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Thread: ISO or Shutter Speed?

  1. #1

    ISO or Shutter Speed?

    Which would you rather sacrifice for nice outdoor shots? I was taking pics this weekend with my girlfriend's family...got some really beautiful shots of the kids and everything, but I was shooting at ISO 800 on a Canon T2i. When I zoomed in 100% to the previews on my camera, the noise levels looked alright...and really, they are more than acceptable on the finals, but I just wanted to know what kind of shutter speeds you tend to gun for to get beautiful time stops. Where do you draw the line between motion blur and noise levels?

    I was trying to keep it at 1/1000 or faster, there wasn't a hint of motion blur in a single image which was great...but would I have been better off at maybe 1/500 and ISO 400? Or even 1/250 and ISO 200?

    I was mainly shooting pics of their 1 year old son, and they don't stop moving of course so I really wanted a fast shutter to stop the action. Here's a couple of my favorite shots, but they are slightly noisy:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink

  2. #2
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: ISO or Shutter Speed?

    You will get many different responses to this, but I can't remember when I used 1/1000 shutter speed - for anything.

    For people (even kids running around) I wouldn't be afraid to use 1/250, which is two stops faster - which means I can close the aperture by two stops for more DOF, and consequently worry less about the focus tracking accurately.

    I have no experience with a T2i, but my 4 1/2 year old 30D shoots just fine at ISO 640 and 800. Your much newer T2i should perform well enough if you don't underexpose (use the RGB histogram and expose to the right).

    Glenn

  3. #3

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    Re: ISO or Shutter Speed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lornek View Post
    Which would you rather sacrifice for nice outdoor shots? I was taking pics this weekend with my girlfriend's family...got some really beautiful shots of the kids and everything, but I was shooting at ISO 800 on a Canon T2i. When I zoomed in 100% to the previews on my camera, the noise levels looked alright...and really, they are more than acceptable on the finals, but I just wanted to know what kind of shutter speeds you tend to gun for to get beautiful time stops. Where do you draw the line between motion blur and noise levels?
    Hi Lornek,

    If I need stopping power than I try to keep above 1/640th. 1/1000th and up will give you a good margin against most movement.

    You mentioned that "when you zoomed in to 100% ..." - in the real world we don't look at the finished photo either on screen or as a print "zoomed in to 100%"; so long as you don't significantly under-expose the shot, and you don't have to excessively crop it, then noise really isn't an issue at just about ANY ISO with any modern DSLR camera.

    Put it this way, if you have to rank "the three consequences" of (a) motion and/or camera shake, (b) Insufficient DoF, and (c) High ISO noise, "C" does the least damage by a long long margin.

    ISO or Shutter Speed?

    1/1250th @ F8 @ ISO 800 (No noise reduction)
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 30th September 2010 at 06:01 AM.

  4. #4
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: ISO or Shutter Speed?

    I'll sacrifice ISO every time if that's my choice. I can post-process to eliminate or reduce noise. Post-processing to eliminate or reduce motion blur is a lot harder.

  5. #5
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: ISO or Shutter Speed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lornek View Post
    Which would you rather sacrifice for nice outdoor shots? I was taking pics this weekend with my girlfriend's family...got some really beautiful shots of the kids and everything, but I was shooting at ISO 800 on a Canon T2i. When I zoomed in 100% to the previews on my camera, the noise levels looked alright...and really, they are more than acceptable on the finals, but I just wanted to know what kind of shutter speeds you tend to gun for to get beautiful time stops. Where do you draw the line between motion blur and noise levels?

    I was trying to keep it at 1/1000 or faster, there wasn't a hint of motion blur in a single image which was great...but would I have been better off at maybe 1/500 and ISO 400? Or even 1/250 and ISO 200?

    I was mainly shooting pics of their 1 year old son, and they don't stop moving of course so I really wanted a fast shutter to stop the action. Here's a couple of my favorite shots, but they are slightly noisy:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
    Without looking at the photos and you are photographing a toddler, go for shutter speed.

  6. #6

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    Re: ISO or Shutter Speed?

    "there wasn't a hint of motion blur in a single image which was great."
    hmm. i like motion blur, lol, it shows movement ,

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