DSLR mirror shake

2 05 2011

Shaky, blurry pictures stink. Especially when shooting in low light without a tripod. Hand holding your DSLR and shooting does contribute to the sharpness of the photo but so does the mirror vibration made from the mirror moving when the shutter fires. To illustrate this point Camera Technica conducted a test to figure out how much mirror vibration there is under certain circumstances. Using a Canon 7D they mounted a laser pointer on the hot shoe and firing the shutter normally, with a finger press, with a remote shutter release and with a remote shutter release and mirror lock up.

I was surprised at how much movement there was from just pressing the shutter with a finger. Which is why I always use a tripod and the timer when shooting low light.


DSLR Mirror Vibration from Camera Technica on Vimeo.



More camera basics: ISO

23 02 2011

ISO, what is it? Back when I was given a Canon Powershot for Christmas I remember seeing the ISO setting and then a bunch of numbers. Since higher numbers tend to be better, I would turn my ISO to the highest that the Powershot could handle, but I was baffled at why my pictures were grainy.

Then I took an intro VCT class, and learned that ISO is how sensitive the sensor is to light and that a higher ISO will produce grainy (noisy) images. ISO is the same as film speed. Film speed is how sensitive the film is to light. Using a higher film speed will produce a grainier image, just like ISO.

An ISO of 100 is less sensitive to light than an ISO of 6,400. Also, an ISO of 100 will produce a less noisy image than an ISO of 6,400.

Here’s an example.

If you’re out shooting in the middle of the day and it’s extremely sunny out you won’t need a high ISO. Since there’s so much light out, set the ISO to 100. Because there’s more than enough light to give you a well exposed image.

However, let’s say you’re out shooting indoors at a graduation. Then you would want to turn up your ISO so you could use a higher shutter speed to capture the right moment.

How high your ISO will go depends on the kind of camera you’re shooting with. If you’re shooting with an entry level DSLR like the Nikon D3000 the highest ISO is 3,200. If you’re shooting with a more advanced DSLR, the Nikon D90 in my case, you’re ISO will be higher, 6,400, because of the different technology.

So don’t make the mistake of thinking high ISO is always a good thing. Learn the pros and cons of shooting with a high ISO on your camera to get the most out of it.

Looking back maybe I should have Googled ISO.