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Old Oct 12, 2006, 5:30 PM   #21
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Dance Recitals, huh?

Those are tough. The last Dance Recital I went to, I was only getting 1/15 second at ISO 200 for a well exposed image with a little pocket camera I had with me.

I also had to crouch under the stage so that I wouldn't need to zoom in any (most smaller cameras including the Konica I was using lose a light of light if you zoom into longer focal lengths). Fortunately, nobody complained about me shooting that way. I tried to keep my head as low as possible while crouched in one corner under the stage.

Don't count on the performers being still enough for a photo at shutter speeds this slow for one for more than about 1 shot per recital (if you can hold the camera steady enough). Most of your photos are probably going to blurry at lower ISO speeds.

Your best bet is to buy a DSLR and use a brighter lens on it (50mm, 85mm, or 100mm f/2 or brighter prime).

Konica Revio KD-510z at ISO 200, 1/15 second (not a good solution, since most shots at this shutter speed will be blurry).


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Old Oct 12, 2006, 10:13 PM   #22
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I received my Fuji S6000fd today, and I have been playing with it quite a bit. I bought it from Norman Camera for $399 shipped, and had zero problems. They have great reps there that helped with a cred card problem.

Anyways, the camera feels terrific. The weight is nice, as is the way you hold it. I won't do a full review now, since this post is focused on low light action.

In JimC's situation, the Fuji could allow 1/60th second speeds at ISO800, and still have very little noise. even zooming in 1/3 way would still allow for 1/40th of a second or so, equaling a compact's zoom and a much faster aperture, along with the beefier camera which is less prone to shake. Image stabilization is little help for you, since your subject is moving, so Fuji's good ISO is the way to go if you don't want dSLR.


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Old Oct 13, 2006, 4:28 AM   #23
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This to me is a simple 'problem', if you can call it that. A DSLR is definitely the better choice as far as overall versatility and picture quality are concerned, but there are lots of trade-offs, the major ones being cost and bulk, as many have already pointed out. If picture quality is your major criteria, this is really the only way to go. However, there are many superzooms available now that perform in ways that were undreamed of just a few years ago, They can shoot in low light, are easily portable, have exceptional lenses with 12X being the standard today. They are much faster than they were only a year or two ago, and many give you options previously available only to DSLR owners, such as RAW capability. Many have hotshoes for external flash and amazingly complete lines of accessories to choose from, including lenses, filters, external flashes, even remote control. These cameras also handle extremely well and are very energy efficient. My Fuji S5200 has no trouble at all getting 500 or more shots from easily available AA NiMh batteries - most if not all DSLR's run on proprietary Li-ion (read expensive) batteries. Try finding these at your local Quickie-Mart when your battery dies on you in the middle of a shoot. A high qualty superzoom is an amazing machine that can deliver on almost all the aspects of photographic performance that people look for today. On top of that - and this may be the kicker- they can be set to operate as a simple P&S that anyone can use, and they have complete sets of manual controls for the hardcore. The Fuji S5200, S6000, S9100 and the Canon S3 IS are outstanding long-zoom EVF or DSLR-like cameras.
Good luck to you
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Old Oct 13, 2006, 10:02 AM   #24
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Carskick wrote:
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In JimC's situation, the Fuji could allow 1/60th second speeds at ISO800, and still have very little noise. even zooming in 1/3 way would still allow for 1/40th of a second or so, equaling a compact's zoom and a much faster aperture, along with the beefier camera which is less prone to shake.
That would be too slow. You'll get lots of blurry photos from subject movement trying to take photos of a dance recital at 1/40th or 1/60th second, unless you can catch the participants motionless.

Quote:
mage stabilization is little help for you, since your subject is moving, so Fuji's good ISO is the way to go if you don't want dSLR.
In addition to blur from subject movement, most shooters would also have blur from camera shake trying to zoom in and take photos at 1/40 second without a tripod. The "rule of thumb" is that shutter speeds should be 1/focal length. IOW, if you're zoomed in to 100mm, use 1/100 second or faster.

For rapidly moving subjects, to get rid of most (but, not necessarily all) blur from subject movement, it's a good idea to get shutter speeds up to around 1/250 second or faster. But, with most camera/lens combinations, you're not going to achieve that indoors.

The best solution for this kind of photography is a DSLR shooting at ISO 1600 or 3200 with a bright prime (even an f/2.8 zoom may not be bright enough).

Can you get any usable images at slower shutter speeds? Sure. If you take enough photos and catch your subjects abosolutely still, being very careful to avoid camera shake. But, a DSLR would be the preferred solution for a higher percentage of keeprs.



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Old Oct 13, 2006, 11:53 AM   #25
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The great thing about digital is if you take 100 photos one night, with a P&S or near-SLR, you're bound to have a few turn out great, and you don't have to pay for development of all the bad ones

JimC wrote:
Quote:

The best solution for this kind of photography is a DSLR shooting at ISO 1600 or 3200 with a bright prime (even an f/2.8 zoom may not be bright enough).

Can you get any usable images at slower shutter speeds? Sure. If you take enough photos and catch your subjects abosolutely still, being very careful to avoid camera shake. But, a DSLR would be the preferred solution for a higher percentage of keeprs.


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Old Oct 13, 2006, 12:33 PM   #26
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digraph wrote:
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The great thing about digital is if you take 100 photos one night, with a P&S or near-SLR, you're bound to have a few turn out great, and you don't have to pay for development of all the bad ones
Very true. The question is a matter of whether YOU as the photographer want to pick the moments to capture and spend the rest of the time enjoying the show or spend all your time taking 100s of photos and take what chance throws your way. It really is a matter of how often you're going to do this kind of thing - if it's once a year, it just doesn't make sense to me to spend the money on a DSLR and fast prime lens. But if low light photography is going to be a regular thing it makes more sense to have the right tools for the job.
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 10:56 AM   #27
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JohnG wrote:
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digraph wrote:
Quote:
The great thing about digital is if you take 100 photos one night, with a P&S or near-SLR, you're bound to have a few turn out great, and you don't have to pay for development of all the bad ones
Very true. The question is a matter of whether YOU as the photographer want to pick the moments to capture and spend the rest of the time enjoying the show or spend all your time taking 100s of photos and take what chance throws your way. It really is a matter of how often you're going to do this kind of thing - if it's once a year, it just doesn't make sense to me to spend the money on a DSLR and fast prime lens. But if low light photography is going to be a regular thing it makes more sense to have the right tools for the job.
I am trying to understand this correctly, it is better to have one of these point and shoot cameras in low-light than it is having a dslr camera with bigger flash or is this compared to a dslr camera with standard pop-up flash?
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 12:29 PM   #28
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You can get pretty decent low-light performance from long-zoom digicams these days, with ISO numbers as high as 3200 in some of them, but this is the area where DSLR's have a huge advantage. Their larger lenses and sensors equate to superior light-gathering ability, and the larger sensor in particular means that noise is much less of an issue, which is important in low-light.

The pop-up flashes on all cameras, DSLR's included, don't illuminate very well beyond about 15 feet, a limitation you'll need to consider. A dedicated hotshoe flash can cost a few bucks, but you'll find it a lot more powerful and versatile.



jeepsr4girlz wrote:
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I am trying to understand this correctly, it is better to have one of these point and shoot cameras in low-light than it is having a dslr camera with bigger flash or is this compared to a dslr camera with standard pop-up flash?
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 3:34 PM   #29
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I can tell you that the flash I have while adequate does not light properly or far enough, it also makes nasty shadows on candid shots.
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 3:41 PM   #30
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jeepsr4girlz wrote:
Quote:
JohnG wrote:
Quote:
digraph wrote:
Quote:
The great thing about digital is if you take 100 photos one night, with a P&S or near-SLR, you're bound to have a few turn out great, and you don't have to pay for development of all the bad ones
Very true. The question is a matter of whether YOU as the photographer want to pick the moments to capture and spend the rest of the time enjoying the show or spend all your time taking 100s of photos and take what chance throws your way. It really is a matter of how often you're going to do this kind of thing - if it's once a year, it just doesn't make sense to me to spend the money on a DSLR and fast prime lens. But if low light photography is going to be a regular thing it makes more sense to have the right tools for the job.
I am trying to understand this correctly, it is better to have one of these point and shoot cameras in low-light than it is having a dslr camera with bigger flash or is this compared to a dslr camera with standard pop-up flash?
In the scenario being discussed, flash is probably not allowed. So, in those intstances, the larger sensor and better high ISO performance of a DSLR shine.

In any low light instance where flash is allowed, as Toshi43 pointed out - an external flash is going to be much, much beter than the built in flash of any camera.
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