) ), but as a very rough estimate, do you think I'll end up needing to shoot at 1/4 with a kit f4-5.6 on a DSLR, or not?

    And I know I'm gonna get a 50mm 1.8 just for this purpose some day, but this question really applies to the typical 18-55 kit lens most cameras have nowadays.
     
  2. dylj

    dylj TPF Noob!

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    DSLRs don't do anything magical -- if the meter reads 2.8 at 1/4 at 200, then that's what it is, regardless of camera.

    One advantage DSLRs have is better high ISO performance. Meaning you can pump your ISO up to 800, which means your shutter speed goes up two stops as well, to a usable 1/15.

    And there's the factor you mentioned -- interchangeable lenses, some with wider apertures.

    Go get a DSLR already!
     
  3. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    But remember, those tiny P&S lenses, even at 2.8, can't let in as much light as a huge (in comparison) DSLR lens.
     
  4. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    Exactly, which is why I'm curious. Its not as cut and dried as the numbers are leading me to believe :)
     
  5. dylj

    dylj TPF Noob!

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    Actually, it is pretty cut and dried. A lens with a 67mm opening at f/2.8 has the same exposure value as a lens with a 52mm opening at f/2.8.
     
  6. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Yes, but the smaller sensors don't need as much light as the dSLR sensors. The f-number takes into account the physical size of the lens AND the physical size of the sensor. That's the reason why a PhD f/2.8 is much smaller than a dSLR f/2.8.
     
  7. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    ^ Really?


    I would still assume that since the physical opening is smaller in diameter, it would allow less light in.
    Hm.
     
  8. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No. The f-number takes into account the size of the entrance pupil and the focal length of the lens. If I were to mount a 80mm f2.8 medium format lens on a 35mm camera, it would still be a 80mm f2.8 even if I changed the size of the film.
     
  9. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  10. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    Just use a tripod. Even with a DSLR you'll have to crank up the ISO for good indoor shots, but if you want maximum quality you'll want to keep it low and run into the same issue. The best thing about DSLRs for indoor shooting (assuming taking photos of interiors and not people) is that you can use different lenses with much wider views, and use all sorts of crazy flash setups off the camera. A 50mm f/1.8 is nice for people shots, but unless they're posting you'll still need to keep the shutter speed high enough to freeze motion that you'll need a high ISO once again, and there's very little depth of field at f/1.8 so it's tough to keep what you want in focus and get sharp shots. For indoor interior shots, just use a tripod if you have good natural lighting, or external flashes if you don't. For people shots, use a reasonably fast lens but a flash also.
     
  11. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    You're right. My wording really sucked. I was attempting to relate the area of the sensor to the light provided by the lens. In your example, even though the f/2.8 figure is still valid, much of the light provided by the lens will fall outside the 24X36 frame and is therefore wasted. An f/2.8 lens INTENDED for 35mm will have less glass and an f/2.8 lens INTENDED for a PhD camera will have even less glass.
     

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