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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Increase the ISO or get a better lense?...My daughter has a canon 1000D with a max ISO of 1600. She uses an 18 to 55 mm f ...
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Old 18-01-2013, 12:35   #1 (permalink)
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Increase the ISO or get a better lense?

My daughter has a canon 1000D with a max ISO of 1600. She uses an 18 to 55 mm f 3.5 lense. She has recently started taking photos of bands but finds that in low light it is very hard to get a crisp shot. Her preferred solution to this is to buy a 650D which has a much higher ISO rating (up to 25000!?). However someone has suggested that this will lead to very noisy pictures and that she really needs to get a better lense for her existing camera. She is now stuck since she has limited money and can only do one or the other. So can someone help out as to which is the better way to go on this. In particular if you ignore the noise then what increase in ISO offsets the lenses limitations ie an F ?? lense with an iso of 1600 equals an F 3.5 with an ISO of ??

Also how real is the noise issue?

Hope someone can help cos I stopped paying attention when I last used a dark room (about 20 years ago).
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Old 18-01-2013, 12:56   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Increase the ISO or get a better lense?

Welcome to Pixalo Mark

This is a very good question. While it is true that using high ISO can introduce noise into pictures, moden cameras have made enormous advances in this area and I've seen many pictures taken at ISO levels that were just not obtainable a few years ago and are very good indeed.

Good quality lenses are a lifetime investment. A good lens bought today will still be in use years down the line when the current body has been long gone. Camera bodies are still being improved in leaps and bounds whereas lens improvements are small if you are using good lenses already.

Compromises have to be made and I think that there are quite a few bodies that will deliver better high ISO performance than the 1000D, so perhaps a used 'L' lens and a used better body is the best compromise.

It is worth bearing in mind that often the lighting at gigs is actually quite bright - spotlights and banks of floodlights, so it might be that the pictures are suffering from focus issues, movement of the subject or camera shake (or a combination of all three). You don't say what ability level your daughter is at, but my best advice is to ensure that her technique is good before spending money.

The Canon 50mm f1.8 is a great lens and is cheap too.

One stop is obtained by doubling the ISO, so 400 is 2 stops faster than 100, 1600 is 4 stops faster.
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Old 18-01-2013, 13:24   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Increase the ISO or get a better lense?

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Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
Welcome to Pixalo Mark
It is worth bearing in mind that often the lighting at gigs is actually quite bright - spotlights and banks of floodlights, so it might be that the pictures are suffering from focus issues, movement of the subject or camera shake (or a combination of all three). You don't say what ability level your daughter is at, but my best advice is to ensure that her technique is good before spending money.

The Canon 50mm f1.8 is a great lens and is cheap too.

One stop is obtained by doubling the ISO, so 400 is 2 stops better than 100, 1600 is 4 stops faster.
Focus issues,,,I use the 50mm f1.8 and for the price it is a good one, I have 4. I won't go into all the different uses but say it has to do with light. Sometimes it is better to manual focus with this lens and have a smaller f stop. With practice she should be able to focus near the bright lighting and near the players in the field of focus and do ok. I just know the 50mm is less forgiving at f/1.8 then f/5.6. Another option closest to your needs is the 50mm f/1.4, it has quiet fast focus motor that is a better standard then the cheaper 50 mm f/1.8 which is slower to focus and noisey, but lots of people like um, even me. I do like my f/1.4, it's about 4 times the cost but worth the money for what you buy.
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Old 18-01-2013, 14:56   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Increase the ISO or get a better lense?

Welcome to Pixalo. Forgive the blunt question but how much does your daughter have available to spend?
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Old 18-01-2013, 15:16   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Increase the ISO or get a better lense?

Don't forget your +/- compensation if you don't want to increase ISO.
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Old 18-01-2013, 17:59   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Increase the ISO or get a better lense?

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Don't forget your +/- compensation if you don't want to increase ISO.
By doing this you have to bear in mind the effect that this will have on your settings. If you are in aperture priority mode, changing the exposure compensation will change the shutter speed. Using a positive compensation will reduce (slow) the shutter speed. In shutter priority mode it will change the aperture by increasing the aperture if the lens is not already wide open. If it is wide open compensation in this mode will not do anything. Either of these changes might affect the shot in a detrimental way. In manual mode you don't need to use the exposure compensation as you can just use the best settings.
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Old 19-01-2013, 13:28   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Increase the ISO or get a better lense?

The 1000d even with a faster lens is really showing its age now and the older sensor and 1600 iso is just way too limiting. In an ideal world if budget allowed a new camera and fast zoom lens would be perfect. Best option however imo would be the 650d or a used 60d and as suggested the 50mm 1.8. The advancement in high iso shooting between the 1000d and these two is immense and with the fast nifty fifty it will be a kit that can be the basis of a great system you can expand into for years to come.
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