Author Topic: taking pics at gig!?  (Read 2860 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline EdgeUK8_my_mind

  • Desert Rose
  • **
  • Posts: 2,351
  • I need you to elevate me here
Re: taking pics at gig!?
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2009, 11:57:41 PM »
I recall it being OK to take a small one it.  A friend got some video of one song, but you could hardly see anything.  position is WAY more important.

Still, I'm bringing my Olympus digital visitors can't see pics , please You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login or You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Offline donvalley360

  • Party Girl/Boy
  • **
  • Posts: 588
Re: taking pics at gig!?
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2009, 05:27:51 PM »
Forget taking camersa,get pictures off the internet! to many people just taking pictures wrecks the show,leave them at home and just give everything you got into making it a great show,shout,sing and jump like you're on springs!

Offline aurabender

  • Numb
  • **
  • Posts: 962
  • dressed up like a car crash
Re: taking pics at gig!?
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2009, 08:32:25 PM »
I took the pic on my profile using a very simple camera during the Elevation tour. It was so long ago I was actually using film.  ;D

Offline birdlover

  • Child of Grace
  • **
  • Posts: 1,959
  • It's not how weak but what will make you strong
Re: taking pics at gig!?
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2009, 11:55:51 PM »
I just bought a camera expressly for the concert. It's a Canon, with 10 megapixels and 6X optical zoom. I'm practicing with it daily so I'll have all the functions down by September.

That said, I won't be spending my concert behind it. It's got a good ISO rating (up to 3200) so I won't have to use flash at all. Hopefully I'll be able to get some good stills and a video or two.
Practicing with it gives me something to do while counting down the days. (118 to go!  ;D)

Birdlover

Offline d.darroch

  • Party Girl/Boy
  • **
  • Posts: 631
Re: taking pics at gig!?
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2009, 05:39:35 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I just bought a camera expressly for the concert. It's a Canon, with 10 megapixels and 6X optical zoom. I'm practicing with it daily so I'll have all the functions down by September.

That said, I won't be spending my concert behind it. It's got a good ISO rating (up to 3200) so I won't have to use flash at all. Hopefully I'll be able to get some good stills and a video or two.
Practicing with it gives me something to do while counting down the days. (118 to go!  ;D)

Birdlover

Hi Birdlover,

Really high ISO is not the be-all-and-end-all. Sure, you need the sensitivity of high ISO for low light environments,  especially when using fast shutter speeds to capture motion without blurring (exactly what you need for concerts). But raising the ISO creates more noise, especially for cameras with small sensor sizes (or high megapixel counts).

DSLR's can get away with very high ISO sensitivity without producing noisy photos because they have very large sensor sizes. Digital Compacts have much smaller sensor sizes, on average about one fifteenth the size of DSLR's, & therefore often  suffer from atrocious  levels of noise in low light conditions. For compacts the sensor size ranges from around to 1/2.5" to 1/1.7". The best performing compacts for low light conditions have the larger 1/1.7" sensor, examples being the Panasonic DMC-LX3, the Canon G10 & plenty of Fuji cameras.

Also for a given ISO & sensor size, increasing the megapixel count results in increased levels of noise (more pixels crammed on to the sensor, creating more noise). For this reson the 10MP DMC-LX3 out performs the 14MP G10 in low light conditions (although the DMC-LX3 also has a faster, larger aperature lens, which also results in better low light performance).

What camera did you get, is it a Powershot A2000IS (the only 10MP 6x zoom 3200ISO camera I could find in Canon's range)? If you've bought an average compact, with a 1/2.5" sensor size I'm not sure you'll get very good results at ISO 3200 (I don't think there's a compact on the market that will produce good results at ISO 3200).

If  the results you're getting are too noisy there's a few things you can do.
- Lower the ISO, 200, 400 or maybe 800 may still work in low light conditions, without producing such noisey photos.
- Lower the megapixel count, ie lower the resolution. You don't really need 10MP, if you lower the resolution to say 7MP, you'll still be able to crop photos quite a bit, & make enlargements, but noise should be reduced (not that I've tried this).
- Use Noise Reduction software in post processing. You get some pretty good results with this software, although levels of detail in your photos will be reduced. NoiseNinja & Imagenomic Noiseware are 2 pieces of free software that produce good results.

Hope this helps (not that you actually asked for any help) ;D

Offline birdlover

  • Child of Grace
  • **
  • Posts: 1,959
  • It's not how weak but what will make you strong
Re: taking pics at gig!?
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2009, 06:58:36 PM »
Believe me, d.darroch, I appreciate your help!

Good guess, it's the A2000 IS!
Yes, I've been working with it getting used to adjusting the ISO and lowering the resolution. I figure on playing with it a lot before the concert, with the final 'practice' being when Snow Patrol is on stage. <sorry guys!>
I chose it largely for the fact that it uses AA batteries and the SD cards. I wanted something I could grab extras for quickly. 

I do wonder about one thing: it says that regardless of the amount of memory, the video function would stop at one hour or 4GB. Not that I'm trying to get the whole concert (I'm obsessed but not crazy) but would it then function a second or third time on the same card? I'm kinda hoping to record a couple of songs if I'm lucky enough to get close and don't want a sudden stop in the middle.

Thanks for all the advice! I was a pretty good photographer with my SLR Pentax (if I do say so myself) but this is a new world!

Thanks again!

Birdlover

Offline d.darroch

  • Party Girl/Boy
  • **
  • Posts: 631
Re: taking pics at gig!?
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2009, 11:03:40 PM »
Hey Birdlover,

Glad to be of help  ::)

Good idea about the AA batteries. I won't be using flash, & don't go too nuts with cameras at concerts. But I do like shooting continous bursts (1 out of the 5 burst is likely to be ok), & will be using vibration reduction (sucks a fair bit of batteries), so I'm praying my only lithium battery will last.

I had a similar problem with a MP3 player I was using for voice recording. Would stop recording after 1hr, no matter how much room was left on the microSD card. But I could always just start recording another file after the hour (although this was annoying). This issue was fixed with a new firmware update. As with my MP3 player, I'm guessing you can just start recording another file, once the first file has stopped (at the 1 hour or 4GB mark). You can always just test it at home, set the camera up to record, then go away & leave it up to its own devices.

Not sure what quality audio you'll get shooting video with you camera. Most people say the audio results for compacts are very crappy when recording concerts - think loud, lots of distortion! I recorded an Ani Difranco & Blue King Brown concert with my MP3 player. The results were terrible! It's only got a cheap voice recorder, but I didn't want anything spectacular, I just wanted a reference to make out the setlist. But the distortion was so bad I couldn't even make out the songs. I also used my camera (which has a voice recording function) to do this, with quite bad (though not as terrible) results. Mind you it was pretty loud, as I was down the front of GA. So I guess if you're not jammed up near the speaker stacks (up in the air for this stage), the results may be a little better.

I've also been experimenting with my camera. It's a Nikon S10. Very unusual camera, with a swivel lens. A few years old now, but much smaller than the other ultra-zoom (it's 10x) , around at the time. I knew this camera produced poor results in low light, most cameras weren't great at high ISO back then. It's small aperture lense (1/3.5 f stop) doesn't help either (although this is much better than most cameras up at the telephoto end of it's range). I didn't buy this camera for concerts, but was still bitterly disappointed with the results it produced at the Ani D concert I mentioned above.

I knew that when set in AUTO in quite low light my camera had a tendency to jump up to it's max ISO. The results at this ISO, 800, were very poor. I knew this before the concert, so set my ISO to 400 (& took a few at 200 as well). As my camera is very few manual settings (no shutter priority / aperture priority) I'd set my camera to sports mode. Seems to be the way to go for most point & shoot compacts, to get fast shutter speeds & reduce blurring. Only problem was I didn't know that sports mode would over-ride my manual 400 ISO selection. So all my shots were at 800 ISO, & very noisy! Noiseware removed most of this noise in post-processing, but resulted in loss of detail, & lots of waxy looking faces in the Ani shots.

So for me it appears I can either have a fast shutter speed, or manual control over ISO, but not both. Talk about crappy! My only other option is to use the 'point the camera at the stage lights during autofocus' trick, I'd read about somewhere. This will result in fast shutter speeds, but who knows what focal length the camera will choose, may result in totally unfocused shots.

I'm dreaming about getting a Panasonic DMC-LX3, a superb low light compact. But it's 2x (60mm) zoom would be quite limiting (would have to get really close). Also who's keen to jump around with a $400 camera up the front of GA  :o

Offline birdlover

  • Child of Grace
  • **
  • Posts: 1,959
  • It's not how weak but what will make you strong
Re: taking pics at gig!?
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2009, 11:43:32 PM »
I don't have a Sports mode, but there is a Kids and Pets one which seems to be similar. There is also an option to use a Teleconverter of either 1.4x or 2.3x. This doesn't work with the digital zoom, which is fine by me. I'm wondering if I can use it in Kids and Pets. (Hmm, wonder if Bono counts as a kid or a pet? ;D)

I have been shooting in M3 size as that's what they recommend for emails, and it gives me a lot more pictures on the small card that came with the camera. It's also a size that's compatible with the Teleconverter. Your thoughts on this, please. I'm not planning on making posters, just decent sized pictures.
I will have the flash turned off.
I'll have to do a lot of playing with it.
Yes, I was planning on using the video to check out the battery life, how to extend the time it will record and the quality of the sound. As I don't plan on being up in the air, perhaps the speakers will be far enough away to give decent sound from down front.
I have GA for the first concert, and Red Zone for the second, so I'll have a chance to try recording in different areas.

Thanks yet again for all your advice! I really do appreciate it!

Birdlover

Offline d.darroch

  • Party Girl/Boy
  • **
  • Posts: 631
Re: taking pics at gig!?
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2009, 07:33:49 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I don't have a Sports mode, but there is a Kids and Pets one which seems to be similar. There is also an option to use a Teleconverter of either 1.4x or 2.3x. This doesn't work with the digital zoom, which is fine by me. I'm wondering if I can use it in Kids and Pets. (Hmm, wonder if Bono counts as a kid or a pet? ;D)

I have been shooting in M3 size as that's what they recommend for emails, and it gives me a lot more pictures on the small card that came with the camera. It's also a size that's compatible with the Teleconverter. Your thoughts on this, please. I'm not planning on making posters, just decent sized pictures.
I will have the flash turned off.
I'll have to do a lot of playing with it.
Yes, I was planning on using the video to check out the battery life, how to extend the time it will record and the quality of the sound. As I don't plan on being up in the air, perhaps the speakers will be far enough away to give decent sound from down front.
I have GA for the first concert, and Red Zone for the second, so I'll have a chance to try recording in different areas.

Thanks yet again for all your advice! I really do appreciate it!

Birdlover

By teleconverter, are you talking about an optical teleconverter? A secondary lens that mounts to the front of your camera. Does your camera have this option, I wouldn't think you'd be able to mount a teleconverter to it? I thought they were just for SLR's & maybe come very high end compacts like the G10. If you're talking about some sort of 'digital teleconverter', I don't know anything about these. But I'd probably steer well clear of it! If they're talking about digital magnification, this will just reduce the resolution of your photos. You can always magnify & 'zoom in' the shots post production, ie cropping the shot.

I guess 'Kids & Pets' is for fast moving action shots, sometimes it's pretty hard to get kids & dogs to slow down  :P On your camera's LCD screen, can you get it to display the EXIF data (info such as the shutter speed, aperture, ISO & whether flash fired? If not, you can always check this data when you copy your pics onto your computer. I use a great free program, Faststone Image Viewer, for all my simple post processing such as cropping & sharpening (I use PAINT.Net, also free, like a free photoshop, for anything more advanced, such as changing levels, using layers etc). Faststone displays the EXIF data for the shot in its 'full screen' mode. You'll want to check the EXIF data, & find out what sort of shutter speeds you're using in low light, in the 'Kids & Pets' mode. You'll want shutter speeds of 1/120 sec or faster I guess. My Nikon S10 was not exactly fast enough, 1/30 sec in low light in 'Sports' mode. Most photos were fine, just a few blurry ones, especially with guitar strumming hands.

By M3, I guess your talking about 3 megapixel? It'd be fine for emails, or computer screen displays (1280x1024 is 1.31MP). To print good quality photos you want at least 300DPI (dots per inch - pixels per inch to simplify). So for a 6x4 print you want (6x300)x(4x300), which is 2,160,000 pixels, or 2.16MP. So you should get fine results with 3MP. As long as you don't want to enlarge the prints, or crop the pictures much.

I'm definitely no expert, but I'm going to go against everything I've said above & say that 3MP seems a little low to me, & I'd probably bump it up a bit . Don't know why, maybe I'm falling for all that 'megapixel race' spiel from the camera companies. One reason I'd up the megapixels a bit is I think you'll be cropping your pictures a fair bit. At a concert, with all the movement of the band it's hard to frame your photos properly. Also, as you said you're GA, unless you're on the rail, you'll have people jumping around in front of you, & you'll have troubles to stay steady & frame the picture. I find that I like to be zoomed out a little more than the picture requires, then I crop it on the computer, to get the framing just right. Also being zoomed out a little more will reduce the chance of blurring due to camera shake. I usually don't even look at the LCD to frame the shot, I just point the camera in the general direction  press the shutter & shoot a few shots in a continual burst. Something's bound to come out ok, & the pictures can be framed in post production. I think I've probably cropped 95% of the concert photos I've kept. If you want smaller files for email, you can always reduce the resolution (ie. reduce the size) of the photos in post production. One last thing, you'll probably want that enlargement, if you get a picture just right!

As I'd said before, the main disadvantage to shooting with high megapixels was the noise produced at high ISO's. But I'm not sure , if you're using a high megapixel camera, & you reduce the megapixel count, whether the level of noise will be reduced in the resulting photos. I don't know whether, as there's less pixels, each pixel is allocated more space on the sensor, reducing the noise. You may want to play around with you camera, in some very low light conditions. Take some pics at 10MP, & take some at 3MP, & see if there's any difference in the amount of noise. I think I'll do the same thing!

What size card did the camera come with? Sure you'll get more shots with the camera set to a lower megapixel count, but SD cards are so cheap now. With a 2GB card you'll get around 500 shots at your max 10MP count, 800 or so if you set the camera to 5 or 6 MP. So a 2GB card should give you a couple of hundred shots at 6MP (you're not going to go more nuts than this are you) & room for a couple of songs of video (at 640x480).

So, depending on how the results for the 3MP vs 10MP noise results turn out, if a higher resolution doesn't appear to be resulting in much more noise, I'd probably shoot at around 6MP, & get a 2GB card.

Sorry for the late reply, & I hope this has helped.

Offline birdlover

  • Child of Grace
  • **
  • Posts: 1,959
  • It's not how weak but what will make you strong
Re: taking pics at gig!?
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2009, 05:47:38 PM »
Oh yes this helps a lot!
 The manual says the noise is reduced when using the fewer MP, so I'd guess that would be the best way to go.
Yeah, though I claim to not want a poster sized picture if I got just the right one, I'd be at Kinko's the next day. :D

The included card is a 32M whatever that means. It only takes about 11 pictures at 10 MP so that's why I was playing around with the 3MP setting.

This is what it says about the teleconverter: The focal length of the lens can be increased by an equivalent of 1.4x and 2.3x. This enables a faster shutter speed and less chance of camera shake than just using zoom at the same zoom factor. The images may appear rough, however, depending upon the combination of recording pixel and digital tele-converter settings used.
They do give the bad combinations (high MP used with it, basically).
So, does this mean to forget about it? :-\  I was attracted to it by the idea of less camera shake. Anything that reduces that sounds good to me.

According to the manual, 'The respective focal lengths when using (1.4x) and (2.3x) are equivalent to 50.4-302.4mm and 82.8-496.8 mm (35 mm film equivalent). This could be very tempting if I'm at the opposite end of the stadium from the band. Sort of an "any picture is a good picture" situation...

Can you tell I have little resistance when it comes to artificial assistance?  ;)

Summerfest is coming up so I should have some practice concerts soon!
Thanks again for all your help!
If I get any decent pictures, you're getting half the credit! I won't blame you for the bad ones though.

One more question: what is the difference between an SD card and an SDHC card? I got a 4 GB SDHC but it wasn't one of the 'high speed' ones. Would I want one of those?

Thanks again!!!
Birdlover

Offline d.darroch

  • Party Girl/Boy
  • **
  • Posts: 631
Re: taking pics at gig!?
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2009, 01:11:50 AM »
Glad to hear that your manual says reducing the MP count will reduce the noise. I'll have a play around with my camera. It's max pixel count is 6MP, but it has the option to use 3MP. That's a little lower than I'd like, as I crop my shots a fair bit, & will be printing quite a few (I made a photobook for the Vertigo tour). But hey, my shots were so noisy I don't think I really have an option other than reducing the MP count (or getting a new camera  :P )

The 'HC' in SDHC stands for 'high capacity'. These are the newer type of SD card, over 2GB. Not all cameras will accept SDHC cards, only newer cameras. Don't think you really need a high speed card. This is more for the pros, who often shoot in RAW mode (a different file type). Raw files are massive (up to 100MB) compared to JPEG's (1MB for a 5MP shot), so require a lot more time for the info to be written from the camera to the card. So high speed cards are mainly for the pro's, especially when shooting photos in continuous bursts.

By 32M I guess you mean 32MB. It's a tiny card, less than 1/100th the size of your 4GB card, so pretty much useless. You could take it as a backup for your 4GB, in case something goes wrong with it. I'd probably take a 1GB card as a backup, as it will actually store a decent number of photos if needed.

Looking at the focal lengths you've supplied for the teleconverter, & the fact it says 'digital tele-converter', it looks like a different type of digital zoom. But instead of doing the normal optical zoom, & then going into the digital zoom range, it looks like it magnifies the inital image (36-216mm),  by 1.4x (50.4-302.4mm ) & 2.3x (82.8-496.8mm). Have a play with it, but I think I'd probably still stay well clear of it! Anything that says 'digital zoom' is pretty much a no-no.

To understand how using the tele-converter can reduce the required shutter speed, you need to know a bit about lens apertures. Your camera has an Aperture Range of f/2.7 - f/5.6. When your camera is zoomed out the lens aperture is larger (f/2.7), letting more light in. When you zoom in the aperture decreases (down to f/5.6 at maximum optical zoom). So when you're zoomed out, the larger aperture lets in more light, &  the shutter doesn't have to stay open as long to let light in. Or conversely, for a set shutter speed, a larger aperture means that the sensitivity (ISO) can be reduced (reducing the noise). This is one reason why, to get great results at concerts you need a 'fast' lens (really meaning a large aperture), in the range of f/1.8. That's why the Panasonic DMC-LX3 is such a good low-light compact (along with a large sensor).

The reason the tele-converter allows a faster shutter speed is this. Say you want to take a photo at an optical focal length of 82.8mm, without the tele-converter. This is somewhere in the lower-middle part of your cameras optical range, so you'd expect the aperture size to be somewhere around f/3.5. But if you were using the 2.3x tele-converter, the camera would have an optical focal length of 36mm (2.3x36=82.8mm), & the aperture size would be at it's largest (f/2.7), therefore allowing a faster shutter speed to let in the same amount of light!

But you can do this yourself, & do away with the digital tele-converter. Just take the shot zoomed out at 36mm, & if you want to be zoomed in further do this while editing on the computer (ie. crop the photo).

As for the tele-converter reducing camera shake, it's exactly like what I've outlined above. An 82.8mm shot taken with the 2.3x tele-converter, will have an optical focal length of 36mm, & will therefore have less chance of camera shake than a shot 'optically' zoomed in to 82.8mm. But as above, you can take the shot without the tele-converter, at a focal length of 36mm, & do your 'zooming' by cropping the shot on your computer if necessary.

Your camera has optical stabilisation. Make sure you have this switched ON throughout the concert. It's definitely a must!

Whatever you do, I wouldn't use the teleconverter with your camera set on 3MP. This would be exactly like taking a 3MP shot, & then cropping it a lot. Not sure a 3MP shot will handle it, especially for a print. As I've said, this can be done later on your computer, where you'll have the CHOICE as to whether you want to crop, & exactly which part of the picture you'd like to crop.

As mentioned above, if you're shooting at 3MP, you won't want to be cropping a lot. So you won't want to be zoomed out all the time, only if you think that you're having problems with camera shake, or with your shutter speed or ISO. If you're getting good results, it's much better to zoom in optically, than to do this by cropping the photos, as this is reducing the resolution (quality) of the photos. Yeah, sounds like I'm contradicting what I've said before, but using your optical zoom vs cropping is a bit of a balancing act. If you're getting the results, it's better to use the optical zoom, but camera shake, problems framing the shot & problems with shutter speed & ISO may limit the use of the optical zoom a bit.

Also I'd take some shots at a higher MP count. Up near the 6MP mark, & maybe get a few at the full 10MP. These will be better if you want those enlargements. Just take these shots when there's more light available, as the lower ISO required at this time will reduce the noise associated with the higher MP count.

BTW, I hope you won't be at the other end of the stadium, trying to use all 500mm equivalent of that camera! I'll be aiming to get there early & bagging a spot on the rail. As briscoetheque said "Position, not camera is more important.... Can have the best camera in the world but if you're in the back row you won't get a good shot. Well. Not as good as the one we'll all take from the rail :-)". Kinda like buying a house, the 3 most important things are "Position, Position, Position".

Ok, time to go experiment with my camera set at 6MP & 3MP. Damn that noise!

Offline birdlover

  • Child of Grace
  • **
  • Posts: 1,959
  • It's not how weak but what will make you strong
Re: taking pics at gig!?
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2009, 02:08:31 PM »
My Goodness, you have been SO helpful! Thank you!
I'm hoping for a spot on the rail, and if my concertgoing buddies are willing I'll be camping at Soldier Field. I do have a Red Zone ticket for the second night, so that could be the best photo opportunity.

Thanks again. Have fun playing with your camera!


Birdlover

Offline d.darroch

  • Party Girl/Boy
  • **
  • Posts: 631
Re: taking pics at gig!?
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2009, 07:08:54 PM »
I think the catwalk rail in the RZ will bag you the best pics. My best pics in Sydney were from the rail of Adam's b-stage, a similar distance to the 360 catwalk I guess. You get all the graphics of the big screen at this distance, plus get closer to the band members here than the main stage (but obviously for a shorter time), as the b-stage (& the catwalk) are not as high as the main stage, & the rail is set much closer to the b-stage & catwalk than the main stage rail. Also at the main stage, as you're so close, the lights can play havoc with the autofocus function. Not that I'd complain about being inside the Crab Shack, on the rail of the main stage (I could only manage 4th row back in Sydney).

Photos turned out crap, as expected, at ISO 800. But I was hoping for some improvement at 3MP over 6MP, but can't see any noticable difference : (

Offline briscoetheque

  • Traffic Cop (Rue du Marais)
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,731
  • R-E-S-T-E-C-P
Re: taking pics at gig!?
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2009, 07:30:57 PM »
Yeah agree that the best pics come from the catwalks. In fact I reckon that's the best place to watch the show as well, or at least it was at Vertigo, Popmart and ZooTV. Everyone tends to rush to the front but inside edge of the catwalks in Vertigo/popmart were great.