Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A credible job

I notice that there are now pictures on the Bigastro web site of the gala held for ADIS in the Auditorium on Friday, 28th October.

Sensibly, the photographer has not used flash which would have disturbed the performance and at the same time lost the atmosphere of the occasion. It is also good to see that the pictures have been properly colour corrected for the tungsten light.

Judging by the results, the photographer has found that, in the low light of the Auditorium, their camera has set the fastest ISO speed available which has led to a a degree of digital noise. At the same time, their camera has had to set a slow shutter speed which has produced motion blur. Although image stabilisation will reduce the effects of camera shake, it cannot compensate for subject movement.

As cameras improve, so their ability to take usable pictures in low light improves but there is still a long way to go. King of the hill at present is the Nikon D3s which apparently can produce usable images at ISO 12,800 thanks in part to its full frame sensor with just 12 megapixels but that costs £3,350 for the body alone.  Mind you that is cheap compared with the suggested price of Canon’s announced rival, the IDx, which is rumoured to start at over £5,000.

I have managed to get some decent shots in the dim light with my Canon 5D MkII (also rated well for low light capability) but then I also have quite a lot of failures as well. Shooting in low light is always a compromise; you really need a very fast lens (one with a wide aperture i.e. a low f number) and a camera that will work well in low light ( less megapixels and a larger sensor helps here). Then, you can set a shutter speed that will stop motion. Of course, using your lens at its widest aperture reduces depth of field and does not get the best from the optics so there is a temptation to stop down which is what I normally do. As you can imagine, that makes the problem worse (stopping a lens down means you need to use a slower shutter speed or a higher ISO value)

Whoever took the photos the photos of the gala may  be a little disappointed with the results but I reckon they have done a decent job and captured the sprit of the occasion well.

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