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Old Jan 28, 2007, 4:32 PM   #1
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Good evening, and thanks in advance for the advice. I've never owned a decent camera before, and don't know anything about cameras besides what I've read in consumer reports. I am looking for a digital camera that would be good for using at sporting events mainly. I'm not usually close to the action, so I need one that can zoom from a good distance. I would also like one with minimal shutter lag time since I will be taking action shots. Not sure if this is an issue, but I also would like one that is easily compatible with a mac. As stated above, I am new to the digital camera world, but I don't want my search to be limited to just cameras for beginners. I am very good with electronics and am eager to learn. I would also like to spend under a thousand.
Thanks again.:bye:
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 4:48 PM   #2
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chappelhill-

This surely does sound like a job for a DSLR camera and a high quality zoom lens. Hopefully our Sports Photo expert JohnG will chime in with a great answer for you. He has far more experience in this particular area than I do.

MT/Sarah
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 11:17 PM   #3
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yeah, i figured i need a dSLR. not sure which one though. thanks for the reply.
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Old Jan 29, 2007, 6:33 AM   #4
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chappellhill wrote:
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I am looking for a digital camera that would be good for using at sporting events mainly. I'm not usually close to the action, so I need one that can zoom from a good distance.
Chappelhill,

What type of sporting events? Be specific as to level of play (i.e. pro baseball is different than HS baseball which is different than little league).

The troubling part of your request is that you're "not usually close to the action". That can be a huge problem. As an example, even the best DSLR and lens combination isn't going to take good photos of an NFL game from the nose bleed seats.
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Old Jan 29, 2007, 7:12 PM   #5
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I mostly go to college basketball, college football, and NFL games. I usually sit in the upper level, but not anywhere near the nosebleeds. I just wanted to buy a camera so that I can capture moments from the games, and future travels, in order to have something to look back at one day. Maybe the camera I'm looking for either isn't out there or maybe its way out of my league, budget wise.
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 1:52 AM   #6
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College basketball is doable although the angle on your shots will be a bit wrong. But for college and pro football from upper deck - you're not going to get great results even with the most expensive gear - you're just too far from the action. So, you can spend about $1700-2000 on a dslr and Sigma 70-200 2.8 lens and 1.4x TC to shoot the basketball and maybe get some distant snaps of the football action (but nothing up close) or you can spend about $500 on a superzoom which will get you snaps of the football action (but again, nothing great) and probably poor shoots of the basketball. Sorry. Football is tough enough to get decent photos when you're shooting from the sidelines but there's probably only a handful of sections in any given football stadium where you could get decent shots and then only when the action is by your seats. The other challenge is different venues have different rules regarding what camera equipment is allowed. It would be a shame for you to invest $2000 and be told your gear is too large or "too professional" to bring inside.
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 9:47 AM   #7
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JohnG isdefinitely the expert on professional grade sports shooting here.

Like you, I like sports. Also, like you, I don't sit close to the field because I can't afford the tickets. However, I think you can get ok (not great) shots with some superzoom cameras in some venues.

Go here for some NBA shots:

http://s21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...onics%20games/

These were taken with a Fuji FinePix S5200 from the third level first row up from the foul line. Some of them I might have used a TCON-17 teleconverter on. I think there were taken at ISO 800. A lot of the better superzooms can take good shots of daytime games. Night games are a different story. NBA and big time NCAA basketball are doable since the lighting is usually ok. High school and lower basketball games are very, very challenging since most gyms are not well enough lit. The same thing goes for gymnastics and wrestling and volleyball.

One advantage that most DSLR's have over superzooms is the depth of their burst modes. With some of them you can take 3+ shots per second fora while. That increases the odds that you will get a good shot - when the baseball hits the bat or the basketball player is above the rim dunking the ball. However, I think a lot of NBA venues don't allow professional looking cameras to be brought in. I can get my s5200 in. I could not get a bigger camera in.

Good luck.
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 5:41 PM   #8
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Hey, just wanted to thank you guys for the advice. I'm just so new to the world of digital cameras, I need all the help I can get. So thanks again. I thought those were some good looking shots of the Sonics game. Had no idea you could get that good of a shot for not a lot of money. I also didn't think about how I might have a problem getting a camera into a game. Seems like I hear Canon's name pop up the most as far as quality cameras go. Is that the way to go? I guess it probably depends on what kind of camera you're looking for, right? How much faith do you guys put into Consumer Reports? I don't usually read them, but I did when looking into cameras. Thanks again.
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 6:22 PM   #9
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chappellhill wrote:
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How much faith do you guys put into Consumer Reports? I don't usually read them, but I did when looking into cameras. Thanks again.
None whatsoever. Look to them when you want to buy a washing machine or vaccum cleaner - not a camera.
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 8:07 PM   #10
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I usually check 3 sites regularly for reviews of cameras:

1. This site

2. www.dcresource. com

3. www.dpreview.com

Consumer Reports reviews seem to me to be dated. They sometimes list cameras as top rated though they are already leaving the market (i.e. they're hard to get anymore).
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