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Old Jun 10, 2005, 3:51 PM   #1
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Have read great reviews of each camera, they both sound like winners. I think the Minolta may be a little faster for taking sports shots. I narrowed my choices down to these 2 models because they were well rated for sports, havelong zooms, vibration reduction, and flip out and over lcds. Haven't had the opportunity to handle them yet.

Things I like about the Dimage A200:

Mechanical, zoom lens, articulating LCD, vibration reduction, can take RAW setting photos and at a decent rate of speed. This camera does not have an autofocus assist lamp, some reviews say it "hunts" in dimmer lighting. Others say it shoots pretty well in the dark. I like this feature on my lil Sony DSC-P10. Experts, what are your thoughts onassist focus lamps/lights? Is it a must have, nice to have etc? I also think this camera is a very good size, not too big.

Things I like about Coolpix 8800

Longer 10x zoom, vibration reduction, articulating LCD, many shot settings, can take RAW pix.Color looked a little better in online photos when compared to the A200. But, I have read several reviews that said this camera is a bit too slow to be a decent sports shooter. I do like that the Coolpix 8800 has an autofocus assist lamp.

So, which camera is the better sports shooter? Thanks for your help.
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Old Jun 10, 2005, 4:34 PM   #2
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If the type of sports you are concerded with is mainly outdoors you may like to have a look at the kyocera M410r.

While it doesn't have the name and some of the features you have mentioned-flip lcd and image stabilisationand may be ranked a step or two lower,the m410ris very fast -3.3 frames per second for as long as you keep the button pressed till card is full(a good highspeed sd card is recommended), a very high resoltion evf and good quality lcd visible in bright conditions, also the dislays dont blank while shooting in burst mode which allows you to follow your subject fairly easily.

I've taken hundred's ofshots of my kids running around with bicycles and playing football and results are generlly very good.

Its also got 10 x optical zoom.

Probably its the fastest non Dslr camera.

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Old Jun 10, 2005, 4:44 PM   #3
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if you are really going to make shooting sports your niche.. you will need to get a dslr.. no digi cam can match the speed nor the ability to bump up the ISO to get fast shutter speeds.. and image stabilization will do nothing for you to stop the action in sports.. fast lenses for fast shutter speeds are the only solution..

thankfully the price of dslrs are coming down every day.. you can easily pick up a canon digital rebel body only for $650, even less if you don't mind a used one.. and if sports are what you are after you will need a fast telephoto.. the best value here is the sigma 70-200 f2.8.. you can pick one up for around $650.. if you need links to best prices let me know and i will hunt them down for you..

so for only a 300-400 dollars more than the nikon 8800 you will have an outfit that can do any sports picture you can imagine and will do it right.. its really the only way to go if you are serious about shooting sports..

but if you are not that serious, either of the digi cams you mention will be equally adequate..

best of luck to you, dustin

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Old Jun 11, 2005, 1:40 AM   #4
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I don't think you will use raw much on the Nikon except in static situations. My old D7i had similar cycle times in raw and I found I missed so many shots I usually reverted to JPG even though I much prefer raw. The buffer on the A200 makes raw a little more useable, although 5 seconds is still a long time to wait shooting sports action.

F5.2 at full zoom isn't going to be very good for sports on the Nikon. Stabilization doesn't help motion blur at all. F3.3 on the Minolta is much better, but that is only about 200mm equivalent. If you find you need a tele converter it will probably join the Nikon in limiting your shutter speeds.

You might consider the Panasonic FZ20 for sports. It doesn't have an articulating LCD but I don't think you would shoot sports with the LCD much anyway. And it doesn't have raw, but that is pretty limited for sports with long cycle times.

The FZ20 has around a second cycle times for normal shots and can fire a three shot burst in a second. The nice thing about the burst mode is that you can use it continuously without having to wait for buffers to clear. It is a big help in getting just the right shot in sports. The biggest advantage for sports is f2.8 at 12X. That will generate almost four times the shutter speed as the Nikon in the same lighting conditions. Of course it is only 5Mp, but that is plenty unless you want some really large prints.

I agree you should consider a DSLR, but they get pricey with a fast 10X lens included.

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