Sunday, April 17, 2011

The HS10 & A Night Concert

After a rather wet day at the ITM 400 here in Hamilton we made our way over to the Seddon Park Cricket Ground for a concert featuring N.Z. band "Shotgun Alley" a local hard rock/mettle band. They did a nice set to warm up the cold and wet crowd for the arrival on stage of "ZZ Top"
It was nice to see these old rock campaigners still going strong. And while the tone may have mellowed a bit over the years the music was as good as ever.Our thanks to the promoters and to "ZZ Top" for an excellent way to see out the days activities.
This was the first night concert I had had a chance to take the HS10 to. As we were sitting between 2 and 3 hundred meters from the stage most of the shots were going to have to be telephoto ones. Fortunately the HS10 excels at this. To gain good exposures I had to shoot in manual mode or with "P" mode and  the Ev dialed right back to -0.167 to -2.00 to retain the highlights. With shutter speeds between 1/30 to 1/50 of a second and hand held I was going to have to be as still as possible not to smear the shots. Depending upon the amount of zoom I had to use ISO 400 to 3200 for some shots to be sure of getting the image. The best were using ISO 400 without doubt, but they were a lot harder to obtain than using ISO 800. AE was set to spot metering.

The view from under the light tower looking north.

Looking up the light tower.
The arena begins to fill.

Wide angle view @ ISO 1600
Close up using max telephoto @ ISO 1600

Wide angle @ ISO 400, much crisper.
Now we're rocking. ISO 400
Talking to the crowd @ ISO 400
The balance of the better images can be found at this link
There are several photos at various ISO's with a couple at ISO 3200.
All in all, given our position in the crowd I think the HS10 acquitted itself very well. It only remains to be seen if the HS20EXR can do as well or better in these conditions.


  1. I used the HS20 at an indoor concert this week using Program mode, spot metering, -2 EV, ISO 800 - the results were awful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Sorry to hear that. For both the HS10 & HS20 I tend to shoot in manual mode for this type of work.
    The other mode I would use with the HS20 would be S&N mode. Set at ISO 800.
    I think that using program mode with the HS20 is probably a mistake as it doesn't use the EXR settings in the camera so your shots would not be as crisp or noise free. Although you should still have obtained a reasonable image.
    The concert shots from above as you can see were all hand held with very low shutter speeds in manual mode.Being a long way off from the stage also made light levels harder to judge. If you go to this link and click on the full details page, or use exifGui Tool and look at the Exif data you will see how the settings were for each shot.
    Find the images here
    Hopefully this may help. Settings for the HS20 aren't all that different, it is more important to choose the right mode. I haven't tried the Pro Low Light mode available under the advanced settings in the HS20 but have heard that some folks have had good results, but you need to remain very still when taking a shot so this may not be an appropriate mode to use at a concert.
    The other really important thing with the HS20 especially is the metering. Generally anything over 250mm needs spot, and from 24 to 250mm average usually works well. Combined mode is rarely used as its generally too low light for the metering to work properly.