Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 20, 2006, 10:50 AM   #11
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Benjamin,

I try to be very honest in all my posts. For some uses, a digicam is the right answer. For others, a DSLR with kit lens is a good answer. But there are instances where you absolutely need expensive equipment.

The problem here is you tak about 'sports photography' as if it's all the same. The reality is: it's not all the same. The equipment needed is directly related to the sports you plan on shooting. Experience tells me that. I give advice on what equipment (again based on actual experience and not what I've read or what a friend told me) I believe is required and what equipment I believe is beneficial.

The problem with your advice on sports shooting is you don't know first hand what you're talking about - you've never done it. So you have no experience with which to advise people. It's like me giving advice to a musician - well I listen to music and I have some friends who are musicians (I actually do) but I'm not one. So speaking about an applied subject where I don't have actual knowledge and experience is dangerous.

Your advice to 'just get the DSLR with the best high ISO performance' is dangerous. It ignores many other factors that may be important to any DSLR buyer. As is your advice to 'just buy a fast prime'. So, let's take your advice shall we. Let'say the individual wants to shoot HS football under the lights. In your vast experience what are your recommendations for 'the fast prime' that is right for them to purchase.

Or, lets deal with your concerrns over me recommending 300mm lenses. Let's take a few instances on this one: Let's say you want to shoot high school baseball. Where are you shooting from? Do you want to be able to take a shot of the outfielder?

Please, share some actual photos from your vastly experienced friends (since you h ave none yourself) where they got that capture of the right fielder making a catch at the fence with a 100mm lens? Please, show some links to those photos.

The reality is this: Everything is a trade off. Based on first hand experience I can say some of the following:

If you want to shoot football, a 200mm lens will give you about 30 yards of sharp coverage, a 300mm lens about 45 and a 400mm lens about 60. Shooting at night time or bad light will require ISO 1600 or 3200 and an aperture of 2.8 Now, here are some lenses to consider: blah blah blah.

Now, since your so fond of research vs. actual experience research my posts - you'll see I almost always give multiple recommendations and where the less expensive gear will fall short. I'll tell them, again based upon experience, what I feel is necessary and what I feel is a nice to have feature. They can then make their own determiniation. But, because I've actually shot sports I can tell them difinitively when a feature is needed (i.e. shooting basketball for HS level or below - you need either strobs, good external flash or ISO 1600/3200 and a prime lens of 2.0 or better) I can also suggest a focal length - because, guess what, I've actually done it.

You may not like my anwers, but you'll notice three things about them:

1. I don't give my advice as fact when I don't have experience - you won't see me giving advice on macros, or on portraits etc because I don't have the experience.

2. I never claim to be the best sports shooter but you'll find that my comments fall in line with every other serious sports shooter on this site and other sites.

3. I try very hard not to be a gear snob. I never say 'you must buy canon' - heck I use a lot of third party lenses and I fully believe Nikon, Sony and others make great products. I try to get people to consider the features that are important to them. Again, do your research - look at my posts.

Also, and most importantly: good, bad or ugly I put my work on display for others to judge by. I back up my opinions with my product. Any reader here can look at my work and decide if I am a reliable source.

So, pardon me if I take issue with someone who doesn't shoot sports making difinitive statements about what equipment is and is not necessary (and again, look at my posts - I rarely say you 'must' have this unless it really is a must and sometimes yes it is a must have).

So, Benjamin, I welcome discussion with some of your friends who actually shoot sports. Discussion is great, multiple informed opinions are great. But uninformed opinions are dangerous - they cause people to spend hard earned money on the wrong tools.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 20, 2006, 10:52 AM   #12
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

BenjaminXYZ wrote:
Quote:
A Nikon D50 or D70s with a fast prime such as a 85 MM F/1.8 is not capable enough for most sports??? Because we need 300-400 mm and ISO 3200 and 5-8 fps?

Sorry just saw this. Gonna try and shoot soccer with an 85mm lens? How bout Nascar? Let me know how that works out for you. Better yet, ask someone who has actually done it and see if that single 85mm lens is going to get you many shots for those sports.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 20, 2006, 10:55 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
bobbyz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,423
Default

BenjaminXYZ wrote:
Quote:
It reminds me of those types of people>>> "No, you need an L glass for that" or "Canon's 1D series of pro dSLRs"

I haven't read the whole thread but I don't think JohnG ever said that you can only shoot indoor sports with canon L glass and 1d series. But having fast glass and 1 series AF defnitely helps a lot.

Indoor sports is quite hard as lighting can be real bad. You need mimimum of f2.8 glass, faster being better. Even then you might be shooting at ISO3200. Range depends on what sport and from where you are shooting.

I have used superzooms as I started with FZ1 got FZ5. But forget indoor sports with them, period. I know Fuzi are better at high ISO but still it is p&s.
bobbyz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 20, 2006, 11:07 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
BenjaminXYZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 788
Default

Alright, should I conclude?

Sports photography have many kinds; if you happened to fall into the categories that agrees with John's post, then you should listen to his post. But if you happened to get involved in sports that doesn't requires John's specifications, then don't be lead to believe that "sports in general" or rather "action shots in general"requires "all those stuffs."

You will do fine with a dSLR.

I will use myself as an example;

I need to shoot actions atindoor situationsoften. By having the experience that ISO 400 isn't enough for it, ISO 800 just comes on; I guess that ISO 1600 will do it fine. Now, I greatly need the quality of the ISO level that will stop my action, not a bad quality ISO performance. So far, the limit of "image quality"AFAIK lays at ISO 1600 that some dSLRs can provide, I don't think any ISO 3200 out there today will have the quality I want. So, I investigate for really good ISO 1600 performance quality. (That dSLR withgreat ISO 1600 quality willperfectly match my criteria). Add on a fast prime and things will just get better for me.

This is one example of a user seeking for a camera to match his action/sports shooting type. (There are countless numbers of combinations for other action/sports shooting types and John had illustrated some of them.)

Ultimately, I think the basis of action/sports photography lays on this 4things>>>>

High ISO performance.

Fast lenses.

Convenient external controls.

Camera Responsiveness.

Then depends on the shooting type, you factor in the reach and fps blah blah.

Once you get the 4 points right, you are already in for sports and action photography. (Then you can decide on the range and or fps for your shooting type...)

Peace.





BenjaminXYZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 20, 2006, 12:20 PM   #15
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Shooting_rubber,

I apologize I got side tracked. Here is the best advice I can give you: when buying any piece of camera gear seek out individuals who do the same type of shooting you plan on doing. Look at their photographs and decide if they are producing the right level of work that you want to produce - notice I don't say find the best shooter in that style - just find people whose work product is similar to what you want to do. Ask those individuals for their informed opinion on what the requirements should be. You have my opinion and Benjamin's and you have both of our photos to judge the veracity of our experience by. I recommend you seek out other opinions from people who shoot sports and preferably shoot the same sports you want to (again, every sport is somewhat different). In the long run you'll then be able to benefit from their successes and failures.

Good luck in your quest. I look forward to seeing more of your work in the sports forum!!!


JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 20, 2006, 12:26 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 133
Default

Though more critical to indoor sports, the key to high actionsports is good glass. I agree thatgood glass should beminnimum of F2.8 glass or better but there are some lenses that provide decent shots indoors with slighty higher F numbers that work, even zooms, as longas long as F #isconstant throught the entire focal range. I am referring to situations where the lighting is adequate even though indoors.

As for the DSLRs, almost any DSLR will do but that will depend on individual requirements. Not everyone needs, 10+MP,high FPS or all the latest bells and whistles. Personnaly I don't believe in using ISO 3200 unless I can't take the shot otherwise. In fact I try not to shoot over ISO 800. Are my needs the same as everyone elses?... of course not. The most important key are your skills and good glass.


Gozinta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 20, 2006, 12:29 PM   #17
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

Phew this is getting a hot subject.

Let me put in my 2 (choose local currency) into this.

Shooting_Rubber let me start trying to assist you rather than jumping in all guns blazing (I might do that in a bit!!).

The main questionsare how much can you spend (really), how much can you add in the future (going DSLR this might be an option), how much sports do you currently shoot/are you going to shoot in the future, what camera are you using now, what are you going to use the shots for.

Background on me, I am a keen sports shooter (have a look here for my web site) and I am slowly moving into more motorsport work. This is the easier end of sports work as a lot of time you are looking for a slow(ish) shutter to convey the movement, so having a fast lens (f2.8) is not essential, but fast autofocus is! When shooting Hockey, which I will be again for the next 6 months, a fast lens is needed to blur the background as much as possible. I use a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 for this and usually have it set on f4 as this gives a good sharpness and allows the action to be frozen. For Kitesurfing and Windsurfing I use a 2x teleconverter to get the distance (again using the Sigma lens). I use a Konica Minolta 5D (which has been replaced by the Sony A100) but the problem with this is that there are not enough lenses for me as I move up the scale. Iam waiting to see what Canon are going to launch shortly,which hopefully willbe displayed at Photokina 2006in the next week.Why am I mentioning all this, well I was like you when I started, I had a Minolta non DSLR but was limited too much so moved to DSLR and slowly have added to this as budget has become available. If you decide not to go down the DSLR route then you are stuck with what you have, you have paid your money and that is about it you can't grow. If you only want to do a little sports then yes you can get away with a non DSLR but I get the impression you want more. Don't forget things like the Canon 20D are getting cheaper on eBay so that might be an option, or the Rebel XT would still be better than not going DSLR. The first lens of any length I had was the Tamron 70-300 f4-5.6 which was OK but I soon realised that I really needed f2.8 to get results that I was happy with.

Why will a superzoom not give you the high ISO quality of DSLR, basically it is down to the size of the CCD, this is also the reason all shots will have a larger depth of field (I have written too much so won't go into the science behind either things, but it is the truth).

I strongly suggest you consider going down the DSLR route from personal experience. I have seen people at events trying to use superzooms etc but just not getting the shutter speed they need and not being able to focus quick enough.

I would take everyone's advice into consideration but look also at the fruits of their labour and I know John is very knowledgeable on the subject and his work is good enough to sell which works for me. Theory is good, experience is better!

Happy shooting and please do ask more questions on the subject.

Mark www.photographysmith.co.uk
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 20, 2006, 12:35 PM   #18
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

Looks that while I was writing all that more posts were done.... glad we got back on subject! :blah:
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 21, 2006, 4:15 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
BenjaminXYZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 788
Default

Quote:
Sorry just saw this. Gonna try and shoot soccer with an 85mm lens? How bout Nascar? Let me know how that works out for you. Better yet, ask someone who has actually done it and see if that single 85mm lens is going to get you many shots for those sports.



Why say "Gonna try and shoot soccer with an 85mm lens?" Why soccer?

That 85 mm lens will work great in places where your 300 mm will probably be too cumbersome to handle; the field of view will probably be too narrow for closer applications anyway. (Imagine myself carrying a 200-300 mm into a church to shoot some sports/action photography taking place there...)

I think thatthe 200-300 mm lenses will be too long (in terms of focal length)and narrow for me to shoot the type of sports or action photography that I will normallyget involved in. So who says shooting sports in general requires "all those stuffs (Really long lenses etc...)"? You should have said "certain sports in general"

BTW, lenses can get really long with the crop factors now a days.

Anyway, shooting_rubberdemanded for a non dSLR; so I think we have all went WAY overboard! :lol::lol::lol:

Itwas funny how I started offby recommending cameras from the FUJI line and John suddenly came in and said>>>

Quote:
The short answer is:

There is NO, I repeat NO digicam on the market yet that is a good low light sports solution. The best high ISO performer is the F30 by all accounts - it has ISO 3200 - but not enough zoom and you also have the issue of how well it does in it's servo focusing, burst rate and buffer handling. Also, there eare times when you must use flash so any sports camera should have a hotshoe (built in flashes are way too weak to do the job).
(And so on)


I wonder why not the Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd? It has the F30's image sensor in a much more advance body>>> http://www.dpreview.com/news/0607/06...ilms6500fd.asp:lol::!:

BTW, don't bother about the ISO 3200 feature on those cameras; the quality IMO is not worth it.

As an aside: Those(high performance) compact primeswith bigapertures will always come in handy no matter what.










BenjaminXYZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 21, 2006, 4:39 AM   #20
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

BenjaminXYZ wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
Sorry just saw this. Gonna try and shoot soccer with an 85mm lens? How bout Nascar? Let me know how that works out for you. Better yet, ask someone who has actually done it and see if that single 85mm lens is going to get you many shots for those sports.


Why say "Gonna try and shoot soccer with an 85mm lens?" Why soccer?

That 85 mm lens will work great in places where your 300 mm will probably be too cumbersome to handle; the field of view will probably be too narrow for closer applications anyway. (Imagine myself carrying a 200-300 mm into a church to shoot some sports/action photography taking place there...)

I think thatthe 200-300 mm lenses will be too long (in terms of focal length)and narrow for me to shoot the type of sports or action photography that I will normallyget involved in. So who says shooting sports in general requires "all those stuffs (Really long lenses etc...)"? You should have said "certain sports in general"

BTW, lenses can get really long with the crop factors now a days.

Anyway, shooting_rubberdemanded for a non dSLR; so I think we have all went WAY overboard! :lol::lol::lol:


I guess John mentioned soccer as it was in the original question so if trying to help out shooting_rubber we need to address his question.

Shooting-rubber, if you go DSLR and want a good level zoom lens then the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 has to be the choise however it is not going to be cheap. I use that lens more than any other. Will you be able to do what you want with a superzoom? Possibly, but as mentioned you will be limited. Would you get better results by going for a DSLR and building the kit you really want? Yes. It has to come down to budget, how good a result you require and how many of the shots you take will be keepers (superzooms will just not focus quickly enough in general).

Mark
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:01 PM.