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Old Oct 28, 2006, 12:57 PM   #1
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So im looking for a good camera for taking pics with for sports like football , basketballl etc. I need a good amount of zoom and nice quality to the pics and most importantly fast responce time so I can capture like 2+pics in a second....my price range is $800 and to get up to the action would i need some xtra lenses?? What company should I go with?

Thanks,
Daniel
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Old Oct 28, 2006, 1:28 PM   #2
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Unfortunately, I don't think you can do sports - especially indoor sports photography with any current digital camera for under $800 including lens. I would look at the entry level DSLRs from Nikon and Canon, but the issue is, you will really also need a fast telephoto lens, which will be the toughest part about your budget.

If you were doing outdoor sports, you could do fine with an entry level DSLR like a Canon Rebel Xt or a Nikon D50, and one of their 70-300 or 100-300 zoom lenses.

But for indoor stuff like basketball, you'll need a faster lens like a 70-200 f2.8 lens - although you might be able to get by with a cheaper prime like a 135mm f2.8

You could certainly get a film camera and lens within your budget, but the less expensive digital cameras which are not DSLRs have too much shutter latency to shoot sports, and if you go with a DSLR, you will blow out your $800 budget in getting a suitable lens.


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Old Oct 28, 2006, 3:15 PM   #3
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I would look at the Nikon D50 if I were you, and then get a fast (f2.8 ) lens with the remaining money, although you'll most likely spend more than 800$...
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Old Oct 28, 2006, 10:43 PM   #4
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Does Nikon have a lens set like Canon?
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Old Oct 28, 2006, 11:18 PM   #5
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Nikon and Canon have comparable lens offerings:

http://www.nikon.ca/lensesandspeedlights/

http://www.canon.ca/english/index-pr...d=2&sgid=7

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Old Oct 29, 2006, 10:54 AM   #6
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You need to be careful when deciding what equipment is necessary for sports.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"First, let me say - if you want to shoot football, basketball etc and you want quality shotsyou need a DSLR. The digicams just aren't there yet. And I have yet to see actual photographs that prove differently - lots of opinions but no photographs.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Canon XT and Nikon D50 are very good entry level cameras capable of a start in sports shooting.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"For lenses, it gets a little more complicated. Let's take the sports you mentioned:

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"basketball: if you're shooting college ball then a 2.8 zoom lens (with good low light autofocus - not all 2.8 lenses have good low light autofocus performance) is a good buy. But, if you're shooting High School or below, 2.8 isn't going to be bright enough. You'll need to use a prime lens. On the bodies above, an 85mm 1.8 lens is the lens of choice for shooting bball from the baseline. they go for about $370 in both camps I believe. A second alternative to get you by for a while is an inexpensive 50mm 1.8 lens - around $70-80 in Canon, Nikon camps. That can get you some good shots until you can afford an 85mm.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"For football, a lot depends on what type of football. If you're going to shoot night games under lights you need a 2.8 lens - period. A typical starter lens is a 70-200 or 80-200 2.8 lens for night football. Problem is, 200mm is really very short for football - only useful for about 25 yards. If shooting day games you have more options - longer lenses for less money.
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 6:18 PM   #7
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Are the pictures just for your personal enjoyment or for publication in a magazine/newspaper? The other guys are right - DSLR's with bright lenses are the best for sports photography. However, I will tout a cheaper way to get ok, even good pictures. How about the Fuji S5200? You can get it online for less than $250. It has 10X optical zoom, 5 megapixels, and short shutter lag. I think the maximum aperture is f3.2 or soat full zoom. Two of its drawbacks are the lack of image stabilization and its use of xD cards. Neither is a dealbuster for me, but...

I have taken great MLBbaseball shots and good college basketball shots with this camera. Image quality up to ISO 400 is pretty good. ISO 800 pics are ok if you don't blow them up too much. You could buy a TCON-17 1.7X optical zoom teleconverter for less than $100, which would give you 17X optical zoom.

You could get this camera, try it for 6 months or so, and if you didn't like it, you could sell it and get your DSLR, which will have become cheaper by then. For about $400 online you could get the newer S6500fd which has superior high ISO images, but a smaller maximum aperture at full zoom.


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Old Oct 29, 2006, 8:03 PM   #8
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robbo wrote:
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I have taken great MLBbaseball shots and good college basketball shots with this camera. Image quality up to ISO 400 is pretty good. ISO 800 pics are ok if you don't blow them up too much. You could buy a TCON-17 1.7X optical zoom teleconverter for less than $100, which would give you 17X optical zoom.
Robbo,

Here's my problem with this suggestion. HS basketball typically requires ISO 1600 and f2.0. College basketball: f2.8 and at least ISO 800.

So, while I would agree that the camera would give OK football shots for personal use, I would be interested to see what good basketball shots you were able to get with it. Of course, it's all moot if we're talking about HS basketball or low light football.
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 8:54 PM   #9
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Hi, John,

I don't have any high school basketball images. I took pictures last year at a University of Washington game. I don't have them on this hard drive, but will look for them. I also took some pictures of Seattle Supersonics games. I thought the images were reasonably sharp at ISO 400. You could see the ball's seams as it was shot toward the basket.Baseball day games are not a problem, as you undoubtedly know. Baseball night games in Seattle were a problem after sunset.

Unless tssfan wants to spend lot more than $800, he will have a hard time finding a suitable camera and lens combo which will enable him to shoot sharp pictures of high school basketball games.
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Old Oct 30, 2006, 7:38 AM   #10
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robbo wrote:
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Unless tssfan wants to spend lot more than $800, he will have a hard time finding a suitable camera and lens combo which will enable him to shoot sharp pictures of high school basketball games.
Robbo,

Actually, as I mentioned, for basketball he can get a 50mm 1.8 lens for either Nikon or Canon - combined with a Canon XT or Nikon D50 the OP will still be under $800. The problem then becomes the football. And that lens recommendation depends on what type of football.

But, with the exception of that inexpensive 50mm lens for basketball we're in complete agreement - good sports shooting isn't something that is done on the cheap. Some sports (like indoor HS sports and nighttime outdoor under light shots) require expensive equipment to get decent shots - 2.8 lenses for outdoor and 2.0 lenses for indoor, relatively clean ISO 1600 and for the outdoor stuff - both of those plus reach. it's why I try to point these things out to people who are considering a camera for sports use. At least this way they can go in with their eyes open as to the equipment that's really needed and the costs involved.

Do let me know if you find those basketball pictures from your camera. I'd love to see them. I also think it's extremely helpful for folks like the OP to see images taken from the gear that's being recommended in the situation it's being recommended for.
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