When attending small events, which camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by pdechavez, May 9, 2009.

  1. pdechavez macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    #1
    Hey DSLR users, when attending a small party like a house party or a birthday celebration or other small gatherings, do you use a point and shoot or do you just use your SLRs? I use my D300 all the time just because i want the pictures to be high quality and editable. But in some way feel awkard with a big camera..
     
  2. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Feb 24, 2008
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    Over there------->
    #2
    I was just at a house party last night with my DSLR and will be at another one tonight. Taking pictures at parties usually means taking "portraits" and dealing with low-light settings, both of which demand a good camera (for subject isolation and sharp images). I get so tired of seeing party photos that are either all blurry or that have unflattering frontal flash on their subjects.

    People at parties sometimes seem taken aback when confronted with a giant camera topped by a big Speedlight, but I've found that they soon get used to it and often favor the big camera over any little ones being pointed at them when it comes time to pose. ;)
     
  3. anubis macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 7, 2003
    #3
    That's a good question... a lot of times people are intimidated by dSLR and act differently around them because they aren't used to seeing such large cameras in the days of miniaturization...They (correctly) assume that large cameras are high quality and people can be very self-conscious about imperfections in their looks. I would say that it depends on how much you think people will be affected by seeing such a large camera.

    In the wedding business, for example, we usually try to have an "engagement" photo session prior to the wedding... which only really means that it's a practice photo shoot so that the bride and groom can get used to what it feels like to have their picture taken at high speed with large, high quality equipment... it doesn't feel very natural and often people need the time to "loosen up" around the big cameras
     
  4. sangosimo Guest

    sangosimo

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    Sep 11, 2008
    #4
    are you using the 17-55?
     
  5. arogge macrumors 65816

    arogge

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    Feb 15, 2002
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    Tatooine
    #5
    It depends on the expectations for the photography. I've shot house-parties with a compact Canon S3, but the quality is only acceptable for a slideshow in iPhoto. If someone is paying for it or if the event is newsworthy, and there is no excuse for missing shots, I use the SLR kit. If I take out that camera, I stop being a guest or a spectator and act as a professional photographer.
     
  6. Rotary8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    #6
    If you use flash bounce it off the ceiling/walls. If you're shooting action (people dancing), use rear curtain shutter sync to freeze action with your strobe. Gives you a nice streaky effect. I usually bring a wide to tele zoom (eg 17-55) since most house parties don't require any sick zooms or long primes.

    hope that helps.
     
  7. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #7
    Usually my 40D + 28 f/1.8 + 580EXII

    If I've got a place to set a bag down that is secure, I'll take my 10-22 f/2.8 and 50 f/1.4
     
  8. sangosimo Guest

    sangosimo

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    Sep 11, 2008
    #8
    do you ever feel like 50mm is a bit to long for indoor stuff?
     
  9. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    May 18, 2007
    #9
    Sometimes, that's why I normally use a 28mm for indoor.
     
  10. pdechavez thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 26, 2007
    #10
    it could be a little too long if you're using an APS-C sensor...but if its full frame, it could be acceptable. But usually indoor stuff should be using a zoom lens (18-50mm) and with good aperture (F2.8)
     
  11. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #11
    50mm on a FF should be enough for candids cause its what you see through the viewfinder is what you will get, whereas if APS-C, you could get a lil bit of range and take note that wideangle lenses will make portrait shot looks flat, that's why people use longer lenses for portraits.

    If I go to informal small events, I usually aim for candids, I dun really enjoy huge group photo cause the faces end up looking very small.

    I think Nikon recently released a DX lens that covers like a FX 50mm
     
  12. pdechavez thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 26, 2007
    #12
    35mm DX is the one you're referring to.
     
  13. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #13
    Yes, mostly, but yesterday I also had "Nifty" mounted for a while. And for backyard candid portraits I was using my 100mm f/2, which is great for getting the big camera far enough away that people don't notice it as much.

    The 17-55 is a terrific lens for small spaces and dim light. I only switched to the 50mm f/1.8 when I really needed f/1.8 (photographing musicians playing and people dancing in extremely low light).

    The pattern I always notice is that people react at first to the big camera with a bit of trepidation, then the posers come out and really light up for it. If I keep at it long enough, even the folks who were initially terrified by the camera eventually relax in front of it.

    Only in the very smallest spaces or if you want to get whole figures into the frame. It's usually just about perfect for head-and-shoulders shots.
     
  14. apearlman macrumors regular

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    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Red Hook, NY
    #14
    You are bigger than your camera

    I agree with those who have said to use your favorite camera, and partygoers will get used to it.

    But also think about how you behave behind the camera. Move quietly and fluidly, like a ninja, and people won't pay much attention to you. Sometimes I focus on a subject other than the person I plan to shoot, and make sure the fake subject is about the same distance from me. I keep my non-shooting eye on the real target, and in one motion I can swing the camera toward them and squeeze the trigger before they become self-conscious about being aimed at.

    So, to summarize: shoot like a ninja.
     

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