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Old Mar 7, 2003, 8:07 AM   #1
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Default focus speed

I'm asking this for a friend, so I'll give as much detail as I can.

She wants to take pictures of dogs, mostly in motion. She has a camera now (Nikon CoolPix 5000, I believe) but it doesn't fit her needs (in this purpose.) What she needs improved is:
1) Faster focus. With the dogs running around, being able to focus lightning fast is a requirement.
2) Focus lock, for something similar. I realize that could be asking too much, but a fuzzy black lab does do her much good when trying to sell the picture.
3) Light and "not large". Easy to handle in her hands. She's held a Nikon D100 with a small lens and finds it too heavy (for example.) I believe the CP5000 is about the largest she'd take.
4) I assume the 5MB CP5000 is good enough. But I bet some tradeoff would be acceptable if it focused really fast.

5) Low light isn't required. All the shots will be outdoors. Sure, it has to work on cloudy days, but it will rarely be used indoors.
6) Lots of manual options are not required. She knows how to use them, but this is a purpose bought camera.
7) Huge zoom isn't required. I would bet the (seemingly) industry standard 3x'ish would work. Obviously more wouldn't hurt.

Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated. We'd rather not have to convince her that a D100 and a AF-S lens was the way to go. Other than the high cost and size/weight, this fits *everything* above.

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Old Mar 7, 2003, 9:00 AM   #2
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Let her try a D7i/Hi on manual focus (it focus with a ring, not with 2 buttons)
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Old Mar 7, 2003, 4:57 PM   #3
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I believe the Minolta F100 is the only light/compact digicam with a focus tracking feature, but I'm not sure how fast it focuses as I've never used one. If your friend wants lightning fast AF then an ultrasonic motor in the len is the only way to go - which implies a DSLR body + expensive lens. Or she could do with the Coolpix 5000, do some more planning prior to the shoots and pan with the moving dogs. Those are a few choices for saving money. Perhaps if she could wait until the Pentax *ist (are these marketing people illiterate or what? :lol: ) as it promises to be the smallest DSLR out there, but then again I don't know if it will have the features your friend needs.
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Old Mar 8, 2003, 10:02 AM   #4
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What is her price range for the new camera?

A SLR is the obvious anser for the quick focusing and "focus lock" (by which I think you mean the focus following the moving subject)... whether film or digital. I don't think consumer digital cameras, even high-end ones, will focus fast enough for her needs with moving animals. But digital SLRs are expensive and definitely not small!
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Old Mar 8, 2003, 4:33 PM   #5
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Thanks to all three of you for answering. I've refered my friend to your responces.

Price does matter. She'd rather not have to spend over $1,000USD. Could she? Yes. But she doesn't want to. The Minolta F100 does have focus lock (I never knew....)

The suggestion of the Minolta F100 looks right on. It's only 4MP (instead of the 5MP in the CP5000 she has) but it has focus lock and the rest of the things she needs. Thanks for the idea. I wouldn't be surprised if I discovered that he bought one this weekend.

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