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Ideal settings for low-light on a Canon 60D

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Fernando BobadillaIdeal settings for low-light on a Canon 60D
by on Apr 8, 2012 at 3:44:40 am

Curiously, I shot a hip hop event this past weekend - the stage was lit ok, yet it the light wasn't enough to get a great picture.

These were my settings:

- F stop as low as possible;
- ISO as high as possible;
- Custom White Balance;

Is there anything that I'm missing to make a clearer picture? It was just a little too dark.

I noticed someone shooting with a 5D and they showed me their ISO could go twice as high as mine.


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Jorden MosleyRe: Ideal settings for low-light on a Canon 60D
by on Apr 8, 2012 at 8:38:37 am

Whats the highest aperture on your lens? But even with that factor, chances are it was just too dark of a location. With the few times I've played around with a 60D I found going past 1600 or so creates too grainy of an image for my tastes. As a GH2 user I deal with low light issues all the time (even when hacked).

As good DSLR and Mirrorless cameras perform under low lighting, the reality is you still gotta light for these cameras to get a good exposure/picture. I'd suggest (if your budget allows) to pick up a dimmable LED camera light to mount to your camera.


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Peter BurgerRe: Ideal settings for low-light on a Canon 60D
by on Apr 8, 2012 at 10:18:51 am

As Jorden wrote, a fast lens and a camera light are always a good choice. In addition, I'd suggest the "ISO 160 rule":

With all Canon DSLRs I know, ISOs with multiples of 160 (160, 320, 480, 640...) are much cleaner and have noticebly less noise than the others. So try using them. Should be possible natively with the 60D. If not, Magic Lantern will help. With my T2i ISO 640 is even cleaner than 400...

------------------------------------------
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton

http://twitter.com/FastFoodVideo(english/german)
http://fastfoodvideo.de (my german blog)


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Casey PetersenRe: Ideal settings for low-light on a Canon 60D
by on Apr 9, 2012 at 5:47:53 pm

Hey Peter,

I have been using the "ISO 160 rule" and do see a noticeable difference in noise.

Does the "ISO 160 rule" also apply to still photography, or is it just for video?

Thanks!
Casey



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Peter BurgerRe: Ideal settings for low-light on a Canon 60D
by on Apr 11, 2012 at 10:04:34 am

[Casey Petersen] "Does the "ISO 160 rule" also apply to still photography, or is it just for video?"

Hey, Casey! Yeah, it applies to stills as well. It's how the hardware/software of the Canons work. It seems they have a "native" ISO of about 160, so all other ISOs are "pushed" or "pulled"

------------------------------------------
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton

http://twitter.com/FastFoodVideo
http://fastfoodvideo.de


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Fernando BobadillaRe: Ideal settings for low-light on a Canon 60D
by on Apr 13, 2012 at 10:16:06 pm

I'd like to thank everyone for replying - I understand a little bit more about ISO thanks to y'all - Cheers!


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Jack GuthreyRe: Ideal settings for low-light on a Canon 60D
by on Apr 11, 2012 at 7:21:18 pm

Too dark everywhere? In a stage environment I usually overexpose the highlights a bit and let the shadows fall to whatever.

"It was just a little too dark" - How much too dark?

What exactly were your ISO, aperture, shutter speed and framerate?


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Fernando BobadillaRe: Ideal settings for low-light on a Canon 60D
by on Apr 13, 2012 at 10:17:08 pm

1080p
ISO was cranked to 6400
Shutter Speed: 125 or one notch above.
Aperture: 4.

Thanks for the help.

F


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Jack GuthreyRe: Ideal settings for low-light on a Canon 60D
by on Apr 13, 2012 at 11:54:36 pm

I think it'll be pretty easy to get more light...
You're shutter (typically) should be 1/(fps*2).
24fps - 1/48s (1/50 for most HDSLRs)
30fps - 1/60s
60fps - 1/120s (1/125 for most HDSLRs)
This is the equivalent of a 180 degree shutter angle.

Off the bat you could have achieved at least twice as much light by reducing your shutter.

The biggest limiting factor is your lens obviously. An f/4 just is not made for low light. An f/2.8 (common for zooms) would have given you twice as much light and of course on the extreme side, an F/1.4 (common for primes) would have yielded 8 times as much light on the sensor.

If you had adjusted shutter and had an f/1.4 lens you would have had 16 times the light compared to your current exposures. You also could have decreased ISO to 1600 and still had 4x as much light and less noise (though overexposing is one way to help ease noise).


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