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Old Dec 15, 2009, 2:09 AM   #1
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Default Theatre Photos

Hi, Mywife is in the amateur theatre and I get asked to take photos. My 5x zoom Fuji Z100 takes lousy photos all the time, out of focus but even worse for indoor action, and I would like to get a compact that I could put a big flash with, so I can use it for theatre and also for it to be pocketable for general use. Advice on what combo would be good or what others use would be appreciated.
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Old Dec 15, 2009, 3:12 AM   #2
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I would look at something like a canon g10 or g11, olympus PEN's, or nikon coolpic 6000, You can put a external flash, but they are not really pocketable, well depending on what kind of pocket I guess. Not back pocket of a pair of jeans but a coat they will fit. But pretty much all the brands have camera simular in size to the ones I mention.
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Old Dec 15, 2009, 4:44 AM   #3
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You are in a very difficult situation as the needs of shooting on stage are not really met in a compact camera. Using flash for stage shots instantly removes the lighting that has been created what takes away a lot of the atmosphere and mood.

You ideally want to use a camera capable of high ISO/low noise as well as a bright lens to allow you to shoot without flash. There is only one option that might do it which is the Panasonic LX3. Although I'm still not completely sure that the high ISO capabilities are good enough.

Ideally you want a dSLR and a fast lens (30mm f1.4, 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8 etc) that will allow great quality of both the lens and noise handling. However size is obviously sacrificed but that is always the payoff in this game.

Here are a couple of shots that show the sort of results that it is possible to get using the above techniques that would be lost if you shot with flash as the lighting would be washed out.
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Old Dec 15, 2009, 6:24 AM   #4
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I will also add that if you use a short lens and are too close, you'll be shooting looking up at the actors on stage. Your best vantage point would be from the back with a long fast lens. Something like the Sigma or Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lenses and the OEM equivalents, would do well. Canon has a 70-200mm f/4.0 and Sony has the venerable Minolta 70-210mm f/4.0 'Beercan' that might also work, depending on the lighting.
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Old Dec 15, 2009, 10:16 AM   #5
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neville-

Welcome to the Forum. We are pleased that you dropped by.

Unfortunately, stage photography is really best done with high ISO capable DSLR cameras. Over the years I have done a lot of stage photography and I must share with you that it is an acquired, niche skill. If you attempt it with a point and shoot camera, I have found my results to be miserable, and very much as you have described them, yourself.

I have attached a sample photo that was taken with a Sony A-230 camera. Have a great day and a Merry Christmas.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 15, 2009, 10:52 AM   #6
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Neville, and another thing to notice from Sarah's photo even with a dSLR you can't always get sharp photos due to subject movement, the higher noise and the lighting on the stage etc will have a big impact. A prime lens with a wide aperture will help over using a standard zoom as it will let a lot more light into the camera.
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