Handholding consumer digicams


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StreetShooter

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Jan 17, 2002
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#1
Been taking some pictures with my trusty old Nikon CP990 lately. I've noticed that pictures taken down to 1/15 to 1/30 s are still sharp, much more so than those taken at those speeds with my D30. Movement blur, however, is still much the same, so you get many pictures with a sharp background and motion blur.

At first I suspected that there was some software image stabilization going on, but then I realized that it was much simpler than that. The CCD is small, and the real focal length of the lens is 8-24mm (effective 38-115mm in 35mm terms). This means that using the reciprocal rule, you can easily handhold down to 1/8s without camera shake!

Another trick I've learnt recently is to set exposure compensation to -2 at ISO 400. This effectively gives me ISO 1600, after "pushing" the image digitally. The autofocus seems to work better, too, even in low light, when the exposure compensation is set to -2. Of course, this will significantly reduce colour contrast and increase noise, but that's OK if you plan to end up with B&W images anyway.
 

Goondu

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Jan 18, 2002
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#2
Originally posted by StreetShooter
Been taking some pictures with my trusty old Nikon CP990 lately. I've noticed that pictures taken down to 1/15 to 1/30 s are still sharp, much more so than those taken at those speeds with my D30. Movement blur, however, is still much the same, so you get many pictures with a sharp background and motion blur.

At first I suspected that there was some software image stabilization going on, but then I realized that it was much simpler than that. The CCD is small, and the real focal length of the lens is 8-24mm (effective 38-115mm in 35mm terms). This means that using the reciprocal rule, you can easily handhold down to 1/8s without camera shake!

Another trick I've learnt recently is to set exposure compensation to -2 at ISO 400. This effectively gives me ISO 1600, after "pushing" the image digitally. The autofocus seems to work better, too, even in low light, when the exposure compensation is set to -2. Of course, this will significantly reduce colour contrast and increase noise, but that's OK if you plan to end up with B&W images anyway.
Thanks for sharing the tips. :)
 

mpenza

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Jan 18, 2002
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#3
Originally posted by StreetShooter

At first I suspected that there was some software image stabilization going on, but then I realized that it was much simpler than that. The CCD is small, and the real focal length of the lens is 8-24mm (effective 38-115mm in 35mm terms). This means that using the reciprocal rule, you can easily handhold down to 1/8s without camera shake!
Is this really so? I would think that with a small CCD, a "normal handshake" would've caused a relatively larger movement of the image falling on the CCD.
 

ckiang

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#4
But on the other hand, we are handholding the Coolpix at effective focal lengths of 38 to 114mm, which would magnify camera shake as well.

I do find however, that the Coolpix can sometimes let me handhold at ridiculous shutter speeds of 1/4s. Think it has more to do with the absence of a mirror box, just like rangefinders.

Regards
CK
 

roygoh

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#5
Originally posted by ckiang
But on the other hand, we are handholding the Coolpix at effective focal lengths of 38 to 114mm, which would magnify camera shake as well.

I do find however, that the Coolpix can sometimes let me handhold at ridiculous shutter speeds of 1/4s. Think it has more to do with the absence of a mirror box, just like rangefinders.

Regards
CK
I tend to agree with CK.

When I first used the 995 I was also surprised by the lower speed that I can hand hold and shoot and get acceptible results. I would attribut that to the the following:

- no mirror movement
- camera is lighter
 

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