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Old Nov 3, 2007, 10:22 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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I have a several year old Olympus 2.5 Megapixel camera that I am looking to upgrade.
The primary use will be point and shoot, action shots like kids baseball and basketball games. The big issue is the delay between pressing the bottom and the shot. I am willing to spend $$ to get into the 5-7 Meg range. We do not need a lot of bells and whistles, just something that is going to get us good pictures. Any suggestions?
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Old Nov 10, 2007, 9:53 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
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cttj04 wrote:
The primary use will be point and shoot, action shots like kids baseball and basketball games. The big issue is the delay between pressing the bottom and the shot.
2.5 Megapixel?

Do you have the Olympus C-2500L? That's one of the few 2.5 Megapixel models I can recall. It used an Olympus designed 2/3" 2.5 Megapixel CCD that was not shared by any other camera model. I bought one of those not long after it was released (but, I didn't keep it for long). It is a nice camera if that's the one you have. I wasn't that fond of noise levels from it in low light (but, it really wasn't that bad compared to some newer cameras), and it was a very responsive camera for it's time.

You'll want a DSLR, not a point and shoot, for indoor basketball games. Otherwise, you'll get a lot of blurry photos (because your shutter speeds won't be fast enough to stop the action).

You'll also want a bright prime (fixed focal length versus zoom) lens to go with a DSLR. Even at higher ISO speeds (i.e., 1600), f/2.8 is usually not bright enough to prevent some of the blur with indoor basketball in a high school type gym. So, a brighter prime is preferred for a higher percentage of keepers. Something like an 85mm f/1.8 would be a good idea if you can get close enough (versus shooting from the stands).

What kind of budget did you have in mind?

One problem with some of the entry level models is that the AF may not be fast enough to keep up with fast moving subjects indoors (which can impact your percentage of keepers). I'd probably lean towards something like the Canon Rebel XTi/EOS-400D in lower priced models, with a lens like the 85mm f/1.8. This model has a pretty good AF system (upgraded from the XT).

Or, if budget permits, go with one of the advanced amateur models (EOS-30D, EOS-40D) so that you'd have ISO 3200 available if needed for lower light gyms, as well as a faster frame rate and larger buffer size.

There are a number of other choices that would work, too. I'm just throwing a few out there for you. Some of our members do a lot of sports photography (JohnG, Mark1616 and others), and they'll tell you that you really need a DSLR with a bright lens for indoor sports. A point and shoot model is just not going to work for indoor basketball (unless you catch the players when they're relatively still).

For daytime baseball photos, lens choice is less critical (but, many consumer grade 70-300mm type zooms are not that sharp on their long end). So, budget comes into the equation (you want the best you can afford, depending on the use for the images and viewing/print sizes needed). For night games, then lens choice becomes critical again (you'll want an f/2.8 zoom if budget permits).

I'd let members know more about what kind of budget you can live with and the conditions you plan on shooting in more often for better responses.

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