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Old Jul 6, 2004, 9:33 AM   #1
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We need a general forum, one that's just about any type of camera, so you're not stuck to a certain one, or the "others." lol.

But anyway, I go to lots of concerts, and like to take pictures. What are some recommendations for good cameras to bring? Keeping in mind zoom, the flash being of little to no use, low lighting when farther away.

Thanks
-Justin
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Old Jul 8, 2004, 7:41 PM   #2
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Justin:

Since nobody else has responded, I'll take a crack at it.

Chances are, you're not going to be happy with the images from the overwhelming majority of Digital Cameras.

The problem is that there is not enough light in a concert. As a result, a high percentage of your photos will have excessive blur due to camera shake or subject movement, and/or excessive noise (similiar to film grain), if you try to shoot at higher ISO speeds.

The best tool for existing light shooting is a DSLR. These models have much larger sensors, that are able to gather more light, with less amplification of the sensor output. As a result, they are able to shoot at much higher ISO speeds, with lower noise, compared to non-DSLR models.

The lowest price DSLR on the market now is the Canon Digital Rebel. It's selling for ~ $900.00 for the body only (or a bit more for a kit that contains the camera body and a lens).

However, the kit lens won't be bright enough for good concert photos. You'll want to try and find a lens with a maximum aperture of around F/2.8 or brighter, at the focal length you'll use it at. Unfortunately, a bright lens (larger aperture, lower F/Stop Number) is more expensive. For example: a Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L USM EF Lens is selling for around $1,300.00 now.

To avoid the cost of a bright zoom lens, some users will want to go with Prime (non-Zoom) lenses. You can usually find fixed focal length lenses for much less, compared to Zoom Lenses of the same brightness. A lens like the Canon 100mm F2.0 USM EF Lens is a bright lens, and would give you a 35mm equivalent focal length of around 160mm (you must multiply the actual focal length of the lens by 1.6, to get the 35mm equivalent focal length when used on this model). It's selling foraround $500.00 from vendors now.

You may also want longer (or shorter) focal length lenses for other distances. Just keep in mind, that the brighter the lens, the more expensive (and larger it will be) for any given focal length.

The second most expensive DSLR is now the Nikon D70. It's selling for about $100.00 more than the Canon, at around $1000.00 for the body only. You'll also need bright lenses with it.

If budget is limited, I'd be inclined to try the Sony DSC-F717 for this purpose (2/3" CCD, fast F2.0/F2.4 lens). It's focal range is equivalent to 38-190mm in a 35mm camera. However, I'd buy a camera like this with the understanding that print sizes may be limited, due to higher noise compared to a Digital SLR (noise tends to "blend in" more at smaller print sizes). Also, since you won'tbe able to shoot at ISO Speeds (and shutter speeds) as fast as a DSLR, you may end up having a certain percentage of your photos with motion blur.

You will probably want to look into some software tools to help reduce noise in your photos, too (regardless of which digital camera you choose).

The two best tools on the market now for noise reduction are Neat Image and Noise Ninja. They also have downloadable trial versions of their products. Here are the links:

http://www.picturecode.com

http://www.neatimage.com

I'd strongly suggest purchasinga camera from a vendor with a no restocking fee policy, in case it does not perform as well as expected in concert lighting conditions.


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Old Jul 9, 2004, 9:42 AM   #3
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Yeah, I've had experience with blur, as I already have a Fuji Finepix 3800. The only way it doesn't blur is with the flash on, but then it's usually too dark or focused on heads in front of me.

Thanks for the advice about a DSLR. I need to get an official photographers job at a concert, since they can have whatever equipment they want. It'd be tough to get a DSLR through security :angry::?
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Old Jul 9, 2004, 12:34 PM   #4
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Justin:

I had the opportunity to look through some Concert Photos taken with a Minolta DiMAGE A2 at ISO 800 (shutter speeds 8 times as fast as ISO 100).

They were then processed via a software tool called Noiseware, set to remove "strong noise".

To my surprise, the photos look pretty darn useable, when viewed at 800x600 size (where he downsized most to after processing).

You can see the photos here:

http://www.pbase.com/dimasato1967/inbox

Here is where you can get the tool he used to reduce the noise:

http://www.imagenomic.com/

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