So I have been playing around with my new XTi (yes another noob) - and my question has to do with the shutter speed.
The other day I took my XTi to my wife's graduation. It was a fairly well lit convocation hall, though it was night time and this was all inside. I was mostly taking pictures in AV mode. I had kept the aperture settings to the wide open end mostly around f4.5. This is supposed to give me the best exposure possible. What I ended up getting were pictures that did have good exposure, however, they were all quite blurry! When I researched a bit more I found out that the shutter speed that XTi had set for the correct exposure in AV mode was around 1/10 or 1/13. This is what caused the pictures to be blurry.
So I was testing the camera in my basement at night, which was probably similar light to the convocation hall. And what I noticed was that in AV mode I simply could not get the shutter speed to be any better than 1/10 or 1/13. If I did switch over to M mode and try setting a faster shutter speed, I would end up with basically just a black picture or severely underexposed pictures. I even tried switching to TV mode and went at it from the other end, which is I set the exposure setting to 1/200 and tried taking pictures thinking the camera will set the appropriate aperture, but the aperture setting kept flashing, and it won't stop flashing unless I dropped down to 1/10 or 1/13.
So at this point what I know is that I am unable to take pictures in better than 1/10 shutter speed if I'm in a room with reasonable (not natural) light at night. There has to be a way around this, without wanting to use flash? Even with flash, I was unable to set moderately high shutter speed.
So what I'm considering my options to be at this point are:
1) Get a faster lens, maybe something like 50mm f1.4 or f1.8 prime lens. I have heard this is supposed to help taking pictures at night or in dark, but I don't know how much it would help. Right now I am using the kit lens which is a zoom with f3.6-f5.0 and it ain't doing wonders for me.
2) Maybe I need to play with the exposure settings? There has to be a way you can take decent shots without the blur and set a moderately high shutter speed, preferably without flash. Again I am not taking pictures inside a cave. These are pretty well lit rooms.
3) Maybe I should try playing with the metering settings, and set it to partial metering. Not sure if it would help.
If anyone can help me understand what I can do to get better shutter speeds inside a well lit room at night, I'd really appreciate it.