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Low Light Camera for Nightclub Photography
I am looking for an easy to use compact or ultra-compact camera that will be able to take good pictures indoors at nightclubs under low light conditions. I would prefer not to use flash if possible. Almost all of the pictures will be used on a website. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am looking at the F100fd and the TZ5. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!..

Comments (19)

They are both nice camera but I think the f100fd will be better than the TZ5 because of it's 1/1.6" sensor..

Bigger sensors perform better in low light situations..

You know what? you just gave me an idea. I think one of the manufactorers will be mega successful if they come out with a clubber's line of models..

Anyway keep looking and party on!..

Comment #1

Twayneduke wrote:.

I am looking for an easy to use compact or ultra-compact camera thatwill be able to take good pictures indoors at nightclubs under lowlight conditions. I would prefer not to use flash if possible. Almostall of the pictures will be used on a website. Does anyone have anysuggestions? I am looking at the F100fd and the TZ5. Thanks inadvance for any suggestions!.

Good low light performance on an ultra-compact camera is a contradiction in terms, unfortunately; they have tiny sensors which collect little light even in good conditions, and in very low light there will be so much noise in your pictures that they will look like mush. Since people are going to be moving around (I haven't been to a night club for a long time, but my understaning is that people don't stand still in them  your pictures would end up badly blurred anyway because you would have to use a long shutter speed in low light..

Basically you need a flash: no way around it. In which case there are several good possibilities, including the ones that you mention..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #2

If I went with a prosumer camera, which one woud you recommend, one of the Fujuis?..

Comment #3

Low light/available light photography in a dark environment like a night club is more in the class of expensive full framed DSLR's like the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III than anything else..

The size of the photo receptors on a cameras sensor is the largest contributing factor to how well it can do in low light. You can get a good approximation by dividing sensor area by resolution (megapixels). For just a general feel just compare sensor sizes and know that a camera with the same sized sensor can generally do better in low light as it's resolution goes down..

Full framed DSLR's do the best, followed by half frame (APS sizdd) DSLR's and a long third place is any compact non dslr..

That said, if you need to take this type of picture with a compact camera, get one with the brightest lens (smallest f stop number), and largest sensor you can find. One with manual controls is also highly recommended as a pure P&S can often be fooled in these lighting conditions. Don't bother with the huge sensored but dim lensed and poor performing Dp1 for this..

Fuji seems to be at the top of the class here as pure low light quality goes. Sony does a credible job too. But handling and controls can make as much difference as the slight advantage for a given sensor size these models may offer so you may want to try a few before you settle on something..

I have a Panasonic FZ18 that looks like a miniature DSLR. It has a bright Leica lens, full manual control and does pretty well (for it's size) in such conditions - it also allows shooting RAW and post processing to maxamize quality..

My Canon G9 can do well here too. Its a relatively large sensored compact with manual controls and great handling characteristics. Again you can shoot RAW to help final quality but at the expense of time and effort post processing..

Just keep in mind anything but a DSLR is a significant quality compromise for this purpose so it's all about what you can live with..

RegardsJim.

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimboutilier/..

Comment #4

For casual, occasional low-light work there are workarounds that you can use with the likes of a Canon S5 or G9. You imply, though, that you are MOSTLY interested in available light. Think about getting a Canon 350D body (possibly used or refurbished) and a "nifty fifty" 50 mm f/1.8 lens. Or the equivalent from other manufacturers. At current prices that would cost around $485 at Adorama, B&H, or equivalent, and give you a camera with ISO 1600 at around the same noise level as a G9 at ISO 400, with a faster lens than any p&s I'm aware of, and only marginally larger than a S5..

WillWill PrattBarrick Museum, UNLV..

Comment #5

A used 30D canon with a 50mm F1.2 lens for best low light...shoot at iso 1600.

And use Noise Ninja to clean up noise ......best quality for reasonable amount of money......Bill,Jr'I kind of like the Earth, it's where I keep all my Stuff.'Website; http://www.pbase.com/wboth125 Lake Wylie, SC..

Comment #6

Wboth125 wrote:.

A used 30D canon with a 50mm F1.2 lens for best low light...shoot atiso 1600and use Noise Ninja to clean up noise ......best quality forreasonable amount of money......Bill,Jr'I kind of like the Earth, it's where I keep all my Stuff.'Website; http://www.pbase.com/wboth125 Lake Wylie, SC.

Or for a fraction of the price ...A lowly Pentax K100d with usable iso 3200 with a 50 1.2 that is manual focus but stabilized...or a 50 1.4 af and stabilized..

Actually a really fast 50 wide open is not something to use for a night club unless for a posed portrait....for that though would be good..

I use a K100d for live music photography and that includes punter pics in nightclub situations and it is fine...even with slower lenses. Flash used (rarely) from time to time is ok..

My kit often includes a Tamron 17-35 2.8 to 4, 28 f2 mf, 50 1.2 mf and in future will include a Nikon 85 1.8 mf lens (current favourite not yet used for gigs)...all stabilized. And you would still be able to buy a plane ticket to the other side of the world and back to pick it all up for the price of a 30d and Canon 50 1.2.

Neil..

Comment #7

My Fuji is marginally useful for low-light, but I've had good results from using Noiseware..

As an alternative to the top-of-the line, the Canon 5D is often recommended for high-quality low light photos...

Comment #8

You might also want to try the fuji s100fs......it works well with low light shots with minamal noise...i have been getting great results with itFUJI FINEPIX S100FS,FUJI FINEPIX S9000..

Comment #9

The camera isn't important, it's the lens that's important. If you are newbie and used to the P&S world, then it's all one and the same, but it isn't. If you want really good low light photos then you need a fast lens, and preferably a camera that can handle higher ISO's which P&S's can't do..

The cheapest route for you is to find a new or used 350D Canon, that's two models back from what is available today (we're up to the 450D now, prior was the 400D). Add to the 350D the lens you will see referred to in the Canon lens forums - the nifty fifty. This is the Canon 50mm f1.8. An acquittance I was advising just picked a used lens up for $50 in Chicago at a camera show, so see if there are any shows going on in your area, phone a local photography retailer, one of the better ones, not the mall chain ones..

Lens have "speed" and there are fast ones and slow ones. Almost all the P&S's have slow lenses, this means they need more light to get to the image for it to be recorded correctly. I will demonstrate what I mean for you, but you must follow along and do what I tell you to do..

Now with your hand, I want you to make a circle with all of your fingers touching your thumb so that the hole is at least one inch or larger in diameter, this will represent the "fast" lens. Again make a hole but this time about 1/3 of an inch in diameter, now look through it. You will see this hole is "darker" than the first hole you made with your hand. This second hole is your "slow" lens..

You want a fast lens, with a camera with higher usable ISO's. DSLR's like I just recommended have higher usable ISO's because their sensor's are bigger, with larger pixels producing less noise at the same ISO's as a point and shoot..

Canon DSLR's have an "idiot" mode, called the "green" zone. Buy the 350D and take some pictures in the "green" mode before you start playing with shutter speeds and ISO's..

Take your pictures in RAW and this also will produce less noise, the enemy of low light photography. If you have the money but are being a cheap skate, better to buy the latest Canon DSLR out there - 450D (also known as Xsi). This camera has the best usable high ISO of all the entry level Rebels, the series I have just recommended to you.Either you are in charge of the camera, or it is in charge of you...

Comment #10

I take low light photo's all the time without flash. Flash destroys good photos, but you need to know what you are doing. The picture I am showing you was taken with a Canon 300D camera with a Canon 50 mm f1.8 lens (the nifty fifty - it's nick name). This photo was taken in very low light conditions, it was taken hand held (no tripod) and I don't recall the ISO:.

Http://picasaweb.google.com/...amplesOfCanon50mmF18/photo#5184476708341968690.

Either you are in charge of the camera, or it is in charge of you...

Comment #11

Compared to the light in a nightclub, that shot of your dog was taken on the surface of the sun...

Comment #12

F20 and F100fd are about your best"pocket camera" choices based on performance and availability..

Here's a hand-held candle-lit shot taken with an F20:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Dave..

Comment #13

What about the Fuji f30 and f31fd P&S? Back in the day these were supposed to have class-leading high ISO performance as a result of Fuji's super-CCD design. Unfortunately they're hard to come by now and seem to sell for close to or above MSRP on amazon and elsewhere (~$300), even used..

Http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilmf30/http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilmf31fd/..

Comment #14

Dont forget film. I used to do a lot of low light night club photography in the 70's-80's using slr's and m3 leicasI used tri-x rated at 800 asa most of the time and projection printed to 5 1/2 - 8You can print larger than this but I found 35mm looked best (to me) at this size. You can pick up a good used olympus om1 or one of the compact canonettes with 40mm 1.7 lenses ( 35-f2 0r 50-1.8 for om1 ) for very little money. then scan the film with any decent film scanner and have youself a very good system for night club photography. I use both digatal and film cameras and have found that digatal cameras are very convenient to use there not always the best solution. Don..

Comment #15

When I set up the "low light" photographs, some how my dog was the "lead." I's still pretty pathetic running just about any software related to photo editing (except Picasa) and photo organizing. I'm plowing my way through elements 6, but I still am at the truly bad stage..

To give you an idea of how bad I am, I read in the Elements 6 manual I bought on how to convert photos in RAW in Elements and I still can't do it.Either you are in charge of the camera, or it is in charge of you...

Comment #16

All of this assumes that you can actually get through the door with a dSLR. The doorman took one look at my Nikon and had a cow. "We don't alllow photography in here... Trademarks... Branding... Privacy...



Of course, as always, flashes were going off all evening. I'm guessing most were coming from cell phones and other easily pocketable cameras..

Stephen..

Comment #17

Canon 350D and 50mm f/1.8 or nikon D50 and 50mm f/1.8. Those are your realistic alternatives. Or you will have to use flash.

Without flash a compact is a waste of time and money in such low light and those that suggest otherwise plainly do not have experience of taking photos in such low light conditions. I have..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #18

Sr383 wrote:.

All of this assumes that you can actually get through the door with adSLR. The doorman took one look at my Nikon and had a cow. "We don'talllow photography in here... Trademarks... Branding...Privacy... I don't like the looks of you.".

Of course, as always, flashes were going off all evening. I'mguessing most were coming from cell phones and other easilypocketable cameras..

Stephen.

HI.

I always get a photo pass for bands..and do some of the punter pics to go with the band shots..

Neil..

Comment #19

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