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Good P&S for concert photography?

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  • #2084
    CauseISaidSo
    Participant

    Most concerts (at least the ones I’ve attended recently) now allow cameras as long as they’re not “professional,” which they usually define as anything with an interchangable lens.

    I’ve got an SD500 that’s a few years old and while its size is great, the pictures and video I’m able to get with it aren’t. At all.

    So, can anyone recommend a good P&S with these attributes:

    * Able to fit in a pocket or maybe in a small belt “holster”. Bottom line: I’d probably rather avoid potential conflicts that might come from a camera large enough to be an SLR even if it’s a fixed lens.
    * Optical image stabilization
    * Decent zoom
    * Good low light performance
    * Bonus: Decent video

    TIA!

    #34349
    olavf
    Participant

    I don’t have a particular recommendation, but this sounds like a perfect opportunity to pick up a micro four-thirds 😀

    http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-E-PL1-Interchangeable-Digital-Black/dp/B0035LBRJO/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1287116049&sr=8-11

    /they do have interchangeable lenses, they just don’t look like it (to me)

    #34350
    CauseISaidSo
    Participant

    Interesting. I’m going to have to see one in person to get a feel for its size, though.

    Any idea how the focal length of its lenses relate to a 35mm SLR?

    #34351
    Curious
    Participant

    Interesting. I’m going to have to see one in person to get a feel for its size, though.

    Any idea how the focal length of its lenses relate to a 35mm SLR?

    The M. Zuiko Digital Micro Four Thirds lenses are designed to be more compact and portable like the E-PL1. Choose from the ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 zoom lens (28-84mm equivalent in 35mm cameras) sold with the E-PL1, the ED 17mm f2.8 lens (34mm equivalent), the new super wide-angle zoom ED 9-18mm f4.0-5.6 lens (18-36mm equivalent) or the high-power wide to telephoto zoom ED 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 lens (28-300mm equivalent).

    that’s in the description on the linked amazon page about half way down. from looking at the pictures of the camera with lens mounted i don’t know if it would pass as a point and shoot.

    #34352
    LeicaLens
    Participant

    Interesting. I’m going to have to see one in person to get a feel for its size, though.

    Any idea how the focal length of its lenses relate to a 35mm SLR?

    For the focal length of Four-thirds and Micro four-thirds lens, double the 35mm film value. So a 50mm lens works as a 100mm on a micro four thirds camera.
    The current range of lens available for micro-four thirds doesn’t include anything long and fast. However, if you have a fast manual prime you could use that with a mount converter, with pretty good results from what I have heard.
    I have a Canon FD 100 f2 lens that I would love to try on a micro-four thirds (200m f2!).
    However, such a combination may not get past the “no professional cameras” restriction.

    Incidentally, I have been looking at getting a micro-four thirds camera, and I prefer the panasonic GF1 to the Olympus cameras (much cheaper, for one thing). However, the AF on my good four-thirds lenses won’t function on the panasonic camera, so it’s bit of a deal breaker.

    #34353
    CauseISaidSo
    Participant

    Since it appears that you’ve all looked into the micro four-thirds platform fairly extensively, I have a couple of questions if you don’t mind:

    1) Are there any benefits to this platform aside from reduced size and weight (which are pretty nice benefits assuming photo quality is consistent with a “normal” dSLR)?

    2) Given that lens prices for this platform don’t appear to be much (if any) cheaper, which one of you clowns is going to explain to my wife that I need to buy a completely new set of lenses for this thing? 😆

    #34354
    LeicaLens
    Participant

    CauseISaidSo

    The benefits are really in the platform’s portability. Image quality is the same as four-thirds (so not as good as APS-C sensors, but a lot better than your average compact).
    In fact, the micro four-thirds have a better sensor than my Olympus E-520, so image quality is probably better.
    One benefit I can imagine is in Street photography/candid shots. People often get leery and lairy when you point a big DSLR with bazooka lens in their direction, but are far less worried
    about a wee compact. The m4/3 cameras are more like a compact, so you can get away with more.

    I think some of the the lenses are a bit cheaper, considering what you get for the price. For example, panasonic’s 20mm f1.7 is about 40,000 yen ($400+ ?). Nikon’s 28mm f2.8 is cheaper at 30,000 yen, but slower and bulkier. However, there is not much good glass around for m4/3 cameras yet. Many users are clamouring for more fast primes, and pana and Oly and other lens makers may come up with the goods next year.

    I am considering the platform bacause I can use my old manual focus OM and Canon FD lenses on it, with good results (better, apparently, than with standard 4/3 cameras). The m4/3 cameras have a manual focus assist, so when you start to focus manually, the back screen automatically magnifies the subject 10 times, allowing you to focus on it really sharply. Not great for sports photography and other moving targets, but okay for most other stuff. If you have old lenses, then you won’t need to buy a ton of new lenses (maybe just a pancake prime?). The wife may overlook that one…

    Sony’s NEX apparently has the best image quality out of the mirrorless lineup, and the bodies are really thin. However, the lens seem bulky, and initially there were complaints about poor usability, though a firmware update seems to have fixed some of those.

    #34355
    CauseISaidSo
    Participant

    Thanks for the info, LeicaLens.

    I don’t have any old manual glass (that would be worth even messing with, anyway), so it’d have to be all new lenses for me.

    I’m not much of a street/candid photography guy, but I do like amusement parks and cycle trips and I could see something like this being much better suited for those types of things. I toted my full-size dSLR, a couple of lenses and a tripod through most of Animal Kingdom and EPCOT in Disney World, much to the chagrin of my wife. (I believe her words were something like “Don’t expect me to carry any of that crap if you’re bringing it in!” 🙂 )

    #34356
    LeicaLens
    Participant

    Thanks for the info, LeicaLens.

    I don’t have any old manual glass (that would be worth even messing with, anyway), so it’d have to be all new lenses for me.

    I’m not much of a street/candid photography guy, but I do like amusement parks and cycle trips and I could see something like this being much better suited for those types of things. I toted my full-size dSLR, a couple of lenses and a tripod through most of Animal Kingdom and EPCOT in Disney World, much to the chagrin of my wife. (I believe her words were something like “Don’t expect me to carry any of that crap if you’re bringing it in!” 🙂 )

    One major reason why I am considering getting a m4/3 is to use my manual 35mm film camera lenses. If I had to buy lenses from scratch, I probably wouldn’t bother.

    The other reason is to avoid situations like you mentioned. I like using my DSLR, I like using the optical viewfinder, but sometimes it is a too much of a pain to carry around, lenses and all, especially when the primary purpose of your trip/visit/travel is NOT photography.

    #34357
    Curious
    Participant

    I toted my full-size dSLR, a couple of lenses and a tripod through most of Animal Kingdom and EPCOT in Disney World, much to the chagrin of my wife. (I believe her words were something like “Don’t expect me to carry any of that crap if you’re bringing it in!” 🙂 )

    i used to tote this around. http://www.flickr.com/photos/57055068@N00/4742968109/in/set-72157624254668835/ plus a tripod big enough to hold it. the tripod has a reversing center column. http://www.flickr.com/photos/57055068@N00/371067351/ i have no idea how heavy it is but i was (much) younger then. http://www.flickr.com/photos/57055068@N00/2796776585/

    the longest walk i ever took with it was in del rio, tx at the Amistad National Recreation Area. got some nice shots but it will wear you out.

    #34358
    CauseISaidSo
    Participant

    i used to tote this around.

    Yikes! Now there’s a man who’s committed to his craft!

    #34359
    orionid
    Participant

    So, finally jumping into this thread.

    I bought a casio Exilim E-S5 a ways back because it was small enough to stuff into a model rocket or hang from a kite. It turns out, it’s also small enough to fit into a pocket and avoid pat-downs in even “no camera” events (of course, I do have some experience smuggling cameras where they’re not supposed to be (Read: Ozzfest, not work)).

    I wasn’t a fan of the lack of options I’m used to with dSLR’s, but it was still pretty decent in it’s own right. From what I read, though, M4/3’s might suit what you need.

    Re: long walks with heavy gear, a monopod, or single tripod leg dropped down makes for a great impromptu hiking staff.

    #34360
    LeicaLens
    Participant

    Just found a mirrorless camera lens review, so I am putting it here for your consideration:
    http://www.seriouscompacts.com/f41/mirrorless-camera-standard-zoom-shootout-impressions-558/

    Doesn’t include all lenses, only standard zooms.

    #34361
    Curious
    Participant

    i used to tote this around.

    Yikes! Now there’s a man who’s committed to his craft!

    i had access to a darkroom with a beseler 4 x 5 b/w enlarger then. and free paper and chemicals. plus it would tilt 90 degrees and do poster size. if one had paper, which that place did on rolls.

    the one thing i miss about austin is that darkroom.

    #34362
    orionid
    Participant

    i used to tote this around.

    Yikes! Now there’s a man who’s committed to his craft!

    i had access to a darkroom with a beseler 4 x 5 b/w enlarger then.

    My brother in law just gave me one that he found in the garbage. I was expecting a normal 35mm enlarger the way he described it. Then I almost crapped myself trying to load it into the truck.

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