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Thread: Indoor flash photos - DSLR or m43?

  1. #1

    Default Indoor flash photos - DSLR or m43?

    hope to get some advice; thanx in advance

    looking for a camera on behalf of my company i work with

    we would like to get a camera to use at events like seminars, workshops, etc.

    the lighting tends to be poor, and also artificial (yellow lighting, sometimes spotlights also)

    considering either a DSLR (e.g. pentax k-r) or a m43 (e.g. olympus e-pm1)

    our staff using the camera are not all serious camera users, so it would be great if usable photos can be obtained using either Auto or Program mode

    potential issues in these situations are out-of-focus and/or incorrectly exposed shots, especially when used with flash.

    do fellow CSers have experience on either type of cameras in these type of environments?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Indoor flash photos - DSLR or m43?

    There are some stuffs which I think is better to point out now...
    - yellow lighting -> caused by the auto white balancing, many (if not most) camera if left on Auto WB, will give you wrong WB in such lighting. Can be fixed in post processing...

    - it's the man behind the camera that make the shot. So in a way, not too much on the equipment (thou it does play a part in getting great shots).

    - OOF, gotta give you this one...some P&S does have issue focusing in bad light, not sure about newer P&S...

    - Incorrect exposure, likely due to using flash at an inappropriate distance. scenario i can think of is (E.g.) trying to flash a person on stage while standing 40m away. this cause your foreground to be brightly lit but subject to be underexposed


    If you have intention of setting the camera on Auto or P mode, and shooting in JPEG only, I recommend a P&S over a DSLR/m43. but if forced to make a choice, I'll take Pentax over m43 due to some ergonomics stuffs.

    (I'm biased towards DSLR)
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

  3. #3

    Default Re: Indoor flash photos - DSLR or m43?

    thanx for the quick reply.

    most likely i will "train" some of the staff handling the camera to set custom white balance. using AWB is a recipe for disaster in indoor artificial lighting, especially since we are not likely to edit the photos much (shooting in RAW and post-processing is beyond me, let alone my colleagues)

    i have seen nice well-exposed indoor shots taken by a low-end ixus 115 hs; P&S have improved by a lot since my old fujifilm model, but my concern is the sensor size...

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    Default Re: Indoor flash photos - DSLR or m43?

    To do events like seminars, workshops, etc, it does not matter it is a DSLR or M43 with flash.
    As long you know how to handle the flash.
    There is a simple or fixed formula that one can use for them.
    PM me if you like to know how.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Indoor flash photos - DSLR or m43?

    Better take m43 with fast apperture f1.8 ~ f2.8 since this is much easier to use than flash.

  6. #6

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    I would choose dslr if it has better high iso noise control. Even though flash provides light sometimes i still bump up iso to say 800 to take in ambient light too. I may not want flash light on subject with dark backgrounds at times esp taking grp shots where dof matters.

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    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Indoor flash photos - DSLR or m43?

    Actually noise control is pretty well maintained even for m4/3. But if you want the small size of a mirrorless and great noise control of a DSLR, maybe you could get the Sony NEX that uses APS-C sensor and was actually quite easy to use, especially if you are going to set it in Auto mode.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  8. #8

    Default Re: Indoor flash photos - DSLR or m43?

    APS-C sensors a a bit better for high ISO performance.
    Pentax Kx/Kr is well reputed for its high ISO performance for a camera around its price point.
    If that is a necessary criteria, then just get Kr.
    EPM1 high ISO performance is still a bit lower than Kr.


    It does sound like its just used by staff as a snap shot / record shot type of thing.
    In such cases, don't bother and just get a pns.

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    In your case where the users are not serious photographers, I would go for an advanced p&s with a hotshoe for an external flash, face detection for focusing, bounced flash on the external flash, set to 1/60s at f/4 for lots of dof and fast enough for less camera shake. Let the external flash decide on how much light to pump out to get a correct exposure.

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Indoor flash photos - DSLR or m43?

    see this with a Nikon P7000 and a SB800 flash, ceiling bounce


  11. #11

    Default Re: Indoor flash photos - DSLR or m43?

    thanx for the comments so far, do keep them coming

    @ortega, by "set to 1/60s at f/4", do you mean to shoot in Manual mode?

    if so, i suppose shooting with a compact camera (with hotshoe) + proper external flash will need the user to adjust as they shoot?
    Olympus E-PM2 + Panasonic G6 + 12mm + 45mm + 45-175mm, Asus Vivotab Note 8, Blackberry Q5

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caterham7
    thanx for the comments so far, do keep them coming

    @ortega, by "set to 1/60s at f/4", do you mean to shoot in Manual mode?

    if so, i suppose shooting with a compact camera (with hotshoe) + proper external flash will need the user to adjust as they shoot?
    I don't know about other systems but on a Nikon the external flash will communicate with the camera to decide how much light is needed and will adjust automatically without user intervention. The choice of aperture is for dof, the choice of shutter speed is for camera shake prevention and finally there is the choice of Iso speed.

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