View Full Version : PnS for Ballroom

06-19-2008, 11:22 AM

I am an amateur ballroom competitor, and am trying to take pictures of my indulgences. Unfortunately, I am even more amateur in the photography respect, and my pictures are at the will of my malevolent SD1000. The pictures are all very blurry (background as well as object), and due to the nature of Ballroom (turns, spins, etc) even when I pan with the dancers, it fails to make them much more than a blur due to the constant motion.
I've tried lowering shutter, and increasing ISO (independently), to no avail.
I've found that if I use flash, the pictures come out very dark, but also with much less blur. Does my camera automatically decrease shutter speed when I use flash?

Anyway I am hoping to upgrade to some type of fixed lens camera (not yet ready for SLR, but would like a better lens) soon, but in the mean time can someone suggest basic things to try out to improve my photos?

Thanks in Advance,

David Metsky
06-19-2008, 02:35 PM
This is going to be a problem, and you're probably not going to be happy with the results.

Without the flash there's not enough light for your camera to take a shot with a fast shutter speed. Instead, it keeps the shutter open long enough to gather sufficient light - long enough that all the action is blurred due to the motion of the dancers and all the backgrounds due to movement of the camera in your hands. The main tool you have to fight this problem is ISO, and pushing it to 400 or 800 is your best bet. The pictures will be noisy (the downside of high ISO) but it's the only way to reduce the shutter speed.

You can look at the EXIF data on your images to see what shutter speed your camera is choosing. Based on your description I'm guessing it is using 1/15th of a second or slower.

If you turn on the flash the camera usually defaults to 1/60th of a second, which is just enough to freeze most people in action. But the flash on this camera is fairly weak and has a very short range, on the order of 10-15 feet. You'll need to be fairly close to your subject if you want to use flash.

06-21-2008, 10:21 AM
Agree with all David said.

You might wanna consider buying an additional slave flash like THIS ONE (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/367068-REG/Canon_9940A001_HF_DC1_Flash.html) which will increase your flash range up to about 30 feet (from the maximum of about 11 feet with the SD1000's onboard flash).

Unfortunately, the SD1000 is not the ideal camera for ballroom dancing shots, due to the obvious restrictions with the necessary artificial lighting, and subject movement etc.

If it's an important issue, you may like to consider buying a more suitable-for-purpose camera?

Hope this helps :)