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Old Jul 10, 2008, 6:17 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2008
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I've been reading the forum for the past week, looking for advice on upgrading my camera. I totally understand the concept of folks satisfied with "good enough" because I am one of them. :-) I've had a canon IS2 for several years and as a whole have been satisfied with the sports photos that I've been able to take. They are not great or even good photo's but they do represent my kids and their friends . . . and they are better than I had before. I don't have access to purchase photos. That said, I have the bug to upgrade my camera. It only has an ISO setting of 400. My daughter is a Junior in high school and plays volley-ball and swims competitively. My son his a college sophomore and plays DII football. - (daygames)

below are some links to pictures that I've taken. My criteria for a successful Volleyball shot. Faces and Ball. :-)

I love the portability of my IS2, but I'm looking for a camera and lense that will do better in low light. I was leaning towards the Canon EOS Rebel XSi (450D?)WouldI be able to do as well as these attached photo's with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens provided with the kit? But I've gotten some advice to consider the 30D if I can't swing a 40D.

If I purchased a 28-75 mm 2.8 tamron would I be able to get anything? It currently seems to be out of stock . . .

I saw the VB Pictures the one guy posted using a 85 mm lens, (was it 1.8?) maybe that would be better.

I imagine you can tell budget is an issue. . . . and I only have enough knowledge to be totally confused. :-)I was hoping to stay around a $1,000 but now know I'mfooling myself. . . . but with my kids only having a couple years of athletics left, I feel like it's now or never. . . so I'm trying to prioritize. #1 priority volleyball and swimming, I can buy a 50 mm 1.4 for general stuff,

Thanks for any advice!

son's football shot

<a href="http://lh6.ggpht.com/margstamps/SHTe...0/IMG_6817.JPG" /></a>

VB Pics

<a href="http://lh4.ggpht.com/margstamps/SHTk...0/IMG_9540.JPG" /></a>

<a href="http://lh6.ggpht.com/margstamps/SHTk...0/IMG_0309.JPG" /></a>

Swim Pic

<a href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/margstamps/SHEu...4/IMG_7000.JPG" /></a>

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Old Jul 10, 2008, 11:48 PM   #2
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Some might be surprised by the advice I'll give you since I shoot Pentax, but I don't think you could go wrong looking at the combo of a Canon 30d and their 85mm f1.8 if volleyball and other indoor sports are your primary target, and I think you'll be surprised at how close you can get on your budget.

I shot volleyball last season with a 50mm f1.4, and while I got good light, it just wasn't as long of a lens as I would have liked, forcing me to depend more on crops than would be desirable.

The 30d's can be found for a good price and the 85mm f1.8 is selling at Adorama for $ 355. I would love to be able to afford the comparable Pentax lens, which sells for nearly twice as much.

Unfortunately, to shoot your son's football games, you're going to need a longer lens, and they don't come cheap in any mount. The lens most commonly recommended for football is the 70-200 f2.8. They are readily available for the Canon mount, but I can't speak to the relative merits of the Canon, Sigma, and Tamron offerings since I don't shoot with a Canon.

Shooting under stadium lights will generally require an f2.8 lens unless you go to such a high ISO value that noise is unacceptable.

I think you have done a good job with the shots you have taken, but to get significant improvements in quality is going to require the DSLR route. I also started with a P&S, shooting soccer primarily. I cast my lot with Pentax, and I'm overall pleased because I do many types of photography. However, I have to admit that for sports, Canon and Nikon are probably superior because of better AF performance and a wider selection of available lenses.

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Old Jul 11, 2008, 6:37 AM   #3
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Thanks for taking the time to reply. I guess I'm going to approach this incrementally. . . . start with the camera body and the 85mm 1.8 and go from there. . . Since my son's games are during the day . . . I'll continue with my point and shoot until I can get the longer lens. What I find confusing (one of many) is trying to decide if I get a camera with a kit lens and try to sell it later or just get the body only.
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Old Jul 11, 2008, 1:12 PM   #4
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I was in essentially the same position as you last year. I purchased the Canon Rebel XT with the kit lens and the 75-300mm F4-5.6 as my second lens. I quickly discovered that neither lens was fast enough for 'good enough' results shooting volleyball indoors. After much research and help from the forum here, I went with the 85mm f/1.8 lens and was very happy with the resulting increase in speed.

Some notes on the 85mm lens - for really sharp results, you'll need to be no more than 20 feet from the subject, meaning shooting from the sideline. In a lot of volleyball venues, this can be a challenge - so beware. Shooting from an end-line, you'll need either a longer prime (135mm f/2) or a zoom - (70-200mm f/2.8), but both are quite pricey.

As far as the camera body, the big things for shooting volleyball (or an action sport) are high ISO performance and autofocus. I believe the Xsi does well in both areas, especially considering the jump in price to get a 40D or 1D (I'm by no means an expert on camera bodies, though).

You've picked some of the most difficult subjects to photograph, but they are also (IMHO) the most rewarding as well.

Good luck with the new equipment and I look forward to seeing the results!
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Old Jul 11, 2008, 4:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for your post. . . I had scanned the forums for volleyball information and appreciated reading your posts and the responses received. . . . I thought your shots with the 85 mm 1.8 lens were very nice, I hope to post something comparable soon. To make this type of investment is a pretty big deal for me . . . but I really enjoy taking this type of picture. . . . so I'm going to make a purchase probably in the next 2-3 weeks. Thanks!
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Old Jul 14, 2008, 11:25 PM   #6
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For something even cheaper, you could go with the Rebel XTi (399) nifty-fifty (50mm 1.8 prime $70) and look at the sigma 70-200 2.8 ($725). That's a little over a 1200 dollars.
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Old Jul 15, 2008, 5:30 AM   #7
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Thanks for taking the time to reply, I've been appreciative of everyone's input. . . .

I placed my order for the 40D . . . with the current rebate the difference in price was $140 between the 30D and 40D. . . . I read a ton of reviews and it seemed like everyone with a XSi and XTi were looking forward to upgrading to a 40D. . . More 40D owners seemed happy with their purchase. Sure some professionals still wanted to upgrade to the next step. . . . I purchased from B&H There price was competitive, although not the cheapest. . . but seems like a reputable company and I was able to orderall of my items. . . Camera, battery, 85 mm 1.8 lens and 50mm 1.8. I'm a pretty big newegg fan but I couldn't order everything I wanted. I own a EF 35-105 mm 1:4.5-5.6 that was a kit lens on a film rebel that I haven't used for several years. . . . maybe by next year I'll be able to justify either a 200 or 300 zoom. I won't really have the ideal lens for my son's college football games. My husband was pretty understanding about my wanting to make this purchase, but I'm rolling loose change to gather up the cash. :-) I'm a little nervous, because I've been composing shots with the screen of my superzoom for several years now I need to get used to using the view finder again. . . . kind of a pain when you wear glasses. Thanks!
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