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View Full Version : Nikon Coolpix P80 for a Concert?



threewingedfury
07-29-2008, 06:25 PM
I'm attending a concert tomorrow - I'll be front row pit, but I'd like to know what settings I should use on my P80. I just purchased it today so I'm not too familiar with it, but help would be much appreciated. It will be low light, but of course with regular streaming lights like most concerts have. I went to the same concert last week and had problems with the pictures I took with my Kodak Easyshare so I bought the P80 today.

These are some of my pictures from the Easyshare:
http://good-times.webshots.com/album/564418967HRmhyU

Help me so I won't have horrible pictures again. Explain to me what ISO, mode, etc I should use. Thanks a lot.

Beowulff
07-30-2008, 10:41 AM
Unfortunately, you really need a dSLR for top quality concert pics. Having said that though, you should be able to benefit from the P80's sensor-shift image stabilisation, its 18x zoom, and its high ISOs.

I'm not familiar with the P80 myself, so I can only offer a couple of generalised pointers for concert photography.

Firstly: forget the flash. At most concerts it's not allowed, or severely discouraged. Plus, it ain't gonna do you any good whatsoever.

Set your camera on to "spot" metering mode.

Set your ISO as high as you dare (400 minimum, maybe 800, or even 1600 if you're desperate) but remember, high ISOs = high image noise.

Open up the shutter leave it at 2.8. You might lack some depth of field, but it'll help keep your ISO as low as possible and/or your shutter speed as high as possible (to stop movement blur).

Take any/all filters off the lens with bright lights you're risking ghosting and other refractive nasties.

Bear in mind that the camera's metering is gonna be confused by the often relatively low ambient light but sometimes interspersed with extremely bright point sources of light.

Most people will use the eye-level viewfinder in preference to the LCD. It'll let you compose and frame the principal subject(s) more efficiently without any external visual distractions. Although personally, I keep both eyes open, which gives me a better perspective of the whole stage area so that I don't miss some potential outrageous act!

Take tonnes of pics most professional concert photographers will throw away 90% of their images!

Most importantly..... have fun and enjoy the concert.

Cheers :)