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Thread: Do I need to put the camera away?

  1. #21
    yourdj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Smyth View Post
    Thanks, gents.



    It's full manual mode. I think (DISCLAIMER: Workman blaming his tools) it is a case of the fact that the camera and lens doesn't deal with low light fantastically well (I maxed at 400 ISO, with most being 200 for this particular gig), hence why I keep eyeing up the 5D. What would you suggest?
    It may be the camera/lens. What settings are you using and kit do you have? I would stick with a more entry level first and get to grips with that. Its a bit like the bedroom DJ getting an all singing and dancing set of decks before he can even mix. A 5d is also very expensive and you probably wont use any of the features.

    I can get half decent photos with my 1,100d (not a great DSLRT) and f3.5 kit lens without a flash. Have to be on at least 2,500 ISO and a shutter speed of 1/80th. The withe 70d and any one of my 2.8 lenses are fine without flash, but it takes a much better photo with a fill light. Every single one of the photographers I recommend use flash and most also off camera flash too for FD/evening. Increasing the light and decreasing settings drastically improves the photo. I was shooting at 800 ISO & 1/250 shutter last night. I had a horrible Yongnuo flash so it could have done with a diffuser to soften the light (bit harsh). Its not a great photo, but this is good enough for Facebook etc. Shows everyone having fun.

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  2. #22
    Benny Smyth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yourdj View Post
    What settings are you using and kit do you have?
    Pay attention in class, Toby.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Smyth View Post
    Canon 700d body with a 50mm 1.8 lens and a Sigma EF-610 flash.
    I bounce the flash off the ceilings/walls, and changed from 1.8 to 2.8 (after your suggestion, actually so I am listening to you!) for this particular gig, with a shutter speed of 1/200. Where I fall down is photography in low light situations because I like to think that my 'daytime' photography is pretty spot on for a hobbyist who's teaching himself via the school of YouTube:















    Going full frame with a 5D would certainly let in more light, thus making the low light pictures better exposed and hopefully making them sharper. Obviously the glass has more impact than the body, but short of the low light photography I feel that I have maxed out what I can do with the 700D (and I really don't want to spend lots of money on expensive lenses to stick on a crop framed camera aimed at the amateur market - it would be like plugging as USB 3.0 cable into a USB port).

    Photography is an expensive hobby, but I do find it fascinating.
    Last edited by Benny Smyth; 22-08-2016 at 12:15 PM.

  3. #23

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    One constant I've noticed in most of your pics is they are all dark, frequently out of focus, have a very narrow depth of focus, but no motion blur. This suggests to me the camera is not set up for low light level photography, I'd recommend you reduce your lens aperture to increase the depth of field, decrease your shutter speed to compensate for the reduced aperture (it's surprising how low you can go until motion blur is present) and finally increase the ISO considerably to brighten the pictures. I don't think a new camera is the answer, your present Canon 700d is capable of far better 'low light' photos than it is currently producing. I'm not familiar with the settings available to you on your camera, but if you can, try setting it to automatic with a 'shutter priority' and set the shutter speed to around a 50th second, I think that should give you better results. The other old pros trick is to take loads of pics and discard the poor ones.

    I've just had a second look at your pics and none of them are in sharp focus which is quite odd, you haven't got a 'soft focus' filter fitted to front of your lens have you? That would answer a lot of the issues.
    Last edited by Pe7e; 22-08-2016 at 01:29 PM.
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  4. #24
    Benny Smyth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pe7e View Post
    One constant I've noticed in most of your pics is they are all dark, frequently out of focus, have a very narrow depth of focus, but no motion blur. This suggests to me the camera is not set up for low light level photography, I'd recommend you reduce your lens aperture to increase the depth of field, decrease your shutter speed to compensate for the reduced aperture (it's surprising how low you can go until motion blur is present) and finally increase the ISO considerably to brighten the pictures.
    I'm taking my camera to a gig this Friday, so I'll be sure to try this out. Maybe my failure is identifying the correct exposure on low light.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pe7e View Post
    The other old pros trick is to take loads of pics and discard the poor ones.
    I want to try and avoid the 'spray and pray' technique as that won't help me improve my skills. I'd rather get it right first time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pe7e View Post
    I've just had a second look at your pics and none of them are in sharp focus which is quite odd, you haven't got a 'soft focus' filter fitted to front of your lens have you? That would answer a lot of the issues.
    No filters, I'm afraid. Could it be the websites? I notice that the pic quality does dip a bit on my website when I upload them and the 'street photography' examples I've put up are downloaded from Facebook as I'm away from my home computer right now.

    Definitely food for thought. Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Smyth View Post
    Pay attention in class, Toby.



    I bounce the flash off the ceilings/walls, and changed from 1.8 to 2.8 (after your suggestion, actually so I am listening to you!) for this particular gig, with a shutter speed of 1/200. Where I fall down is photography in low light situations because I like to think that my 'daytime' photography is pretty spot on for a hobbyist who's teaching himself via the school of YouTube:

    Going full frame with a 5D would certainly let in more light
    Sorry forgot.

    I love these photos, especially the tap, as you say very nice pictures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pe7e View Post
    I'm not familiar with the settings available to you on your camera, but if you can, try setting it to automatic with a 'shutter priority' and set the shutter speed to around a 50th second, I think that should give you better results.
    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Smyth View Post
    Maybe my failure is identifying the correct exposure on low light.
    Defo not need a new camera, although it would be nice i guess. Using shutter priority is a good bet (a lot of pro photographers I have met still use Aperture priority mode), but having a camera only one mark up from yours (70d), 1/100th, ISO 2000-4000 and a bit of fill flash should do the trick. Optimise the settings for low light also, can't remember how to do this, but you can. If you have a little whit tab on the flash that can also really add a little bit of light without making it look flashed out (I am sure you know all this). These are pretty good for softening a flash: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Small-Univ...QAAOSwYHxWPW~4

    Knowing you it will be pro level this time next year.
    Your DJ - Mobile DJ The New Forest, Southampton & Hampshire. Toby
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  6. #26
    Benny Smyth's Avatar
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    Well I've had a bit of a ponder last night whilst doing a lot of research by watching videos and reading articles. I think I have a rough idea on what settings to try next, so will give that a go on Friday.

    As for the new camera, it's not something I plan on buying this week or anytime soon. Going full frame is the direction I want to go, but that is later on down the line.

  7. #27
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    Third time lucky?

    I've not had a chance to blog about the wedding that I took some snaps at last night, but I have processed the images today. What I have done is uploaded some onto Dropbox for anyone who has time to look at and critique. I think my website decreases the quality slightly, so we'll see if I'm right about that.

    I think that the exposure is better. For the geeks, I was at 800 ISO all night at F/5 and a shutter speed of 1/60. When I was processing, I had to increase the exposure by a full F-Stop so I'm thinking at my next gig I'll go down to F/4 to see if that's better. I worked out last night that the ceiling was too high to get an effective bounce flash, so I had to point the flash directly at my audience, which felt really weird.

  8. #28

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    They are a great improvement from the previous photos, just a bit of fine tuning needed now to get pro quality pics for your website, you have certainly gone in the right direction.
    Observe without judging what you see

    Disco 4 Hire

  9. #29
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    Why is the lad in pic 16 holding a fishing rod?



    If you haven't looked yet, shame on you. It's a selfie stick.
    Benny, I can only criticise one thing. They're virtually all portraits, and close up too. I'd like to see wider angle group and dancefloor shots.
    Still damn good* though.



    * Please bear in mind that I know more about nuclear physics than photography.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

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  10. #30
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    Again just my opinion, but these are much better. Although to me anyway they still look dark, your not capturing/emitting enough light.

    I am surprised your going as low as 1/60th. I would normally not venture below 1/80th if not 1/100th, especially on f5. Keeping ISO low can't be a bad thing, but you can easily get away with 1000 or more whithout any noise and the shots will look brighter.

    I would have thought 2.8-3.5 would be the best F-stop then you can increase the shutter speed and get a much deeper, detailed shot without sacrificing the depth of field. If you have a little white tab on your flash that can be very handy. You can spin it in the other direction, or the bag I mentioned. Most venues have lowish white ceilings so its not usually a problem. Try 2.8, ISO 1000 and flash on a reasonably low setting and start at 1/100th and work your way up. you may find that you have a sweet spot at 1/200th or even above that and the quality really works.

    This was on our Photo Booth at the weekend. ISO 500, 1/320th, F11 (we have a d-lite flash and also need the DOF).
    Not what you want, but my point is with a bit more flash, you can really up the settings and get a much clearer, well lit photo, without it looking crap (i.e. flashed out and fake).

    Sorry for being mr know-all on this thread. I still have a long way to go with photography, but have managed to get to grips with low light photos, which are the hardest thing to do. Its like learning a language, unless you persevere you wont progress, which was what I did for years. I really need to do a day course with one of the local guys.

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    Last edited by yourdj; 28-08-2016 at 11:16 AM.
    Your DJ - Mobile DJ The New Forest, Southampton & Hampshire. Toby
    http://www.yourdj.co.uk/ | http://www.phatdiscos.co.uk/

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