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Indoor photos not sharp

pwrsche
Contributor

When taking indoor photos(i.e.: wedding reception) with EOS50D& EFS 17-55mm f2.8 zoom lens,in manual  or automatic mode, the shots are not clear,not sharp and a little too dark. ISO1600,1/125th shutter and f4.5,auto focus. Can anyone help me? It would seem for a camera of this caliber, shooting in "auto" would be a breeze!!! Exposure level indicator smack in the middle. Thank you.

3 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

It is not unusual for the camera to hunt for focus in low light. Try a flash with a focus assist beam and set to beam only (not fire flash).

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@cicopo wrote:

If you are relying on AUTO to get it right I strongly suspect you don't know what you're doing. Low light & possible subject movement requires a proper understanding of photography & the rules relating to getting a great photo. Auto doesn't do that.


This is harsh. Did you read the OP's post? She/He said he tried it in manual too. The comment about Auto was to suggest that a fully automatic mode is generally reliable for well adjusted images. I see no reason to suggest that he lacks a "proper understanding of photography.." and the rest of the dressing down you offer.

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@pwrsche wrote:
Bless you for your reply. Indoor photography is not my expertise. Nature Photography is, with a major in flowers (smile). So when my camera didn't "behave" as it does outdoors, I was really taken aback. In desperation, I put my camera on automatic, something I normally do not do. And still the photos did not come out as I would have liked them to. Someone suggested a light source, and that is what I will follow up with. When I did use the camera's flash, it was too bright. Thank you again!!!

Canon flash or third party? Set to ETTL or manual? A Canon camera with a Canon flash set to ETTL mode will usually err on the side of underexposure; the Canon algorithm fears blown highlights over all else. In Canon's world fill flash is always best. When that's a problem, I've found that it helps to use bounce flash, because you're not throwing as much of the power of the flash at nearby highlights.

 

The fact that you experienced overexposure suggests that the flash wasn't set to ETTL mode. For example, if you use a flash set to TTL on a camera (like the 50D) that speaks ETTL, it will fire at full power, and the image is likely to be grossly overexposed. If your flash can't be set to ETTL, you may be able to set it to make its own exposure judgement, independent of the camera. But be sure you set the camera not to think you're using ETTL. (I forget how you do that on a 50D, but it should be in the manual.)

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

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12 REPLIES 12

hsbn
Whiz

at ISO1600, the noise reduction maybe too much. Dial it down a bit if you shoot JPG.

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As I explained to others, in order to get the shutter speed where I wanted, I had to crank up the ISO. I didn't want to. Indoor photography is NOT my area of photography. I am a Nature/Landscape/Flower photographer so when my camera did not behave as I am used to, I really was surprised. Thank you for your reply.

cicopo
Elite

If you are relying on AUTO to get it right I strongly suspect you don't know what you're doing. Low light & possible subject movement requires a proper understanding of photography & the rules relating to getting a great photo. Auto doesn't do that.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

It is not unusual for the camera to hunt for focus in low light. Try a flash with a focus assist beam and set to beam only (not fire flash).

Thank you for your recommendation. I am a Nature Photographer and was doing an indoor shoot as a favor for family. When I could not get my shutter speed where I wanted, I had to crank the ISO up and still my photos did not come out as I would have liked them. I really again thank you for your advice.


@cicopo wrote:

If you are relying on AUTO to get it right I strongly suspect you don't know what you're doing. Low light & possible subject movement requires a proper understanding of photography & the rules relating to getting a great photo. Auto doesn't do that.


This is harsh. Did you read the OP's post? She/He said he tried it in manual too. The comment about Auto was to suggest that a fully automatic mode is generally reliable for well adjusted images. I see no reason to suggest that he lacks a "proper understanding of photography.." and the rest of the dressing down you offer.

Bless you for your reply. Indoor photography is not my expertise. Nature Photography is, with a major in flowers (smile). So when my camera didn't "behave" as it does outdoors, I was really taken aback. In desperation, I put my camera on automatic, something I normally do not do. And still the photos did not come out as I would have liked them to. Someone suggested a light source, and that is what I will follow up with. When I did use the camera's flash, it was too bright. Thank you again!!!


@pwrsche wrote:
Bless you for your reply. Indoor photography is not my expertise. Nature Photography is, with a major in flowers (smile). So when my camera didn't "behave" as it does outdoors, I was really taken aback. In desperation, I put my camera on automatic, something I normally do not do. And still the photos did not come out as I would have liked them to. Someone suggested a light source, and that is what I will follow up with. When I did use the camera's flash, it was too bright. Thank you again!!!

Canon flash or third party? Set to ETTL or manual? A Canon camera with a Canon flash set to ETTL mode will usually err on the side of underexposure; the Canon algorithm fears blown highlights over all else. In Canon's world fill flash is always best. When that's a problem, I've found that it helps to use bounce flash, because you're not throwing as much of the power of the flash at nearby highlights.

 

The fact that you experienced overexposure suggests that the flash wasn't set to ETTL mode. For example, if you use a flash set to TTL on a camera (like the 50D) that speaks ETTL, it will fire at full power, and the image is likely to be grossly overexposed. If your flash can't be set to ETTL, you may be able to set it to make its own exposure judgement, independent of the camera. But be sure you set the camera not to think you're using ETTL. (I forget how you do that on a 50D, but it should be in the manual.)

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

My answer may seem harsh but I'm sticking with it. When you set a Canon camera to AUTO you give it the right to choose every setting it will use based on nothing more than the light meter's reading. The only thing you the photographer gets to choose is when to press the shutter release button. The camera relies on a built in program that can't be modified by the user & can only be considered a bail out for someone who doesn't know what the controls are for or how to set them. At least by choosing PROGRAM mode the photographer can modify the exposure by selecting a different exposure through the use of Exposure Compensation.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
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