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I'm reminded of some questions I've had while processing photos of a granddaughter's graduation in a large hall.


I've shot images in generally dark locations, and of other granddaughters in figure skating shows, etc, and used different techniques. I've decided that--"it depends".


For just generally dark locations, I've just cranked up the ISO.


For the figure skating shows, what seems to work best is manual control, for exposing the best-lit areas (shows with spotlights and other concentrated lighting).


For yesterday's graduation in the DC-area classic graduation setting (DAR Constitution Hall), with pretty good general house lighting and a spot-lit stage, I decided to go with ISO 6400, -1.0 exposure control, and Program mode, to account for the variations in lighting and the overall general darkness.


For post-processing, I get the exposure to what looks good to me, then do noise reduction and sharpness.


I'm satisfied with the results from the graduation (using a Sony a6300 and 18-105mm f4). I should say that I sometimes use negative EV in these situations so that the camera doesn't try to make the scene look like daylight. 




What are your general techniques for dark venues?


When noise reduction will be required, what's your sequence of Clarity and Sharpening vs NR?






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Without moving things in the image, stacking works remarkably well.

My tiny RX100 now does 24 images per second. Not all will be sharp, so there's some weeding to be done.

I wish my A7R2 would do that or would even just do continuous in silent mode.



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In LR, an ISO-dependent NR default on import, up to about 50lum 25colour at 3200, then a little bit more if necessary. Clarity/vibrance off, sharpening 25 default.

At 3200, which is tops for me, I can go up to 60 luminance NR and 40 sharpening, although it's rare. Usually resize to minimum 3250 long side as well.

A58. You may not need so much.

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I don't do much of that kind of thing, but I tend to make the most of auto ISO. Decide the minimum shutter speed you can safely use and leave the ISO up to the camera. If you're using maximum aperture, it doesn't really matter what mode you use - I often set it to manual.

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