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Low-light photography....


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MWKE wrote:

Yeah,,,,,,,I know......Those pics of the indoor Track were taken when I first got that Camera..... I had to go with a Fixed 50mm 1.8 because of the lighting and I dont have an External Flash... All I have for Editing Software is the Cannon DPP which Sucks......

What do you use.......??????

I love taking pictures......But I find myself in AUTO lots of the time because I know if I dont I might lose some good Shots.....Ive been told to shoot in RAW for editing purposes but they all seem Grainy when I go to look at them on the computer.......

What say you????


A 1.8 lens with pushed ISO on your XTi should get you in the ballpark.....

This is where knowing your camera helps ;)

Using ISO 400/800 and pushing the FEC on your on-camera flash can work in a pinch. FEC = Flash Exposure Compensation.

Meaning, you can make your on-board flash flash brighter or dimmer with controls on the camera. If you have a lens hood for the 1.8, remove it....you'll shadow with the on-board flash otherwise.

I have the 50mm f/1.8 and LOVE it.....the f/1.4 is even better, but WAY out of my price range.

I'd like to see an example of a RAW image where you say it's grainy.

PM me for my email if you'd like. I can't remember if you can actually email someone by looking at their profile, and I'm too lazy to look now ;)

What do I use for image processing?

For RAW conversion, I use a product called Capture One LE authored by Phase One. I'm also starting to introduce myself to Adobe Lightroom (Adobe being the makers of Photoshop, too).........

Then, I'll bring them into Photoshop CS3 for the final tweak.

Now, without starting a RAW vs. JPEG war, I know of MANY professional sports shooters who shoot JPEG

My take on this is that it's just easier to get product out on-site at events. Saving the RAW to TIFF/JPEG conversion step saves a lot of time.

Plus, many pros are shooting with 1Dx MK xx bodies with higher megapixel capacity than our measly prosumer bodies ;)

This means that when doing minor tweaks out in the field/event, the data loss when manipulating is less than what we would lose with our 8/10 MP cameras.

The above is just a Reader's Digest summary...there are many factors into shooting RAW vs. JPEG...but since this is an ATV site ;)

Until I get more involved in sport shooting, I shoot exclusively in RAW because I get more data that way and can bring out the subtleties in shadows better than I could if I were using high quality JPEG (do a Google™ search on "lossy format" and you'll understand that point a little better.)

Which brings me back to image processing programs....

Photoshop costs a nice piece of coin...so not everyone can go the PS route.....look into Photoshop Elements....or, if you know someone in the scholastic field, see if they can get an educational discount for you....

In lieu of that....take a look at The Gimp:

GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program

It's FREE!!!!

I used it for a short time just for ha-has, and it is VERY robust.

Has all the tools that a photographer needs.

Photoshop CS3 (or any of the CS versions) is overkill for basic photo editing....you won't use but 10%-15% of the features of CS3.

Now....as far as fearing losing shots......

Like I said...learn what the XTi can and can't do.

Learn to shoot in the pro modes: AV, TV and Manual.

AV = camera selects the shutter speed, you select the f/stop

TV = camera selects f/stop, you select shutter speed

Manual = you select shutter speed and f/stop.

Use the grid in your viewfinder. The middle indicator tells you when you have proper exposure; not necessarily the correct shutter speed....but that's your gauge.

Do a little Internet research....doesn't take a whole lot of time to learn how shutter speed, f/stop and ISO work together.

That will get you over the hump about whether or not you'll be missing a shot or not.

This isn't a dig.....not by any means...you have the time to post here, so take a few minutes and play around with the camera at your computer desk and see what kind of images you can get with low-light, and how the shutter speed effects that.

Then, crank up the on-camera flash and look in your manual on how to set FEC.

Also, if you're going to be doing anymore indoor, low-light shooting, an inexpensive mono-pod works wonders gaining 1/2 to 1 full stop of shutter speed back.

Or, quick trick I learned a LONG time ago, get a 1/4-20 bolt, tie some string to it, screw the bolt into your camera's tripod socket, then STEP on the piece of string and make it taut. This helps steady things much like a mono-pod/tripod would.

2 things you should never ask me.....1) Photography, 2) Astronomy

I tend to babble like the fool that I am ;)


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Ok,,,,,Sooo,,,,,,,I took this picture ........

File name


Camera Model Name


Shooting Date/Time

2/20/2006 18:27:04

Tv(Shutter Speed)


Av(Aperture Value)


Metering Modes

Evaluative metering

Exposure Compensation


ISO Speed



EF50mm f/1.8

Focal Length

50.0 mm

Image size

3888 x 2592

Image Quality




White Balance


AF mode

AI Servo AF

Picture Style



Tone Curve : Standard

Sharpness level : -

Pattern Sharpness : -

Contrast : 0

Sharpness : 2

Color saturation : 0

Color tone : 0

Color matrix


Color Space


File Size

14433 KB

Dust Delete Data


Drive Mode

Continuous shooting

Owner's Name


Camera Body No.



Well,,,,Now it doesnt look Grainy:aargh:

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Not bad....

If you want, you can email me that CR2 file to:

txduggan "at" gmail "dot" com

One more quickie "lesson".....

When choosing shutter speed, the length of the lens

can help you decide...

One Rule of Thumb is that the shutter speed shouldn't be any slower

than the length of the lens.

Example: the slowest you should be able to go with a 50mm

lens is 1/60.

Like I said before, experiment a little.......the good thing is, digital is CHEAP!


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