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Old Nov 13, 2006, 4:00 PM   #11
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Synthetic wrote:
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I like going to concerts and capturing the lighting there.
Well, it looks like you're considering cameras in the $300 neighborhood.

As already suggested, I'd take a look at the Fuji models for better high ISO performance on a tight budget.

If you wanted better results in a concert environment, I'd go with a DSLR solution, which will cost you a bit more.

One solution would be the Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D. I'm biased since I shoot with one. :-)

KM exited the camera business earlier this year, and most vendors sold out months ago. But, Adorama recently listed some more, so they must have found a stash. Sony is performing warranty service for them as part of the arrangement to acquire some of KM's assets.

In that solution on the tightest budget, I'd go with a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D ($569 for a kit including the 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 lens) + a Vivitar 70-210mm f/2.8-4 Autofocus Lens (from around $89.95 to $125 new in the box on Ebay).

Maxxum 5D kits with 5D + 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 for $569.95 at Adorama

Example of a Vivitar 70-210mm f/2.8-4 Lens Listing at $89.95 from CametaAuctions

I got mine for $79.95 not long ago, but the price has gone up $10 ;-)

If light is good, a relatively bright zoom can get you by if you have high ISO speeds available. The Minolta 70-210mm f/3.5-4.5 and 70-210mm f/4 lenes can be found for a bit over $100 now as alternatives

Images taken at a Mother's Finest Concert using a KM 5D and Vivitar 70-210mm f/2.8-4

But, it also depends on how low the light is for your ISO speed and lens requirements if you can't use a tripod or flash.

This was taken with a Maxxum 5D at 1/20 second shooting at ISO 3200 with a Minolta 100mm f/2 AF Lens with the aperture wide open at f/2

That's twice as bright as the wide end of a lens like the Vivitar I mentioned above (f/2 is twice as bright as f/2.8 ) Lighting was provided by clip on light on a music stand in front of them to illuminate the sheet music. :-)

Given that you'd have the same angle of view that you'd have using a 150mm lens on a 35mm camera (so the rule of thumb would be shutter speeds of 1/150 second or faster to reduce blur from camera shake), I think the Anti-Shake did it's job shooting with a hand held camera at 1/20 second.





Here's an example of where both Anti-Shake and higher ISO speeds come in with the inexpensive Vivitar. This was taken zoomed into 210mm (same angle of view as you'd have using a 315mm lens on a 35mm camera), with the aperture wide open at f/4.

The "rule of thumb" for a hand held photo is 1/focal length. So, if you're using a 100mm lens, use 1/100 second or faster. If you're using a 200mm lens, use 1/200 second or faster, etc.

Of course, some people can hold a camera steadier than others, and some may require even faster shutter speeds to reduce blur from camera shake.

But for most people, to get best results without blur from camera shake, it would be a good idea to keep shutter speeds around 1/300 second or faster if you're not using a tripod.

With anti-shake, I don't even worry about trying to hold the camera any steadier than usual at shutter speeds 1/3 that fast.

KM 5D, ISO 1600 using a Vivitar 70-210mm f/2.8-4 with the aperture wide open at f/4 on the long end of the lens at 210mm (315mmm equivalent on a DSLR with an APS-C size sensor), hand held at 1/100 second. Straight from the camera with no post processing except for downsizing with Irfanview and saved at 85% JPEG Quality.


[img]attachment.php?id=82670[/img]



Some photos from the same concert using this lens are in this forum post:

Images taken at a Mother's Finest Concert using a KM 5D and Vivitar 70-210mm f/2.8-4

Note that you could buy a higher quality lens (or lenses) as budget permitted if you find it's not meeting your expectations. But, for what it's selling for, I think it's a great deal for a lens you could use for this type of shooting.

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Old Nov 14, 2006, 10:06 PM   #12
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thanks for all the help, for the longest time I was looking into the Fuji s5200, but its only a 5mpi and although I don't really need a big resolution because I rarely print out pics, let alone big ones, I wanted something a bit more.
I wanted the pics to be a bit more sharp and crisp.
I ended up getting the Nikon I mentioned in the beginning of this thread. I haven't really been able to play yet so I'm not sure if it's going to do what I need.
I guess that's what ebay is for if I don't lol.

Apparently Fuji takes the cake. After x-mas I just might spend a bit more and get a really decent newer model.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 12:45 AM   #13
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Im interested in what you think of the camera, because the L3 pretty much sucks. MP are the least thing to think about. Higher resolution doesnt matter in an 8x10 print when the lowest now is 5MP.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 9:01 AM   #14
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Synthetic wrote:
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thanks for all the help, for the longest time I was looking into the Fuji s5200, but its only a 5mpi and although I don't really need a big resolution because I rarely print out pics, let alone big ones, I wanted something a bit more.
In a budget camera, that Fuji S5200 would probably make a pretty decent choice compared to most non-DSLR cameras.

It's lens is brighter than most on the longer end (it only drops down to f/3.5 zoomed in all the way with it). It's also got ISO 800 available to it.

Quote:
I ended up getting the Nikon I mentioned in the beginning of this thread.
I hate to tell you this. But, if you can't get close enough to use the flash, that's probably one of the worse choices you could have made for a low light camera (I'm assuming you mean the Nikon L1 you mentioned). There's a reason members were steering you towards the Fuji models. They have higher available ISO speeds.

The Nikon L1's highest ISO speed only goes to ISO 200 (and you can't even control it, as it's Auto ISO only). The ISO speed determines how sensitive the sensor (or film) is to light. Each time you double the ISO speed, you can use shutter speeds twice as fast for the same lighting and aperture (how far open the iris is that lets light through the lens to the sensor, working like the pupils in your eyes).

When your shutter speeds are too slow (as they will be with this camera indoors without a flash), you're going to get blur from both camera shake and subject movement.

The Fuji S5200 has ISO 800 available (allowing shutter speeds 4 times as fast as the Nikon L1's ISO 200 for the same lighting and aperture).

The Fuji's lens is also much brighter when you start zooming in much. It's lens only drops down to f/3.5 (lower numbers are wider aperture openings) zoomed in all the way. That's a bit more than twice as bright as the lens on the Nikon L1, which is down to f/5 on it's long end.

So, given the lens differences, combined with higher available ISO speeds, you'd be able to get shutter speeds approximately 8 times as fast using the Fuji S5200 versus the Nikon L1 if you're zooming in much with it.

At ISO 200 and f/5 (where you'd be zoomed in to the long end of the Nikon), you're going to need a flash in low light. So, your best bet would be to get close enough to stay within it's rated flash range (or use an external slave flash instead).

The L1 is not very suitable for shooting live music in low light without a flash. If you stay on the wide end (don't zoom in any), you might have a better chance with it (it's lens is brighter on it's wider end/lowest zoom setting). But, it's not going to work well in most indoor lighting conditions without a flash.

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Old Nov 15, 2006, 11:42 AM   #15
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I always impulse buy even though I ask about things, this was a good deal that came with alot of accessories.
2GB mem card, batteries, charger....and the camera for $200.
I tried to play with the camera a bit last night but everything was blurry, and didn't really care for the quality.
I don't know if it was me being picky or if it was just not that good of a camera.
Since it's still new I will try to resell it and grab up another one, this time I'm going for the fuji.

I've seen some examples of shots with the S5200 and I really didn't think they were that exceptional at all, grainy and full of noise. But I do believe it was because the digital zoom was used, which I would never bother with because I know how not great it is.

My friend has a $1400 Canon and I don't even think that his pictures are all that wonderful either, maybe he just doesn't know how to use it yet? This is where I am confused and rack my brain reading reviews and asking questions because I never know what is going to work for what I need it for and what is just plain crap.


I really appreciate all the help, glad to know people actually know what they are talking about. :G
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 7:43 PM   #16
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A great camera can still take bad photos if the person does not compose the pictures right. I've seen great pics from <$200 cameras that rivaled those taken by someone who bought 30d Canon just because it was expensive.
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