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Old May 26, 2009, 1:04 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by kazuya View Post
Thanks, i use a K20D with a SMC Pentax DA 55-300
i would say my biggest change was to stop using shutter priority and start using Aperture priority, shooting as wide as possible and changing the iso to keep the shutter speed quite fast, ive also found that focusing on the horses chest gives best results and i never shoot unless im using a monopod or resting on a fencepost.


I'm quite impressed with Kazuya's action shot of the horse and the rider using a Pentax K20D and a Pentax 55-300 MM .

I use the same methodology with my K10D and my 55-300mm to capture outdoor action. I find it works very well.

A lot of it is taking pictures, taking pictures...did I mention ...taking pictures. Experience, experience...then more experience. But then reviewing your results and assessing how you can improve your skill.

To me many pictures are photographic challenges....and one of the the challenges is how do use the camera's settings...whether it be a K10D or a Canon Pro body to get a successful picture.

Yes equipment for an indoor action shot with very dim lighting may require an f 2.8 prime telephoto with a pro camera costing many $ 1000's of dollars. I don't have that, but then I have little interest in indoor action shots, nor am I a pro taking indoor sports shots. We've all seen the photos of Pro photographers on the sidelines at a football game with their pro Canon bodies and white pro Canon telephoto lens.... ready for that critical action shot. Most of us aren't on the photo line.

I realize that is just me...for those who want indoor sports action shots..then Canon or Nikon maybe a better bet. But I would check out the K7 first...sound like it has some interesting features for low light photography. As far as the K7's capabilities though...right now...I like all the rest of us... am just speculating. I don't know how good the K7 is...whether it compares to a D300 or not...hardly anyone does...I'll wait for the reviews, pictures and I'd like to handle one my self before I make any final decisions on it's worth.

But I also think a skillful amateur photographer can get a great outdoor, action shot, like Kayuza did of the horse and rider....with an F 4 consumer zoom..like the 55-300.



I don't think too many of us on this forum are shooting for National Geographic, Sports Illustrated or Arizona Highways... most of us are amateur enthusiasts ...who have budgets that never will include $ 4-8000.00 (Cdn.) camera bodies with multi thousand dollar fast, long, pro lenses.

You have to think...is this pro equipment necessary for anything but indoor, sports action shots ? For my purposes and I bet many others I find my Pentax equipment (K10D and KM) are tremendous photography tools. In fact I'm still learning all my K10D's remarkable (to me) capabilities and I've had SLR's for 41 years +...even took pictures for publication purposes back when I worked in the publishing field many years ago. Back then I used Pentax and Mamiya.


I take action shots...usually birds...animals...but outdoors...in sunny conditions....sometimes overcast conditions....never at night...when I would need a flash...even if I could locate my 'quarry'. I generally use my Pentax 55-300 mm zoom...put the k10D on continuous AF, the ISO on 200 to 400, the meter on spot..the camera on shutter priority (avoid blur of subject)...sometimes put the lens on manual focus if there are lot's of branches in the way.

I take photos of people, usually at gatherings sometimes portraits...I use my wide angle zoom...sometimes my Pentax 50mm F1.4 in natural indoor
light.

I take pictures of special interest cars,trucks and motorcycles...that are usually parked outdoors at shows. I find my K10D with the 16-45 lens seems the perfect combo.

I do have some thoughts about how I would like to see this forum evolve.

I think the focus should be how to take pictures like Kazuya's using the equipment many of us use in this forum...in this case Pentax equipment.

I also don't want to ruffle any feathers but as a member of this forum I think the moderators of the site would want to know what members...or at least this member (me) wants from the forum.

Like many of us, I have other brand equipment...in my case Zeiss and Mamiya Medium Format, Leica 35 mm...etc...but I come to this particular Pentax digital forum to find out how best I can use my Pentax digital equipment...not to read that if I want to take indoor sports action photos than I need to use Pro equipment designed specifically for this purpose. I want to know what I can do with my consumer (KM) or advanced amateur (K10D) equipment....in other words equipment that is available from Pentax.


IMO...Kazuya's sports action...outdoor..photo of horse and rider is excellent...the fact that Kazuya also told us the equipment (Pentax) and settings he used to get that picture...is exactly the kind of info that I and I'm sure other Pentax photographers want to know.

In the end...seeing that picture..I guess Pentax can do it....

Last edited by lesmore49; May 26, 2009 at 2:12 PM.
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Old May 26, 2009, 1:40 PM   #52
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Some interesting points. Let's explore in more detail:
Quote:
Originally Posted by lesmore49 View Post
Kazuya


A lot of it is taking pictures, taking pictures...did I mention ...taking pictures. Experience, experience...then more experience. But then reviewing your results and assessing how you can improve your skill.
Absolutely agree.

Quote:
Yes equipment for an indoor shot with very dim lighting may require an f 2.8 telephoto with a pro camera costing many $ 1000's of dollars. I don't have that, but then I have little interest in, nor am I a pro taking indoor sports shots.
No, what you want in an indoor sports camera is good high ISO performance and good AF. Paired with a $360 85mm 1.8 lens and $750 Canon XSi does extremely well - at $1100. Far short of the "thousands of dollars" you indicate. Unfortunately Canon is the only manufacturer with a good sports camera at the entry level. In Nikon or Sony you have to jump up a level.

Quote:
But I also think a skillful photographer can get a great outdoor, action shot, like you did of the horse and rider....with an F 4 consumer zoom..like the 55-300.
Absolutely. But as has already been mentioned, what better equipment gives you is MORE KEEPERS. With better equipment (and better doesn't necessarily mean 2.8 it means sharp and fast focusing - for example I have a canon 100-400 - it's a 5.6 aperture lens but sharp and fast focusing) you get more keepers. Rather than 10% of your shots turning out good, you start getting to 40-50%. If this weren't true why do any of you buy anything but the entry level DSLR in your system and it's kit lens. As mentioned already, Canon 70-200 f4 is a pro grade lens with pro grade optics and focusing for $560. Sigma 70-200 2.8 HSM is a pro grade lens with pro focusing for $800 - and available in Pentax mount.

Quote:
If so...to me it's an excellent, outdoor action shot...for either a pro or an advanced amateur. ...
Agree - it's an excellent shot. But again, it's about % of keepers. For a person that is only going to dabble and take the occasional sports photo it's not worth investing money to get 40-50% keepers. For hobbyists that are taking a lot of sports photos - their childrens sports or local sports teams it becomes frustrating when your shots don't improve because you're limited by your gear. For such people $580 on a lens might be a very reasonable price.

Quote:
I don't think too many of us on this forum are shooting for National Geographic, Sports Illustrated or Arizona Highways... most of us are amateur enthusiasts ...who have budgets that never will include $ 4-8000.00 (Cdn.) camera bodies with multi thousand dollar fast, long, pro lenses.
Agreed. But it isn't a single solution. No one is saying you need to spend $10,000 to get good sports photos. Canon XSi plus 85mm 1.8 plus 70-200 f4 - all for under $2,000 and you've got a great combo capable of shooting both indoor sports and outdoor sports if you're patient enough for action to get close to you. If the T1i pans out then you can get the Sigma 70-200 2.8 lens to cover both indoor and out and add a Sigma 1.4x TC for more reach for $175 when you get more funds.

Quote:
You have to think...is this pro equipment necessary for anything but indoor, sports action shots ?
Everything is a balance. Pro equipment benefits every aspect of sports photography. Take a football photo with a 400mm 2.8 lens and the same photo with a Sigma 70-300 lens and I guarantee the one with the 400mm 2.8 will look better in 90% of the cases. BUT, people can't afford 400mm 2.8 lenses so it's about striking a balance. Frames per second can help in a lot of instances too. The biggest piece of misinformation out there by non sports shooters is that FPS is for spraying-and-praying - taking 20 shots and hoping one turns out. In reality it's biggest benefit is in reducing the amount of time between shots. So you get 2 photos that both contain peak action to choose from rather than one. That's a huge benefit when you want to step up from entry to mid level sports or widlife shooting.


Quote:
I find my K10D with the 16-45 lens seems the perfect combo.
Fantastic - everything is about finding the right equipment for what you shoot. I am not, nor have I ever said Pentax is a bad system. It's just not strong in action photography. Other brands are stronger - in the case of Canon and Nikon I think they're much stronger. As mentioned earlier - if you're doing still wildlife, the AF benefits of other systems aren't much of an issue - but for BIF the benefits are more pronounced. It is perfectly acceptable and reasonable for a person to say "I like Pentax and it fits most of my needs, I can give up the benefits of other systems in sports and action because I don't do enough of it to give up the things I like about Pentax"

And as I mentioned above there are many Nikon cameras and one Sony that are quite capable (although in the Sony camp you'll pay a premium for lenses so it's more expensive to shoot quality sports in Sony IMO). So it isn't about me saying Canon is great everything else sucks.

So I agree - shoot with what makes you happy. But let's not turn my argument that equipment matters into the notion I am telling people they must buy pro equipment. There is a lot of Pentax users in this discussion who I'm guessing have spent over $2,000 on their equipment. I've provided a $2,000 solution for the enthusiast that wants to do sports work. There's a far cry from that to shooting for SI.

And, just look at all the folks thinking of buying the K-7. $1300 just for the body. So let's not make this out like people in this DSLR forum or considering a DSLR purchase are limited to a $600 budget.
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Old May 26, 2009, 1:50 PM   #53
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I would also add the following - sports photography is one of the areas of photography where you can make money off your hobby. Get started with a good camera/lens and enjoy your hobby shooting your son's little league. Get skills down and start selling photos. Make $1,000 and suddenly you can afford an upgrade. All while doing what you love. I have a Canon 1dmkIII, canon 70-200 2.8, 85mm 1.8, 24-105, sigma 120-300 2.8, 580exII flash all funded by my hobby. Now, there isn't enough opportunity out there to make a career out of sports shooting but if you're doing it anyway there is ample opportunity to make a few thousand $$$ a year doing it. All for doing what you're already doing - if sports shooting is a big part of what you like to shoot. I started out shooting wildlife - if I wasn't interested in sports there would be no way I'd be using the equipment I am as my wildlife photos couldn't make me a dime. Just something to think about for those who worry about stretching the pocket book for that $2,000 investment. Again, I'm being specific to sports shooting but that's a lot of what this thread is about.
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Old May 26, 2009, 1:59 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazuya View Post
Thanks, i use a K20D with a SMC Pentax DA 55-300
i would say my biggest change was to stop using shutter priority and start using Aperture priority, shooting as wide as possible and changing the iso to keep the shutter speed quite fast, ive also found that focusing on the horses chest gives best results and i never shoot unless im using a monopod or resting on a fencepost.
It looks like Pentax does just fine.
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Old May 26, 2009, 2:46 PM   #55
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[QUOTE=JohnG;972016]Some interesting points. Let's explore in more detail:


Absolutely agree.


No, what you want in an indoor sports camera is good high ISO performance and good AF. Paired with a $360 85mm 1.8 lens and $750 Canon XSi does extremely well - at $1100. Far short of the "thousands of dollars" you indicate. Unfortunately Canon is the only manufacturer with a good sports camera at the entry level. In Nikon or Sony you have to jump up a level.



Absolutely. But as has already been mentioned, what better equipment gives you is MORE KEEPERS. With better equipment (and better doesn't necessarily mean 2.8 it means sharp and fast focusing - for example I have a canon 100-400 - it's a 5.6 aperture lens but sharp and fast focusing) you get more keepers. Rather than 10% of your shots turning out good, you start getting to 40-50%. If this weren't true why do any of you buy anything but the entry level DSLR in your system and it's kit lens. As mentioned already, Canon 70-200 f4 is a pro grade lens with pro grade optics and focusing for $560. Sigma 70-200 2.8 HSM is a pro grade lens with pro focusing for $800 - and available in Pentax mount.



Agree - it's an excellent shot. But again, it's about % of keepers. For a person that is only going to dabble and take the occasional sports photo it's not worth investing money to get 40-50% keepers. For hobbyists that are taking a lot of sports photos - their childrens sports or local sports teams it becomes frustrating when your shots don't improve because you're limited by your gear. For such people $580 on a lens might be a very reasonable price.



Agreed. But it isn't a single solution. No one is saying you need to spend $10,000 to get good sports photos. Canon XSi plus 85mm 1.8 plus 70-200 f4 - all for under $2,000 and you've got a great combo capable of shooting both indoor sports and outdoor sports if you're patient enough for action to get close to you. If the T1i pans out then you can get the Sigma 70-200 2.8 lens to cover both indoor and out and add a Sigma 1.4x TC for more reach for $175 when you get more funds.



Everything is a balance. Pro equipment benefits every aspect of sports photography. Take a football photo with a 400mm 2.8 lens and the same photo with a Sigma 70-300 lens and I guarantee the one with the 400mm 2.8 will look better in 90% of the cases. BUT, people can't afford 400mm 2.8 lenses so it's about striking a balance. Frames per second can help in a lot of instances too. The biggest piece of misinformation out there by non sports shooters is that FPS is for spraying-and-praying - taking 20 shots and hoping one turns out. In reality it's biggest benefit is in reducing the amount of time between shots. So you get 2 photos that both contain peak action to choose from rather than one. That's a huge benefit when you want to step up from entry to mid level sports or widlife shooting.




Fantastic - everything is about finding the right equipment for what you shoot. I am not, nor have I ever said Pentax is a bad system. It's just not strong in action photography. Other brands are stronger - in the case of Canon and Nikon I think they're much stronger. As mentioned earlier - if you're doing still wildlife, the AF benefits of other systems aren't much of an issue - but for BIF the benefits are more pronounced. It is perfectly acceptable and reasonable for a person to say "I like Pentax and it fits most of my needs, I can give up the benefits of other systems in sports and action because I don't do enough of it to give up the things I like about Pentax"


[/QUOTE


***********************************************
So I agree - shoot with what makes you happy. But let's not turn my argument that equipment matters into the notion I am telling people they must buy pro equipment. There is a lot of Pentax users in this discussion who I'm guessing have spent over $2,000 on their equipment. I've provided a $2,000 solution for the enthusiast that wants to do sports work. There's a far cry from that to shooting for SI.

And, just look at all the folks thinking of buying the K-7. $1300 just for the body. So let's not make this out like people in this DSLR forum or considering a DSLR purchase are limited to a $600 budget.

I don't think I was...but I do think it's important to note that with any forum there will be a range of owners with different levels of equipment and budgets and it's a factor to consider.

For instance, I have well over $ 3000 in modern digital Pentax equipment...I made a decision whether to go with Pentax, Canon or Nikon back in 2007. I went with Pentax because I was impressed with the K10D.

I also considered the Canon 30D and the Nikon 200D...both fine cameras. In fact great cameras in my opinion.

I looked at features like SR in the body, weather sealing, etc....what felt best in my hands. I was also impressed with the number of photographic awards the K10D knocked off and at the time I made my decision the D200 and the 30D had been out for awhile.

But if I had gone with either the 30D or the D200...I know i would of been happy with either system.

Once I chose the K10D...I went with the system, as I would of with either Canon or Nikon.


I have done a bit of editing to my previous post...and I added this following section after ...I'm sure people may have missed it...so I'm adding it here.

" l don't want to ruffle any feathers but as a member of this forum I think the moderators of the site would want to know what members...or at least me wants from the forum.


Like many of us, I have other brand equipment...in my case Zeiss and Mamiya Medium Format, Leica 35 mm, Olympus, Canon, Panasonic Lumix...etc...but I come to this particular Pentax digital forum to find out how best I can use my Pentax digital equipment.

I want to know what I can do with my consumer (KM) or advanced amateur (K10D) equipment....in other words equipment that is available from Pentax to take a variety of pictures under a myriad of different conditions. "

And as I mentioned above there are many Nikon cameras and one Sony that are quite capable (although in the Sony camp you'll pay a premium for lenses so it's more expensive to shoot quality sports in Sony IMO). So it isn't about me saying Canon is great everything else sucks.


I agree. I'm also a American car enthusiast and I know all too well how the climate can change for the worse, if individuals get into the my equipment is better than your equipment....the old Ford vs Chevy debates. Like you I don't want to go there as this kind of McCoy-Hatfield discussion gets nowhere .

In conclusion, I don't think we really have many points of disagreement.

BTW, I think this is a great forum, one that I enjoy participating, an effective resource getting answers about photography and an opportunity to exchange ideas...sometimes in a spirited fashion.

I also appreciate the respectful climate,
which has been fostered by the moderators, which allows for disagreement.

Last edited by lesmore49; May 26, 2009 at 2:49 PM.
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Old May 27, 2009, 10:18 AM   #56
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Just to make things clear, I agree with john that the Canon system is superior to the Pentax system when it comes to AF! I shoot with a friend with a Canon MKII and his BIF shots always produce more keepers than my Pentax K20D, which many times becomes extremely frustrating especially when the bird if flying right at you, but...

Rick posted a shot of his daughter at a sports event and even though the focus was not up to John's standards, it was up to Rick's, and he was happy enough with it to post the shot for others to enjoy. Having been there taking photos of children at events like this, I know the % of keepers isn't as important as recording what is taking place and as long as you get some shots that make you happy, all is well. Good shot Rick and thanks for sharing!

I find it strange that John found the need to jump in and explain to Rick how inferior his shot was and that if he had just been using Canon gear it quite possibly would have been better.

This is a Pentax forum and I for one enjoy seeing what others have done with their Pentax gear so I can compare what I do and quite possibly get some new ideas. I have no intention of switching systems even though I realize Canon and Nikon has some features that function better than my Pentax system, so I am missing the point of Johns post on this forum.

Tom
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Old May 27, 2009, 10:52 AM   #57
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Tom,
Here is my quote as to why I responded:
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickst
We all know that Pentax can't shoot moving objects, right?
...

Only because of this quote am I responding. Freezing action is easy - it just requires shutter speed. Having that action IN FOCUS and the disturbing background blurred - THAT's the challenge. Your daughter's face is not in focus. From looking at the image it would appear the shot is back-focused. And, the DOF is pretty deep in this shot - so deep dof and still not in sharp focus.
THAT's the problem. How well does it do vs. the competition? That's where it's lacking. The Canon and Nikon cameras, in the right hands, with the right lenses get those shots in focus. Talk to Paul - even he was frustrated with the AF performance in the K20D. Hopefully the K-7 addresses this serious short fall.
Just to beat the dead horse - the QUOTE made his post about a demonstration of the technical abilities of the gear he used. Without the sentance this wouldn't have happened. Yes the sentance was tongue in cheek. But as stated by another poster:
Quote:
If you don't like the answer, perhaps you sholdn't have asked the question

Last edited by JohnG; May 27, 2009 at 10:56 AM.
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Old May 27, 2009, 11:29 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by ennacac View Post
This is a Pentax forum and I for one enjoy seeing what others have done with their Pentax gear so I can compare what I do and quite possibly get some new ideas. I have no intention of switching systems even though I realize Canon and Nikon has some features that function better than my Pentax system, so I am missing the point of Johns post on this forum.

Tom
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
Tom,
Here is my quote as to why I responded:

Just to beat the dead horse - the QUOTE made his post about a demonstration of the technical abilities of the gear he used. Without the sentance this wouldn't have happened. Yes the sentance was tongue in cheek. But as stated by another poster:
Yes, we know Nikon & Canon rule the roost but....
John, I think it has something to do with this is the PENTAX category and some of us don't like being told that our Pentax isn't as good as Nikon or Canon. Sure, they're the top two DSLR's, but we like what we have and we want to Maximize what we have, not be told that we should get a Canon or whatever... as it would cost too much to sell what we have and buy a whole new system. So please tell us HOW to improve our shots with what we have. As some of the shots posted, like Kazuya shot of the horse and girl, it can be done.
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Old May 27, 2009, 2:51 PM   #59
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Jack - here's the thing. In these forums there are generally 2 types of posts/questions - 1) photos and technique and 2) gear.

If you create a post and by statements in the post make it about the GEAR, the beauty of a public forum is people can respectfully disagree. If I post a soft / fuzzy shot from Lens A and say "who says lens A isn't sharp?:". In a PUBLIC forum you can expect some people may disagree that the photo you posted was sharp. I'm sorry if I don't fall into the lovefest that a shot is perfect because it was taken with the same brand camera I have. I post BECAUSE I disagree with bad advice on gear. Just like I disagreed with your premise gear isn't relevant because ITS BAD ADVICE.

For example - look back a year or so at the bird photos in this forum before people started spending money on quality optics. Everyone told everyone else the shots were great - and for years no one got noticably better. NOW, look at the shots being produced today - because people have seen that the right gear makes a difference. I have NO loyalty to Canon whatsoever. I recommend sports equipment based on experience and results I've seen others use. YOu'll notice by the way that by and large my advice to people when they want improvement is brand agnostic. The only time brand comes into play is when you hit a ceiling - like ISO performance of Oly and focus performance of Pentax. It's also why I encourage photographers to post in the gear agnostic forums here - want to shoot better wildlife? Have other wildlife photogs review your work. I would be just as likely to call out a canon fanboy post claiming a canon camera had a great flash system or claiming the old XT was a great sports camera - they're not. If you don't want dissenting opinion then don't make provacative statements. If you want advice then simply ask for it.

Don't blame me because someone asked a question and I answered it truthfully.

In truth Jack - it seems you just want to argue with me about it. It took several posts to convince people here that gear does make a difference - you wanted to argue it didn't. When I posted photos which showed gear does matter - you still challenged. Up and to the point of questioning my ethics and whether the photos were actually mine. Now, you want to change the argument yet again to - it isn't fair to contradict the assertion Pentax does a good job.

As I've said - Pentax is good at a lot of things and there are some fantastic Pentax shooters - many better than I am. But my post was about gear and I gave an objective observation (and note I have mentioned models in Sony and Nikon as well as Canon that I believed demonstrate good sports shooting ability). I also noted I hoped the K-7 closed the gap - which I do. I'm sorry I don't drink brand-loyalty cool-aid. I'm the first to suggest to people looking at the prosumer line of DSLRs to be a sports shooter that the Nikon D700 and D300 offer people a better body than what Canon has to offer. Because to me it's about photography and like it or not when considering gear it makes sense to buy the gear that best gets the job done. sometimes that's the system you're in and sometimes not. But when presented with honest, and not just fanboy, points of view people can make a true assessment as to whether it makes sense to stay in a system or switch. I don't have a care in the world how many people buy Canon or stay with Canon. I don't write posts where I only say O or N or P instead of spelling out the other brands - as if spelling out the brand name were somehow distasteful.

As I have said before - without the sentance I would not have commented - because it was in a gear forum and no C&C was requested. But with the sentance, the subject of the post becomes the gear used and it's capabilities. Throughout my posts I have never disparaged the OP or other people's abilities as photographers and have been respectful of dissenting opinions. But, just because this is a Pentax forum doesn't mean their can't be dissenting opinion when someone posts "the emperor has clothes on" - sorry but in this case the emperor has no clothes. If you don't want to hear the emperor has no clothes, don't make statements that they do.

Just as I jumped in to other threads when people made what I believed to be misleading posts that there's really no difference now between point-and-shoots and DSLRs. The emperor had no clothes there too and I voiced a dissenting opinion.

As I've said earlier in this thread - those who are interested in honest, strait advice on sports shooting are welcome to PM me and I'm glad to help them out (as long as they're not giving away sports photos). If you talk to the folks I've helped out here you'll see I've helped Pentax, Nikon, Oly and Canon shooters alike - those who were interested in honest feedback and not just a pat on the back. And the ONLY time I've mentioned switching systems is when they hit the ceiling on focus or iso performance in their current system. At least they had an honest answer and not - "the gear doesn't matter, if you can't get better shots its your fault". Sometimes that's true but that's why I try to limit my advice and the extent of my advice to areas I have experience in so I speak from hands-on experience and don't put my foot in my mouth (at least not too often anyways )
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