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EOS Rebel XSi Beginner needs help please??

WhiteCrow
Apprentice

Hi everyone, I have a noob question that almost makes me almost embarrassed to ask. A friend of mine recently gave me a EOS Rebel XSi. I would really like to get into photography beyond taking a few good snaps at the kids birthday party. So I went with it to just try it out, try the different settings and see what I come up with. Now if I was shooting a still image it comes out nice. But if I tried a moving shot the camera would take too long to take the picture. I asked another person and he said it’s most likely from the flash. But it was day light and I didn’t need the flash. I know different lighting can cause the camera to act in a differently but it didn’t matter what lighting scenario was it would take almost 3 seconds to take the picture. I know for seasons photographers I may get ripped into for this but I felt asking would benefit me more than reading the manual which explains it on a more professional level. So there it is, can anyone please tell me what I can do to remedy this issue? I’ve read and people say the camera I have isn’t exactly a professionals model but it does take pretty decent pictures. So ide like to get to the bottom of this issue, get some shots under my belt before spending a few thousand on a new camera. Thanks for your time!

-J

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

One additional note... one handy rule to use as a guideline is the Sunny 16 rule.   Here, a good exposure on a sunny day should be around f/16, 1/100 shutter and ISO 100.

If you then open up the aperture a bit to f/11, that now lets in twice the amount of light in.  And since you're at the minimum ISO, you'd adjust the shutter to be twice as fast (1/200 second) to compensate.   This may all sound confusing, but eventually and with practice, all will make sense.

--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

View solution in original post

8 REPLIES 8

rs-eos
Elite
Elite

First thing to check is what mode you have the camera in.  Auto? Aperture Priority (Av), something else?

It sounds like the shutter speed was either manually set to be quite slow or it was selected by the camera.  My guess is at least around a 2-second shutter.   If the camera had picked that value, it would mean the scene at the time either had very little light.  Or, if you were in say Av mode, you had selected a very narrow aperture where shutter and/or ISO would need to compensate.

Definitely do check out the manual.  But a good general first step is understanding the exposure triangle.  i.e. understanding how aperture, shutter speed and ISO affect exposure.  And, as one value changes, how at least one of the two remaining values need to be adjusted to compensate.

--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

One additional note... one handy rule to use as a guideline is the Sunny 16 rule.   Here, a good exposure on a sunny day should be around f/16, 1/100 shutter and ISO 100.

If you then open up the aperture a bit to f/11, that now lets in twice the amount of light in.  And since you're at the minimum ISO, you'd adjust the shutter to be twice as fast (1/200 second) to compensate.   This may all sound confusing, but eventually and with practice, all will make sense.

--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

Mr, Ricky, Thank you very much for the info!! You’re right, it is a bit confusing but it’s in an order that I can follow down the check list. And as I do that I can look it all up and get some good education. The classes I’m taking has a syllabus and everything you mentioned is on it so again yes confusing but gives me that chance to learn. And it’s very much appreciated because I asked on another site and got chastised for asking a question. Some people forgot they didn’t come from the womb with a canon in their hand. lol. Thank you so much for the great information!!! And the time to type it all out for a person you do not know. Again, thank you!

kvbarkley
VIP
VIP

And if by "moving shot" you mean a panning shot, the camera needs to focus (you can hear a beep) before it will fire. For a shot like this, hold the shutter button down halfway to capture focus and exposure, and then hit the shutter all the way as you pan.

Hi KvBarkley, thank you for the vocabulary correction ( no sarcasm, I’m serious thank you) but yes a panning shot is what I meant. It’s dark here now so I’ll go out tomorrow morning and give your advice a shot and see what comes of it. Thank you very much for your time to explain and school me on some vocab! Much appreciated! Have a good night! 

BurnUnit
Whiz

It might also help to clarify whether you meant that the shutter was staying open for 2 to 3 seconds or that after pressing the shutter button it takes 2 or 3 seconds before the picture is actually taken. In other words, slow shutter speed as opposed to shutter "lag" or delay.

Here's a link to download a copy of the Rebel Xsi user manual if you don't already have one.

https://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/3/0300000933/01/EOSRXSi-EOS450D_EN.pdf

Read thru it a bit at a time with the camera at hand. It'll answer questions for you that you haven't even thought of yet. If it is in good working condition I think you'll find that it's still a very capable camera in most situations.

If you find yourself shopping for a memory card try not to use anything bigger than maybe 16gb. Older cameras can have a problem dealing with the newer higher capacity cards. Use a full size SD card only, NOT a micro SD card with an adapter. Buy from a local camera shop or "big box" electronics store if possible.

stevet1
Mentor
Mentor

WhiteCrow,

Back in 2015, another member of the Forum was asking about the same kind of problem. 

The solution back then was that the camera was having difficulty in focusing on a moving subject, and wouldn't take a picture until it could achieve focus, sometimes taking 2-3 seconds.

The solution was to take your camera out of One-Shot autofocus and use AI-Servo.

If you are using a half-press of the shutter button to do your focusing, and you are in Servo mode,  keep it half-pressed and your camera will continue to focus the whole time.

Paired with your camera in Servo mode, you can even set your camera up in Low speed continuous shooting, and your camera will take 3 quick shots in a row of like a child or a dog running, all the while your camera is continously focusing.

Steve Thomas

Tronhard
Elite
Elite

To help you along the way, in general, you may find the following helpful:
Basic Photography Tutorial, with National Geographic Photographer Chris Bray  WATCH THIS FIRST
Also, LinkedIn Learning is a site that normally incurs a fee to access, but if it is listed in your library catalogue, then you have free, unlimited access to a vast array of tutorials from the very  basics to advanced topics of photography.  The videos are by skilled professionals who are also great teachers.  The lessons are easy to follow and you can repeat them as often as you like.
To access it, check with your local library on-line catalogue.

Search for an item called LinkedIn Learning - if it exists: Follow the links, and you should be able to log onto the site free of charge using your library membership number and passcode.
Once there, do a search for photography foundations  (or look for Ben Long)

To learn specifically about controls of the Canon EOS Xs this is the first of a series of three videos on the camera controls and use:
Canon EOS Rebel Xs byTony Hancock I suggest you start his first video at timestamp 5:40. You can go back to the start at a later date.


cheers, TREVOR

"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
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