Fighting shaking and blur

Started Nov 4, 2005 | Discussions thread
latner Senior Member • Posts: 1,470
Stop Drinking.......

SORRY couldn't resist!!

gglockner wrote:

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.

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