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Old Apr 6, 2013, 5:27 PM   #1
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Default Canon Powershot SX40 HS Indoor Dance Advice

Hi. I've been trying to find a "sweet spot" with my SX40 settings to shoot my daughter's indoor dancing; usually on an high school auditorium stage and I'm usually 5-8 rows back. I mainly zoom in on my daughter and I have the dances memorized so I know when to snap.

I know my SX40 won't close to a DSLR which is fine for now until hopefully next year I'll be able to get me a DSLR. I've been reading some great threads on this exact subject which have been helping and am getting close to what I'm wanting but had a question.

I've been finding that shooting in P-mode with an 800 ISO has been working well enough for me, especially after doing Photoshop adjustments, but the shutter speed jumps around causing too much white clipping in at least half the photos. The aperture seems to consistently stay around f/4.5.

In my attached photos, shutter speeds between 1/100-1/125 seem to work best for my needs. Should I go into shutter priority mode instead of P-mode and set that to, say, 1/125? Or maybe manual mode with f/4.5 / 1/125 settings?

Or since it's a P&S camera to just continue what I'm doing and hope I get a good percentage of non-clipped whites? I was going to do further experimenting next dance time but thought I'd get a little advice before doing so.

Thanks!

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Old Apr 6, 2013, 10:07 PM   #2
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"In my attached photos, shutter speeds between 1/100-1/125 seem to work best for my needs. Should I go into shutter priority mode instead of P-mode and set that to, say, 1/125? Or maybe manual mode with f/4.5 / 1/125 settings?"

Bingo! Almost. I say almost because while the shutter speed caused the blown highlights in the first pic, using Shutter priority will just force the aperture to open or close more, to compensate.

So, what I would do, is go manual (M) at 800 iso, f/4.5 and 1/100-1/125 shutter speed. Then, check your screen and adjust if needed.

I have the SX40 HS and I love it, so far. With the digic 5 processor, we can shoot at much higher iso than with previous models.

Since you seem to be in a controlled lighting environment, manual settings should work.

Edited to add: Your pics look good for iso 800, and you have a beautiful daughter.
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Last edited by Hawgwild; Apr 6, 2013 at 10:10 PM.
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Old Apr 6, 2013, 11:34 PM   #3
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Awesome, makes sense about the aperture compensation. I'll try the manual settings instead and see how that goes. It should produce what I need.

I've had the SX40 for a few months now and love it as well. I've had other megazooms and this is my favorite. I shoot a lot of bird photography and it works great.

Thanks for the help and for the kind words!
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Old Apr 7, 2013, 4:52 AM   #4
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In these shot's I'd have used shutter priority at roughly 100-125th sec- use spot metering as you have an extremely high contrast situation here and use auto iso (as the SX40 can deal with higher iso pretty well).
Manual mode can work also in an environment with consistent lighting- though beware things will change if you're shooting at varying focal lengths- which is why I'd go with shutter priority and let the auto iso and auto aperture do the work...
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Old Apr 7, 2013, 4:37 PM   #5
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Thanks, I'll give that a try as well. I'll do some on-site testing with other dances/dancers before my daughter's team dances to see if I can get an idea of a good route to go. Another step I've tried before was doing an AF lock on a dancer in the middle of the stage but the problem I had with that is at one second my daughter is at the front of the stage, then the next she's in the back corner - and everywhere in between. I've gotten some good shots like that though when she's near that middle area.

Thanks again.
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