My daughter had her first solo violin recital last weekend, which sounds more impressive than it is. All of the suzuki students line up, trudge out to the stage, and play a minute-long piece for the waiting audience of parents. For all of us with fears of public speaking, playing an instrument by yourself on a stage in front of a room of people is also scary. The teacher works to overcome this through sheer repetition-- lots and lots of mini recitals. This was my daughter's first, as she just picked up the violin in October, and so this was a *very* scary occasion, with tears, refusals, begging, and finally at the last second, she changed her mind and ran on stage.
Nelson Hall at Duke University was the venue, and it was very dark inside, with no natural light. The Nikon D300 came through like a champ, and you can really tell that it keeps a lot more detail in low light than its predecessors. This is ISO 2200, which normally would be fuzzy, and the camera resolved lots of detail. Just check out around the eyes. Sure, there's some noise, but its hardly even noticeable, and I had even turned of noise reduction completely!
Another cool thing here is the camera was on manual with automatic ISO. Its really handy in these situations, where the light varies dramatically, and you don't want to set the camera on a high ISO, when you can get better image quality in parts of the room. What I did here was turn on auto ISO, set the shutter speed on the minimum needed to get a sharp picture, and vary the aperture with the thumb wheel for each picture. The ISO automatically changes for the correct exposure, so I didn't have to worry about it.
The post processing was done in Lightroom, with no changes to exposure, and just very, very, minor adjustments. This is pretty much what the image looked like out of the camera, and I'm really happy with this camera!