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Old Oct 17, 2007, 2:40 PM   #11
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No problem. One other tip...

From your questions about Autofocus, it sounds like you're having a problem getting a focus lock.

Find a brighter area on the stage with lots of contrast somewhere (as close to the same distance from your camera to your primary subject as possible) and try to focus on it with a half press of the shutter button.

Then, while holding the shutter button half way down after a focus lock, frame as desired and wait until movement stops before smoothly pressing it the rest of the way down (the "smoothly" part is to help out with blur from camera shake). ;-)

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Old Oct 18, 2007, 8:44 AM   #12
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Some good advice above: I'd like to emphasize one point:

JimC wrote:
Take lots of photos. Be patient, prefocus with a half press of the shutter button, and try to take them when movement stops (smoothly press it the rest of the way down then). Your shutter speeds are still going to be slower than desired if there is any subject movement (expect motion blur).
Expect a lot of failures, so shoot a lot to be able to throw those away and still have some good ones. It does mean you are less likely to be able to get specific shots (Herman briefly kissing Ethel).

Keep rough track of the failure rate. If it is 90%, that means you need to shoot ten times to get one keeper. So get a big memory card and shoot away.
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Old Oct 20, 2007, 7:41 PM   #13
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Here are my 2 cents, I have done some paid work on teather, and this has really helped me:
  • Use the zoom and stay away from the front rows, or all your picts will be distorted by the perspective of the higher scenario. [/*]
  • Use a Monopod; it is more convenient than tripod when the subject is moving. [/*]
  • Set ISO to 200 or some times 400, but not more [/*]
  • Use post processing with a noise reduction Sw, Noise ninja is good, but Noiseware Pro works better (The one JimC suggested) [/*]
  • Setshutter speedto 1/30, aperture auto (S mode) [/*]
  • Set light metering and focusing to spot [/*]
  • Wait for the moments when the actors are motionless, usually they are dramatic moments; avoid high movement scenes [/*]
I hope this help you as helped me. I got great results with a Panasonic FZ-15 and FZ-30. Finally I movedto a DSLR KM Dynax 5D with Sigma 70-210 f2.8 and the results are more than satisfactory.

Remember, a totally sharp image is not always the best "story telling picture"; sometimes you can capture some "movement" and the pict will be stunning

Sorry for mybad english

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Old Oct 20, 2007, 9:01 PM   #14
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The OP's camera has a much dimmer lens compared to your Panasonic models. The E900's widest available aperture is down to f/5.6 if you zoom in much with it.

So, zooming in from further away, the camera would start underexposing in most stage lighting I've shot in trying to use ISO 200 at 1/30 second shooting shutter priority (because it couldn't open up the aperture wide enough to properly expose the images). Unless you're shooting in good light, using Shutter Priority is dangerous, because you can easily "run out of aperture" and start underexposing the images.

My guess is that they would be very dark from underexposure trying to shoot at ISO 200 with your suggested technique in most stage lighting with an E900 trying to zoom in much. In most stage lighting I've seen, you'd need around 1/20 second at f/2.8 using ISO 200 for subjects to be properly exposed.

IOW, f/5.6 and ISO 200 would require shutter speeds of around 1/5 second for proper exposure (f/2.8 is 4 times as bright as f/5.6), or 1/10 second at ISO 400 in typical lighting like that if the OP tried to use much zoom with an E900 (since the widest aperture on it's long end is f/5.6). It's longest zoom setting is only equivalent to 128mm, too.

Of course, lighting is going to vary and may be brighter or dimmer than I've seen. But, I'd have to disagree on trying your approach, just because it worked with your Panasonics. Their lenses don't lose light as fast as the E900 when you start zooming in.

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Old Oct 21, 2007, 10:59 PM   #15
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You are rigth Jim, I didn't consider that Panasonic has a lens with better aperture than Fuji.
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Old Oct 23, 2007, 10:52 AM   #16
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Gracias por tu consejo. Tu inglés es excelente, sin duda.
Quisiera ser lo mas fluido en español. I hope I got that right.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 7:40 PM   #17
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I have used my Fuji S-9110 indoors in an auditorium at the local school to get pictures of a play rehersal and also 2 public forums. Granted for the public forums they had some of the audience lights on. For the plays they had stage lights plus a few of the overhead light dimmed down.

What worked for me was the natural light settingand to use the tungsten light setting when shooting in shutter pirority mode. I found the Appature pirority mode didn't produce good pictures for me at all. I'd say 60% of my natural light setting photos came out good enough to save with a few photoshop elements 5.0 editing steps. Maybe 40% in shutter pirority.

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Old Oct 27, 2007, 3:43 PM   #18
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I teach digital camera workshops on cruise ships. So I am often taking photos (without flash) of the Production Shows. MY camera setup of choice is a Nikon D-50 equipped with a Sigma EX 30mm F 1.4 lens.

Here is a sample photo. I increased the ISO to 800 ISO and had plenty of shutter speed to stop the actrion.

Sarah Joyce
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