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Topics - Maskofsanity

Hi guys!
I've got a 550D and decided to start getting more serious about photography. I know not a lot (but a keen learner!) and so far have been shooting with the stock lens and using ML to film.

I attend conferences where speakers talk often in dimly lit rooms pointing to PowerPoint presentations. It's not all dim of course, but my focus right now isn't landscapes and such.

I need to photograph the speakers plus some nice shots of folks in the crowd.

I film the 30 to 40 min presentations but so far the video and photos off the stock lens have a lot of grain when lighting was poor. That could easily be my inexperience, though I've tried different apertures, ISOs. Also the video file size for say 40 mins cut into three pieces is about 11gbs, is that huge? I compress to about 1gb for web yet even beforehand the quality isn't good.

Now I've got another coming up in a bit over a week so i will buy a lens tomorrow and was considering the Canon 50mm f1.4. Some folks back the 50mm Sigma 1.4 for a little more money.

I may need a faster SD card since I've started looking at RAW vid but I think it might fill up too quick if shooting for 30mins straight.

At the moment the video cuts and restarts as it fills up.

So I would live to hear your subjective opinions on how you would spend the money -- I'm in media so ill need to get much better kit eventually but it's early days still. Any links to lenses you can find would be great! I'm in Australia.

Thanks so much! I love ML!