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larehart70 Jul 16, 2014 12:21 PM

New camera
I'm looking for a new camera. I've looked at the DSLRs and the mirrorless ones. I'm not a pro by any means, but I enjoy taking photos. I need something that is good with action/sports, has a great zoom and is fairly user friendly. I've been reading reviews for days and I can't decide. I've narrowed it down, in may non-pro way, but would like your opinion. I would like to keep it under $900 and $500-700 would be great! I've looked at some that had "pointer view finders"? (Now I can't seem to locate which camera it was) But I want something that can zoom in on far, moving objects and keep it clear. I don't even know if that is truly possible. Anyway, any help, advice, would be great! Love the site BTW!
Thanks for doing all this work!

bernabeu Jul 16, 2014 2:39 PM

the laws of optics still apply even in the digital age

you want and expect 'pro like' results w/o pro equipment

if you shoot at long 'zoom' you will need a short shutter speed

if you have short shutter speed you will need a large aperture (hole) to gather light

setting a high iso will help but at the expense of noise (formerly grain with film)

an 80-200mm (35mm camera equivalent) f2.8 lens will cost new about $3000

if your subjects are 'still' you can use a tripod and get a f5.6 lens for about $300

the difference in 'light gathering' ability is a factor of 8 (eight)

you get the drift ?

larehart70 Jul 16, 2014 3:49 PM

I think so, thanks!

TCav Jul 16, 2014 5:45 PM

For outdoor sports (baseball, football, soccer, etc.), what you want is possible with your budget.

The Tamron 70-300/4-5.6 SP Di VC USD is capable and sells for ~$350. That leaves ~$550 for a body.

Nikon's 24MP D3200 with kit lens sells for ~$477, and Canon's 18MP T3i body sells for $500.

That's a great start.

For indoor sports (basketball, volleyball, etc.), because of the lower light, you'd need to be able to spend a lot more.

larehart70 Jul 16, 2014 8:11 PM

I'll look into them, thank you!

bernabeu Jul 17, 2014 8:48 AM

the 'sunny 16' rule:

at iso 100 in bright sunlight 1/125 sec at f16

1/2000 sec at f4 to freeze action


TCav Jul 17, 2014 9:04 AM


Originally Posted by bernabeu (Post 1377600)
the 'sunny 16' rule:

at iso 100 in bright sunlight 1/125 sec at f16

1/2000 sec at f4 to freeze action


True, but sometimes a little motion blur is a good thing, especially in sports shooting.

And, yes, the 'sunny 16' rule presumes you're shooting outdoors. Plus, long focal lengths will generally preclude the ability to shoot at f4.

bernabeu Jul 17, 2014 2:55 PM

unless you have 'pro' glass

so, you boost the ISO and settle for the 'noise' and the hours of required post-processing


VTphotog Jul 17, 2014 3:47 PM

Noise, even at high ISO settings, is seldom an issue unless you are viewing at 100% or larger on computer monitors. If you size an image down to fit, most of the noise disappears in the process, and when printing, even at fairly large sizes, the printer software, plus the 'bleed' of the ink, tends to mask a lot of noise.
I have photos I took ten years ago, with a 5MP point and shoot that look just fine at 8x10 inch and larger print sizes.
If you are going to be submitting photos for publication, then, yes, spend what you have to on the gear you need. If the pics are going to be viewed on digital photo frames, or as DVD slide shows, or printed at 4x6 inches and put in photo albums (do we still do that?), then it really isn't going to be a problem.

bernabeu Jul 17, 2014 4:10 PM

'pro' glass result:

300mm (35 equiv) 1/2000 @ f4 ~ iso400

high shutter speed was necessary because of 300mm zoom AND hand held camera

to get the hi speed you NEED large aperture OR noisy hi ISO

APO 80-200 f2.8

(one does not want to shoot 'wide open' unless necessary)

printable 300dpi ~ 16 x 20

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