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Old May 24, 2009, 12:17 PM   #1
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Default SLR Camera Deals and Sports Shooting

I'm sorry if this seems redundant to other threads in this forum. I am in the market for a DSLR and am confused by all the models out there. My daughter plays softball and I want a camera that will get nice clear pictures and has a decent burst mode. I also want to be able to blur out the chain link fence like I see the SLR owners do. My Kodak 1012 has a burst that only shoots 3 images - not enough! I want an entry level DSLR as I have no experience with anything but p & s cameras. I have seen good deals on Canon XS Rebel with 2 lenses, Sony A200 with 2 lenses, and Pentax K2000 with 2 lenses all from Abes of Maine for not too much money. I am leaning towards the Sony but I really don't know which way to go. HELP!!
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Old May 24, 2009, 1:13 PM   #2
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The cameras you've mentioned aren't really up to the task of shooting sports.

The least expensive dSLR for that is be the Canon XSi. There are cameras that are better for sports but that cost a lot more, and there are cameras that are cheaper, but aren't as good for sports.

The Canon XSi comes with a very good, stabilized kit lens that would be good for other things, but for softball you should have something that goes out to 300mm. The Tamron 70-300 Di LD is a good, inexpensive lens for what you want to do. The Canon XSi with the kit lens is $700 at Abes of Maine, and the Tamron Di LD is $200 (but Adorama has the Tamron for $170.)

For more info, you might want to browse the Sports & Action Photos forum, and see what others are using.
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Old May 24, 2009, 2:04 PM   #3
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On the one hand, any camera that is capable of a fast shutter speed can stop action for sports, but that doesn't mean that it's going to be easy to shoot sports. It also depends on what you are willing to accept for quality - a nice picture of your daughter or a pro quality sports shot? None of the cameras on your list are capable of shooting pro-quality shots, especially not with the various kit lenses that are available. Any of them can, with extra work and practice take reasonable softball snaps, but you'll also get a higher failure rate than with more expensive equipment. I shoot Pentax and find it limiting when it comes to sports. I've actually done better using manual focus and pre-focusing on where the action will be, rather than depending on the auto focus.

Also, all three cameras have 3 fps continuous shooting - if you depend on that for capturing the exact moment you want, you could easily miss out.

Since sports is your primary use for the camera, I'd probably opt for Canon, and try hard to afford the XSi. It has a little higher continuous shooting rate, better AF and better future upgrade options for later on (though a newly announced Pentax camera may offer more than Pentax has offered so far for sports shooting). Both Pentax and Sony make nice general use cameras and excel in areas other than sports. For sports shooting, Canon (and some of the expensive Nikons) make sports easier, and more successful.
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Old May 24, 2009, 2:45 PM   #4
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Thanks for all the input. As far as getting good shots, I'm pretty good. My daughter has been playing for 6 years so I usually know where the play will be. I've gotten some good shots, but sometimes I just barely miss it because I don't have a decent burst. Plus I'm tired of sticking my lens through the chain link fence - it almost took a hit from a fly ball yesterday. I appreciate all the advice from people that know a whole lot more about this than I do! I don't remember the last time I felt so confused!
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