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Old Mar 24, 2008, 8:22 PM   #1
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I want to upgrade from my Fuji S7000 to a DSLR. There is so much info out there that I can't seem to decide. I have looked at the Olympus E-510, Canon XTi, and the Nikon D60. I will be shooting nature, my 8 year son and his sports, beaches, and mountain scenery. Could you all please help me decide? I would really like acamera with IS. My budget is no more than $1000. Even if you have a suggestion other then the ones listed above. I really am concerned with image quality and color. Thanks for the help:-)
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Old Mar 24, 2008, 9:26 PM   #2
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djcmcjlee wrote:
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I want to upgrade from my Fuji S7000 to a DSLR. There is so much info out there that I can't seem to decide. I have looked at the Olympus E-510, Canon XTi, and the Nikon D60. I will be shooting nature, my 8 year son and his sports, ...
For that, I'd say the Canon would be a better choice. It has a better autofocus system than the others you mentioned.

djcmcjlee wrote:
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I would really like acamera with IS. My budget is no more than $1000. Even if you have a suggestion other then the ones listed above. I really am concerned with image quality and color.
Of the ones you mentioned, only the Olympus has IS in the body; the Canon and Nikon rely on IS in the lenses.

Pentax and Sony also have IS in the body. The Sony has a faster autofocus.
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Old Mar 24, 2008, 9:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. What sony are you speaking of. I am not familiar with sony. If you were to buy a DSLR for my budget and uses what would you choose and why?
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Old Mar 25, 2008, 5:49 AM   #5
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The Sony A200 is a 10MP dSLR with sensor shift image stabilization (in the camera body), fast autofocus, and can shoot 3 frames per second. The A300 is an A200 with a 'Live View' LCD display, and can shoot2.5 frames per second. The A350 is an A300 with a 14MP image sensor. The A700 actually predates the rest, and is a 12MP dSLR with professional level features and controls, and can shoot5 frames per second.

For $800, you can get the A200 with the 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 and the 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6.Thatshould cover what you say you want to do, and stay within your budget.
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Old Mar 25, 2008, 7:25 AM   #6
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all good advice so far. But let me ask - what sports is your son in? And what is your level of expectation for quality of shots?

Answers to those questions will determine what lenses are required. Lenses are just as important to sports work as the camera body.


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Old Mar 25, 2008, 7:56 AM   #7
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Hi,



My son plays soccer, basketball and baseball. I really just want clear photos without blur and nice color.



Thanks
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Old Mar 25, 2008, 8:34 AM   #8
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djcmcjlee wrote:
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Hi,

My son plays soccer, basketball and baseball. I really just want clear photos without blur and nice color.

Thanks
OK - assuming the basketball is in doors, you'll need to use a prime lens (non zoom) with an aperture of 2.0. You'll need such a lens to get fast enough shutter speeds to not have blur. BUT, you should understand some other things about sports shooting in general but specifically about low light sports shooting:
  • With a prime lens you are very limited as to what action you can shoot - action that is too close and the subject won't fit in the frame. Objects too far away fill up too small a part of the frame and your focus wont be good and neither will your detail. For instance, a 50mm lens on a Canon, Nikon or Sony DSLR will be good for about 15 feet of reach but within 5 feet your son will be too big in the frame. So imagine only 10 feet of coverage with the lens. If you're right on the baseline behind the basket that isn't even out to the 3 point arc.[/*]
  • At 2.0 apertures your DOF will be quite thin (Depth of Field refers to how much in front and behind your point of focus is in focus). Only a few inches to a foot or so. What this means is if your focus isn't precise you're subject wont be in focus.[/*]
  • Getting proper focus for sports with a DSLR takes practice - the camera isn't magical. You'll need to work at it - keeping a single focus point on a contrasty area of your subject - at shallow DOF you really want that to be a face. So as your subject moves you need to be able to keep a focus point on the face - not the whole frame but a small focus point in the frame must remain on the face.[/*]
  • Color is important to you - color can be difficult to get accurately in gyms. You'll need to set a custom WB (the camera manual will tell you how)[/*]
  • You'll need to learn post processing software to process the sports images. Dont expect sports images to be great right out of the camera.[/*]
  • For basketball you'll be using ISO 1600 so you'll need noise reduction software. Noiseware, Neatimage and Noise Ninja are all good products.
[/*]
Lenses for basketball: In canon, the 85mm 1.8 ($360) is the lens of choice for basketball. The 50mm 1.8 ($75) is a budget alternative. As mentioned above you only have a very small reach with the lens - it requires you shoot from the floor not the stands. Jim can let you know what the equivelent Sony lenses and prices are if you want to consider Sony and whether they are available NEW or if you have to buy USED. The canon lenses are available new from many places.

For the outdoor sports, you'll want a lens capable of 200-300mm. Realize though you have to accept compromises with your budget. Most consumer grade 300mm lenses will be soft from 200-300mm and wont be particularly fast to focus. You'll get decent results but only you can decide if the results are good enough.

For instance, in the Canon camp, canon offers a 75-300mm lens for < $200 but it's not great quality. They have a 70-300 IS USM lens that is very good consumer quality but it's $560. Sony is coming out with a quality 70-300mm lens but it should be at least $560. The 75-300 TCAV mentioned is a budget lens just like the canon 75-300.

The outdoor sports are easier to shoot than basketball but they'll still take practice. If you can master basketball you'll be able to shoot the others. Each sport is different and has it's challenges but basketball is by far the most challenging.

I dont say this to discourage you. Just to let you know some realities before you spend your money. Many people make the mistake of thinking a DSLR is a magic solution - they buy one with the kit lens(es) and wonder why they still get poor results. In the case of basketball it's because the kit lenses wont give you fast enough shutter speeds and they're too slow to focus. For outdoor sports it's often because parents are too far away (i.e. trying to shoot HS sports from behind the fence rather than on the field), the lens is too short, not fast enough to focus. But most of all, failure is because the people don't have a clue how to shoot sports and use the tool.So, if you want to shoot your son's sports and you want good quality you have to be willing to put in time and learn and practice. It requires both. As well as the right equipment. So, keep that in mind before you spend your hard earned money.





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Old Mar 25, 2008, 11:06 AM   #9
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Just to add to what John has said, if you want to lear how to shoot sports Steve's is a good place to learn.

I have learnt most of what I know through posting and improving with the advice of the guys here. I recently posted a thread showing how I've improved so as you can see, it is possible.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=82
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Old Mar 25, 2008, 8:08 PM   #10
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Thank you all for you help and advice. This is my first DLSR and I really want to make the right decision. I think I have now narrowed it down to the Olympus E-510 or the Sony A200. I really need it by the 8th so I can't wait for sony to release the others in april. For my uses would you suggest one of the above more than the other. Thanks again for the help. This is a bit over whelming.
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