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-   -   Best Point & Shoot digital for Concerts (

jbjalways Jan 30, 2006 11:13 PM

I know that none are ideal for concert pics, but was wondering which one you would suggest? I am looking at the Canon S2 because I want a lot of zoom. Does anyone know how this works at concerts? I need to buy a camera quickly.


mtclimber Jan 30, 2006 11:40 PM

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The Canon S-2 will NOT work well for concerts at all, so please do not waste your money. The cheapest solution is the Fuji S-5200, but that is not great. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but really the only viable solution is either the Fuji S-9000 or an entry level dSLR camera. here is a S-9000 example photo. it was taken at amx ISO (1600) AND MAX ZOOM (300MM).


mtclimber Jan 30, 2006 11:43 PM

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This photo was taken with a Pentax 1st DS equipped with a 50-200mm Olympus lens using an ISO setting of 3200.


audioedge Jan 31, 2006 6:32 AM

you know getting pro looking cameras like S9000, S5200 and certainly a dSLR into a concert may be tricky (and risky for your camera in some concerts).

Id suggest taking a look at the Panasonic LZ3/5 which has 6x zoom and iso 1600 capability. Id suggest waiting to read some reviews when this camera is out though to see how well its low light performance is.


Get near the front of the concert and use a Fuji F10/F11 which has amazing low light capability.

Hope this helps

Link for FZ5:

curtisfun Jan 31, 2006 10:53 PM

I own the S5200 and it is one of the best cameras for concerts, see some pics I took from a concert a month ago:

I took so many pictures that it's best to view it as a slideshow.

Of the 350+ pictures I took, 75% of all pics are good enough for 4x6, and of the 75%, half are sharp enough for 8x10 print. That is a very good ratio.

All the pictures were taken with iso of 400 and 800. Mtclimber mentioned the S9000 as a better camera than the S5200, let me tell you that is definitely not the case because the S9000 has a slower lens than the S5200 in telephoto end, which is what you will need to use quite often in a concert unless you happen to be in the front rows. The S5200's apetture at full-telephoto is f3.2 vs. the S9000's f4.7, that is a full-stop slower.

That means to achieve the same shutter speed as the S5200 at iso800, the S9000 has to use iso1600, not good.

Note that the S5200 does not have Image Stabilzer, which means if in your concerts you don't have a chair to seat on, this camera probably won't work to well without a tripod. But if you will be sitting down, then not have I.S. is no biggy, considering you can avoid camera shake down to 1/50s with the chair, a shutter speed that is easily achievable at iso800 and probably iso400 as well, depending on the lighting of the concert.

Audioledge is recommending the LZ3 and LZ5, from early sample pics, the iso800 performance does not look too promising, haven't seen any iso1600 samples yet. But since you need a camera quick, I think you can pretty much skip it.

If you can spend more, you should also take a look at the Panasonic FZ30, it has pretty respectable iso400 performance, which is the minimum iso you would need for concerts, it also has I.S., so you can actually take camera shake free pictures without the use of a chair, a wall or tripod.


Hards80 Jan 31, 2006 11:03 PM

if you really want to do it right a dslr with a fast prime (85 1.8 or 100 2.0) is really the best option..

mtclimber Jan 31, 2006 11:09 PM


Yes, fast primes do work quite well. However, you have to have that MAXISO capability as well. That is why the ISO 3200 capability on both the Pentax 1st DS and the KM 5D are so very important.

The max ISO capability of IS 1600 on the Nikon D-50 and the Canon 350D/XT just cannot, I am sorry to say, cut it.


jbjalways Feb 1, 2006 9:10 PM

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Thanks for the suggestions.

I do have a Canon Digital Rebel, which I love and use at concerts in clubs, but they won't allow those into an arena concert. I need a point & shoot with a good zoom.

I did see some good pics on another site from a Canon S2 and Panasonic FZ5. Of course that doesn't include all of the blurry shots they got. There were a few crystal clear shots.

Here is a pic I took with the Digital Rebel at a club. If I could only bring this camera in I would be all set.

So any suggestions on a point & shoot? I know I can't expect much, but sick of spending money developing blurry concert film shots too. lol

mtclimber Feb 2, 2006 10:47 AM

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If you can get as close as you are in the just posted photo. Why not take a look at the Fuji F-10, it is only 3x optical zoom, but it does a great job at ISO 1600.

Best of all it will pass security inspection at any concert. Here is a no flash example of what the F-10 can do at ISO 1600.


jbjalways Feb 2, 2006 1:25 PM

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