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Thread: camera settings questions

  1. #1
    joeleow
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    Default camera settings questions

    Hi all,

    I am a newbie with a couple of questions with regards to my camera settings. Hope some guru can take time to enlighten me.

    Have the following equipment setup:
    - Canon EOS 500
    - Canon Speedlite 420EX
    - Sigma 28-200mm F3.8-5.6UC

    Case 1:
    - Using Full Automatic mode
    - Shutter Speed is 1/90
    - Aperture Value is 4.0

    Case 2:
    - Using Program AE mode
    - Shutter Speed is 1/90
    - Aperture Value is 4.0

    Case 3:
    - Using Av mode
    - Shutter Speed is 3"
    - Aperture Value is 4.0

    Q1. Why is aperture 4.0 the lowest that I can go and not 3.8?
    Q2. Why is it that using Av mode, my shutter speed is set at 3sec? That is too slow for handheld shooting right?
    Q3. Will using my 420 flash give me better sharpness and picture quality than using the built-in flash?


    many thanks,

  2. #2

    Default Re: camera settings questions

    Originally posted by joeleow

    Q1. Why is aperture 4.0 the lowest that I can go and not 3.8?
    Q2. Why is it that using Av mode, my shutter speed is set at 3sec? That is too slow for handheld shooting right?
    Q3. Will using my 420 flash give me better sharpness and picture quality than using the built-in flash?
    many thanks,
    Q1: It is the limitation of your len. It is the max. your len can open up at that particular zoom range. Check your len spec, it should tell U more.
    U can experience it yourself by switcingh your camera to Aperture priority mode and adjust your F-stop to the smallest number at different zoom range.

    Q2: Yes, the pics will definitely be blur due to camera shake.
    Q3: No, there are many factors affecting the sharpness and quality of the pic and one of the most important factor is the len itself.
    Speedlite offers U a better options for doing proper exposure of your subject since it is more powerful as compared to your bulit-in flash. (longer range)
    Beside, Speedlite enable U to have a better control over the direction and strength of the intensity of the light.

    Hope my explaination help.

  3. #3

    Default

    I don't know if I'm right, but some additions to scanner's answers:

    1) For the EOS300 which I'm using, aperture and shutter readings are in 1/2 EV intervals. For example, it goes like f2.8, f3.5, f4.0, f4.5, f5.6 etc. Since EOS500 is the predecessor of the EOS300 I'd expect it to be similar. Although your lens is rated at f3.8 at wide-angle, the closest the cam can go is f4.0. I'm not sure if the metering will be done at f3.8 or f4.0 though.

    2) You're asking why right? Cuz the scene too dark, so need a longer shutter speed lor! Did you turn on flash and wonder why the shutter speed is still slow? For canon systems, in Av, the flash works as fill-flash, the metering is for the ambient light, thus shutter speed is still slow. If you wanna shutter speed to be fast for flash, try P mode or M mode.

  4. #4

    Default

    Originally posted by Tweek
    2) You're asking why right? Cuz the scene too dark, so need a longer shutter speed lor! Did you turn on flash and wonder why the shutter speed is still slow? For canon systems, in Av, the flash works as fill-flash, the metering is for the ambient light, thus shutter speed is still slow. If you wanna shutter speed to be fast for flash, try P mode or M mode.
    Oops....miss interpret his Qns, Tweek thanks for pointing that out.

  5. #5

    Default

    Originally posted by scanner


    Oops....miss interpret his Qns, Tweek thanks for pointing that out.
    no problem.

  6. #6

    Default Re: camera settings questions

    Q1. Why is aperture 4.0 the lowest that I can go and not 3.8?

    -f3.8 is the biggest aperture of ur lens, the camera does not necessary recognise it...there u will only recognise the nest closest value, ie must be smaller the f3.8 hence u got f4


    Q2. Why is it that using Av mode, my shutter speed is set at

    -ain't a canon user...so dunno wats av mode
    3 secs is definately too low for handheld shooting...typical rule we follow is 1/focal length ,ie. u are using a 50mm, 1/50 s would be the lowest u should go....but then again, some of us hand more steady hands and can go even longer than that, maybe 1/30s or even 1/15 sec.....but if u use a tripod....30secs also can


    Q3. Will using my 420 flash give me better sharpness and picture quality than using the built-in flash?

    -to ur last question....flash or not flash does not determine the sharpness of ur pics....its the lens u useand whether watever u are shooting is in focus....a gd lens will give u a sharp pic provided u have wat u intend to shoot in focus....an external flash will give u a longer reach then ur built in flash, ie guide number....its more powerful and most of it has ttl metering.....the angle covered by the external flash is also wider then the built in....


    somebody pls correct me if i m wrong

  7. #7
    joeleow
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    Default

    Originally posted by Tweek
    For canon systems, in Av, the flash works as fill-flash, the metering is for the ambient light, thus shutter speed is still slow. If you wanna shutter speed to be fast for flash, try P mode or M mode.
    Firstly, thanks to all for your advice.

    Tweek, can you elaborate abit more about what you have said above? I have turned on built-in flash and the shutter speed is still slow... thus no logic to me...

    when will i know if the metering is for the ambient light?

    which mode does most pple (enthusiasts) use when shooting? is there a guide that says dat i should not be using Av if shooting with flash?

    many thanks,

  8. #8

    Default

    Let me try to see if I can answer your query:

    In Av mode, the camera meters the scene as if it has no flash, i.e., the shutter and appertures recommended are for the ambient light, even with the external flash attached. Therefore, the metering suggested by the camera is the same with or without the flash.

    If you want to control the shutter speed, you should shoot in manual mode. I think that's what most people will use for Canon cameras. If you want to use the flash for fill flash (i.e. not pure flash photography), you can use Av mode and compensate by lowering the power of the flash.

    Maybe if you want to learn more abt flash photography, you can try this Kodak's Intro to Flash Photography, link kindly provided by midnight.

  9. #9
    joeleow
    Guests

    Default

    Originally posted by darkness

    In Av mode, the camera meters the scene as if it has no flash, i.e., the shutter and appertures recommended are for the ambient light, even with the external flash attached. Therefore, the metering suggested by the camera is the same with or without the flash.

    is there a "logical" reason for such cameras (or just Canon cameras?) to work like that?

  10. #10

    Default

    Originally posted by joeleow


    is there a "logical" reason for such cameras (or just Canon cameras?) to work like that?
    so that it is easier to use fill-flash? When I first started out, I was confused by this implementation too, cuz it seems to make flash photography difficult for newbies, or pple who don't understand the concept. After a while, then I understand how useful it is, especially for fill-flash when you don't want use of flash to screw up the metering for the ambient light. I guess Canon designs the creative modes (Av, Tv, M etc) for experienced users, so they expect that you understand what is fill-flash, how flash photography works. For pple who don't know, they're better off sticking to the scene modes, or full-auto, or program mode, when the camera will decide itself whether to use a slow shutter or fast shutter with flash. This makes sense doesn't it?

    Anyway, like I said, if you want to do flash photography, just go into program mode. If you want more control over aperture and shutter speed in flash photography, then go into M mode. In M mode, select a shutter speed u prefer but slower than flash sync speed (1/90s for your cam), and select the aperture u want, then fire away. The exposure will be fine as long as your subject is within the flash range.

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