David Haas , Apr 14, 2010; 07:13 a.m.
Children's birthday parties can be a blast if shot correctly.
P is always my last choice for shooting anything. You're allowing the camera to interpret the scene and make determinations based upon what it thinks is best.
For party shooting I go to Aperture Preferred and set a really wide aperture - like 2.8 or 1.4... That way the background (which is usually cluttered) is out of focus.
Also - you don't mention what ISO you used. Typically for a party I shoot at 400 ISO to get a decent shutter speed.
The 50 mm lens is really the equal view wise of a 75 mm lens on a 35 mm camera due to the crop sensor. This is why Nikon and others have introduced fixed focal length lenses in the 30-40 mm range. To allow for a true fixed length 50mm on a crop sensor.
I'd recommend a good 17-50 or 18-70 zoom - I shoot Nikon - so I'm not a lot of help on what Canon has, but I know that Tamron makes a good 3rd party 17-50 and 18-70 zoom for about $500.00