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Old Dec 5, 2012, 11:13 AM   #1
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Default Sports camera w/300M lens under $1000? Considering some options

I'm looking for a camera and lens combo that can handle daylight sports for under $1000.

Currently, the ones I'm considering are these:

Sony Alpha SLT-A57 that comes with a 18-55mm lens and also getting a Tamron 70-300 USD

Nikon 1 V1 with 10-30mm, 30-110mm lenses and 70-300mm lens and FT1 adapter:

Primarily, I want speedy autofocus, high burst and continuous shooting rate, fast saving to memory card. The Sony Alpha with the Tamron seems to have these features (I think the Tamron's AF is faster than Sonys 70-300). I *think* the Nikon 1 V1 is also fast, but not sure how fast the autofocus is compared to the Sony/Tamron. One thing I do like about the Nikon is that it has the capability to do a 400fps (or higher I think) video rate which would be great for playing back sports in slow-mo for analysis.

If anyone has some input on this search or recommendations of other suitable equipment that I can put together for UNDER $1000 (and it has to be under that cause I'm getting screamed at enough for the $1000 price tag ) I would appreciate it!
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 3:46 PM   #2
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  1. The Sony has an APS-C size sensor, so a 300mm lens gives a 35mm equivalent focal length of 450mm. To get the same angle of view on a Nikon 1, you'd need a lens with a focal length of 167mm.
  2. The Nikon 1 V1 produces 10MP images while the Sony A57 produces 16MP images.
  3. No. The Tamron 70-300 USD does not focus faster than the Sony 70-300 'G', nor is it better in any other way. But on your budget, it's the best you're going to do with the Sony.
  4. The Sony uses a full-time Phase Detection AF system, while the Nikon 1 uses a hybrid AF system with phase detect sensors in the image sensor. There's a lot to be said for hybrid AF systems, but they're relatively new, so I'd hesitate to put one up against a conventional PDAF system if you're serious about what you want.
  5. According to DxOMark, the Sony has much less noise and much greater dynamic range than the Nikon 1 V1. So the Sony should provide you with better image quality.
Another option, btw, might be the Nikon D5100, which uses the same sensor as the Sony A57, so the image quality should be similar. Plus the D5100 is very inexpensive right now, so you may be able to squeeze the Nikon 70-300 VR lens into your budget, which is better than the Tamron.
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