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Old Apr 4, 2005, 5:09 AM   #1
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Hi!

I have just revitalized my interest in taking pictures. I had bought Olympus c-4040 a few years ago (when it was new) and considered it to be great camera for my uses.

I have succeeded in taking nice pictures of nature & my family etc. Now i got interested in taking pictures of bands& performers.

In the past i mostly used the auto mode and sometimes played with manual settings. I'm don't know much about those things (althought i've read many articles about those settings) so it has been turned the best when using auto mode.

I've posted some questions about taking pictures but not on this forum (just found this! seems to be great place to ask for guidance!)

Some have commented that this camera isn't very suited for lowlight band/performer photography but i'm on a budjet and also fond of this camera so i thought i'd try my best to make it work somehow! Also i've got some pictures (with pure luck i guess) in poor light conditions and they have turned out fine.

I'd like to hear your comments about the subject. All ideas of taking the pictures would be appreciated. It would be preferable if someone could tell some exact settings (as far as they're possible. I understand that the situations change)

The first try (and so far the only) i took the pictures in auto mode. It was a bar and poorly lit (well, the performer was lit but i took them from shadows. Camera was resting on table and i was about 5 meters away from the performer) Some of them were okay but some were blurry (because the artist moved)

I have tried to set the camera to "freeze" the action but other settings seem to "go hell" so the pictures aren't as great as with auto mode.

THANKS FOR READING THIS FAR!!

PS. are there any (cheap) gear that would make the Oly c-4040 perform better in these situations? (lenses?)
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Old Apr 4, 2005, 7:59 AM   #2
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elmore wrote:
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Some have commented that this camera isn't very suited for lowlight band/performer photography but i'm on a budjet and also fond of this camera so i thought i'd try my best to make it work somehow! Also i've got some pictures (with pure luck i guess) in poor light conditions and they have turned out fine.
Actually, the lens on your C-4040z is rated at f/1.8-2.6.

This is more than twice as bright as the lens on most compact digital cameras at it's wide angle position (most don't start out until around f/2.8 ), with even more difference (to the benefit of the C-4040z) when using zoom (most stop down to around f/4.9 at full zoom, and your Olympus is about 3 times as bright there at f/2.6)

So, unless you are willing to invest in a DSLR (and make sure you get bright lenses to go with it), your camera is probably about as good as it gets for this type of photography (and it's much better than most).

Quote:
The first try (and so far the only) i took the pictures in auto mode. It was a bar and poorly lit (well, the performer was lit but i took them from shadows. Camera was resting on table and i was about 5 meters away from the performer) Some of them were okay but some were blurry (because the artist moved).

I have tried to set the camera to "freeze" the action but other settings seem to "go heck" so the pictures aren't as great as with auto mode.
What do you mean by this (set the camera to freeze the action)? The camera must keep the shutter open long enough for proper exposure. So, if you set the shutter speed too fast in manual exposure or shutter priority modes, you'll get underexposed images.

In full auto mode in low light (clubs, etc.), your model is most likely going to use the largest available aperture anyway (f/1.8 at wide angle, stopping down to f/2.6 at full zoom). The shutter speeds it selects will be designed to insure proper exposure, based on the lighting conditions present.

Taking photos in low lit surroundings can be tough.

There are 3 main things that impact the shutter speeds you can get... Lighting, Aperture, and ISO speed.

If you stay at your lens' wide angle position,more light can reach the sensor through the lens compared to full zoom. So, your camera will be able to use faster shutter speeds.

Increasing ISO speed will also help. I'm not sure how much your model increases ISO speed in Auto mode, but you can probably get faster shutter speeds by setting it higher manually.

I'd make sure to keep flash forced off (unless you're allowed to use it, and within the flash range). Some models don't keep the shutter open long enough to expose properly if the flash is left on (and if you're trying to shoot something outside of the flash range, you'll get underexposed images).

So that you get a better idea of how these factors work together (light, ISO speed -- shown as film speed here, and aperture), see this handy online exposure calculator:

http://www.robert-barrett.com/photo/...alculator.html

You could shoot in Aperture Priority (Av) mode and select a larger aperture (f/1.8 at wide angle, dropping down to f/2.6 at full zoom with your camera). But, I don't think it would make any difference in low light, since the camera's autoexposure is probably using the largest apertures (smaller f/stop numbers) already.

Setting ISO speed to a higher value (which will increase noise), and trying to stay at the wide angle lens setting as much as possible, will help you to reduce motion blur since you'll get faster shutter speeds. Despite all of this, you'll probably still get some motion blur (so take lots of photos to increase your number of "keepers").

If you decide to do this (use higher ISO speeds), you'll want to look into tools to help reduce the appearance of noise. Here are a few popular products:

Noiseware

Neat Image

Noise Ninja


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Old Apr 4, 2005, 9:03 AM   #3
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PS. are there any (cheap) gear that would make the Oly c-4040 perform better in these situations? (lenses?)
Any additional glass in front of the camera's lens is going to make the problem worse. The only accessory I'dconsider would be a powerful external flash, if flash is allowed, and you can stay within it's range. But,using flashwill tend to destroy the impact of the stage lighting.

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Old Apr 4, 2005, 9:22 AM   #4
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Hi!

Thank you very much for your reply!

I'm sure it will take some time for me to digest all this information

Glad to hear about the camera. The pictures i took did show some promise so i guess i just need to nail the technical side a little more to make most of it. Maybe in the future i'll upgrade but at the moment it would be an overkill.

I'm still a little worried about using anything else than auto mode. When shooting at home it isn't a problem since i can re-shoot.

About freezing the action i meant playing with the shutter settings. I was able to do it but it messed the other settings. The subject wasn't blurred anymore but the overall picture didn't look good.

Since the camera seems to perform without the flash... i haven't used flash almost at all. The performer would let me take a few pictures with a flash but not many. And if i'm waiting for the "perfect mistake" (good shot on my part) i guess i'll stay away from the flash.

Just noticed a funny thing about this site. This is the site that initially got me interested in this particular camera model I did read a few reviews but the one hear was the decision maker. Somehow i never noticed these forums ...

Ps. I use photoshop and i guess i'm more proficient with that than the camera. I've tried the noise ninja plugin and it seems to work great!
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Old Apr 4, 2005, 9:29 AM   #5
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elmore wrote:
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Ps. I use photoshop and i guess i'm more proficient with that than the camera. I've tried the noise ninja plugin and it seems to work great!
Good.

Ifyou set ISO speeds higher and use autoexposure (which will select the fastest available shutter speeds while insuring proper exposure anyway in low light), and still get an unacceptable amount of motion blur, there is another technique that you can use if you're proficient with an image editor....

Deliberately underexpose the photo by a little to get faster shutter speeds. You can use your exposure compensation for this purpose -- setting it to a -EV value. I'd probably go with around 1 stop underexposed ( -1.0 or -0.9 on most models). Then, brighten it back up later with an editor.

I wouldn't do this unless using higher ISO speeds isn't good enough, since underexposing an image can increase noise levels, too.


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