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-   -   sports shots - camera or camcorder? (

ckessel Aug 6, 2006 1:16 PM

I want to take action shots of my kid's football games for as low budget as I can go. I have a digital camera now, but it has two main issues. 1) There's a delay between when I press and when it actually takes the picture, which makes it tough to capture the shot I want. And B) it can't take rapid fire shots (several right in a row). There'sa 1-2 second delay while you wait for it to get ready to take the next shot.

I'd like tobe able to takeseveral shotsover a couple seconds (e.g. catch4-5 frames as the running back clears the corner).

Should I look at a better camera or a digital camcorder (where I'd just pick the frames I liked from a short mpg clip)? And what'sthe better of the low-end versions I could get? There's lots of info on this site about cameras for various budgets,but not so much aboutcamcorders. I'm also not sure how to figure out if a camera can take rapid fire pictures or not.

JohnG Aug 6, 2006 7:33 PM

Day or night games? What level of football?

If you want prints, you definitely need a camera not camcorder - you're not going to get a comparable print out of a camcorder.

If it's night games under the lights, there is no cheap alternative - period. A DSLR and expensive lens is the only way to go.

If it's day time a lot will depend on the level of football and how close you are to the action.

Many digital cameras have burst modes, but in the non DSLR realm you're still going to have some shutter lag and limited burst modes.

Finally, what is your budget?

ckessel Aug 6, 2006 7:42 PM

7th/8th graders. Day games. I'm on the sidelines, so distance varies from 10ft to 25 yards.

Budget is, frankly, cheap as will do the job. We're doing this mostly because my wife takes game pictures so we can put them on photobucket for other parents on the team. People will undoubtably want to print them though, so the quality can't suck.

JohnG Aug 7, 2006 8:36 AM

You're in daylight so that's good. So, the 2 attributes you really want are reach (more zoom) and burst rate. You'll be surprised at how much reach you need in the camera - part of it is the 25 yards but the other part is the size of the players.

I would recommend looking at the Panasonic Fz-7. It has a burst rate of about 3 fps with a 7 shot burst - that's pretty impressive for a digicam. It also reaches out to the equivelent of 432mm and has inti-shake.

It sells for around $320 online.

I'm sure there are other recommendations but remember you'll want at least 300mm equivelent zoom and good fps. You might want to look at Steve's best megazooms and see which other cameras fit the bill.

Sintares Aug 7, 2006 8:50 AM

Also consider the Canon S2 IS, $300+ online.

Over 2fps unlimited shooting and while in movie mode you can zoom, though since the quality of the movie is higher than the movie mode on the FZ7, you only get around 6mins on a 1gb card vs the FZ7s 11mins

ckessel Aug 7, 2006 8:57 AM

Sweet. Thanks guys, I really appreciate the recommendations. I had no idea when I start looking into this how much I didn't know about cameras. You click, it takes a picture, right? Um, yea, right.... :)

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