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Old Jun 5, 2012, 11:39 AM   #1
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Default Little League Shooting Newbie

I have a canon xsi with the 55mm kit lens and also have the 55mm-250mm zoom lens.

My son is playing U9 travel baseball and want to get some good actions shots of the team.

Am i am to get good pics with my setup? I know this is the entry level dlsr and that is how I have been using it. I put it in P mod and just take pics.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 1:26 PM   #2
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A lot depends on the layout of the fields and where you can shoot from. People that don't shoot sports focus all their attention on equipment. In reality, success is a combination of several factors:
  1. Technique
  2. shooting location
  3. camera
  4. lens
  5. post processing
  6. external lighting
For baseball, we'll ignore external lighting. You aren't going to strobe a baseball diamond.


Your camera isn't a great sports camera, but that's only in comparison to other cameras more capable. You can absolutely capture nice sports images with an XSi in good light. The lens is probably one of the best consumer-grade lenses. It performs nicely. It's not as good as the L lenses - particularly with regard to focus speed. But, those lenses cost a lot more money. The good news is, it's decently sharp and decently fast for a consumer grade lens. So, quite capable of capturing decent sports shots in good light.


Now, how well your shots turn out with that gear depend on the other factors above. First, you have to understand HOW to shoot sports with that equipment. Sports shooting isn't point-and-shoot. You'll have to learn more about the techniques both in regards to gear configuration and technique for shooting baseball.


Finally, and this is a big one - success depends on your shooting location. I can't remember if U9 play on a full size diamond or not. I don't think so, they should be on 60' basepaths but don't quote me on that. Why does it matter? Because, when shooting sports you can't shoot from too far away, crop the photo and expect a good result. For example, your 55-250 is good for about 30-35 yards of coverage - or 90-105 feet.



If you're shooting from inside the field, it can be tough enough. I'm guessing you don't have that ability. Which means you're outside the field of play. Now, you have yet more distance. If it's 60' base paths you are probably still OK for infield shots IF you're right up at the fence Make sense? You have to be able to get up to the fence. If you're sitting in bleachers, all bets for getting good shots are off.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 1:29 PM   #3
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For basic setup and advice, I posted some answers in this thread:
Little league baseball
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 1:32 PM   #4
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Thanks. I will check out your link.

Yes you are correct. The bases are 60'. I am right on the fence. I am trying to see if I can somehow get inside. That will probaly be really hard to pull off.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 2:00 PM   #5
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Is there a better lens I should be looking at or is the body the issue? When i got this camera my kids were younger. Now that they are older and more active is now the time to look at upgrading?

This is my first dlsr so Im not really sure.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 2:52 PM   #6
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no easy answer to that question. No doubt a 300mm 2.8 lens would provide exceptional images. But, that's not very realistic. And while a 60d or 7d would have better focusing and burst rate, the focusing advantage would be somewhat negated by the focusing system of the lens. In great daylight, the canon 100-400 would be a great option - gives you plenty of reach. But it probably sells for around $1,800 now.

What makes baseball more challenging is you need longer lenses. So, a 70-200 2.8, while a fantastic lens is probably too short.

Sigma used to make a 100-300 f4 which was a great lens. But i don't think they make it anymore. So, you are stuck with 70-200 2.8 which is too short or 100-400 which has the reach but is f5.6. Beyond that things get really expensive - the least expensive option being the sigma 120-300 2.8. But those are pricey - especially if you cannot find a non-OS version (the OS version is $3-4k I think).

Come to think of it, one other option is the 70-300 L lens (there are 2 versions - non L for around $400 and L for around $1200). That L version has gotten great reviews.

It's worth noting though, none of this is any good for games under lights. Then all bets are off - you need f2.8 lenses and ISO 6400.
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 6:36 AM   #7
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I am going to try your setting this weekend. It sounds like my best option at this point would be to save up and get the 70-300 L lens. Its about 1500 right now.
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 12:30 PM   #8
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Looks like you can still get the Sigma 100-300mm f/4
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