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Old Oct 23, 2005, 9:35 PM   #1
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I have a Nikon CoolPix 880 that I have been very satisfied with, except for a few things that I believe a new dSLR will correct.

One of the most significant problems I've had with the CP880 is shutter lag, but not your typical, everyday shutter lag.

You see, the photographs I care the most about are of my wife on horseback while she competes. These photographs are the result of constant panning (as she rides around) and zooming (to frame her and her horse as they move closer and then further away) of a high contrast subject across a variety of quickly changing backgrounds. This constant panning and zooming causes the autoexposure and autofocus systems to work themselves into a tizzy, often to the point where shutter lag is as much as 10-15 seconds, sometimes to the point that the camera doesn't actually take the picture, and a few times the camera has actually shut itself off.

I'm considering a dSLR that, either via a special lens (i.e. Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom, Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM), or built into the camera body (i.e. Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7D), will allow the AE/AF systems to work faster. I know that the various technologies involved are only billed as allowing you to take photos at slower shutter speeds while panning, but I'm hoping that these might also help with the problem I'm having.

Does anyone out there have any experience with what I'm talking about, or have any thoughts on the subject?

BTW, I've posted this message in the Canon Lenses, Nikon Lenses, Konica Minolta Digital SLR, and the New Technology forums and will be monitoring them all.
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Old Oct 24, 2005, 12:45 AM   #2
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I've only had my 5D fora month or so but there is a noticeable improvement in focus and exposure lag with this over my previous P&S models. I take alot of pics of racecars with continuous advance and in the past the P&S cams wouldn't change very well with the quickly changing position of the cars. The 5D seems to do better but I have not had it in too many tough situations yet. It will focus and expose quite nicely even while panning from what I've seen to date.



I know that's pretty week to judge by but that's all I can add so far.
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Old Oct 24, 2005, 9:35 AM   #3
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TCav,
I know what you mean by shutter lag. I shot 35mm (Minolta X-700 and Maxxum 7000i) and it took me a while to get use to the point and shoots (I couldn't afford the DSLR's prices back then).
My first digital was a Nikon Coolpix 995 which was a great camera for its time except for the time lag and focusing problems in low light. Then I upgraded to the Panasonic Lumix FZ20, nice camera it still had a little lag but better in low light because of the A/S and f2.8.
When the price of the the Maxxum 7D went down I bought it and never looked back. And unlike most Point and shoots, I like to be able to make adjustments without having to go though the menu's (which is like my film SLR)
I've also had a chance to use my co-worker's Nikon D70s which is also a nice camera (if I didn't have all my Minolta lenses, I might have gone that route).
I didn't see too much advantage using the A/S on my camera versus the D70s when I took identical shots. Don't get me wrong...there were slight improvements on some shots but nothing earth shattering like the ads claim.
I do like the "steady gauge" Minolta uses to show how much camera movement and all the external controls.
Since you mentioned most of your shots will be of your wife competing (I'll assume that some of the competition are indoor venues), I'd definitely get an DSLR. If you don't purchase a Minolta, I'd suggest your first lens purchase would be a fast lens, rather than their specialty VR or IS. See if you can rent one of those lenses and test to see if it fits your needs (as I mentioned before A/S was not as big of advantage for me, but everyone shoots differently). Canon and Nikon have the advantage of having the most lenses to choose from but limited on their VR and IS lenses. Minolta has the internal A/S so 95% of their AF lenses work with A/S.
Either way you go, shutter lag will no longer be an issue.
Good luck,
Yoza717

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Old Oct 24, 2005, 2:44 PM   #4
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Thanks for your input.

I need a moderate wide-angle to (a little more than) moderate telephoto.KM has the AF DT 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 (D), Nikon has the 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S, and Canon has the EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, all of which are f/3.5 (as are all KM's DT lenses, btw), so a fast lens is out.

I've never been a big fan of zoom lenses (too many optical elements, too many moving parts, too many things that can degrade image quality) but for this application, I'm got to have one. If I'm going to get a zoom lens, I would prefer that it was from Zeiss, Leica, Nikon or Canon. But I like the idea of the Anti-Shake built into the camera body. If it doesn't make a lot of difference for what I'm after, then I've lost a reason to consider the 7D.

I guess the only way to know for certain is to rent a 7D and try it with and without the A/S.
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 8:36 PM   #5
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hello, the 7 d has multiple focusing fields-spot, center weighed, total field and multiple AF settings- single shot, continuous, with or without anti motion. I think if you use continuous spot focus as you follow her, with shutter priority, you'll be just fine.
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 8:43 PM   #6
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hello, you will find that the quality of the lens also reflects upon the rapidity of its af mechanism. the wrong lens will not be your solution. don't forget the multiplier effect of taking a 35mm camera lens and placing it on a dslr. For the 7d it is 1.5 ( 100 mm lens is 150mm equivalent ).

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Old Nov 1, 2005, 10:45 AM   #7
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Compared to compared to compact digital cameras, dSLRs are lightning fast. They aren't even in the same ballpark when it comes to speed and responsiveness. Basically, whatever dSLR you buy, you won't go wrong as far as shutterlag and focus speed are concerned, they are all very fast.

Anti-shake (in any form) will not make your camera focus or find exposure faster. It will only let you use slower shutter speeds hand-held (never use anti-shake on a tripod). The anti-shake will help you in lower-light situations, or while using big zooms.

What will make your camera autofocus faster is a wider aperture. 50mm f/2 prime lenses generally focus about as fast as it gets.
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Old Nov 9, 2005, 1:37 PM   #8
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TCav wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for your input.

I need a moderate wide-angle to (a little more than) moderate telephoto.KM has the AF DT 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 (D), Nikon has the 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S, and Canon has the EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, all of which are f/3.5 (as are all KM's DT lenses, btw), so a fast lens is out.

I've never been a big fan of zoom lenses (too many optical elements, too many moving parts, too many things that can degrade image quality) but for this application, I'm got to have one. If I'm going to get a zoom lens, I would prefer that it was from Zeiss, Leica, Nikon or Canon. But I like the idea of the Anti-Shake built into the camera body. If it doesn't make a lot of difference for what I'm after, then I've lost a reason to consider the 7D.

I guess the only way to know for certain is to rent a 7D and try it with and without the A/S.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"The A/S turns off if the camera is panning too much. It basically understands that if you are pulling the camera along, and then click the shutter, the lcdis pushed all the way to the boundary of its "antishake" level. it even says so in the manual that the anti-shakewont work ifyou are panning.
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Old Nov 9, 2005, 5:45 PM   #9
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TCav wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for your input.

I need a moderate wide-angle to (a little more than) moderate telephoto.KM has the AF DT 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 (D), Nikon has the 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S, and Canon has the EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, all of which are f/3.5 (as are all KM's DT lenses, btw), so a fast lens is out.

I've never been a big fan of zoom lenses (too many optical elements, too many moving parts, too many things that can degrade image quality) but for this application, I'm got to have one. If I'm going to get a zoom lens, I would prefer that it was from Zeiss, Leica, Nikon or Canon. But I like the idea of the Anti-Shake built into the camera body. If it doesn't make a lot of difference for what I'm after, then I've lost a reason to consider the 7D.

I guess the only way to know for certain is to rent a 7D and try it with and without the A/S.
Yes, the lenses you listed are not "fast", but considering you were getting good results from your Nikon 880 which has f2.8 (wide angle) and f4.2 (tele) with the maximum ISO of 400, the f3.5-f5.6 lenses may suit your needs (for the time being:G)
You may need to bump up your ISO one stop, but with the DSLR's larger CCD, the noise won't be as much of an issue as it was with the Point and Shoots.

You can alway buy a faster lens later.....but just remember, with the larger CCD, your DOF will become narrower, so at f2.8 or faster, you will have to really be "dead-on" with the focus.

Another bonus with a DSLR, I forgot to mention, was zooming. You mentioned on your first post that you pan and zoom. Zooming on a DSLR is faster since you are not constricted by a zoom motor, its as fast as you can twist the barrel!!!

I definitely agree with Photov on the A/S while panning...that is why A/S wasn't a big bonus for me on my first post most of my early shots were panning fast. Now that I have had the camera a little longer, I did get some good results on some indoor "still" shots that may have been blurry if it wasn't for A/S.
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Old Nov 9, 2005, 6:19 PM   #10
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I don't know if this has been considered but the Canon 20D and the Nikon D70s both have faster continuous rate and greater buffer depth than the Minolta. If you want to use a burst to capture action you may be better of with these models.
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