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Old 07-11-2011, 09:00 AM   #1
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Camera settings for Lumix LX5

Hey everyone,

I've used the search feature repeatedly and while there are lots of posts regarding specific cameras people used on the tour and some general settings, I have not seen any specific recommendations for manual settings for the Lumix LX5 at the shows.

Anyone have any ideas? I was going to shoot at an iso of 400 and a shutter speed of 1/125s just from what i've been reading and seeing here, but was hoping anyone with an LX5 might have some practical advice as to how to get the best photos.

I'll be in RZ1, hopefully a nice good rail spot

Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:37 PM   #2
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I have the Lumix SZ7 and had good luck with Manual mode, ISO at 800, shutter speed at 1/50 focal length around 5. It worked very well for me even for action shots.
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:44 PM   #3
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And whatever your setting, turn off the flash!
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:41 PM   #4
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Hi'ya Superblue,

I have a Canon Powershot S90, a camera that is very similar to the Lumix LX3 (& now the LX5). They are both pretty interesting cameras for concerts, when you don't want to do the dSLR thing (I can't afford an SLR, plus I don't want to lug it around).

Fast wide-angle lense, good sensor size, but only a teeny-tiny zoom. I kinda like this limited zoom, no cheating with a 10x zoom, you actually HAVE to get close. Plus the wide-angle 20mm will let you get in a little more of the screen & the CLAW in your shots.

One big advantage of these cameras compared to your average compact is that fast lense (large aperature). Both cameras have a maximum aperture of f/2.0, which lets in double the light of your usual compact f/2.8 lense. So you'll get away with shooting at a lower ISO (sensitivity), & faster shutter speeds, without getting under-exposed shots. dSLR have much larger sensors, so they can get away with shooting at much higher ISO's without too much noise (grainy look) - as the pixel density is lower. Most compacts crap out above about ISO 400. But as the sensor size for the LX5 & my S90 are a bit larger than your average compact, & as the resolution isn't too high (at 10MP) - the pixel density isn't too high. So you can get away with shooting at a bit higher ISO WHEN required (ISO 800 or a bit higher, but only when needed).

Even though I wanted the aperature pretty much fully opened all the time, I actually shot at shutter priority (Tv), not manual. This was so the camera could adjust the aperature when required, for those super-bright times, to reduce the chances of over-exposed shots. Not that this really worked, as even at exposure compensation of -2, the camera still would keep it's aperature fully opened at f/2.0, due to all that black background. Still on a few shots, during those very, very bright times, the camera did close the aperature a little, reducing the over-exposure.

I shot at a shutter speed of 1/125s, so the shots are nice & clear, with no blurring. With that large f/2.0 aperature you can do this no problem, & still get enough light in. I only reduced the shutter speed a couple of times, for the very beginnings of a couple of songs which were very, very dark (not sure if you want spoilers, so won't say which songs unless you ask - not that there's too many suprises now anyway). Actually dropped the shutter speed down to 1/8s for one of these songs, as it's so dark, but watch for camera shake.

I shot between ISO 250-400, a few shots at 640 (& 800 to 1600 for the beginnings of the couple of songs mentioned above). I generally found that I had very few under-exposed shots, a few shots over-exposed, but generally not too bad. Not sure how easy it is for you to change settings mid-show. My camera has a control ring around the lense, so I could change my ISO very, very easily. If this is a hassle, & you wanted to set one ISO & leave it, I'd say set it around 320 if you can. I had found, in '09, (when I let set my camera at auto ISO, -2 exposure compensation), when most of my photos were ISO 800, that there were a lot of over-exposed shots, totally washing out the band member's faces. So I'd say be VERY careful using high ISO with your camera, as it lets in a lot of light, & you'll get over exposed shots. Oh, also, not sure if Larry is angelic or what. But he definitely had a glow to him. In '09 he was very washed out on my catwalk shots. With that white shirt, I'd shoot him at 250-350 ISO, no higher.

I use continuous shooting. Don't want to concentrate on the camera too much, I want to enjoy the show. I just point the thing in their general direction, hold the finger down, for a burst. That's what digital photography is about right, one of them is bound to come out ok.

One bad thing with a large aperature lense, you have a smaller depth of field, so there's a little higher chance of unfocused shots. But I still decided to use auto focus, & it generally worked fine. Not many out of focus shots. I Didn't want to spend too much time fiddling with focal lengths, so auto focus was the way to go. Not sure how manual focus would do in Red Zone anyway, when the band members come around the catwalk, it's be tough getting that right. May be good to use manual focus for the main stage, & check your focal length before U2 comes on. Oh, turn on image stabilisation to reduce the chances of blurring.

I used spot metering. More so for those close ups when the band is close, not a big deal for shots of the main stage I think.

No flash, goes without saying.

I also turn down the brightness of the LCD screen, conserve batteries, & annoy those behind you less.

Ok, enough rambling on. In summary,
Fast shutter speed, 1/125s.
Large aperature, f/2.0 (if in Tv shutter priority mode AUTO with -2 exposure compensation).
Mid-level ISO, 250-400, 320 if I had to pick a single value.
Spot metering.
Continuous shooting.
Image stabilisation on.
No flash.
Good luck

I'd also say try not to get caught up in the photography, enjoy the show. But I'd recommend that during the intermissions you check out some of the shots (zoom in on them), & see if you need to make any adjustments (probably the ISO you're using would be the thing you may want to adjust).
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:17 PM   #5
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I have an LX3, but the settings are similar. I shoot in AE. A point and shoot in manual is a recipe for disaster unless you really understand exposure. I shoot in AE and adjust the exposure depending on the shot. When a band member is close, and there is a spotlight on them, I subtract -2/3 to -1 2/3. When shooting the claw I leave the exposure at 0. You have to remember to change this though or you will wash out the band's faces.

Changing exposure does not change your f-stop. It reduces the amount of light to the sensor, making for a quicker shutter speed (actually, vice versa). Hence, not blowing out the highlights so much. When wanting to change DOF you change f-stop. And this is usually accomplished by zooming in with a point and shoot. On a dslr we have the dial on the lens for this. I am not aware of a point and shoot that allows you to do this.

I shoot ISO 800 and it is OK. If you can get away with lower that would be great. NBut in most circumstances that is not going to be the case. Do not use auto ISO. Set it yourself depending on the situation.

Also....KEEP THE FLASH OFF! Unless you want to wash out the colors. As well as drain your battery. I also switch around the aspect ration (on the front by the lens) depending on the shot. Play with this control to get a feel for the difference in composition. When changing it, the camera will actually subtract pixels to get the aspect ration of a wide shot. You may notice this in PS with less pixels per side. That is the drawback of it, but not a super issue unless making large prints.

In minneapolis, the camera policy is no lens over 6 inches with no stipulation for detachable lenses. My Leica M9 and a couple lenses are coming along so I can get some more speed. They are 1.4 and that makes several stops difference over my p&s. As well as better high ISO performance. And the camera is small and can pass for a point and shoot many times.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:20 AM   #6
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trojanchick99, d.darroch and blackhawksjon, thanks so much for all of that. That should be incredibly helpful. I feel like I have a much better idea of what i'm looking to do with this camera now.

Something has also come up that may have changed the situation a bit more and maybe you can help me out with this as well.

After checking with the venue, the show will be allowing dslr's the only restriction being that the lens has to be 200mm and under. So, considering that I may just bring my D80. I have my 24-120VR, but this is pretty slow. My brother is letting me borrow his 50 that shoots at 1.4

Any thoughts on settings with this camera? I've not once even attempted to shoot a concert with this equipment, so I really don't know where I stand, not to mention that i'm a complete novice
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:12 PM   #7
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If you were really interested in taking great shots I would rent a d700 and a fast zoom lens for a weekend. I have done that on occasion and it works well and is not very expensive. There are several places that do it. With that camera you can shoot really high ISO and freeze the action. I like the color from that sensor too.

Also...always shoot in RAW and covert/adjust using photoshop. At least I do. And it was a great idea checking with the venue. I just double checked my venue because I didn't want to sit in a GA all day then deny access because of my camera. I am good to go!
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:06 AM   #8
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Thanks for that. Didn't quite work out as I had planned, unfortunately.

Even though I had confirmed with the venue that I could bring in my D80 with my 120mm lens, a CSC guy decided he wanted to be a bit of a prick about it and told me "no way". He said "that camera and lens is at least $2000 and anything over $400 to me is a pro camera".

The good news is that he told me this about 45 minutes prior to the gates opening, so I had time to bring it back to my car, but I was still pretty damned pissed.....especially after confirming with the venue prior.
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:45 PM   #9
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What was the venue policy they had online? I would have had it printed out before hand an on my iphone if it said nothing about 'pro' dslrs.
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:51 PM   #10
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This might be a dumb question, but I am a serious n00b when it comes to camera stuff.

Will the settings described above for the Lumix work at a farther distance? Obviously, I'm not going to get the extreme close-ups that others get, but I'm curious to try out some Claw/general shots with those settings.

I've taken Claw pics from further back, but you've still got the motion thing going on between the lights and the screen, so I'd love to see how they come out from the seats with proper settings.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:48 PM   #11
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:09 AM   #12
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:35 AM   #13
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Coria.....pretty much. You will have to be sure image stabilization is on, and probably be around 800ISO. The play with adding or subtracting exposure, depending on the amount of light the claw is emitting for that particular song. And shoot in Ai or P.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhawksjon View Post
What was the venue policy they had online? I would have had it printed out before hand an on my iphone if it said nothing about 'pro' dslrs.
Venue policy stated nothing about cameras, only "videocameras are prohibited".

I had this policy, showed the CSC guy and all he said was "The venue may say that, but i'm telling you what we've been doing all tour and to me, anything that costs above $400 is a pro camera. This will be a problem."

It seemed that regardless of what Lincoln Financial Field itself stated, these guys had other ideas.

Now from a practical standpoint, when we went through the GA gates there wasn't a single person checking any bags. So obviously, if I ignored the CSC guy I could have walked right through, although who knows what issues I may have had when I got to the rail and began shooting.

Very disappointing all around.
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