Saturday, April 03, 2010

samurai photog vs. red club lights

I borrowed a Canon 5DMKII from LL last Sunday, so I could shoot my friend Brett's band. I had wanted to shoot film, but wanted to turn around the pictures quickly.

I've been debating whether or not to buy a MKII. On one hand, my 20D is no longer suitable for the type of low-light work I want to do (the tech is 6 years old at this point) but still functional as a camera. On the other hand, I rarely shoot with it any more.

So I have some real serious questions to ask myself: do I not shoot with it because it doesn't give me the results I want? Or do I not shoot with it because I'm "over" digital and more into film?

With that in mind, I figured if anything was going to convince me one way or another, it would be shooting a situation in which I use film 95% of the time. The show was at a place that I knew had poor lighting, but when I got there, I was bummed to see that they had changed the color of the main light to red. I knew this was going to be a real challenge for this camera, and I remained skeptical.

One of the things I love about shooting bands is getting motion blur, and the MKII allowed me to get the kind of blur I had previously only gotten with film. Because of the lights, I had to shoot at 6400. The amount of noise in these is comparable to what I would get grain-wise if I shot this on film (maybe even a little less) using my development recipe.

I felt good about the shoot, and people I've shown the pictures to seem to dig 'em. I'm pretty impressed at how it handled a really tough situation - unusual, but not unheard of. I'm impressed. And convinced.