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Old Dec 7, 2005, 8:14 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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We will be purchasing our first digital camera this Christmas. We would be taking pics at soccer games, basketball, baseball games.

Want to be able to get up close from a distanceand beable to take multi shots in a row - I would like to be able to see those shots as they are being taken so I know the person is in the shot, if this is even possible.

Not sure what else we might need in a camera at this point. Been trying to look at other posts, it just all seems to much so I thought I would just ask my question and see what you guys think.

Would be willing to spend about $500 if I can get a good camera for this price.

Thanks in advance for your wisdom.

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Old Dec 7, 2005, 9:35 PM   #2
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You might consider a Panasonic FZ20. The stabilization doesn't help for subject motion, but the f2.8 at full zoom is about as good as it gets with long telephoto lenses.

For less than a hundred bucks you can get a zoom flash unit that will illuminate out to 80 feet at ISO200. It is a little noisy at that ISO, but not excessively and it cleans up nicely with noise reduction software. Neat Image has a demo that doesn't expire and is considered freeware – it does a nice job. You might be able to often get within flash range with an external unit, and could shoot at ISO 100 with good noise if you can get to 50 feet from the action.

The built-in flash is quite powerful. Crank up the ISO to 200 and you could probably get flash shots at 30 feet with it. It also has an excellent burst mode that will take 5 shots at 3 frames per second, and repeat that every two seconds. That is also about as good as it gets. The viewfinder and LCD do blank out, but it isn't much of a problem to continue a pan or keep it on the same spot for a second and a half.

The Fuji S9000 lets you shoot at very high ISO, but it is extremely noisy when you crank it up. It is about the only camera that will really freeze indoor action, but the noise at the ISO required is almost unacceptable. I tried cleaning up the noise from a demo shot at ISO 400, and it didn't clean up very well because it isn't just grain type noise.

Most digital cameras can be set to review shots automatically but it slows things. It is pretty easy to hit the view button and see the last shot.

A DSLR would be better, but with a good telephoto lens it would be a lot pricier than your budget.

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