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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 3, 2007, 11:36 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 42
Default

so much for my $1K budget...

I know I'm not going ot get what i want right off the bat as fast zooms alone are out of my budget, but I really need advice.

I've had hands on with a few of the Nikon's and Cannon's - I like both really, being new to digital SLR's and out of the loop on cameras, other than point and shoot's in almost 20 years (yeah I know), I don't have any "habits" or "set in my ways" layouts i need to adhere to. I haven't found any of the Pentax's in any stores locally (neither Best Buy or Circuit City had any on display - online only). The k10d looks like it would probably work out well but I'm affraid that it's not the system I should be buying into and that I should in fact be buying into one of the big 2 (that and I can't find it to pickup and get a feel for it)

As I hinted to above, the primary focus for me is going to be fast spots actions, both indoors and outdoors - basketball, football, soccer, baseball etc

I also need to cover all the family stuff, vacations etc

and then there is MY personal use, I want to do alot of landscapes and architecture shots.

For startup I need to be able to do the vacation stuff (going on vacation late next week) and I'd like to get some landscapes while on vacation. The sports i can wait until the fall so I don't HAVE to buy anthing right off the bat.

I'm just stuck on what to do. My budget is now at $1500

I'm thinking of just bitting the bullet and getting a D80 with a 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX and then worry about a fast zoom later... I had initially opted for a d40 + multiple lenses or the d40x but from my last post this seems like a bad idea when it comes down to lens availability for the fast actions shots.

Please help me, I'm pulling my hair out trying to figure out what to do here :/ I'm not loyal to any brand and even though Imention the Nikon's alot I'm not against buying a Canon.

Thanks alots guys (and gals) in advance - again
chepburn is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jul 3, 2007, 12:08 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

I'm relieved to see you've dropped the idea of the D40/D40x, and I think your idea of the D80/18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 is a good one, if you're going to confine your choice to a single lens. Another good choice might be the Tamron 18-250 (for about $175 more). By no means am I a fan of the super-zooms, but this seems to be the best of the breed. Under no circumstances would it pass for an indoor/low-light lens, but it seems to give clear, sharp, distortion-free images at most focal lengths and apertures. It's also a 2007American PHOTO Editor's Choice Award Winner.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 3, 2007, 1:40 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default

I'm not sure what your reservation is about the Pentax system - I have two Pentax dSLRs (the second one thanks to a husband who wanted to spoil me for Christmas) and I've been very happy with it. I've found lenses that fit my needs (fast primes, macro, regular zooms andvery wide angle)and am looking forward to upgrading one of them with the new DA* 50-135 2.8 that is supposed to be released this month.

That said, if your primary purpose is shooting sports, you might be better off buying a Canon. It would most likely cost more than buying into the Pentax system, but the Canon 30D offers 5 fps continuous shooting, while the K10 is rated at 3 fps. That extra speed would make some things easier to capture. I find that I get better results with the K10 by anticipating the action, prefocusing (I've used a manual focus lens)and trusting my timing (works well for some sports like tennis and track, not so good for rugby or soccer) than by trusting to continuous shooting.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 3, 2007, 2:08 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 42
Default

thanks TCav I actually paired that lens with the k10d in my shopping cart at one time

mtngal I haven't found anywhere local that has one that I can pickup and play with likethe other brands that I've gone in several times to see in person. the 30d is nice but it's definetly out of my range, my total budget is pegged at $1500 and that's everything... I barely managed to get a d80 with the Tamron 18-250 and 2x 2gm SD cards for $1500. Would that DA* 50-135 2.8 work for indoor basketball?
chepburn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 3, 2007, 2:12 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

chepburn wrote:
Quote:
Would that DA* 50-135 2.8 work for indoor basketball?
The 50-135mm part would work.

I'll wait for JohnG to tell you that the 2.8 part won't.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 3, 2007, 4:41 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default

I don't know where you are located - I found the Pentax cameras at some of the local photography specific stores - Circuit City and Best Buy don't carry them in stores. If you are in California I could give you the names of several camera stores that would be likely to have them. If you are interested in the K10, there's someone on the Pentax dSLR section of this board that posted a number of excellent pictures of his daughter's indoor basketball games this winter - can't remember what lens he uses (I think he has a K100). You can always ask on that part of the board and you'll get several answers (think my choice would be the FA 77mm f1.8 Limited, a lens that is on my wish list, along with a number of other ones).
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 3, 2007, 5:08 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 42
Default

I'm in Texas

I posted in the Cannon, Nikon and Pentax lens forums.

My problem is I just don't know enough yet so my questions seem stupid but as JohnG said in my other thread, I don't want to spend money and find out it's the wrong system I bought into.
chepburn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 3, 2007, 5:45 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

As JohnG has said, to shoot outdoor sports you need a long, fast lens (long focal length, wide aperture.) That's Canon and Nikon and nobody else. For indoor sports, you need shorter focal length telephoto lenses that are even faster, so Pentax qualifies,but so doSony and Olympus.

In your other thread, you said you were interested in shooting outdoor sports, so that narrows down your choices. Forget the camera. Look for lenses that will do what you want, and buy a camera that the lenses will fit.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 4, 2007, 8:52 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,241
Default

TCav wrote:
Quote:
As JohnG has said, to shoot outdoor sports you need a long, fast lens (long focal length, wide aperture.) That's Canon and Nikon and nobody else. For indoor sports, you need shorter focal length telephoto lenses that are even faster, so Pentax qualifies,but so doSony and Olympus.

In your other thread, you said you were interested in shooting outdoor sports, so that narrows down your choices. Forget the camera. Look for lenses that will do what you want, and buy a camera that the lenses will fit.
First to the OP. There is nothing wrong with working into the system that suits you. That is the way all but the very wealthy do things. The "long, fast lens" mentioned in the prior post is only necessary for fast moving outdoor sports at night. There is nothing wrong with picking up a slower, cheaper telezoom and work within its limitations. Such a lens would be fine for outdoor sports in the daytime.

As a side note, Olympus has long, fast lenses. They can reach as far as anyone at f2.8 brightness, but its REALLY expensive.


fldspringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 4, 2007, 10:59 AM   #10
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Well, not going to address the common vacation shots - any dslr will do an outstanding job. And oly, sony and pentax will give you high quality results for a lot less money than canon/nikon.

For sports work, it's a partnership between the lens and the body from an equipment standpoint (the biggest requirement being the photographer's skill). This is really where canon/nikon excell over the competition.

That being said let's talk about the body:

2 critical factors as far as sports go in a body - burst rate and focus ability. Most entry level DSLRs have 3fps and most mid level have 5 fps. But it's the focus system that sets Canon & Nikon apart IMO. First, with the exception of the d40/d40x the canon's nikons will give you more focus points to work with. So, if you prefer to use all points the camera will have a much easier time of tracking your subject accurately. If you only use one point you have more to choose from. Then there is ai-servo performance (focus system that not only continuously re-focuses as your subject moves but also predicts their movement to speed up the process). Canon and Nikon have a strangle hold on pro sports - about 99% of pro sports shooters are using these two systems. Some of that technology has trickled down to the entry and mid level bodies. The other manufacturers really don't have the track record in sports shooting to design state of the art servo tracking systems. Part of that R&D is feedback from professionals. Without thousands of pro sports shooters it's unrealistic to think Olympus, Pentax and Sony are going to develop as robust a servo focus system.

Now - on to the lenses. Let's be specific on what is required for given sports with any of the Canon/Nikon/Pentax cameras (not as familiar with Oly):

For football / soccer - need 300mm, 400mm lens is desired (that's the lens WITHOUT magnification factor). This assumes you're shooting from the field.

For baseball - 200mm for little kids, 300mm for high school age for infield coverage assuming you're shooting from the field and not from behind the fence. For outfield shots you need to slide toward the outfield and 400mm is prefeerable.

For daylight games for all the above 5.6 is good enough. For night games, 2.8 aperture is required.

The other aspect of a lens that makes a huge impact is it's focus motor. Many consumer grade lenses outside Canon / Nikon do not have a focus motor. So they will tend to focus slower than equivelent lenses WITH a focus motor. Canon USM lenses, Sigma HSM lenses have focus motors. Off the top I can't remember what the Nikon designation for lenses with motor's is. I'm not sure how many Pentax or Oly lenses come with a focus motor.

Finally - optical quality.For field sports, you're going to be shooting at full zoom much of the time - with that in mind you have to realize this is where most zoom lenses have the biggest drop off in quality. As an example, the sigma 70-300 lens is a very affordable lens (around $180). It's a great budget lens, but from 200mm-300mm it performs much worse than quality lenses (but heythose lenses cost $1000 or more).

For indoor sports you want all the same camera body functions PLUS great high ISO performance (you'll be shooting at ISO 1600 or 3200). Pentax, Canon and Nikon are all great in this category. Oly seems to have gotten better withtheir new releases but by all reviews still hasn't caught up. Plus there's the focus system again. As TCAV has hinted, I am going to say you want a fast prime lens for basketball. If you can get down to the floor, the Canon 50mm 1.8 ($70) or Nikon 50mm 1.8 ($100) are very good starter lenses - but you need to be on the floor. The next lens up on the chain is the 80mm 1.8 from either camp ($370-$400).

If you're thinking Nikon - definitely go with the D80.

In the canon camp, if the size/feel of the 400D doesn't bother you then it's a great camera. Since it inherited the focus system of the 30d it really is a top-notch camera. It'smajor drawbacks are it's build (plastic) and feel and only 3 fps vs 5 for the 30d or nikon d80.In either system I might suggestgetting to the floor for basketball and using the 50mm lens. Foroutdoor sports I might suggest starting with the Sigma 70-300.As mentioned it isn't perfect by far (no hsm focus motor, only 5.6 aperture and soft from 200-300mm) But it's under $200. Next step up is the OEM 70-300s ($560-$600) in canon/nikon. They're a good step up but you pay more. And, of course you won't be shooting any night games. For that, the cheapest lens is the sigma 70-200 2.8 ($850).
JohnG 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 11:04 PM.