The Boss at TD Garden, Boston
Although the Sony DSC-RX100M6 is an incredible pocket camera, it can be very frustrating at times.
I was able to get some excellent shots with my trusty Sony DSC-RX100M6 at the Bruce Springsteen concert at TD Garden in Boston, MA, but when the Boss ventured right in front of me, the camera had a very difficult time obtaining focus.
My seat was on the left side of the stage, just off the floor, so I knew there was a good chance to get an up-close shot of Springsteen, even if the opportunities would be limited. The great thing was that it was very evident when he was coming over – it wasn’t something that would be missed. Bruce took his time to stroll across the stage, so I was completely ready to shoot when he arrived – essentially 10 to 15 feet away. However, the camera had all sorts of issues.
Nothing is more frustrating for a photographer as when an auto-focus camera goes into hunting mode. The shot is in the view finder, but you can’t snap a photo because nothing is in focus yet. This is what happened when Bruce got close.
It’s hard to be patient when you know the opportunity is limited
There he was. The Boss himself. So tantalizingly close.
I zoomed the camera to compose a nice shot, pressed the focus button, and the camera would not lock in. Ugh. You know in the back of your mind that time is limited, so it’s hard to be patient. You quickly find a nicely lit portion of the face to give the focus system some contrast to lock in on, move the focus area to that spot, then press the focus button again. Eventually the camera did lock in so I could take some shots, but you keep wishing the focus hunt never happened.
Just before Bruce turned to go back to center stage he tossed his harmonica to young woman just a few feet to the left of me. I thought she was going to pass out. Bruce threw a few more harmonicas into the crowd that night. Nice. And a lot cheaper than a guitar.
The arena was set up with a general admission, standing room section right if front of the stage that was fenced in. Late during the encore, Bruce descended a staircase on the side of the stage to walk between the fenced in area and the first loge section to another platform located on the floor in the middle of the arena. As luck would have it, this meant he was going to pass right in front of me.
This is where I had to make a split decision – stick with the camera for a VERY close shot, or bring down the camera, make eye contact with the artist and maybe get a fist bump or handshake.
I was faced with this dilemma once before with Ringo Starr.
Before the concert, Ringo was signing some of his artwork for charity in the foyer of the theater. He came in, spoke to the crowd for a few minutes, signed some art, then was whisked away. I was very close to Ringo and got some nice shots during the presentation. I was hanging out in the foyer working on posting an image to Facebook when Ringo and his entourage came back through – and he was going to be right next to me.
I could have gotten a very close photo, a nice one if I could have gotten him to pause, but I decided instead to say “hello” and we fist bumped. Right afterwards I have to admit I felt like a teenage girl – “I just touched Ringo!” Quite a moment and one that I do treasure.
So, as Bruce was coming past me, I decided to put down the camera. We didn’t shake hands, but I did pat him on the shoulder as he passed by. A nice moment.
So, I will continue to use my Sony DSC-RX100M6 for my concerts, but I will be on the look out for a newer model with better autofocus, and, of course, a higher resolution sensor.
Elliot, great photos! Hard to believe from such a tiny Sony camera. I do feel your pain, very frustrating. I love the camera, but sometimes have seen similar. I wonder how the new models handle the same shots….. Maybe Sony can offer some suggestions….
Yeah, I’m sure the latest version of the camera probably has their latest focusing technology which is always improving. My Sony A7r-iv has an excellent auto focus system. What I’m really interested in is this camera with a bigger sensor though…