Question about Canon PowerShot S2 IS Digital Camera

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Dance Recital Pictures

I have a Canon Power Shot S2 1S camera. I struggle to get good, clear, stop-action photos in a dark auditorium with bright stage lights. (dance recital) Any ideas for me? Thanks.

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Try bring a tripod or monopod with you-you can than turn off the image stabilizer if doing this-this will allow the cameras shutter to stay open longer and take in more light. Things to try-turn flash off-use a high speed memory card-change iso and exposure values manuely-use a scene mode or put camera on a or p mode which is shutter or appeture priority and see what changes-must set up early and try different settings-try a external flash to boost your range

Posted on Jun 04, 2008

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Hello
When you look at your pictures are they dark, murky and hard to see? If you took pictures at a wedding, dance recital, theater performance or any indoor event and they came out dark, read on to learn why your pictures are dark, and how to fix this common camera problem.

Many people take pictures of indoor events, only to be unsatisfied with the final outcome of their photos. Although you may have bought the top of the line film or digital camera, there are a few limitations that you need to know about.
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Most compact cameras today offer a zoom function. When I used to work in retail photography sales, the first feature that consumers would ask for is zoom. People love to get close-up pictures without using their feet. Although zoom does bring your subject matter in closer, it also decreases the amount of light that can get into your camera. Essentially, the more you zoom, the less light your camera can receive, and your pictures will be darker.
So, if your taking pictures indoors, in a dark church, gym or other window-less room it is very difficult for your camera to get enough light to properly expose your pictures.
This is when most photographers decide to turn on their flash. The flash on your camera is a great tool to illuminate dark situations that are in close proximity to the camera. Most built-in flash units are designed to allow the light to travel 8-10 feet away in poor quality light and up to 15-20 feet in brighter situations.
What most camera users fail to realize is that although your zoom function is visually bringing you closer to the action, you flash cannot reach that far to illuminate the subject, and your pictures will be dark.
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If there isn't good lighting on the stage (nevermind the auditorium), your 18-135mm lens does not have enough light-gathering ability for action shots, especially when you zoom in for that close-up of your daughter. Even at the highest ISO speed setting, you would likely have shutter speeds longer than 1/30 second, too slow to avoid camera shake and certainly too slow to freeze action. While a dreamy motion blur can make a nice impressionistic effect, I'm sure you want to recognize your daughter.

Sorry to say that the only solution for low-light, no-flash shots is to spend money on a fast lens. Either that or sneak in beforehand and put high-wattage lamps in the stage lights. The best value is the Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D lens available new with full warranty at B&H Photo (bhphotovideo.com) for $134.95 with free shipping. This lens gets highest marks in every professional review, and it's a huge value at that price. Or, if price is no object, go for the 50mm f/1.4D at $350. These are both prime lenses, not zoom, so you will want to get there early so you can choose your seat for the best view close to the stage.

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