I'm still new at photography -- really, it is going to be a long while before I can get close to the potential out of the D7000 kit. However, Microsoft recently has been giving me the opportunity to go and photograph things like their Imagine Cup World Finals (which is, incidentally, where I am now).
I'm not really looking at spending lots of money on equipment at this point -- I just bought my first serious camera and it's going to be a long time before I will really be able to seriously use better lenses, or other niceties. However, as long as I get to go to these events, I'd like to be able to capture what I see there.
Consider this failed shot of Team Endeavor_Design from Romania, currently competing at the world finals:
Note how the background is reasonably sharp (indicating correct handholding technique + VR in use).
This failed shot demonstrates the opposite effect -- the subject got tracked just fine but everything except for the one subject is a blur. (This image is also a composition failure but ignore that for the sake of discussion here)
For both shots, the D7000 is about maxed out in terms of sensitivity at ISO3200. As it is I had to throw away a lot of sharpness in order to remove the noise at that sensitivity.
As I see it, the only way to save these shots (the first in particular) would be to somehow get more light into the game. A tripod won't solve my issue here, because as the first shot demonstrates, the camera is perfectly able to capture a sharp image while being handheld here. (And just as important, a tripod is unwieldy at an event) That leaves me two options:
- A Fast Lens. This is probably going to be the 35mm f/1.8 or the 50mm f/1.8. (All the fast zooms are in the thousands of dollars range which I don't intend to spend anytime soon)
- Some form of flash.
I'm unsure what would be the best place to go from here though. The lens might be more versatile, because many venues won't allow use of a flash, and sometimes there's not a nearby ceiling or wall handy to bounce off for a reasonable shot. On the other hand, going with a faster lens takes away zoom ability. Moreover, a fast lens might get me two stops maximum over my current lens, while a flash would work in pitch darkness. As I've not shot a ton of events before though, I'm not sure which path is the better path.
What should I do?