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Fighting shaking and blur

Started Nov 4, 2005 | Discussions thread
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Fighting shaking and blur
Nov 4, 2005

I upgraded about a month ago from the Digital Rebel/300D to the 20D. I'm generally happy with the upgrade, though I'm now noticing that my pictures are more blurry. After some investigation (parameters, shutter speed, etc.) I have noticed the problem is that I am not capable of holding the camera as steady as I thought. For example, with my 50/1.4 lens, I find that I need to use a shutter speed of 1/160 or faster to get a reliably steady image when hand-held. I believe that I noticed this problem when I upgraded to the 20D because of the higher pixel density, which makes shaking more apparent, and the heavier body, which is harder to hold steady.

OK, so I can make a habit of using a faster shutter speed for handheld photos. This is no problem when shooting outdoors in daylight. But what about the rest of the time? Moving to IS lenses is not a good option for me -- I'm quite happy with my collection of USM primes (28/1.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.8).

A few questions:

a) When I use my 420EX flash, I shoot in manual and let the E-TTL system adjust the flash output. Assuming there is insufficient ambient light, does the flash output change as a function of the shutter speed? For example, if I am shooting at f/2.8 at ISO 400, is there a change in the flash output when I go from 1/100 to 1/160? I believe the flash burst is short enough to stop motion and compensate for my shaking, but I would like to know whether I need to be careful about the shutter speed as well.

b) When I walk around outdoors, I am willing to start using a tripod or monopod. The problem is the rest of my family is impatient and won't stand around while I unpack a tripod, set it up, etc. Is there a tripod or monopod that is light enough to carry and extremely quick to setup? Most reviews focus on stability or weight; I have not found much info about tripods or monopods in terms of their speed of setup and packup.

 gglockner's gear list:gglockner's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Canon EOS 40D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM +1 more
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