Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 17, 2009, 10:51 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Biro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 835
Default Telephoto Needs at MLB Park

I have a friend who is about to make a camera purchase... and has it narrowed down to two different Panasonics: the FZ28 and the ZS3. Now, I've covered most of the differences between the two cameras with him and, frankly, I think the ZS3 would be fine as he's not that interested in manual controls and RAW capture. Because the cameras have the same sensor size and similar image-processing, jpg image quality should be comparable and the ZS3 is a lot more pocketable.

But there's one question I'm not sure I can answer for him. He often goes to Major League Baseball games and he wants to know if the 300mm at the long end of the ZS3's zoom range will be enough to capture decent shots of players on the field - assuming he's seated in the upper deck.

I know the 486mm at the long end of the the FZ28's zoom range is enough. And the 432mm that my old Canon S3 IS offered was also enough. But 300mm? We all know that, in a general sense, one has to add quite a bit more zoom range at the end of a long telephoto lens in order to see a meaningful increase in magnification of the image. And I've checked out various Web sites that allow one to compare image views at various focal lengths. But 300mm seems like it may or may not be enough. It's a tough call.

Has anyone on these boards been able to shoot photos from the upper deck at a Major League Baseball park at 300mm - with any camera? I'm prepared to tell my friend to go with the FZ28 if necessary but I know he'd like the more pocketable camera if it will get the job done.
Biro is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old May 18, 2009, 5:17 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,870
Default

Upper deck? No way 300mm will be enough. Unless your friend is willing to spring for field level seats, he'd better spring for a camera with a longer reach...or try to guess what team is playing, or where the ball is.

the Hun
rinniethehun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 2009, 7:40 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

300mm would be enough if he were shooting from the dugout. From the upper deck, the FZ28 might not be long enough.

Plus, from the upper deck, he'll be looking down on the field. He'll get nice shots of the tops of the players' heads.

Either way, I think he'll be disappointed. But paying for better seats will be easier than replacing his camera.
TCav is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 2009, 9:18 PM   #4
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Neither is long enough for good shots from the upper deck. 486 is OK from field box seats for infield shots. From the upper deck, 486 is even too short for good captures. 300mm isn't good enough for anything.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 2009, 9:24 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Biro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 835
Default

Yeah, my gut was really telling me the same thing. If he were to get field-level seats, he might get away with 300mm. But not from the upper deck. I remember when Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia first opened, I brought my old Canon S3 IS (which was new then) to the upper deck. Zoomed out all the way to 432mm, I actually came away with some passable results - but you're right, all the shots were clearly from overhead. Still, I got a nice shot of Jim Tome hitting a home run. On the other hand, that 432mm probably still wasn't enough for something way in the outfield. Okay, thanks for the input. I'll tell him it's the FZ28 or field-level seats - preferably both.
Biro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 2009, 9:29 PM   #6
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biro View Post
On the other hand, that 432mm probably still wasn't enough for something way in the outfield.
To set your friend's expectations, 432mm won't be long enough for the other side of the infield much less the opposite outfield (same side outfielder depends on location of his seats).

But it all depends on whether he just wants snapshots or good sports images where there's some facial detail.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 2009, 9:29 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Decatur, GA
Posts: 2,053
Default

Also some teams/stadiums limited the length of lenses you can carry into a game unless you a pro shooting for a magazine or the local newspaper......

Like John G 300mm is not enough.... 300mm for me is enough only from the 1st base or third base fence on a little league or high school field.......

dave
Photo 5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19, 2009, 10:22 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Biro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 835
Default

JohnG... I understand and agree with you. Those "passable" results I got at 432mm on my old S3 IS were not fabulous sports images that I would frame or offer for sale... they were decent, fun snapshots, nothing more. And I'll have to impress this upon my friend. It could be he'll be happy with that.

Photo 5... your point about teams and stadiums limiting the length of lenses one can bring into a game (the same goes for concerts) is exactly why my friend is looking at these cameras - and the reason I personally also own a superzoom P&S as well as a DSLR. The difference between me and my friend is that I am happy to go to manual control and/or work a bit harder (including moving my position) to get a better image if possible. He'll leave the camera on "intelligent auto" and shoot away.

The irony is that even if I loaned my friend my Pentax K200D with the 55-300mm lens (450mm equivalent at the long end) - and assuming the stadium staff let him in with it - even that wouldn't really be enough. I need to adjust his expectations and point him in the direction of the FZ28 - or perhaps the Canon SX10.
Biro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19, 2009, 11:18 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biro View Post
... I need to adjust his expectations and point him in the direction of the FZ28 - or perhaps the Canon SX10.
... and better seats.
TCav is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 19, 2009, 2:50 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
zig-123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Posts: 5,145
Default

While I've not shot any photos from the upper deck of a MLB Park, I have shot some photos at a Red Sox Game last year using an E-510 DSLR along with a 70-300mm and a 14-54mm lens. The seats we had were four rows from the back of the stadium so we weren't too close to the field.

Prior to going to the game, I checked on the Teams website to see what their policy was towards bringing in cameras into the Park- it's usually found under something like 'fans code of conduct'. Most parks will allow still cameras-even dslrs, as long as it's a compact lens. I brought My E-510 with me around my neck with the 14-54mm mounted and 70-300mm in my cargo pants pocket.

Here's a photo from where we were sitting at 14mm:




and a couple at 300mm:








If your friend is serious about taking photos at a ball park, he might be better off looking into a dslr and lens combo since you can crop the image and still get a decent result.

BTW, everyone is right about the fact that if you want to get good facial shots with expressions, you need to get better tickets than upper deck.

If you're interested in seeing any others, the link is;

http://www.pbase.com/zig123/fenway_park

Zig
zig-123 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:42 AM.