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Old Sep 9, 2010, 3:29 AM   #81
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If you need to do basketball and gymnastics (gymnastics usually requiring more shutter speed), as long as you can get quite close to the aparatus then I would go for Canon T1i with kit lens and also the 85mm f1.8 or 100mm f2. Problem is I'm not sure of the prices where you are. This obviously doesn't help with the long lens, but you can still get the Tamron on Canon.

I've just seen that your children are 3 and 10 (should have gone back first) I'm guessing your daughter is the 3 year old, if that is the case then probably I would be looking at a lens in the f2.8 range still as she won't need the very high speeds. My choice would then be back to the camera of your choice (T1i or a500) with a kit lens and a medium/long f2.8 lens. Canon has the better AF system for sports so if you are going to want more in the future it is better to invest in this system (or Nikon) rather than Sony.

I know there are so many choices but this is expensive stuff and you don't really want to be changing, it's expensive to switch. I started with the Konica Minolta system that Sony purchased but there just were not the options for sports. At the time I didn't know I was going to get into sports shooting but as I did I reached limitations of the kit. Things are not so bad now, however Canon and Nikon still have more mature sports systems and it seems that you have probably 15 years sports shooting ahead. You don't need to have the best for now, the good thing is you can build as and when you can afford it. Just get the basics sorted out correctly.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 4:49 AM   #82
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If you need to do basketball and gymnastics (gymnastics usually requiring more shutter speed), as long as you can get quite close to the aparatus then I would go for Canon T1i with kit lens and also the 85mm f1.8 or 100mm f2. Problem is I'm not sure of the prices where you are. This obviously doesn't help with the long lens, but you can still get the Tamron on Canon.

I've just seen that your children are 3 and 10 (should have gone back first) I'm guessing your daughter is the 3 year old, if that is the case then probably I would be looking at a lens in the f2.8 range still as she won't need the very high speeds. My choice would then be back to the camera of your choice (T1i or a500) with a kit lens and a medium/long f2.8 lens. Canon has the better AF system for sports so if you are going to want more in the future it is better to invest in this system (or Nikon) rather than Sony.

I know there are so many choices but this is expensive stuff and you don't really want to be changing, it's expensive to switch. I started with the Konica Minolta system that Sony purchased but there just were not the options for sports. At the time I didn't know I was going to get into sports shooting but as I did I reached limitations of the kit. Things are not so bad now, however Canon and Nikon still have more mature sports systems and it seems that you have probably 15 years sports shooting ahead. You don't need to have the best for now, the good thing is you can build as and when you can afford it. Just get the basics sorted out correctly.
Mark,

Thank you for reply. This is really a great forum (I feel I'm abusing the helpfulness of everyone with my indecisiveness...I can't help it. I'm a math nerd, overly analytical I suppose

I will give your suggestion on the Canon system some serious consideration. I have class again on Saturday and may just go into my local fry's and look at the different bodies again.

It is an expensive hobby, but my husband's alternative is to buy another bridge camera, rely on portrait studios for better looking 8x10s, and forgo usable indoor shots of action. But that is no bueno for me.

Thanks to everyone for all their help so far!

Diana
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 5:44 AM   #83
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Canon has the best AF system for sports/action/wildlife in entry level dSLRs, and it has the best selection of lenses and accessories for what you want to do. Anything else will be a compromise.

That is not to say that Sony is particularly bad, however.

But, for instance, we've presumed that, for your son's basketball, f/2.8 would be fast enough, and that's not certain. If it's not fast enough, your only other option with the Sony body is the Sony/Zeiss 85mm f/1.4, which costs $1,370. (What does that do to your math? )

Up until the prospect of shooting indoor basketball for 10 year olds appeared, I didn't have any trouble with suggesting you get a Sony. But the choice of lenses for the Sony mount for that is pretty lean.

The Sony is nice because all those 20+ year old Minolta AF lenses on the used market will work, and be stabilized. So you have a choice of some good general purpose lenses that can be had for very reasonable prices. But even that doesn't increase the chances of getting good shots of your son playing basketball.

The Canon T1i with the kit 18-55 stabilized kit lens and the Canon 55-250 stabilized telephoto zoom lens, will do what you want, and is $920 at Adorama. The Canon 85/1.8 and 100/2.0 that Mark mentioned for your son's basketball, are $380 and $435, respectively.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 12:07 PM   #84
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But, for instance, we've presumed that, for your son's basketball, f/2.8 would be fast enough, and that's not certain. If it's not fast enough, your only other option with the Sony body is the Sony/Zeiss 85mm f/1.4, which costs $1,370. (What does that do to your math? )
You make a very persuasive argument. There doesn't seem to be much of a middle ground.

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The Canon T1i with the kit 18-55 stabilized kit lens and the Canon 55-250 stabilized telephoto zoom lens, will do what you want, and is $920 at Adorama. The Canon 85/1.8 and 100/2.0 that Mark mentioned for your son's basketball, are $380 and $435, respectively.
I will look into this. I will refrain from asking further questions on a canon system though, since we're in the Sony folder.

I appreciate all your help and patience
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 1:12 PM   #85
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But, for instance, we've presumed that, for your son's basketball, f/2.8 would be fast enough, and that's not certain. If it's not fast enough, your only other option with the Sony body is the Sony/Zeiss 85mm f/1.4, which costs $1,370. (What does that do to your math? )
You could also get a used Minolta 85mm f/1.4 AF lens. They're around $800 with hood, caps and a 60 day warranty at keh.com (and they've got multiple listings for them). Here's one example for $789:

http://www.keh.com/camera/Minolta-Ma...10500898J?r=FE

Or, a Minolta 100mm f/2 AF lens (hard to find, and it would probably cost you just as much or more than the 85mm f/1.4). I've got one of these.

The best option in something brighter than f/2.8 for Sony dSLR models in that focal length is probably going to be the new Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM, if you find that f/2.8 isn't bright enough.

It should be hitting store shelves almost anytime now. I'm seeing listings for it at $899 now. It's not cheap, but it has a much lower price compared to the Sony/Carl Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 (or other camera manufacturers' 85mm f/1.4 lenses), and it also has Hypersonic Motor Focusing. Here's a listing for one (not in stock yet, but expected this month):

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...1_4_EX_DG.html

Or, wait on the A580 to hit the U.S., as it should be better at higher ISO speeds compared to the models using a 14MP sensor, allowing more flexible lens selection (i.e., allowing you to more easily use f/2.8 versus f/2 or f/1.8 in dimmer lighting). I suspect that's one reason Sony went with an inexpensive 85mm f/2.8 as their latest 85mm lens offering (as it's relatively small and light as 85mm lenses go, and with higher ISO speeds, it would allow a bit more DOF, which could help to increase your percentage of keepers when filling the frame much, and also allows for a lower price point compared to brighter 85mm primes).
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 1:53 PM   #86
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A use canon 85mm 1.8 is running about 300. That is the main reason I said that the canon system is better suited for you action need with your budget constraints.
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