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Old 11-06-2008, 02:12 PM   #21
Nancy Cohen
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Re: Camera recommendation?

Originally Posted by John Planow View Post
First of all, thanks for all this great info. I've been running into similar problems as Jennifer. We have the same camera, I think, though I'm coming to understand that this is not the root of the problem.

In addition to the problems already discussed, one of the things I encounter is very bad spotting whenever the flash is on inside. Jennifer's pic #18, referenced above, shows a bit of this, but it's generally MUCH worse for me, to the point where I assume any photo taken with the built-in flash enabled will be unusable. I don't have any of my own examples of this posted right now, because as I said, it is usually really bad.

The other problem is, when I have the built-in flash off, anyone who is in motion comes out blurry. In Jennifer's photo #23, referenced above, the guy on the left has some of this, especially around his left arm. Here's one of our photos that is even worse in this regard (wfs):

Our box also has fluorescent overhead lighting. There are a ton of them up there and it feels pretty bright, but they are around 15 feet up.

Thanks again for all your help,
John, I'm so happy to finally find a topic of which I actually DO know about! So I'm really happy to help!

What's happening with the blurry/in motion stuff, is that the camera choses a slow shutter speed to compensate for the lack of light, and therefore, the shutter speed is not quick enough to freeze the motion (simple explanation). And, even though the room seems bright to your eyes, relative to a camera's settings, it is not that much light. And, the more a person is moving, the more motion blur you will see (like in your example in the link)

When you shoot with the flash turned off, try setting your camera to a higher ISO. This will allow the camera to shoot with a faster shutter speed. This may or may not, however, help enough, but it's worth trying. And, the other half of the blur equation, is that, when you hand hold a camera that has a slow shutter speed, there's a darn good chance that your movement, will also cause some out of focus problems. So, also a good idea to use a tripod, or set the camera on top of something that's not moving (like a box, or shelf or something.)

Regarding the flash...the closer you are to your subject, the more problems you'll have with uneven lighting. The light spreads out as it travels away from the camera. You could stand farther away, and then, just crop in on the photo in photoshop, or whatever program you use.

Damn, I feel useful today!!!
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:19 PM   #22
Stephen R. Lampl
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Re: Camera recommendation?

Hi Jen,

I know there's been a lot of talk here in this thread about the Canon EOS 5D. It is an excellent camera, but with a standard lens (generally, the 18 - 55 mm zoom), it will run you somewhere north of $2,000.00 at a discounted price (new). Cost will probably run closer to 3 grand.

As Nancy said, there are very good P&S (point and shoot) digital cameras out there. My wife has a Panasonic Lumix DMX-7 which has a lot of features for the price ($299), including white balance. This camera has been superseded by a newer model. Nikon and Fuji also have excellent, inexpensive models.

IMHO, your best bet may be to use something like the suggested Halogen work-light. One with at least two 500 Watt bulbs or one 1000 watt bulb would be best, with the lamp head(s) pointed at the ceiling, or if it's too high, toward the subject matter, but in the second case, you will get shadows.

Nancy is right-on with the flash distances and issues caused through using the flash. Additionally, depending on the flash synchronization speed (usually one 60th or one 125th of a second), you may not be able to stop any action of your crossfitters properly - - that is, their action/motion will be blurred.

My $.02........
Steve 5'10"/197/60 yrs. My Log Perseverance through adversity
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