Live Music Photography Camera

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by McBeer, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. McBeer

    McBeer TPF Noob!

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    Hey.

    Im totally new to photography, but have always wanted to get into it.

    Im looking to get in to taking photographs for local live music events where I live. However I dont even have a camera.

    Im looking to get a camera to start me off, but I dont want to spend too much. Im looking to spend around £100-£200 maximum. I know this isnt a lot but I dont have an income since I'm at college.

    Is there any reccomendations that would be a good starter camera for live music?
     
  2. Dylan

    Dylan TPF Noob!

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    Casio makes a nice camera for that price range. It's called the Exilim. It's a compact camera but it has many features of a higher priced model such as full manual control, apeture priority and shutter priority. Here's a [ame="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Casio-Exilim-EX-Z120-Digital-Camera/dp/B000AYDQNO/sr=11-1/qid=1163339393/ref=sr_11_1/202-5915266-1763014"]link[/ame] to the model I'm currently using. You could also try a film slr which can be picked up for a song these days.
     
  3. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Film or digital? Are these stadium events or small clubs?
    If it's a small club, I would say that film would be your best choice. Most cheap digital cameras don't handle low light well. I'd get a basic film camera and a couple of prime lenses so that you can use wide apertures.
     
  4. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    || What they said :)

    Best choice IMO is to get yourself a 35mm film camera - it doesn't even need to be an older manual camera; these days you could easily pick up a good modern autofocus model and lens within your price range. In terms of lenses, go for a 50mm f/1.7 or 1.8. Then buy yourself some 3200 ISO black and white or 1600 ISO colour film and you're ready to go.
     
  5. McBeer

    McBeer TPF Noob!

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    Sorry I forgot to mention this.

    I need it to be a digital camera as the pictures would most likely be for internet use, and scanning the pictures to the PC loses a lot of quality in my opinion.

    However I also heard that its very strongly reccomended to get an SLR for music photography, but I've looked around and you cannot buy a digital SLR camera for anywhere near £200.
     
  6. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Scanning film can get you great results. Using the consumer labs to go to CD isn't the best quality, but it still can still match a lot of the cheaper cameras. Personally, I think you'd be more disappointed by trying to do low light photography with a cheap digital camera than using a cheap film camera with the right lens and going to CD.
     
  7. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Agreed. Images shot on high-speed film and digitally scanned may not be perfect, but they're better than not getting the shot at all - which is what's likely to happen with a cheap digital compact. The problem is that most comact digital cameras in this price range will have a maximum aperture of F/2.8, and may be horribly noisy beyond ISO 400 (if they are even acceptable then). This means that in the kind of lighting conditions found in most live music venues it will be pretty much impossible to take a decent shot handheld without flash because of the long shutter speed required. If you were able to set up a tripod or find somewhere else to rest the camera then it would only be all the musicians and crowd that are blurred while the furniture remains sharp, but that's still not ideal. Neither is firing off the on-camera flash up close and blinding the band members in the process. Honestly, I think using a film SLR is the best way to go; the ability to use a larger aperture lens and high-speed film will make it much easier to take shots handheld without blurring. To give an example, with 3200 ISO film and a lens at f/2 it might be possible to take an exposure with a shutter speed of 1/125th of a second, which is more than enough to avoid camera shake and capture the action with minimal movement blur. The same exposure at f/2.8 with ISO 400 would require 1/8th of a second, which is a fairly big difference. Plus using an SLR will allow more flexibility in terms of flash, as you can bounce or diffuse the flash to get much better results.

    Have the film scanned at high resolution or get yourself a flatbed scanner with a film adapter and the results should be good enough for web use. If your view of the poor quality of film scanning is based on experience of the standard film-to-CD service offered by Snappy Snaps or other high-street chains, you may be surprised by the resolution and quality that's possible when it's done properly.
     
  8. Weaving Wax

    Weaving Wax TPF Noob!

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    I agree. I just got a Canon EOS 650 and a Canon EF 50mm Lens, a tripod, a shutter release cable and a backpack all for under $300 US. And you can get a CD with your prints or, just ask the store to just make you a CD and you can edit them in photoshop..
     

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