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Old Aug 18, 2014, 7:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by katina128 View Post
Peewee and Middle school football, from the stands, mostly 6-9pm.
OK. There are a couple aspects to the question. First - time of day. Second, distance between you and the action.

Let's take time of day - as the sun goes down, you need higher and higher ISO settings and aperture settings. So, for example you'll need an f/2.8 lens and ISO 3200 around sunset - quite possibly ISO 6400 or 12800 after sunset depending on the lights at the field. So, bottom line -you're going to have issues when the field lights become the main source of light so try and get your photos as early as possible.

Now, on to the distance thing. Are your peewee games actually played in a stadium? If so - if they're played in a high school stadium then you've definitely got a challenge. If you're shooting from the stands of a HS stadium, then you're really going to have 2 issues - first, you are shooting DOWN on your subject - not good for decent pictures of football. But, you're also very far away. Makes it difficult for your camera to focus well (regardless of camera) because your subject is just a tiny part of the frame. Think of it this way - when you frame a player in your camera you want that player taking up 1/2 the vertical frame in-camera. If that isn't happening and you're not shooting with a professional camera (with much better focus ability) you're going to get poor shots - terrible shots in poor lighting.

So, be careful. If you have to shoot from the stands at a stadium you could end up paying a lot of money for a new camera or new camera and lens and still get poor results. A big part of getting decent sports photos is where you as the photographer are in relation to the action.
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Old Aug 18, 2014, 10:35 AM   #12
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The shutter lag is most probably due to the autofocus 'hunting' a little, particularly if you are zooming in a lot. Lighting in the earlier part of the evening should be good enough for most cameras, but, as JohnG says, later on, you will need a fast lens and higher ISO settings. (if you want professional grade photos- if you are not going to be printing large sizes, this isn't going to matter as much)
The new Fuji HS50 uses a focus system which is claimed to be very quick, and reviews have confirmed that, though it may suffer a bit at the long zoom/low light conditions which will prevail for what you want to shoot.

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Old Aug 18, 2014, 7:20 PM   #13
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As others have written, you're facing two issues: 1. getting a short shutter lag, so when you hit the shutter button, there is almost no delay. 2. Getting a fast enough shutter speed so that when you take a picture of your kids in less than ideal lighting (twilight, night), you can still get a fast enough shutter speed so that your pictures aren't blurred.
If you don't want a DSLR with an expensive F/2.8 lens (70-200mm), two cameras come to mind (and have been mentioned):
The Fuji HS50exr - very, very short shutter lag (AND a zoom ring), but the max aperture at full zoom is not very wide and not great for dim lighting. You can partially compensate by using an EXR mode allowing you to get less noise at high ISO settings.
The Panasonic FZ200, which is much faster than the FZ28 (I had it, too) and which has a constant F/2.8 max aperture for the whole 25-600mm zoom range. For me, that is the poor man's sports camera. Go to the Panasonic compact forum on dpreview and look at some shots a guy shot of an NFL football game at night.
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Old Aug 18, 2014, 11:50 PM   #14
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i'd go with the panasonic FZ200 myself. you just can't beat a faster lens.
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Old Aug 19, 2014, 7:26 AM   #15
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Thank you everyone! I will definitely look at the FZ200 for now.
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