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Old Jan 21, 2008, 1:18 AM   #1
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I'm thinking about getting my first DSLR, I'd like to take action shots of Skateboarders. So I need a camera with fast shot to shot times and a telephoto lense with a decent zoom factor. On the other hand, I'd like to keep my budget as low as possible, preferably sub-$1000.

Any help, suggestions, or tips? I'm not totally adverse to used Cameras or Lenses if necessary. Stabilization is a definite plus (although I think I'd have to try hard to find a camera/lense system without one at this point... right?).
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Old Jan 21, 2008, 7:23 AM   #2
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Most of the entry level DSLRs are 3fps and fairly quick. Is the skateboarding outdoors or could it be indoors as well?

Next question - what type of boarding? Rails & jumps or the big "U" (sorry not familiar with the term). That will determine what type of lens and shooting position is most appropriate.
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Old Jan 21, 2008, 4:05 PM   #3
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All of the above, with a strong emphasis on outdoor (figure 90/10) skating. I'm trying to document my friends, so as they get better, what they skate will change. Currently it's a lot of drops, like the big U (I assume you mean a half-pipe). I'm sure in the near future there will be a lot more rails.
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Old Jan 23, 2008, 8:23 PM   #4
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Zelucifer wrote:
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All of the above, with a strong emphasis on outdoor (figure 90/10) skating. I'm
trying to document my friends, so as they get better, what they skate will change. ...
If that is the primary reason to get a dSLR, I'd suggest that you look at video
cameras. For training, resolution is not a real issue (do you really care if you can
make out the details of how the shoelaces are tied?). 3 fps sounds fast, but it does
leave gaps in fast action. The image below was shot with my KM 5d at about 3 fps.

Makes a good spacing for this image, but if you were trying to coach at least twice
the frame rate would be nice to have. And expensive to get.

I suspect that your sport goes faster downhill than horses on level ground.

That also illustrates why using a burst (spray-and-pray) isn't the way to get a shot
at a critical moment. Much better to shoot just once like this:


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Old Jan 24, 2008, 3:57 PM   #5
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If you follow BillDrews suggestion of considering a video camera to capture action rather than a DSLR, you might want to look at a couple of newer video camcorders/cameras taking video.

Firstly there are the flash memory based HD camcorders which also take lower resolution stills around 2 meg.

Secondly there are digicams taking video or HD video - the most interesting is the Casio Pro EX-F1 which has just been released. It is a bridge style camera with 12x zoom taking 6 meg images - but at 60fps! It can take up to 1200 fps at lower resolution, thus giving extreme slow motion playback.

Editing HD video is hard enough though, so don't expect to edit the Casio video unless there is comprehensive in-camera editing!

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Old Jan 25, 2008, 12:10 AM   #6
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1eyedeer wrote:
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Secondly there are digicams taking video or HD video - the most interesting is the Casio Pro EX-F1 which has just been released. It is a bridge style camera with 12x zoom taking 6 meg images - but at 60fps! It can take up to 1200 fps at lower resolution, thus giving extreme slow motion playback.

I'm not at all interested in a video camera, I want to take photos :P Thankyou for your suggestions though.

I was actually looking at the EX-F1 today. It's very much a possibility, if I can't find a DSLR, I like.
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Old Jan 25, 2008, 7:18 AM   #7
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OK,

Since we're back to a camera vs. video, let me ask - what is your budget?

There are 2 parts to the DSLR equation - the camera and the lens. Skateboarding, at least outdoors, isn't a terribly difficult sport for a DSLR to cover (i.e. it's not low light and not fast eratic movement) so just about every body out there can do the job.

But some will be better than others. As pointed out, 3fps isn't a lot. More expensive cameras have 5 fps or 6 or even 10 fps.

Some cameras have better/faster focsus systems than others.

But the 2nd part of the equation is the lens used. Better quality lens = better quality photos.

So, what is your total budget?
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Old Jan 28, 2008, 12:06 AM   #8
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Trying to spend less then $1200, its not an absolute limit, but its fairly firm, unless there's an incredible difference at a slightly higher price-point.
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