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 Post subject: Concert Photography
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:54 am 
I'm not quite sure which heading this should go under, but it seems to be the closest one.

I'm currently using an Olympus E-500 to do concert photography, but am in the market for a newer camera that can hold its own in this particular area of photography. If anyone has any suggestions on which camera I should buy, I am completely open minded!

I need the camera to be able to capture pictures quickly with no flash in a low light setting without the picture coming out with too much noise and looking grainy.

Thanks guys!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:51 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:27 am
Posts: 528
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
I think Nikon generally has the best low light capabilities, but a Canon will also show some improvement at high ISO compared to Olympus.

I've heard that the Pentax kx has pretty good high ISO capabilities too, and it's excellent value.

I suppose it depends upon how much you want to spend and how close you want to get to the action with your lens. I'm also an Olly user, so let the other members know your budget and what focal lengths you need and maybe they could recommend a body + bright lens for your needs

EDIT - before you decide to change systems, have you looked at brighter lenses for your current system? there's a thread here: with someone with an E500 looking to shoot in low light


Panasonic G3: 9-18mm, 14mm, 20mm, 45mm

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:54 am 
I have actually been looking at the Nikon D5000, but I noticed that it had a recall in July. I don't want to buy a faulty camera and find out that it doesn't work when I need it to.

My budget is somewhere around $1000 Canadian, give or take. I'm normally pretty close up to the band, but I also need to be able to take pictures from far away as well.

Even though I can upgrade my camera as it is, it's still an older camera with only 8MP. If I can find a way to utilize my current camera that'd be great, but as for now I'm in the market to buy a new one.

Thanks for your help : )

 Post subject: Re: Concert Photography
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:16 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am
Posts: 755
xoxrobot wrote:
I'm not quite sure which heading this should go under, but it seems to be the closest one.

Actually, most of the non-brand-specific concert threads I've come across here are under the "Portrait and people photography" sub-forum.

That said, I agree with kimchi that low-light performance is more about the lens than the camera body.

However, a few (camera body) considerations specific to concert photography:

First, in order to take an overhead--i.e. above the heads/arms/hands of a cheering crowd--shot in *portrait* orientation (to better frame the singer, guitarist, etc.), the camera needs to have a full tilt-swivel LCD, which rules out most DSLRs.

Second, in order to take the above picture of a singer or guitarist who is free to roam the stage (as opposed to a drummer or a singer *and* guitarist who is tied to a mic stand) the camera also needs to have a fast AF in "Live View". This rules out most of the rest of the DSLRs, including the D5000 you mention above. The only bodies with adjustable LCDs that have a fast enough Live View AF that I know of are the Sony Alphas, Panasonic G series.

Third, if you don't have a press pass, getting a camera into the venue can sometimes be an issue. So a small body can be helpful. e.g:

So that would favor the Panys over the Sonys.

Plus, with an adapter, you could use your current 4/3 lenses on the Panys.

So I would recommend a Pany G1 body and 20mm f1.7 lens to start. And, since that will probably max out your budget, add a longer, fast prime of your choice--later, when you can afford it--for when you can't get up close to the stage. (In addition to the 20mm f1.7, I use a Canon 50mm f1.8 and 100mm f2 with my GH1. Let me know if you'd like to see some sample concert pics taken with them.)

HTH - Mark

P.S. If you're willing to forgo the vari-angle LCD, you might look into the Pany GF1 or possibly Oly's new E-P2; although I haven't seen any definitive tests of the E-P2's AF speed yet, and the original E-P1's AF was rather slow. Or you could see if you can get by with Canon's S90.

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