Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot) > Canon

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jun 25, 2007, 5:14 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2
Default

I can imagine it being really hard to take good pictures of a moving target, low light, light swirling around, looks of other people in front of you :shock: (One good thing is I have pretty good seats, 6th row so the last one isn't much of a problem)

So I was hoping for some tips on how to configure my camera's settings to get the shots i possibly can (by an amateur).

Camera: canon a540, no extra lenses. just the regular camera

Settings I should use (help):
-i think i should turn aiaf off, however leave AF on
-use the Av mode, correct?
-ISO at 200, 400 or 800??
-aperture at lowest (2.6)?
-flash, but make it a brighter flash?
-should I focus on the singer herself and then recompose on a nicer angle? (i'm worried this will make the outcoming photo too dark).. any tips on FOCUSING?

Please! and Thank you.
deepsplash is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jun 25, 2007, 6:24 PM   #2
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

deepsplash wrote:
Quote:
Settings I should use (help):
-i think i should turn aiaf off, however leave AF on
If you can get focus lock on something. ;-)

Quote:
-use the Av mode, correct?
That would work. But, it probably won't make much difference. In Programmed Auto mode, the camera is going to use the widest available aperture (smallest available f/stop number) in low light anyway.

Quote:
-ISO at 200, 400 or 800??
See what kind of shutter speeds you're getting. You may need ISO 800 to get any keepers without blur. But, I wouldn't use it unless I had to.

Quote:
-aperture at lowest (2.6)?
You wish. ;-)

Your camera has a widest available aperture of f/2.6 on the wide end of the zoom range (least apparent magnification). But, if you zoom in much, you'll be down to around f/5.5 (only about 1/4 the light getting through). Your lens is approximately 4 times as bright at it's wide angle lens position versus zooming into to it's full telephoto position. So, don't zoom in any more that absolutely necessary.

Quote:
-flash, but make it a brighter flash?
From six rows back, your flash will be useless. Force it off. It's got a maximum range of 11.5 Feet if you leave the lens set to it's widest zoom setting (least apparent magnification), with the range dropping down to only 7.5 Feet at it's maximum telephoto zoom position (most apparent magnification), since your lens loses a lot of light as you zoom in any. This is an Auto ISO rating (probably close to ISO 400). Even with ISO 800, your range would only be about 40% more. I'd force it off.

If you try to leave it on, you'll just end up with underexposed images, since the camera assumes you're going to stay within the rated flash range. You'll want to leave it off so that the shutter stays open long enough to expose your subjects (which could result in motion blur and blur from camera shake). Tradeoffs.
Quote:
-should I focus on the singer herself and then recompose on a nicer angle? (i'm worried this will make the outcoming photo too dark).. any tips on FOCUSING?
You'll need to experiment for metering. For focus purposes, it probably wouldn't make too much difference (you've got a lot of depth of field with your type of camera). Check your histogram when reviewing photos you take to see how the exposure is working if you lock exposure on a given subject first. For difficult lighting, it's sometimes easier to go manual exposure (but, you'd need to take some test photos to try and nail your settings, and if lighting is changing often, your percentage of keepers could suffer that way unless you adjust often).

I'd probably go with incandescent (tungston) white balance if you're not using a flash (and I wouldn't try using a flash that weak from 6 rows back).

Then, take *lots* of photos (try continuous mode), trying to catch the performers when they're relatively still to minimize blur from subject movement. If you brace the camera on something (or use a monopod), that may help out with the blur from camera shake some. Again, don't zoom in any more than you have to. Your camera's lens gets very dim if you do.


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 25, 2007, 6:51 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2
Default

JimC,

Thanks sooo much for the detailed response. I really appreciate it

About incandescent lighting, im not sure which one you are referring to.
My camera offers the following lighting options:
auto, daylight, cloudy, tungsten, flourescent, fluorescent H, underwater and custom

Also, under one of the settins i get to pick between Evaluative, Center Weighted Avg and Spot. which one should I use?

p.s. Thanks again!
deepsplash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 25, 2007, 7:03 PM   #4
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Tungsten (a.k.a., incandescent) is probably your best bet for typical concert lighting.

Personally, I'd go center weighted for metering, since the lighting at the frame edges can play havoc with matrix (multi-segment) metering, and spot can be very difficult to use unless you have a very neutral area to meter on (meter on a dark shirt, get overexposed images, meter on a light shirt, get underexposed images). ;-)

Center weighted puts more emphasis on properly exposing what is in the center of the frame, while still taking the rest into consideration, and it's not going to be as "picky" as spot. It's usually a good compromise for difficult lighting and subjects.

Metering can be a big issue with rapidly changing lighting, and a lot depends on what clothing your subjects are wearing. You tend to have some band members brightly lit and others in dark shadows, and the camera won't be able to capture the same range of bright to dark that your eyes can distinquish. So, metering can be tough.

If lighting is *real* difficult, you may be better off using manual exposure and picking a compromise setting that gets most of the shots right. That's where reviewing some photos as you go along can help (using the camera's histogram as a guide to help you know if the settings are under or overexposing your desired subject).

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 26, 2007, 10:33 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76
Default

This shot was taken with a Canon ultracompact, auto, S230 (circa 2002) shot at 1/15th



- Definitely turn flash off, despite being useless beyond 10 feet, it will lock your speed to 1/60th... way too fast

- Use auto exposure and set EV to -0.67. concert shots should be dark by nature and it will give you 2/3s of a stop in faster speed for less image blur.

- Try ISO as low as you can manage the shutter speed without image blur. For me handheld, 100 tends to be too tough, 200 has a 50/50 hit rate and 400 has a near 100% hit rate, but I'm not happy with the noise.

- Try resting the camera on something - back of chair, wall, etc. Better yet, get a telescopic cane/walking stick monopod that has a camera mount under the handle and limp into the show.

- Shoot using the viewfinder instead of the LCD.... camera held tight to your body/face, is easier to steady than held out with arm extended.

- Try using the 2 sec timer to elimate hand shake from depressing the shutter button.

- Take lots of shots expecting to delete most of them but having a few great ones.
reppans is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:06 PM.