Shooting small venue shows without a dSLR

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Sdashiki, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    So it turns out a festival I am attending does not allow cameras with removable that kills my plan to bring a dSLR with me.

    Since I dont want to invest in, say for example, the models of non-removable lens cameras which actually are SLRs...I am trying to stay with the "high end" Point n Shooters. Ive got a good dSLR so I really dont want another just because I cant bring the one with swappable lenses.

    If anyone has personal experience shooting indoors, without flash, stage lighting in smaller venues (festival is at various small clubs) using a PnS...Id love to hear your thoughts on either brand, model or options to look for.

    Dragging the shutter with 2nd curtain sync (when I want to use flash) would be nice as would, obviously, a high-iso low noise machine.
  2. padmasana macrumors member


    Jul 10, 2006
    I found this review of compact travel zooms useful. They offer the most versatility in focal length and a few of them are rather impressive.
    I ended up with a Samsung HZ30W (the review in the link above reviews its successor and 11 other cameras). Price was about $220 and it was the camera that seemed to best substitute for a DSLR when I had to go that route.
    Hope you find a good one and I'm interested in what other people come up with on this topic.
  3. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    I might even think about getting an old 35mm rangefinder with at least a 40-42mm f/1.7 lens and get some 1600 fuji color film. Or try shooting with some t-Max 3200, which can even be pushed easily to 6400 (one stop.) Also, maybe try some fuji 800 color film. The reason I might consider this approach is that the old rangefinders didn't have any shutter lag at all. Strictly manual focus, but very good split-image viewfinders. Fairly small, quiet and fast. Lots of street photography was done with rangefinders, and of course all classic Leicas were these type cameras, but with interchangeable lenses. Most Japanese rangefinders were fixed lens cameras. Maybe even a Contax might get in the door of the venue, even though you can change the lenses on it -- most folks would never know by looking at it, and assume it's a fixed lens camera.

    The problem with most digital point 'n shoots in my book is the awful lag. By the time the camera figures out the exposure, the focus---your about a second too late. Also, most p/s lenses are zooms, usually very slow on the long end making them basically useless indoors or under tricky lighting. Also, the exposure meter is seldom something you can override, and can easily be tricked by difficult lighting. You want to be able to meter on the part of the subject you want exposed correctly, and perhaps manually just set your camera there and concentrate on composition and focus, without the camera veering all over the place trying to compute some "magic" scene formula like a drunken sailor. And finally, unless you get fairly close to the action, most of the shots won't be that interesting, so see if you can catch some rehearsals where they might let you move right to the front, or maybe even on stage for some "publicity shots."

    Good luck, and have fun...!
  4. Matty-p macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2010
    which festival is that are you going to ? are you going as press or normal person?
  5. Sdashiki thread starter macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    Moogfest in Asheville, NC

    Halloween Weekend... :cool: Just for fun, I paid to go and I want digital photos.

    Definitely dont want to shoot film, Ive got enough Polaroid material coming with me already.

    Ill keep an eye out when I head to BestBuy and other places over the coming weeks...

    I definitely dont want shutter lag (hate that) and I definitely want it to have manual controls that arent "simplified" like the ones which give you control over fstops...yea...2 of them. Thanks, but no.

    It seems finding a PnS with the fastest lens possible is key. f1.8 and f2.0 seems to be the standard. now to find one with a fast lens AND fast AF.
  6. funkboy macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2008
    I've used my Panasonic LX3 at a few shows where I wasn't allowed a DSLR but was allowed to get close to the stage. The lack of telephoto capability was limiting, but I still got some good shots and the luminous lens helps tremendously.

    The new LX5 that should be shipping well before your show should resolve the telephoto issue & have even better low-light sensitivity to boot.

    A good alternative would be the Canon S90/S95 (more luminous), or the G11/G12 (more telephoto). These Canons and the LX3/LX5 are pretty much the only zoom compacts that have reasonable low-light performance & shoot raw.

    You might also be able to get away with a micro4/3 system if the event staff think it's a bridge camera...

    Honestly at some events, depending on how big it is, how cool the artist is, and how cool the event staff are, you may be able to arrange in advance that you can bring your SLR if you're polite, tell them it you won't distribute the images publicly, and offer to send them a CD of your shots.
  7. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Don't forget to express your displeasure at their arbitrary discrimination of photographers while you're there!
  8. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Good points there for sure....

    Was thinking of the LX3/LX5 combo for the OP as well. Came away with some great shots with it doing some behind the scenes shots for a friends orchestra/band a while back using a D-Lux 4 from Leica.
  9. graphicsward macrumors member


    Aug 22, 2009

    let me say the lumix lx3 is an amazing camera. Takes great pictures and can be fully manual. doesn't have much zoom though. The lx5 i assume is also a great camera and can do everything and more, but i've never used one.
  10. feuerschlange macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2008
    What is your budget?
    Are you willing, to shoot film?
    What do you plan, to do with the taken photos?
    Which focal length do you prefer (how far away are you)?
  11. Sdashiki thread starter macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens

    Theoretically unlimited. Ive been looking at $400-600 range.

    I dont own a PnS at the moment so getting one for this specific festival and to keep later isn't a bad investment to me. Since taking the dSLR with me to my local shows ends up sucking when I want to get real close to a crowded show and not piss off the other fans.

    Im shooting film, but only Polaroid stuff.

    No idea how large the venues are but the biggest is 6000 people, the smallest is less than 1000. Obviously Id only take photos if I was close. Im not a fan AT ALL of raising my camera above my head and taking a photo of, basically, the stage with some people on it. Cant tell who the people are, theyre too small.

    In reality, since this is for future shows too, Id assume on not using zoom much at all and staying 5-50feet away from people I want to photograph. Since local shows have 200 or less people venues, its easier to get closer.

    What will i do with the photos? Put them on flickr, maybe print some if they are super awesome. But, really...nothing but keep them.
  12. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
  13. Sdashiki thread starter macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    Cant shoot film, but thanks for the suggestions. Those look like sweet MF monsters.

    But Ill be shooting 3x4 instants all weekend, and that's enough film to carry as it is.

    Seems im torn, as most on the internet are, between:

    LX5 panasonic
    TL500/EX1 Samsung

    Beyond that, I cant see anything worth trying at the moment.

    Finding a decent fixed lens dSLR or similar is proving hard The 4/3 system is taking over that market.
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    If they saw a m4/3 Panasonic (forget which model) with a lens that doesn't look monstrous, do you really think they could tell that it was capable of DSLR quality photos? :confused: Unless the bouncer knew a bit about cameras, I don't think he'd turn you away.
  15. Sdashiki thread starter macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    This is Asheville, lotsa progressive hippy types, maybe techie people too...and while I too want to think that way about a 4/3, I dont want to get there and be told I can't take it in.

    Walking back to the hotel, missing the show(s) and then not being able to grab any digital shots...would suck.

    I agree a 4/3 model would be best, but unless I hear otherwise from the promoters I dont know if i should take a chance.

Share This Page