Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 8, 2008, 4:40 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5
Default

I've been asked by my boss to take pictures of different events at some of the company nightclubs. I've also realised that it's a great excuse to purchase a new camera :-). I enjoy taking photos but have ZERO knowledge of technical facets (Altho I have begun to study it) so I thought I'd ask those who do!

I have been tossing up the Canon SX10IS, Sony DSC-H50, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Nikon Coolpix P80 and Olympus SP560UZ / SP570UZ. I've also thought about the Olympus E-500 and Sony A200 dSLR's.

What I need is a camera that works well in a low light club scene.
I will be walking around the venue taking pictures of people, bands, DJ's etc in light ranging from full stage lighting to low colour wash from effect lights. I need something that will retain good colour and clarity but also isn't TOO big and bulky to carry around for 4hrs and to use on a crowded dancefloor.

From what I've found, cost wise (I'm in Australia) the P80 & SP560UZ are about $100 cheaper than the DSC-H50 & SX10IS which in turn are $100 cheaper than the SP570UZ & DMC-FZ28, with the E-500 & A200 about $50 more than that.

What are your thoughts on best quality vs cost? Is the DMC-FZ28 worth double the brice of the P80? I've played with the cameras instore and all seem reasonable, I've seen the reviews and they all sound like they'd work... but I haven't seen them in action in the sort of enviro I'll be using them, so if anybody has.. ?
Phluffed is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 8, 2008, 6:22 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 617
Default

The only small point and shoot cameras that will give you good results in a low light environment are the Fuji F100fd or the Panasonic LX3. A DSLR will give you better results, especially those from Canon or Nikon. The Canon Eos 1000d (Rebel XS) is an intro-level DSLR that takes good looking pictures under low light conditions.
AndyfromVA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 8, 2008, 12:56 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Andy is correct. None of the cameras you have listed are really suited to obtain the photos desired under the lighting conditions you describe. Even the Canon 1000d will be hard pressed to complete the assignment. to get those photos you may have to higher up in the Canon DSLR line of cameras. You have described absolutely horrid lighting conditions.

I would confer with a reputable camera dealer and work out an agreement to try several camera to determine in real time what camera is really up to the task. Least you think I am just blowing smoke at you, watch the camera dealer's face and his reaction when you describe the proposed lighting.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2008, 2:17 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5
Default

Thanks for the advice.

I've been looking around at a few other photo forums and it seems if I want the pictures to come out in a way I'm happy with, it has to be a dSLR. The problem I have at the moment is I'm using an old Kodak DX7630 and while the majority of the images are crisp, there is alot of lost colour in people's skin & clothes and all "club" lighting is lost in the flash. Without a flash I may as well just leave the lense cap on

So on to some simple dSLR's... I'm looking at the Cannon 1000d, Sony Alpha 200, Petax K200d and Olympus E500. All are about the same price at the moment here.

The Alpha and the 1000d come with 18-70mm & 75-300mm
The E500 comes with 14-42mm & 40-150mm
The K200D comes with 18-55mm

Any tips out there?? I've held them all and feel just as comfortable with any of them. I liked the Olympus & Sony a little more, but could happily use any of them.
Phluffed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2008, 7:50 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 617
Default

Quote:
The Alpha and the 1000d come with 18-70mm & 75-300mm
The E500 comes with 14-42mm & 40-150mm
The K200D comes with 18-55mm
The Canon EOS 1000d comes with Canon's 18-55mm kit lens.

While the Sony A200, Canon 1000d and Pentax k200d are current models, the Olympus E500 is a discontinued model that was released in September 2005 - the current version is the E520.



AndyfromVA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2008, 10:38 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5
Default

Sorry, I didn't read the info properly, yes the 1000D comes with 18-55mm. But it is a twin lense pack with the 75-300mm lense.

I was also having a bad typing day with the Olympus. It IS the E-520. Thanks for pointing it out

Phluffed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2008, 8:06 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

The Olympus E-520 is very good at an ISO setting of 1600. Take a look at this photo, please.

Sarah Joyce
Attached Images
 
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2008, 12:12 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Biro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 835
Default

I'm a very happy Pentax K200D owner... but if you're going to be using your new DSLR in the club environment for a good percentage of its total use, I find I have to recommend the Canon.

All of the other DSLR's you're considering are quite good in their own way (and, for me, you can't beat the Pentax in terms of bang for the buck). But in the price range we're talking about, Canon's image processing has the edge when it comes to keeping noise down at higher ISOs (higher sensor sensitivity you'll need in low light if you don't want to use flash) and also has the edge when it comes to autofocusing speed and accuracy in low light. The edge I'm talking about isn't dramatic, mind you, but it can make a difference in the conditions you'll be working in.

Of course, if you can afford it, you can add some faster prime (non-zoom) lenses to your kit. They'll allow a lot more light to reach a camera's sensor and they go a long way toward compensating for almost any camera's limitations in low light. Remember: The more light you let in, the faster your shutter speed can be (less blur) and the lower your ISO can be (that means less potential noise). You may know this already, but a faster lens has a lower f-number. That means an f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens (a typical speed for a kit zoom) isn't as fast (doesn't let as much light into the camera) as an f/2.8 or f/1.8 prime lens. The trade-off is that primes can't zoom.

But you'll probably have to try using a DSLR with its zoom lens at the club in question before you'll really know how wide or long your primes should be. And you can always add these later as you gain more experience and if you feel the kit pieces aren't good enough. But if you can't afford extras like these, the kit lenses for Canon, Pentax and Olympus are particularly good.

Also, if you're using slower kit lenses, then you might be more concerned about blur if you're shooting with lower shutter speeds (because the kit lens isn't letting as much light in the camera). That's where image stabilization can help somewhat. In Canons and Nikons, the image stabilization is in the lens. For Pentax, Olympus and Sony, it's in the camera body. I'm pretty sure Canon's kit lenses for the 1000D have IS. But the purchase of additional lenses will cost a bit more. For the Pentax, Olympus and Sony, ANY lenses you put on them - aftermarket or not - will be image stabilized.

But remember: IS can compensate for movement by you or the camera, but it cannot compensate for a moving photo subject. For that, you need higher shutter speeds - which means more light (faster lens) and/or higher ISO (higher senor sensitivity). Just something to take into consideration and something you'll want to ask your camera dealer about. If you get a blank look or sense the person really doesn't know what they're talking about, then find a new dealer.

I hope I'm not overwhelming you. But the conditions under which you plan to work are among the toughest for any photographer, so some basic knowledge about lens speeds, shutter speeds and ISO's will be required. Of course, if you knew all this already, then I just gave a brief tutoral for some other DSLR newbie who's reading this! But if I were you, I'd start with the kit lens (and probably a two-lens kit that includes a telephoto lens), gain some experience and add other lenses if needed. Good luck!
Biro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 13, 2008, 10:28 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
BillDrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hay River Township, WI
Posts: 2,512
Default

As noted by many folks above, dealing with low light means some combination of high ISO, fast lens (low f/number), and slow shutter speed. The other solution is to not shoot in low light by adding light: a good powerful flash with lots of bounce and diffusion. Since you mentioned events, you could stick a sign on your hat saying something like "Company Photographer" to make yourself stick out more so the folks who want their photos taken will drop into some kind of pose for you.

That will be big and bulky.
BillDrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 13, 2008, 11:16 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Hi Bill-

That is a very good and very worable solution.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:52 AM.