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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Dudley, England
    Posts
    131

    Problems with concert photography!

    Hi, im new to this forum so i apologise if this question has been asked before. I go to a few concerts in the UK and i always take my camera (canon ixus 50) however whenever i try and takes photos they come out terrible. Sometimes i am far away from the band and the optical zoom is ok but the images are blurred and i get varied results with the flash on or off. If i get closer to the stage they are better but still not great. The concerts arenas are usually low lit with the stage heavily lit. I suppose this works against the physics of a camera?

    i was toying with the idea of upgrading to a digital SLR camera but i am really a novice photographer and not sure i want to carry a large camera around with me

    What can i do?

    Hope you can help?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,923
    Low lighting is your problem, and seldom can a point-and-shoot handle something like a concert hall. Image stabilization may prevent the kind of blur that results from camera shake, but the small sensor, with its poor ISO performance (resulting in noise and loss of detail) and less powerful optics system (probably smaller apertures as well) combine to make it pretty tough to get good images.

    An SLR would help - even then you'd need to acquire a fast (large aperture) lens, but with that you'd be much better suited to getting good photos. Most entry-level SLRs have pretty good auto modes, meaning that you can rely on the camera's settings as you progressively learn how to manipulate them. But it is larger (a "prime" - fixed magnification, no zoom - lens with a good wide aperture at about 50mm is not a huge lens, though, making it easier to lug), and unless you pay some pretty big bucks, you won't be getting a whole lot of zoom with a wide-aperture lens.
    Nikon D40 + kit lens

    Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D AF(...or not)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Dudley, England
    Posts
    131
    thanks for the reply, so really its going to take a serious camera to capture the images i am after? In all honesty i am more of a point and shoot photographer taking my camera everywhere, so an SLR would be too much bother to keep carrying about.

    whats most peoples view on this forum for the best point and shot camera regardless of cost

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    1,068
    Quote Originally Posted by westy79 View Post
    whats most peoples view on this forum for the best point and shot camera regardless of cost

    There is no single "best" in any category. It depends on what's important to you. What you seem to need is a camera with relatively fast lens (f2-2.8), high-ISO performance, some zoom, and built-in Image Stabilization. Among many other possibilities you might look at the new Olympus C-550 UZ. I doubt it has the best possible image quality across the spectrum (you probably can't expect that with an 18x zoom), but I've heard good comments about it. I'm sure others here have their own brand and model preferences, so you're not likely to find any strong consensus.
    "...and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."
    Green Gables: A Contemplative Companion to Fujino Township

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,923
    It's not a matter of "serious" versus point-and-shoot: your can use an SLR like a point-and-shoot as well (although you wouldn't be maximizing its potential). It's a matter of having a much larger, better quality sensor. The compactness of a point-and-shoot is definitely nice, but by its very nature it's limited. There's no getting around it.

    An ultrazoom would be smaller than an SLR, but at the same time, the sensor it uses is not nearly as good. You'd still find it limited. The nice thing about an SLR is that you can do pretty much what you want to as long as you have the proper lens for the job. It takes some know-how, yes, but photography's not as easy as the people who sell consumer point-and-shoot cams like to tell you.
    Nikon D40 + kit lens

    Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D AF(...or not)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4,428
    Quote Originally Posted by westy79 View Post
    thanks for the reply, so really its going to take a serious camera to capture the images i am after? In all honesty i am more of a point and shoot photographer taking my camera everywhere, so an SLR would be too much bother to keep carrying about.

    whats most peoples view on this forum for the best point and shot camera regardless of cost
    Using the flash shooting the band doesn't help since they are out of range. You need a camera that can handle low light, as mentioned already.
    For lowlight shooting, don't overlook Fuji S6000fd (aka S6500fd). It has no IS but for your purpose IS offers limited benefit. It has ISO to full size images to 3200, 10.7x optical zoom. All manual controls plus many preset automatic modes. It is on the larger size though. There is a thread in Fuji forum that has many sample images. Personally, I believe it is the best non DSLR on the market right now.
    Nikon D90, D80
    Nikkor 16-85mm AF-S DX F/3.5-5.6G ED VR, Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) macro, Nikkor 50mm F/1.4D, Nikkor 50mm F/1.8D, Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED, Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro ||| 2x SB800 | SB600 ||| Manfrotto 190XB

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    2,505
    westy79 looks like Tim beat me to that recommendation. I agree with Tim the Fuji's are the place to look if you dont want to go dslr. If you want something smaller then try the Fuji F30/31 still good at low light but not as much zoom. You might think this strange two Panasonic guys recommending Fuji but it just illustrates that for low light Fuji has the best point & shoot sensor. As you can see Tim has voted with his wallet & got himself a little Fuji backup for low light shooting. I've been very close to doing that too but at the moment I'm still holding out for the dslr - one day
    Around every picture there's a corner & round every corner there's a picture
    - the fun's in finding them

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Channelview, Tx
    Posts
    27

    Another thought about concert photography...

    I just found out today that I won't be able to take my Canon Rebel XT to the Jimmy Buffet Concert Sat at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The rules say "no cameras allowed that have interchangeable lenses." They are considering these types of cameras as "Pro". Well, dang it anyway! Guess I'll give it a shot with my Olympus point and shoot. I was hoping to get in a few shots with the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 but now that ain't gonna happen. BUMMER!
    Mike

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    2,635

    Thumbs up Panasonic TZ3 goes to an Andre Rieu concert...

    These shots aren't bad, from 34 rows back in the audience?
    Let a be your umbrella!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,923
    Not bad; they're pretty impressive for a point-and-shoot. It looks like the TZ3's noise reduction technology did mess with the detail somewhat, and the light metering is not particularly great. An SLR with a wide-aperture prime lens would give you substantially better photos. But there's cost and all that (Nikon D40+Sigma 30mm HSM=$950, D80+Nikkor 50mm=$1200, Canon and Pentax fans can refer to comparable models), in addition to any problems you might encounter with size, or that nasty discrimination which considers any SLR a "professional" (press?) camera, and thus unacceptable (so what, they allow you to take inferior photos, but draw the line at good-quality ones? Silly stuff).
    Nikon D40 + kit lens

    Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D AF(...or not)

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