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Old Nov 12, 2008, 10:26 AM   #11
JohnG's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529

OK, here are my thoughts:

First, as Jim mentioned - ignore that one offer.

Now on to the best buy deals. The problem with them is they cost you more money than if you bought the gear from reputable online dealers. Kits are like that - they're money makers for merchants.

For instance - bestbuy offered the 40d kit with bag, battery and 70-300 for $2000. Assuming 8% sales tax that's $2160.

If you went this route I would suggest the following:

40d with 28-135 kit lens from www.buydig.com = $1055 with shipping

70-300 IS USM lens from www.buydig.com = $497 with shipping

BGE2N Battery Grip (really essential for sports shooting since most of your shots should be in portrait orientation for human sports) from www.adorama.com - $165 including shipping

Extra BP511 equivelent battery from www.sterlingtek.com = $18 (vs. the $50 cost of a canon battery).

Total cost = 1735. Save $400 AND you get the batter pack. Now you don't get the nifty Canon bag. But I'd suggest going to a real camera store with your gear and find a bag that suits your needs. There are many different styles of bags so it's nice to try them out and see what style best fits your needs.

Now Canon vs. Nikon. This is a hotly debated topic - especially in the sports shooting world. Without a doubt Nikon is the current ruler in bodies at the top of the line. The D3, D700 and D300 are top notch sports cameras. From a sports standpoint the D300 is still the best prosumer DSLR on the market. Great high ISO performance and great focus tracking. Still looks to be the better sports camera vs. Canon's 50D. But these two leapfrog each other. So if you're not going to buy the D300 right out of the gate I wouldn't sweat it too much. Either system will suit your needs.

From a pro grade lens standpoint for sports both systems are top notch (there's a reason why 99% of the worlds pro sports shooters are using these two companies). BUT, you're not looking at pro grade glass right now. Nikon has some better kit lenses (for your non sports use) BUT comparing those two 70-300 lenses the Canon is much better. But, better is relative. It's still a consumer grade lens. It's useless in low light so when dusk comes or even stormy weather you'll have problems - and forget about anything at night under the lights. I might even suggest you would be better served by ditching that lens and going with the $1000 Sigma 100-300 F4. It's definitely a big step up from the canon. It's a professional grade lens - metal build, fast HSM focus motor and great optics. It doesn't have IS but that's not very important for sports - focus speed and optical quality are much more important. AND, its an f4 lens - better subject isolation (background blur), can use in overcast conditions (although still not at night under the lights) - AND you can use a 1.4x TC on it to get a little more reach.

Realize though - nothing in this solution allows you to shoot indoor sports. Nor does it allow you to shoot under the lights. Those are going to cost you more $$$.
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