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Best settings to use at a Church and Restaurant (Baptism)

edited April 2012 Posted in » Canon 60D Forum
Hi @Moose! I am new to the DSLR world and I recently purchased a Canon 60D with the EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. I have only had this bad boy for a little over a week to get familiarized and take test shots with, but I think I have somewhat of an understanding on how the aperture, shutter speed and ISO works together.

Anyway, I have my son's baptism coming up this Sunday and was wondering what would be the best settings to use in the church and at the restaurant (low light compared to the church) where the reception is being held. I would prefer not to use a flash (specially at the restaurant), but I will have a 430EX II on hand if necessary. I am also thinking about renting a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 USM lens for a couple of days (one day to practice with). Any suggestions on settings for both lenses?


  • Howdy @AGunns - I would start with the following setup...

    1. Get as close as you can to the stage where the baptism will take place.
    2. Enable Aperture priority (Av on the mode dial).
    3. If using your 15-85mm, adjust the aperture to the lowest available f-number based on your focal length. If using the 50mm f/1.2, I would set it between f/2.8 to f/4.
    4. Set the focus mode to One Shot.
    5. Set the AF point to the center focus point.
    6. Adjust the Drive mode to High-speed continuous shooting.
    7. Set the ISO to Auto. If you don't want to use ISO's beyond a certain value, you can set the maximum ISO speed for Auto ISO (refer to page 89 of the manual)
    8. Set the metering mode to Partial metering

    With these settings in place, half-press to focus on your son. When you're ready to take the shot, fully press the shutter to fire off a burst of images in quick succession.

    If you're close to the stage and need more light, attach and enable the 430EX II. You'll also need to set the drive mode back to Single shooting.

    As for the restaurant, you can use the same settings as mentioned above while adjusting the aperture based on the subject or scene. For individual portraits, use apertures between f/1.2 to f/2.8. For small groups (2 to 3 people), bump the aperture up to f/4. For larger groups, you'll want to set it between f/5.6 to f/8 to get everyone in focus.

    If would be best to use the speedlite, but I understand the desire to avoid it in a restaurant. If you do end up using the speedlite, try angling it upwards and bounce the light off the ceiling. This makes it easier on the eyes, both for your subjects and nearby tables.

    Best of luck and happy shooting! :)
  • edited May 2013
    I was looking for this kind of techinical advice for a wedding shoot! I'm glad i found it and I hope the baptism photos went well. Now I have this info if I take pictures at a baptism. :)
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