Looking for camera to take school dancing photos

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by sgl, Apr 28, 2013.

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  1. sgl

    sgl New Member

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    Which camera should I buy?

    This short questionnaire will help the rest of us make good camera recommendations for you. Please answer each question carefully and succinctly.

    The questions marked with a * are the most important.

    Budget

    * What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Roughly $500 to $600

    Size

    * What size camera are you looking for? The smaller and lighter, the better - if practical. I understand there are tradeoffs between quality of pictures and size of camera. Ideally, I would like something middle of the road.

    Features

    How many megapixels will suffice for you? Don't know.

    * What optical zoom will you need? Ultrazoom

    * How important is “image quality” to you? 7 or 8

    Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)? Not important

    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for? Take pictures of the kids in school dance performances

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? Hopefully (if the pictures are good enough)

    Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? Yes, lots of indoor photos

    Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? Yes

    Miscellaneous

    Are there particular brands you like or hate? No

    Are there particular models you already have in mind? No

    (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD) Wide Angle would be nice. Same for image stabilization

    Currently have a compact "point & shoot" and an IPhone 4S. Zoom pictures come out real grainy. Would like to do better.

    Thank you for your help. Off to the kid's baseball game.
     
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    The Canon SX40HS and the newer SX50HS are excellent ultrazooms that do fairly well in low light and, even when using auto mode, should be able to take good pictures of dancing children as long as the light isn't too dim. The problem is that when the light is dim the camera's auto mode slows the shutter speed, which leads to blurry shots. The problem is made worse when significant optical zoom is used, which reduces available light even further, and when the dancers are moving quickly, which requires even faster shutter speed to "freeze" the action. The main difference between the SX40 and newer SX50 is the amount of optical zoom - 35x for the SX40 and 50x for the SX50. Another camera that will do a good job is the Sony HX200v, which has a 30x optical zoom.
     
  3. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    I cannot see how an ultrazoom camera is needed for dance photos. If flash is permitted, that will make a huge difference (let you get away from using very high ISO). A strong external flash will run $75-100 (USD). Which stills leaves enough of this budget intact for an advanced compact like the Panasonic LX5 or Nikon P7000.

    Kelly Cook
     
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