View Full Version : Shooting concert pictures with a Coolpix S8000?

09-15-2010, 03:07 PM
Hi everyone,

I am going to a concert next week and am lucky enough to have front row tickets. I am going to take my Nikon Coolpix S8000 along and hoping to get some good shots since I will be so close, but in the past I've had trouble getting shots to come out.

The concert is indoors and the band doesn't mind pictures as long as you don't use a flash, so I've been practicing with my camera hoping to figure out how to use it and I've noticed that all my shots with the flash off are blurry, even if I hold as still as possible. I'm guessing it has something to do with the shutter speed and the low light.

So, can anyone give me tips on what settings I need to change on the Coolpix S8000 to be able to take pictures that aren't blurry when the flash is off?


09-16-2010, 06:46 AM
If the show is well lit you might get lucky, but with any point & shoot or superzoom camera you are not going to have a high success rate in concert photos. You might try the party/indoor scene mode. But I would suggest just using ISO 400 and hope for the best. Over ISO400 quality will be pretty bad, even 400 might be pushing it. Sometimes converting the result to black and white makes for a better photo.

David Metsky
09-16-2010, 07:48 AM
Using burst mode may also help, you'll have to take a lot of shots to get some keepers.

09-16-2010, 11:22 AM
Does that camera have a burst mode? I don't recall seeing that on the menu.

David Metsky
09-16-2010, 12:11 PM
Does that camera have a burst mode? I don't recall seeing that on the menu.
From here (http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Nikon/Product/Digital-Camera/26191/COOLPIX-S8000.html#tab-ProductDetail.ProductTabs.Overview):

Sports Continuous shooting enables high-speed shooting at approximately 3 fps for images up to 45 frames (3MP)

09-16-2010, 03:00 PM
Ah, thanks. I'll check that out!

09-17-2010, 07:24 AM
Ok, been reading through the manual. Apparently it's not called "burst" mode - probably why I didn't notice it before. It's called "continuous" mode.

Several different settings... let me see if I understand this.

If I turn the flash off (so I don't upset the band) and set the ISO to 400, which of the modes listed below would give me the best shot of getting decent pics from the concert?

Continuous: "Up to 10 pictures are taken at a rate of 0.7 frames per second"

Best Shot Selector: "recommended when shooting with the flash off or the camera zoomed in... takes up to 10 pictures while the shutter-release button is held down. The sharpest picture in the series is automatically selected and saved."

Sport Continuous: "up to 45 pictures are taken continuously at a rate of about 3 fps"

Anyone have a suggestion on what mode would work best? It almost sounds like the Best Shot Selector might be my first try...

09-17-2010, 04:11 PM
Well, I would not choose 'best shot selector' in this situation. It is good for fairly well lit scenes where there might be some movement. It will take the decision on which to keep out of your hands. Some concert shots look okay with a little blur, but it just depends on what is blurred. Maybe the guitarists arms are flailing about, but his face is crisp, that might be a keeper. But if the camera decided that the one where only his face was blurry and all the rest of him was sharp you would just have a photo of a smudge playing the guitar.

David Metsky
09-20-2010, 06:19 AM
I'd use Continuous Mode as I don't like having the camera make too many decisions for me, especially not throwing away shots. Sports burst mode is really for capturing the exact moment of fast action which isn't really the case with concert shooting, and it drops the resolution down to 3MP.

09-20-2010, 08:38 AM
I played around with the camera this weekend and looks like Continuous Mode is the one I want - Concert is tomorrow night, guess I'll see how it goes :)

Thanks for the advice everyone!

09-22-2010, 07:28 AM
Just to follow up, in case anyone else has this same question... used an ISO setting of 200, no flash and shot in "sport continuous" mode. Got a ton of great shots before my battery died. Haven't looked at them on the computer yet, but they looked great on the viewscreen.

Thanks again for all the help everyone!

09-22-2010, 09:52 PM
OldRod, beware that tiny camera screens tend to mask slight blurriness.

11-15-2010, 12:16 PM
Hey OldRod,

I'd also like to buy a Nikon S8000 but I'm not sure if it is good for taking photos at concerts(<3). Then I found this thread and I am very curious about your results! It would be cool if you could post some photos or maybe send them to me if you don't want to show them in public.
Thank you =)

PS: Don't wonder about my English - I'm from Germany...(Sorry^^)