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Old Aug 28, 2004, 4:32 PM   #1
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Hello all I an looking for a good camera for shooting indoor music concerts. I have been looking at the minolta A2 also the new canon G6 but i have not heard to much about this one yet .. Does aay one have any suggestions on this>> I would like to get the Olympus E1 but its a lil $$$$$ but I did hear it took great low light Pictures Any help on this would be great.......Thanks/....Ken
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Old Aug 28, 2004, 9:37 PM   #2
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There are several factors to consider when taking low light level digital photos:

1. How much zoom do you desire. The Canon G-5/6 is a 3X optical. The Minolta A2 is about 7X optical zoom.

2. How well can the digital camera of choice focus in low light levels. Its worth some research.

3. Can you use a monopod or a tripod in your shooting venue? Due to stage lighting the amount of light actually available will vary greatly.

4. What is the maximum useable ISO setting on your digital camera of choice? That setting, as well as the amount of electronic noise generatedby your digital camera of choice will effect the quality of your finished digital images.

So please give us some more information and we can work out a solution for you.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 28, 2004, 10:50 PM   #3
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Thanks Sarah

I would be shooting by hand without a tripod. I would at least like a 4 times optical zoom, from what I understand the more you zoom the less light you get. From what I see the A2 has an ISO equivelant up to 800 the G6 only goes to 400, and some of these Sony's look like they go up to 800 (DSCV1 5MP and the 8MP) the Sony above that one. So sofar I am leaning toward the A2, but the more I read the more confused I get. Maybe I will hit the lottory tonight and get the E1 or the new D20.

Thanks for your help

Ken
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Old Aug 29, 2004, 1:59 AM   #4
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You have hit the age old problem to which the reply must be - there is no substitute for size! Indoor photography without flash needs big glass, say F2 or F2.8 minimum, and that is at the long end of the zoom. Most prosumer zoomsat leasthalve their aperture from close up to maximum zoom, so if you wish to pursue this route you are going to need front row seats at each concert. Are you wishing to print the photos? If you are the "noise" or "grain" as it was called in silver halide days will make the resulting prints not very agreeable if you use a high ISO rating. I have had the same problem even with an SLR in the front row.

So many new cameras are coming on the market that it is very important to research each one carefully, not least for the important matter of shutter lag. I know the Olympus 8080 has an F2.4 lens but this decreases to F8 at the long end of the zoom. It does have a 5x zoom though. Quite frankly, I am not sure that a prosumer camera is the answer, and Steve's review of the E1 damns with faint praise. Personally I think your answer lies with either a Canon Rebel or Nikon D70, buying Sigma or such lenses to reduce overall cost. It is of no use buying a camera which is not up to the job. At least try the camera of your choice in the shop and ask them to show you the results on a TV so you can judge.
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Old Aug 29, 2004, 7:20 AM   #5
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Do you mean indoor concerts in a large symphony hall or indoor arena, or do you mean indoor concerts in smaller clubs? How close will you be to the stage? Will there be any restrictions on bringing cameras into the venue?


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Old Aug 29, 2004, 10:30 AM   #6
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Consumer digital cameras can be used for existing light digital photos within a concert/disco venue, but as you so nicely noted, the most prominent problem will be electronic noise, which most digital camera users perceive as "grain."

DSLR cameras due to their much larger CCD's tend to exhibit less electronic noise. A halfway solution is to run the resulting digital photos through a piece of very effective noise reduction software. However, this is only a halfway solution.

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Old Aug 29, 2004, 10:31 PM   #7
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Thank for all the help.. I will be going to Cabo in Oct & I will be front stage for the Shows @ the Cabo Wabo maybe 4 to 10 ft from the preformer. so being that close I should be OK with a digitil.. I hope??Thanks
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Old Aug 30, 2004, 8:31 AM   #8
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My concern is that your initial post indicated that you would not be able to use the camera's flash.

Without flash, you're going to have very noisy photos with a non-DSLR camera. So, it depends on what you want use them for. If you keep the print/viewing sizes small; and use a goodNoise Reduction Tool to help reduce the noise, then you'd probably be OK.

The two most popular tools are Neat Image and Noise Ninja:

http://www.neatimage.com

http://www.picturecode.com

If however, you're looking to make larger prints, etc., then I'd strongly consider a DSLR with along with a brighter lens. These models have much larger sensors with much lower noise levels at any given ISO speed.

The Canon G6 has the brighter lens between the models you're looking at. It's F/2.0-F/3.0 lens is twice as bright as the Minolta's at the wider end; allowing shutter speeds twice as fast for any given ISO speed and lighting level. However, to increase the percentage of photos without motion blur without a flash,you may still need to shoot at ISO 400 with it.

The Konica-Minolta A2 has the advantage of anti-shake; so it could help toreduce motion blur at the slower shutter speeds you'd need without a flash (but this won't help to prevent blur from subject movement). Motion Blur from Camera shake is sometimes worse in lower light than blur from subject movement. However, it sounds like you'll be able to stay at the wide angle end of the lens where you'll get less blur from camera shake. There are pros and cons to either one.

Let us know more about the use you'll have for the photos, if you'll be able to use a flash, and if you will be able to use your feet for zoom; and there may be a DSLR solution that would not be too bad price wise. For example: you could buy a Canon Digital Rebel (body only) with a 50mm f/1.8 lens (which would be equivalent to a 75mm lens on a 35mm camera) for around $900.00 now. This kind of solution would give you much cleaner prints than you'd be able to get from the cameras you are looking at.

I took some photos, directly in front of the performers at a concert usinga 5MPPocketable Camera at ISO 400 not long ago. They were quite ugly due to the high noise in the images. About the only keepersI got (which were onlya handful out of all the photos I took during the concert), were someones I took at ISO 200 using a flash (and even these needing cleaning up).

Now, the Canon G6 may be better in this respect. Theoritically, the new 7MP CCD should have higher noise (because the photosites for each pixel are smaller). But, looking at some of the test images from it, it may be lower than the older 5MP CCD. Also, the Canon Consumer Models tend to test about a stop faster than their rated ISO speed. I looked through some G6 photos where a meter was used to check EV; and compared the exposure settings used in the photos. It appears that this trait also carrys over to the new G6 (it's still a stop faster than it's rated ISO speed). So, you may be able to get away with using it. But, for best results,go with a DSLRand a bright lens.








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Old Aug 30, 2004, 9:24 AM   #9
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Thanks Jim Yes I can use a flash bit I did;nt want to wash out the colors of the stage lights maybe these new cameras will work better then the one I used last year with flash with just some kinda fill in flash. As you can tell I pretty new at this!!!! I was told that the Olympus E1 was very nice . But its lil more then I want to spend$$$ thanks Ken
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Old Aug 30, 2004, 9:43 AM   #10
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Ken:

What I'd do if you don't want to go the DSLR route, is make sure to buy a camera from a vendor with a no restocking fee policy. Then, find a small club somewhere with live music so you can take some photos in similar lighting conditions and test it to see what to expect at different ISO speeds.Try Auto ISO,ISO 200 and ISO 400. Given the brighter f/2.0-3.0lens of the G6,it may be good enough to get some keepers without too muchmotion blur if you take lots of shots. Then run the images through Neat Image to see how well they clean up.

That way, you'll know whether or not you'll be happy with the results, know what settings are needed,and also have some practice ahead of time for the concerts you want to take photos at.

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