Hello. First time here..
I own a Sony Cybershot P200. I've had it for about a year and it hasworked wonderfully for me..
I have a Latin music related website. With my Sony I take weeklypictures of events, musicians, and so forth. When the lighting andthe moment is right my camera takes the most wonderful shots..
This coming up Saturday I'm going to a huge concert. On account of mywebsite, the venue gave me a photo pass. I can take all the picturesI can during the first three songs of the concert. No flash allowed..
My questions, hoping you that know better can help me:.
1. Can I do it with my camera and take decent pictures? or is thisthe week I must upgrade?.
You may struggle owing to the low light. Not a good area for point and shoots..
2. If I must upgrade, what do I upgrade to for what I do?.
A digital SLR would be better for this assignment, with a fast lens, i.e. with a wide aperture, like f1.8 or f1.4. Not sure how far away you'll be from the stage, that might affect how much reach you'll need..
Maybe a Canon 400D (XTi) + 50mm f/1.8 lens?.
3. If I can do it with my camera, what setting would you say for meto have in it as to take the most advantage of the lighting? (It'llbe a lit stage, but no flash will be allowed).
Increase the ISO as much as you can - to at least 800, and use the widest aperture possible. The danger is that your shots will be too dark and/or blurred because the camera selects a slow shutter speed in the dark venue..
Alex has told what to. I may disagree with the camera manufacturer, but that is irrelevant..
I just want to add that since you have a photo pass, maybe you can get close to the stage. If the stage is well lit, the sony might do a fair job. I dont know the P20, but I still have my old P1 and it's almost OK in low light. I asume that things have gotten better.What you should get or borrow is a tripod - eh - cancel that.What you should do is what Alex says. If that is not possible, get the tripod..
And dont forget to turn off the flash and focus assist...
You situation calls for DSLR plus fast lens, like Alex said. If upgrading it is not possible, how about renting one?.
Yes, I have a photo pass which will put me "in the pit". It shouldn't be too too dark. I was playing with the camera just right now, and the highest ISO I can get to is 400. How about those "+" next to contrast, brighness and so forth? should I click on all the "+"?.
I have a tripod and I'm taking it, although I'm wondering whether, with all of the photo passes being there for just the first three songs, there'll be enough room for that..
Renting..... any idea where I could rent something bigger... it'd be a good idea. At once it will also give me the opportunity to see how the SLR handle..
I suspect the + on contrast and brightness is just to adjust the "processing" that happens in camera and isn't going to help you capture the shot..
A tripod won't do much good as I guess there will be movement on stage and if you're using long exposure due to the low light, you'll find your subject is getting motion blur...even if a tripod is preventing the blur caused by hand shake..
While going out and buying a DSLR with a fast lens is a solution it's a) going to be expensive and b) you're not leaving yourself much time to learn how the DSLR works (they tend to have a steeper learning curve than compacts and you might actually find you'll get worse shots than with the compact!).
Hope for the best - the stage may be well lit enough to get some good shots with the camera at 400 ISO. If the camera has any sort of manual or A/S priority settings, gives yourself the best chance by cranking the aperture wide open to allow as much light in, but remember this is going to make focusing a little more tricky..
Invest in a cheap, low light compact for the occasion - something renown for low-light capabilities, like the Fuji F30/31 etc range. Not hugely expensive and from what I've read, could be ideal for what you need..
Do you know any friends who are keen photogs and have the equipment? Offer them the pass and they might shot the gig for you as a favour, to get some experience or for a few beers..
Failing this, consider paying someone to do the concert for you..
Hope this helps and good luck!.