Need low-light shooting advice, please (E-520)

Started Aug 24, 2012 | Discussions thread
dave rogers Regular Member • Posts: 273
Re: Need low-light shooting advice, please (E-520)

If you could, I think it might be worth your while to scout the venue in advance. If they're using similar lighting, you could see what the responsiveness of your E-520 woud be in that situation. You'd also be able to check both the 14-42 and the 40-150 for composition - see which one is likely to give you the most flexibility from where you're going to be shooting. Unless you're going to be moving around a lot, and then you can just swap lenses. The kits' are nice and light and compact, so that's a plus.

You could probably use manual focus effectively, if the performers are relatively constrained by microphones and other equipment considerations. If you're using the 40-150mm the DOF @ f5.6 fifteen feet from the subject would be about six inches. If you're 20 feet away, it's almost double that. Again, you can practice a bit with manual focusing, even not at the venue, just using the lens you intend to use at the distance you anticipate using it.

I think your biggest problem would be whether there's enough light in the stage lighting to get enough shutter speed to freeze the motion of the performers, though sometimes motion blur is a nice element in a composition. You're constrained somewhat by ISO performance in the 520. That's another factor you could play with if you could scout the venue in advance. Maybe shoot aperture priority for a series, and then shutter priority, see which works best.

Since the pictures are going to go on the CD, they're going to be much more forgiving in terms of noise. You might be able to use up to ISO 800, and a little bit of blur isn't going to be noticeable.

In the end, there's only one way to find out. Give it a shot. At the very least, you'll learn some valuable lessons about your equipment, and enjoy a good show. (Which is perhaps harder to do when you're "working.")

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