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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 22, 2006, 12:28 PM   #31
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

BenjaminXYZ wrote:
Quote:
Generally, I think lenses with USM, HSM, SWM (silent wave motor) will be more effective for faster focus. (If Iam not mistaken)
Correct. This is another consideration. The Canon 50mm 1.8 for instance doesn't have USM so it's a bit slow to focus. The Sigma 24-70 2.8 lens is missing HSM so focus speed also suffers when compared to say Canon's 24-70. Optically the Sigma is about as good. But when I've asked pros who've tried both I consistantly get the answer: Good light Sigma is just about there at fraction of the price but low light sports it really lags behind because of the focusing.

But also beware - get recommendations on a specific lens first. The old Canon 85mm 1.4 lens had USM but was very slow to focus. The 85mm 1.8 was much faster. They've re-released the 1.4 and it's supposed to be faster focusing but I haven't heard.

So, in general, if you want quality you want the USM, HSM, SWM motors. Good point. But, I would always look for people using the specific lens you want for the specific sport you want. If you can't find anyone using the combo that should tell you something. If you can, you can look at their shots to see if they're getting the quality you're looking for.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 22, 2006, 12:53 PM   #32
Senior Member
 
BenjaminXYZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 788
Default

Thanks John, for your well informed post. Regarding one of your passage;

Quote:
style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"

Also, and this is very important IMO - the noise level in your photos will be dramattically reduced by exposing to the right. So, don't be fooled when people tell you to shoot raw and underexpose. A shot at ISO 1600 underexposed by 1 stop at 2.8 and pushed in raw conversion will look worse than the same shot properly exposed at f2.0. So the moral is: always try to cheat your exposures to the right. I'll often jump from ISO 800 to 1600 just so I can keep my histogram to the right. The noise level is much better than if I stayed at 800 and had a poor exposure.
Bringing the ISO performance of both the Nikon D80 and the Nikon D70s into account, which method will be the more desirable one for quality priority? (>>> )

Given an actionscene (That requires ISO 3200 to give the 1/1000 secs shutter by default [To stop the action])in a given set of lighting condition, will I achieve better results by shooting at ISO 3200 on the Nikon D80 withthe shutter speed of 1/1000secs or by shooting at ISO 1600 ona NikonD70s with a forced shutter speed of 1/1000 secs (anyway)?

Looking at it, it will be obvious that the ISO 3200 shot of the D80 will be kind of bad in quality. However, shooting at ISO 1600with the D70s in that situation will surely underexpose the shot if I crank the shutter speed upto the required 1/1000 secs.

So which will be the better choice for quality? (Assuming I will use exposure compensation for the D70s shot)

BenjaminXYZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 22, 2006, 1:08 PM   #33
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

OK that's a very specific question.

First, I would ask what sport your shooting that you need 1/1000 shutter speeds. Maybe for a powerful volleyball serve but typically that's overkill. If you can get 1/1000 at ISO 3200, I'd be inclined to say you'll get better overal results at ISO 1600 1/500. That's if you're planning on shooting an entire game, match, whatever. If you want one specific shot that will require 1/1000 then OK bump up the iso for that one shot. But if I was shooting a whole game of any sport (basketball, wrestling, volleyball, football, baseball, soccer) I'd take ISO 1600 1/500 over 3200 1/1000 any day.

But in the spirit of the question - my honest answer is: I don't know. The answer depends on how the D70 performs vs. the D80. If they had the same high ISO performance and the Nikon 3200 boost is as good as Canon's I would say the 3200 on the D80 is the way to go - while the 3200 is a boost mode the cleansing (at least in Canon's) is better than most boosts I've seen done in RAW conversion from underexposed 1600 shotsandit eliminates a step in your post processing workflow (also shooting RAW requires more disk space and reduces your frame rate and buffer handling). So, assuming noise performance of both cameras were equal and assuming (assumption here since I have Canon not Nikon) that Nikon's boosting is as good as Canon's I would choose the 3200.

But, again, that's dangerous conjecture - I don't know if Nikon's 3200 boost is any good. From what I've seen (although popular photography mag disagrees with me) - the Nikon D200 has terrible high ISO perforamce even at ISO 1600 as compared to Canon) so the D80 is still a bit of an unknown. I think other reviews bear this out as well - dpreview if I recall. So,
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 22, 2006, 1:12 PM   #34
Senior Member
 
BenjaminXYZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 788
Default

BTW, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM features a ring-type USM AF drive (rear focusing) with full-time manual focusing in one-shot AF mode.

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM features a micro-USM AF drive including full-time manual (FTM) override in one-shot AF mode.

Full time manual focusingis usually possible with a ring-type USM drives only. But the EF 50mm F/1.4 USM offers it with it's micro-USM AF drive.The A.F. operation ofthe micro-USM A.F. drive (On the 50mm F/1.4)is quite fast and silent but a little worse than lenses with the ring-type USMA.F. drive (such as e.g. the 85mm f/1.8 USM).

(Reportedly)

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html


BenjaminXYZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 22, 2006, 1:21 PM   #35
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 822
Default

Quote:
Which F/1.8 lens were you referring to?
Not one in particular, just thinking generally that most primes will be sharpest stopped down a click or two. But, I guess most sports is sort of like portrait work at higher speed--so a bit soft might even be a good thing in some cases.

So I guess maybe that wasn't the best example--just trying to make the point that there might be some tradeoffs in that difficult a situation even with a DSLR.

kenbalbari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 22, 2006, 1:29 PM   #36
Senior Member
 
BenjaminXYZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 788
Default

Quote:

OK that's a very specific question.

First, I would ask what sport your shooting that you need 1/1000 shutter speeds. Maybe for a powerful volleyball serve but typically that's overkill. If you can get 1/1000 at ISO 3200, I'd be inclined to say you'll get better overal results at ISO 1600 1/500. That's if you're planning on shooting an entire game, match, whatever. If you want one specific shot that will require 1/1000 then OK bump up the iso for that one shot. But if I was shooting a whole game of any sport (basketball, wrestling, volleyball, football, baseball, soccer) I'd take ISO 1600 1/500 over 3200 1/1000 any day.

But in the spirit of the question - my honest answer is: I don't know. The answer depends on how the D70 performs vs. the D80. If they had the same high ISO performance and the Nikon 3200 boost is as good as Canon's I would say the 3200 on the D80 is the way to go - while the 3200 is a boost mode the cleansing (at least in Canon's) is better than most boosts I've seen done in RAW conversion from underexposed 1600 shotsandit eliminates a step in your post processing workflow (also shooting RAW requires more disk space and reduces your frame rate and buffer handling). So, assuming noise performance of both cameras were equal and assuming (assumption here since I have Canon not Nikon) that Nikon's boosting is as good as Canon's I would choose the 3200.

But, again, that's dangerous conjecture - I don't know if Nikon's 3200 boost is any good. From what I've seen (although popular photography mag disagrees with me) - the Nikon D200 has terrible high ISO perforamce even at ISO 1600 as compared to Canon) so the D80 is still a bit of an unknown. I think other reviews bear this out as well - dpreview if I recall. So,
Based on my own eyes (viewing 100% zoomed intest shots), the ISO 1600 performance of the Nikon D80 is not as good as the D70s' ISO 1600 performance. In fact, the Nikon D70s'ISO 1600 qualityis theretogether with the Canon EOS 20D/30D's ISO 1600 quality. (All based on my own personal observation) [And it can be subjective]

So that is why I askedthe question. :-)I was thinking that with the D70s' great ISO 1600performance (quality), would it actually be better for me to useit for the shot. (Rather than usingthe D80's ISO 3200)


BenjaminXYZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 22, 2006, 1:30 PM   #37
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

By the way - when you're talking about ISO 800, 1600 or 3200 on any DSLR you're going to want to use noise reduction software. Noiseware Pro, Neatimage and Noise Ninja are all popular and capable tools. As long as you do it right you'll see a big improvement in the end product. Do it wrong and everything looks like plastic. Of course, if the image out of camera is horribly noisy you're out of luck - you will have lost too much image detail.

And, at the end of the day - when you're shooting at ISO 1600 you have to accept that for a body of work (not just 1 single shot but say you want 50 or 100 shots) the results are just not going to ever look as good as if you were shooting at ISO 400. At least not right now - in the future who knows. You can still get great shots but you'll always notice a difference.


JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 22, 2006, 1:50 PM   #38
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 822
Default

John:
While we're giving lens reviews :-)

I was wondering if you know of anyone who's tried shooting sports with the Olympus 55-200 f/2.8-3.5. It seems like a great lens for the price, though the performance of the Olympus cameras might not be a good trade off.

Still, for a big zoom on a reasonable budget (getting to 400mm with the 2x crop), I was wondering if that's a reasonable option to consider?


kenbalbari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 22, 2006, 2:52 PM   #39
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Sorry Ken, I don't know any sports shooters using the Olympus system.

I would recommend a couple avenues:

1. Search pbase for photos from that lens. The benefit here is you see the photos first and can judge if the photog is producing the quality of shot you're looking to produce. Doesn't do you much good for someone to recommend something as the best thing out there if they're taking terrible shots with it. By the same notion, most of us can't afford top of the line gear - which is why you have to realistically find photogs producing the caliber of work you can afford to produce.

2. Create a post here, DP Review and Fred Miranda Sports Corner (there are some scary great pro sports shooters on that site) asking about that setup. Fred Miranda has the biggest collection of sports shooters and many are amazing. The problem is these amazing photogs are all using pro gear so it may be tough to find one with experience in the gear us mortals have to live with.

Unfortunately Fred Miranda gear review doesn't include Olympus so that's no help.

I'm not sure if any other gallery sites allow you to search by equipment like pbase does (I don't believe smugmug lets you do this) so I'm not sure where else to find an answer to your question.

Sorry - best advice I can give you. Next closest thing is to find a wildlife photog who uses the lens. Requirements for them are very similar to a sports photog - especially if they're doing birds in flight (i.e. if they'r6e not shooting moving subjects theymight not know if it's slow to focus)

In all honesty (and this is completely unscientific) I'd say about 65% of sports shooters I've seen or met online are using Canon, about 34% are using Nikon and about 1% something else. But, in all honesty, it's only within thelast year or two that anyone besides those two has had a DSLR. So, I'm guessing more will pop up from the other systems. I hope that's the case. The market drives features. So, the more sports shooters there are out there using any manufacturer's gear the more pressure there will be for feature advancements important to us (I would gladly stay at 8mp forever if I could get better AF, burst rate and higher ISO - true 6400 would be very nice - but those features are less important to the budding market of new DSLR buyers who have drunk the marketing coolaide that megapixels is the only important feature even though 99% of them never print a single shot over 8x10.

Wow - how was that for veering this discussion completely off course.

Sorry - that's the best I can do for you.

I think it's time we return this thread to the OP if he hasn't gone screaming mad yet :G


JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 22, 2006, 4:48 PM   #40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 822
Default

John:
thanks
:-)
kenbalbari 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 3:38 AM.