General advice to shoot dance pics with Lumix DMC-FZ100? Settings, etc.?

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by BhamGuy, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. BhamGuy

    BhamGuy Member

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    I'm embarrassed to ask, but figure I'd go ahead and bite the bullet.

    I have generally just plugged away and hoped that pics come out ok. Sometimes they do. But even though I've read a little about things like aperture and shutter speed and exposure and (f-stop?) etc., I'm just totally confused.

    Setting: tomorrow afternoon will have a daughter in a show choir competition with her school (think "Glee" TV show if you're not familiar. I wasn't before kids started). They have four or five competitions this spring, so if I screw up pics in this one, I'll have chances to get better, but I'd love to catch some "action" shots--hair flips, kicks, fast motion stuff, etc. (They move much faster than my son's soccer and basketball teams ha).

    Is there kind of a basic, elementary, "place to start?" Like, "since it is indoors, and stage lighting, but the motion will be fast, you need to put the camera dial on "S" and start with the 1/60 setting with the dial in the back, and I'd recommend having the (whatever it is) at 5.6? And have the ISO at 400? And then if the pics are blurry still, do "X," but if they're ok, but the pics are dark, do "Y?"

    Or should I just use the program dial for "indoor sports" and call it good?

    Any suggestions? I'll read through the forum (just found it tonight), and it won't be a catastrophe if I mess up pics tomorrow, as I'll have others to take pics on, too. But I'd love to be able to start with something basic that I can start "massaging" as the shots go on.

    (Also, we'll be arriving around 1:30, and her group doesn't perform until 3:30, so I'll see 2 or 3 groups before then and will try to practice a little with that.

    Sorry for the dumb question. I am embarrassed to ask.
     
  2. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    I would start with the Indoor Sports scene, just to see if it works Ok. If not, then we have to do this the hard way. I'm not familiar with the FZ1000, but here is some general advice:
    • Most important - use flash. Understandably, they may not allow this for the actual performance. But they may let you do this for a rehearsal. Set the camera to its Party scene (or equivalent) with the flash on and that may be all that is needed. If those shots have problems, then switch to the Program mode for the camera. That should allow you some control over the brightness of the flash.

    • Darned near as important - Do not use lots of telephoto. Get closer to the stage if you need to show more detail. On simple cameras the telephoto is really only for daylight use. But of course the camera makers never tell you this.

    • If none of the scene settings get the job done, and flash is ruled out, then the Shutter priority shooting mode is a good start. Set the ISO to Auto. 1/60 sec is for people who are posing, not dancing around! So start out at 1/120 sec, or so. As long as there blur, keep trying faster shutter speeds. Forget about the aperture (f-stop). In Shutter priority mode the camera's auto exposure programming will set the aperture for you. So the pics should not appear too dark.

    Kelly Cook
     
  3. BhamGuy

    BhamGuy Member

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    Thank you! That's exactly what I needed. Appreciate you taking the time to help.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  4. BhamGuy

    BhamGuy Member

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    Just wanted to let you know, I got my best shots ever. My daughter was thrilled. Probably took 400 shots during the two performances, and about 125 of them turned out great (for me).

    I especially took your advice on the getting close thing. I could not use flash, but I used very little zoom, and that, with the other tips you gave me really helped.

    Thank you again.
     
  5. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I'm happy to hear that things turned out all right for you. Sad to think of how many people have bought high zoom cameras with the assumption that all that telephoto can be used indoors.

    Kelly
     

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