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Old Mar 5, 2005, 9:58 PM   #1
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I am using a Kodak DX 7590, which is fairly good during daylight photography. However, it is quite underperforming when I want to take pictures of stage performances in darkened halls which do not allow flash.

I thought of getting the D70 or the 300D, but the sales assistant at my local camera shop told me that even with a dSLR, I need a better lens to take photos in that condition. Something that would cost me nearly the same price as the camera.



So I was wondering what are the requirements needed to take stage performance photos in a darkened hall with low light and no flash? Would the standard kit lens for the D70 or 300D suffice? If not, what lenses should I buy? Are there any P&S that can do the job?
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Old Mar 6, 2005, 1:43 AM   #2
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your best bet is going to be a dSLR and getting at least a slight lens upgrade. you will get the best picture clarity if you use a faster (muc more expensive) lens, but you can also get some pretty good shots just by adjusting the ISO of the camera.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Changing the ISO of your camera will result in decreased picture quality, but if you are mostly going to print below a 5"x7" picture you wont notice the change if you shoot with a dSLR.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"i would suggest the Canon Digital Rebel XT ($999 US)this camera is a brand new 8MP from canon and supports ISO speeds up to 1600. the higher resolution will make the noise (picture distortion caused by higher ISO settings) less evident on your prints. i dont think that the 18-55mm kit lens that is supplied with the body will be enough telephoto for you and i would reccomend style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"getting the cheaper 75-300mm f/4-5.6 lens to give you the zooming abilities. this lens runs about $200-250 US and is good for starters (until you can justify spending more on a lens). there are also many lenses that will work for you from other companies like Sigma. usually going with a 3rd party lens manufacturer you can get more lens for your $$$

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"hope this helped
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Old Mar 6, 2005, 4:32 AM   #3
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lemondster wrote:
Quote:
your best bet is going to be a dSLR and getting at least a slight lens upgrade. you will get the best picture clarity if you use a faster (muc more expensive) lens, but you can also get some pretty good shots just by adjusting the ISO of the camera.
Good lenses are not neccessarily expensive.
Depending on how far you're away from stage, a 50mm /f1.8 lens will be a good choice for about $100.

Quote:
Changing the ISO of your camera will result in decreased picture quality, but if you are mostly going to print below a 5"x7" picture you wont notice the change if you shoot with a dSLR.
Well, high ISO causes grainy pictures, but neatimage or noise ninja get rid of noise and you'll be able to print the pictures full-size without seeing (much) grain.
Plus, the new dSLR models like Canon 20D give you some great results even in high ISO setting and won't cause much noise in images.

Quote:
i would suggest the Canon Digital Rebel XT ($999 US) this camera is a brand new 8MP from canon and supports ISO speeds up to 1600.
Good choice.
But if your budget is high enough, get the 20D. It supports even ISO 3200 with a quite good image quality.


Quote:
the higher resolution will make the noise (picture distortion caused by higher ISO settings) less evident on your prints. i dont think that the 18-55mm kit lens that is supplied with the body will be enough telephoto for you and i would reccomend getting the cheaper 75-300mm f/4-5.6 lens to give you the zooming abilities. this lens runs about $200-250 US and is good for starters (until you can justify spending more on a lens). there are also many lenses that will work for you from other companies like Sigma. usually going with a 3rd party lens manufacturer you can get more lens for your $$$
I wouldn't recommend a lens with an f-stop of 4-5.6 for indoor stage action. It won't give you the fast shutter speeds you need to freeze the motion.

A Sigma 70-200 /f2.8 EX HSM will perform better but is more expensive (about $700).

However, if price is a matter, go get a 50mm or 85mm /f1.8 or even f1.4 prime lens as mentioned above and try to get as close to the stage as possible. If you really need to zoom in, you won't get any good results with f4.0.
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Old Mar 6, 2005, 6:13 AM   #4
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If you think you're going to be able to get fairly close to the stage, you might want to look at a 28mm, 35mm or 50mm fast lens.

Canon makes a fairly inexpensive 50mm F1.8 lens for under $100.

Definitely a camera with high ISO's (like ISO3200) would be a big benefit to get those low light pictures. The Canon 20D is very clean at high ISO's, and can be cleaned up (as explained in an earlier post by kex) with software.

There are other DSLR's with ISO3200 capability but you'd have to check what people are saying about how clean their images are at high ISO's.

The main thing is to look at the lens focal length you are comfortable shooting. I'd go for a really fast lens. Some of the zooms are a little slow and might not cut it for you.

Find out what other professionals are using and check their results.



-- Terry


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Old Mar 6, 2005, 7:12 AM   #5
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I likethe suggestion to get a dslr and use a fast prime (non-zoom) lens.remember that all of the dslrs mentioned have a focal length factor of 1.5 to 1.6 that means that the effective focal length of the lens is increased by that much. If you can find a non-zoom lens in the 100mm (to 150mm) range it will probably be an f2.8 lens and will seem like a 150mm (or 225mm). With ISO 1600 you can now take pictures which were not possible with your Kodak (although you still do not have the reach of the DX 7590's zoom which is over 300mm). Cameras such as the Pentax *istDS can use some older A-series manual focus lenses such as some excellent 200mm f3.5 s, a bit slow but equivalent to 300mm and offering the high ISO.

Either way, it is going to cost significantly more than the price of your present camera to get the results you want.

Ira
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Old Mar 6, 2005, 7:54 AM   #6
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This must be the most in-depth explanation I have ever had concerning my problem. Hey, thanks lemondtser, kex, terry and monza. I will certainly look into the suggestions given.

About the proximity to the stage, well, I think I can get closer. So the prime lenses are a more realistic and cheaper option, I guess, providing that I can find them here.

I wanted to buy the camera and lens by June. Am waitingfor the 350D to come out so that prices on camera bodies would drop:G.

I do hope Nikon would follow up with a better version for D70 soon.



Anyway, thanks so much. You guys are
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Old Mar 6, 2005, 2:17 PM   #7
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here is a picture i took with my XT at ISO 1600

http://www.superbasspond.com/turnakit/IMG_6334.JPG
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