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Apr 7, 2019 11:13:45   #
MikeMck (a regular here)
 
RichA wrote:
Hi Folks,
I'm taking photos at student concerts, shooting from 20 feet to 50 feet away. I'm choosing between a Sony a6400 or a Canon EOS M50 - I need the mirrorless to avoid the clicking during concerts. I'm an amateur - my grandson is helping me learn to manually set the ios, f stop etc but I'm a rank beginner.

Two questions: which camera do you recommend for a beginner and which lens should I buy for the long (50 feet) shots to get a violinist for example in a portrait shot? I'm getting different advice about whether 200mm will do or will I need a 300mm lens?

Thanks in Advance!
Hi Folks, br I'm taking photos at student concerts... (show quote)


I have a similar dilemma I shoot stage plays. I use a Sony RX10 Model IV. It’s not cheap $1,700, but when you consider you don’t have to buy lenses it’s not bad. Google it for reviews. Good luck.

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Apr 7, 2019 11:49:28   #
RichardSM (a regular here)
 
Canon is much more user friendly however Sony is a good second choice.


RichA wrote:
Hi Folks,
I'm taking photos at student concerts, shooting from 20 feet to 50 feet away. I'm choosing between a Sony a6400 or a Canon EOS M50 - I need the mirrorless to avoid the clicking during concerts. I'm an amateur - my grandson is helping me learn to manually set the ios, f stop etc but I'm a rank beginner.

Two questions: which camera do you recommend for a beginner and which lens should I buy for the long (50 feet) shots to get a violinist for example in a portrait shot? I'm getting different advice about whether 200mm will do or will I need a 300mm lens?

Thanks in Advance!
Hi Folks, br I'm taking photos at student concerts... (show quote)

| Reply
Apr 7, 2019 12:27:02   #
RichA
 
No offense taken. I know nothing. The clicking really is an issue because we are a music school with mostly single students performing softly. Clicking cameras do break their concentration and I tend to shoot 5 to 8 shots of every student - 200 to 300 shots per concert. Sometimes I have to shot fro the back of the hall - well-lit but 50 feet away. Usually I am shooting from 30 feet off to the side.

I always shoot rehearsals for the groups and get all the close ups and great angles but during the concerts I'm back to the sides and back.

Thank you for your help! I'm taking it all in and studying as much as I can

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Apr 7, 2019 12:36:01   #
steve sokol
 
I think you have far and away the best reply. (essentially what I shoot) I do have a question: even with 2.8 lens, I would assume a fairly low speed. How do you hold the big lens steady. Sometimes stages are poorly lit and you are forced slow shutter. Would a unipod be adequate for a steady hold? Any other suggestions? Thank you for advice.

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Apr 7, 2019 12:39:26   #
User ID (a regular here)
 
`

zug55 wrote:

Thanks for doing the math on this. I just did a non-scientific
test with my 18-135mm on the a6000. So a longer zoom
might be a good idea. I usually shoot with the A7 III, and
the a6000 is just my backup camera, or my ultra-light travel
camera.


Well you call it your back-up, but would you rather
find a 300 for the back-up or a 450 for the primary ?

As to the math, just picture the two similar triangles
that meet at their apexes, in the middle of your lens.
No actual trig calculations involved, just visualization.

Scene width [aka FoV] is the base of the big one and
long side of your sensor is the base of the small one.

Just draw it on real paper one time and it's with you
forever. And ALWAYS ESTIMATE ! Exactitiude is the
enemy of easy, useful, practical [math-based] logic.

.

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Apr 7, 2019 13:16:36   #
RichA
 
Thank you everyone. I really appreciate all the advice. I have been favoring the Sony a6400 over the Canon M50 and I think, if I understand the gist of all the advice, that I need a basic lens up to 155mm and a 2nd lens up to 300 for the long shots. I also need to take a photography class so I don't waste all this money with guess work. We are a nonprofit music school, so I'm writing a mini-grant to purchase the camera and lenses.

Thanks again!

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Apr 7, 2019 13:33:19   #
User ID (a regular here)
 
RichA wrote:
..........
The clicking really is an issue because we are a music
school with mostly single students performing softly.
Clicking cameras do break their concentration and I
tend to shoot 5 to 8 shots of every student - 200 to
300 shots per concert. ..........
.


Uh huh. If you tend to shoot much music, don't
let anyone tell you a certain SLR is "quiet enuf".
You want/need a totally silent electronic shutter.

Breaking the concentration of a nervous student
musician is not the only problem. I've had a very
anal sound engineer tell me that his mic's would
pick up the electronic first curtain shutter on my
a7-II. The players were world class, unshakable
concentration-wise, and the mic's were nowhere
near the rear of the house where I would work.
But, you cannot argue a case with such types :-(

Fortunately, there was still 20 min of rehearsal
time remaining, so I got better shots than could
ever be made during the concert no matter how
quiet any camera may be :-)


(Download)


(Download)


(Download)

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Apr 7, 2019 14:32:38   #
sirlensalot
 
Looks like you will be playing a balancing act on this one. Assuming lighting is an unknown variable at this point, would guess that a 70-200 f/2.8 would be the minimum even allowing for the 1.5 or 1.6 crop factor. Both Sony and Canon make for good choices in that range. From 50' maybe a 50/1.8 for wider shots. I have experience with the a6000 in low light with the 50/1.8 and it works very well, but my distances were much closer - maximum 25'.Sorry no experience with Canon mirrorless.

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Apr 7, 2019 15:04:32   #
Scruples (a regular here)
 
That is a great idea. I got photos of my daughter playing her bassoon at Carnegie Hall at dress rehearsal. They normally don't allow photos in the Hall. By the way, I snuck my 5D Mark II in to the Hall.

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Apr 7, 2019 16:15:33   #
tomcat (a regular here)
 
I'm a professional photographer that is accustomed to shooting events in low light. My equipment is the Nikon D3s paired with f/1.8 lenses. This system can shoot in extremely low light (think of a church at night) at very high ISO values and come out noise free. However that will not work for you because it has a noisy shutter and the expense. I have seen some really incredible images from the Sony RX10-IV camera and I highly recommend it. I would suggest that you rent one or try one out in a camera store to see how the shutter noise is. If I was going to replace my current equipment, this would be the camera I would get.

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Apr 7, 2019 16:15:36   #
hookedupin2005
 
RichA wrote:
Hi Folks,
I'm taking photos at student concerts, shooting from 20 feet to 50 feet away. I'm choosing between a Sony a6400 or a Canon EOS M50 - I need the mirrorless to avoid the clicking during concerts. I'm an amateur - my grandson is helping me learn to manually set the ios, f stop etc but I'm a rank beginner.

Two questions: which camera do you recommend for a beginner and which lens should I buy for the long (50 feet) shots to get a violinist for example in a portrait shot? I'm getting different advice about whether 200mm will do or will I need a 300mm lens?

Thanks in Advance!
Hi Folks, br I'm taking photos at student concerts... (show quote)


Although a bit more expensive, the a6400 (IMHO) would be a better choice. A 200mm lens should be all you need.

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Apr 7, 2019 16:25:59   #
amfoto1 (a regular here)
 
Well, lets see...

The A6400 is considerably more expensive.... It sells for almost $1000 with the 16-50mm kit lens or $1300 with the 18-135mm.

In comparison, the M50 is $649 with 15-45mm kit lens or under $900 with both 15-45mm and 55-200mm lenses. There is also an EF-M 18-150mm lens, but it's not sold in kit with the M50.... so would need to be bought separately (M50 body only, $629. 18-150mm lens, $499.)

Both cameras have silent shooting mode, which seems to be of concern to you.

The M50's silent mode is limited... it's only usable as a "scene mode". Those modes are super automated, restricting many functions of the camera (exposure mode, ISO range, AF setup, and more).

The A6400's silent mode is more universally usable with other camera settings of your choice.

Although there are a lot more native lenses available for the A6400, lenses for the M50 really aren't a problem. It will work quite well with adapted EF or EF-S lenses, which means you actually have far more lenses to choose among in the Canon system, than you do in the Sony system.

Canon lenses also can be adapted for use on the Sony camera. However, I have been told the autofocus performance suffers to some extent.

If you don't mind manual focus - which is relatively easy with an electronic viewfinder that has focusing peaking - there are some impressive third party lenses for both cameras. Check out some of the Rokinon/Samyang, for example... such as 50mm f/1.2 ($449), 21mm f/1.4 ($379) and 85mm f/1.8 ($299). I don't know if it would be possible to use these lenses on the M50 in that cameras silent mode. I am pretty sure that there would be no problem doing so on the Sony.

Carefully check out any additional lenses or accessories you might want now or in the future. One system or the other might meet your needs better. Prices can vary for similar items. For example, a Sony E 20mm f/2.8 lens costs $349. Compare to a Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM lens for $229. Both manufacturers offer around 5 different flashes.... the most affordable Sony is under $150, while the least expensive Canon is $169.

Finally, I would recommend you go to a store that sells both of these models, handle their demo cameras and play around with them for a while. If at all possible, turn them on, take a few shots, check out the menus, etc. (take a couple memory cards with you). You might find one camera or the other just seems more comfortable and intuitive to work with. Beware of sales people who might get a bonus for promoting one brand or another.

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Apr 7, 2019 17:19:13   #
RichardTaylor (a regular here)
 
steve sokol wrote:
I think you have far and away the best reply. (essentially what I shoot) I do have a question: even with 2.8 lens, I would assume a fairly low speed. How do you hold the big lens steady. Sometimes stages are poorly lit and you are forced slow shutter. Would a unipod be adequate for a steady hold? Any other suggestions? Thank you for advice.


The lenses I use are not that big, or heavy, (M4/3) and the camera bodies have great image stabiisation.

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Apr 7, 2019 18:13:40   #
fehutch
 
The Sony is probably the wiser choice. I used to shoot dance recitals and concerts when my children were growing through this stage. Also an occasional basketball or football game for a local newspaper. I never used a zoom. Preferred the f:1.4 or 2.8 prime lenses over the slower zooms. Plus the zoom was just one more thing to fool with. In film days, my equipment was a Nikon F with 85mm f:1.8 and a 35mm f:2.8. I owned a 50, but not sure if it ever came into play.

In digital arena think the Sigma Art e-mounts f:2.8 DN lenses would be a cheap way to get into the prime lens area. I owned a 19mm, 30mm, and a 60mm - which would be 28, 45, and 90mm equivalent. They were cheaper and reliable. Used them for over 3 years. Only think with primes, you have to choose you shooting locations. This validates the other comment about shooting dress rehearsals.

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Apr 7, 2019 18:13:52   #
DeanS (a regular here)
 
LPigott wrote:
You might look at the new Canon mirrorless, the RP ...


I have it, and so far my only concern, very minor, is btty life.

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