Answer Best answer as chosen by user jpld
You're discovering that just buying a better camera doesn't automatically make better photos. On the one hand, cameras are very smart these days, and can do a lot of things quite well automatically. But on the other, they can't read your mind. What you perceive with your eyes is not the same thing as what the camera sees. Your eyes are much more sensitive to light than cameras.
The 55-250mm lens is very good optically, but it doesn't have a large aperture. If you shoot in auto mode, the camera offsets the smaller aperture with a slower shutter speed. A slower shutter speed on a moving subject nets you a blurry photo. Image stabilization only works up to a point as well; if the shutter speed is slow enough, it can no longer counteract camera movement (image stabilization has no effect on subject movement). The built-in flash is relatively weak; it's fine for a subject 5-15 feet away, but is useless beyond that range.
For the dance recital, you will need to boost the ISO sensitivity of the camera. The higher the number, the noisier the image becomes, but the better chance you have of getting a sharp photo without motion blur. Try some test shots in P mode at ISO 1600 in lighting conditions similar to what you think will be at the recital. See what shutter speed the camera selects. If it is 1/125 or faster, that is good. If it is slower, then you need to boost the ISO higher. You may need to use ISO 3200, or even 6400 to get a fast enough shutter speed.
I don't know the size of the room, but your lens is twice as bright at 55mm than it is at 250mm. In other words, if you were using 250mm and getting a shutter speed of 1/60, if you moved closer and used 55mm on the same subject, the camera can select a shutter speed two times faster.
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