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Old Jun 25, 2008, 11:03 AM   #11
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Hey thanks. I guess I've opened a little bigger can of worms than I thought.

My original intent was the Nikon D80. Costco has a bundle right now for right around $1000.00. It sounds like the lens isn't anywhere nearadequate for night time football, so I'll have to find one before the season starts. I have not been able to verify if the d80 is capable of ISO 3200 or not. The D80 has been consistently rated high in all of the reviews I've read, actually earning editors choice on CNET.

The Canon xsi seems to be a close second review wise, and the Image stabilization feature attracted me as well. I think the price point was a little better than the Nikon, and a few of the small features-lcd size, etc made it attractive as an alternative. I don't think that the Canon is capable of ISO 3200 however, so that fact alone may rule it out for my needs.

The Sony was only added as discussion based on a few comments on this board. It's my understanding that Sony has image stabilization in the housing rather than the lens, so I liked that feature, but I think I can rule any of the Sony's out. (that are within my budget anyways) Taking into account theaftermarket lensissueswith Sony only nails the coffin shut even further.

I realize that this is an investment, but I guess I'm a little concerned that for my application-essentially shooting sports for personal use, my $1000.00 budget needs to double to achieve my goal.

Yikes.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 11:13 AM   #12
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robertpilote wrote:
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I realize that this is an investment, but I guess I'm a little concerned that for my application-essentially shooting sports for personal use, my $1000.00 budget needs to double to achieve my goal.

Yikes.
Yep. It's the football that does it. But it's better to go into things with eyes wide open. This way you can decide if it's still worthwhile - better than spending $1000 and finding out what you bought isn't up to the task.

Also - please don't overlook the field access issue. You haven't commented one way or the other whether you'll have field level access. Without it, even if you do spend the $2000 your results will be quite poor.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 11:39 AM   #13
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I don't think "limited" sideline time will be a problem.

Canon xsi only supports up to ISO 1600, so if 3200 isa must Canon wont fit. One other item I know you've addressed in another forum is the mega pixels. Canon's 12.2 vs Nikon 10.2.

Any cause to be concerned about this? The average consumer has the MP number beaten into their head as being the determining factor in choosing a camera, so it's a little hard to break that habit.

One of your post on this page suggest that mp isn't nearly as important in sports as one would think.

So lens wise then I need to be looking for something that will support 2.8 and a minimum of 200mm on the top end?

Do you know if the Nikon D80 has any built in stabilization features in the housing or lens?

Thanks for all your help. Your sports shots were fantastic by the way. The shot of the guy with the foot in his face was great.



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Old Jun 25, 2008, 11:55 AM   #14
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Nikon, like canon, has image stabilization in the lens not the body.

Well, from a Nikon lens standpoint you're looking at the Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR ($1800) or the Sigma 70-200 2.8 ($810). The sigma lens won't have VR (vr is vibration reduction - nikon's designation for lenses withimage stabilization).

After that, the next step up the 2.8 food chain is the sigma 120-300 2.8 - $2700.

Megapixels don't mean a whole lot in sports shooting. As I've stated elsewhere, the 8.2mp Canon 1dmkII-N is probably the most widely used sports camera out there.

But, you should also realize MP isn't the only difference. The d80 has older sensor and processing technology. The newer Nikon / Canon cameras are going to have better performance at ISO 3200 than the D80. It doesn't make the D80 bad. It just means that the nikon d300 or canon 40d are better in that regard. Focus systems of those two cameras are also better than what the D80 has. But, as mentioned, the lack of ISO 3200 kills the XSi as a varsity football camera IMO. So if you didn't want the D80, the only real option in Canon is the 40D which will probably set you back an additional $300 over the D80.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 12:16 PM   #15
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I guess I didn't realize the D80 was such an "old" model.

How important is the image stabilization?
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 2:05 PM   #16
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robertpilote wrote:
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I guess I didn't realize the D80 was such an "old" model.

How important is the image stabilization?
The d80 is a generation ago model - 2 years old. Again, not bad, just been some good advancements from all manufacturers in the last 2 years.

How important Image Stabilization is depends on who you ask.

IMO, it depends on the type of work you do. For the sports work it will have no significant impact on the sports you intend to shoot with the lenses you would be using. Or put another way, it isn't worth paying a single penny for if all you were going to do was shoot those sports.

Other types of photograpy DO benefit from it though. The real problem is that just like MP it's an oversold ffeature. Too many people misuse it and come out with cruddy results. It is NOT, has never been, nor will it ever be a substitue for a tripod, flash or fast lenses. And that's where people get into trouble. They try to use it as a substitute for the above and the results are poor to how they would be if they used the proper tool for the job. It will however, in the hands of a knowledgable photograher turn very good photos into great photos.

I will also say that if you don't have steady hands it can be very beneficial in all aspects of your photography.

But here's the thing - Canon & Nikon both have IS in the lens. But those are the proven leaders in sports photography. To get IS in the camera body you need to go with Pentax, Oly or Sony. Of those 3, Sony is the only one that shows promise as a sports system comparable to canon or nikon. But I haven't seen any body of sports work from anything but the A700 which is not a model you're considering.

So now you have to ask yourself - are you willing to give up the features important to sports shooting (lens selection, servo focus performance, high iso performance) to get anti-shake in the body?

This is why there is no single system. Each system has it's pros and cons. I say Oly is a bad sports system but it doesn't mean it's a bad system. It's a great system for certain requirements.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 3:04 PM   #17
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ok, so now I've spent the day researching the canon 40d.

I can get into a 40d with 28mm-135mm (3.5-5.6) for 1150.00 from a "known" retailer (costco) and $1349 for a bundle that includes 18-55mm lens (3.5-5.6) and a 75-300mm (4.0-5.6) from an online source I have never purchased from. (digicombos.com)

Comp Usa has a nikon d80 bundle that includes an 18-135mm lens and a 55-200mm lens (4-5.6) for $1100.00

I realize, however, that none of these lenses will meet the sports at night criteria, but with the housing alone for these units $800-$1000 I might as well maximize my buying power.

I can't help but wonder if my concerns about "too much camera" on the D80 would be more of an issue on the canon 40d. If the equipment is too complicated or over my head and I take terrible photos with it, I might as well stick with the P&S.

I'm willing, and excited, to make the plunge, but I will have a $1000 ($2000) investment into a piece of equipment that I now have to learn how to use.




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Old Jun 25, 2008, 3:20 PM   #18
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JohnG wrote:
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But I haven't seen any body of sports work from anything but the A700 which is not a model you're considering.
Here are some from the older Sony A100 (one of the first 10MP dSLR models using a Sony 10MP sensor), mostly using a Minolta 135mm f/2.8 AF lens (usually around $300 used) at ISO 800. Shutter speeds are a bit slower than desired with this kind of setup (although this model was more sensitive than it's set ISO speed, which probably helped a bit). But, he still managed to get some keepers, despite using lower ISO speeds than desired. It was a better lit arena than you'd find in high school. But, then again, you'd be able to use higher ISO speeds with the newer camera models.

http://www.sonolta.com/sony-photos/v...rena+football/

He's got some more A100 sports photos here (including some from a baseball game that was shot mostly using an inexpensive Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO lens (which sells for around $229 brand new, or you could pick one up in Minolta AF mount for around $100 used).

http://www.sonolta.com/sony-photos/v/Sony+A100+Sports/

A better lens should give you better results. On a tight budget, I'd probably get a Minolta 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 APO Macro for around $300 or so used instead for daylight use, since it's got a reputation for virtually no Chromatic Aberrations with sharp images throughout the zoom range. Or, grab a used Minolta 100-400mm APO lens instead (typically in the $500s used)

The Minolta 100-300mm APO Macro is a higher quality lens compared to the budget priced Minolta or Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 AF lenses (the 100-300mm APO Macro sold for almost twice as much new, but thanks to a decent supply of this Minolta Autofocus lens on the used market, you can pick one up for around $300 now from reputable vendors of used gear like keh.com).

I've even used my Minolta 135mm f/2.8 AF lens (the lens this shooter used for most of the night football images) and got some keepers shooting indoor basketball at ISO 3200 with an older Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D (which is slower than the Sony A100, and much slower than the newer Sony A200).

A brighter prime is better for something like indoor sports though (so that you don't need to use ISO 3200). The newer Sony A200 has a faster Autofocus system with much lower noise at higher ISO speeds compared to Sony A100 (and it's available at a lower price point now, since you can find one for only $499 including an 18-70mm kit lens).

I've seen much better baseball, football, etc., from Sony shooters using a Minolta or Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 SSM lens. But, it's a very pricey lens (around $1700 for the Sony version after the recent price drops). But, Sigma should be shipping it's newest Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro II HSM lens very soon (adorama.com is taking preorders for this lens for $799 right now).

Chances are, it's going to have higher optical quality compared to the older version of Sigma's 70-200mm f/2.8 Macro (the latest II version of it has been improved, with one additional optical element changed to better ELD glass). We'll have to wait on user reports to see how well it performs (but, I would not expect it to be worse than the older Sigma model, which has good reputation for a lower cost 70-200mm f/2.8 ). So, that combo should attract more sports shooters to Sony (especially those on a tighter budget).

For someone with a very tight budget, that's the way I'd go (since you'd have ISO 3200 if you needed it, and could put the extra cash into better glass like a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 for more versatility later). For an entry level camera, it's got a very good frame rate (>3fps until a fast memory card like a Sandisk Extreme III is full), ISO 3200 (missing on some of the entry level models), and it's 10MP sensor is likely a newer and better design compared to the Sony 10MP Sensor used in the older D80. Most Nikon dSLR models are using Sony sensors, with very few exceptions (currently, only the Nikon D3Hs and D3 don't use a Sony sensor.

Sure, if budget permits, go with a better suited model for sports (for example, a Canon EOS-40D, Sony A700, or Nikon D300). These are in a different market niche, with better build quality, more features, faster frame rates, faster AF systems, and more. But, with a $1000 budget, you're going to have to compromise somewhere, and I personally think the Sony entry level models have the best "bang for the bucik" for someone on a tighter budget. I will admit that I'm a bit biased, since I shoot with a Sony A700 now. ;-)

Sony is the "new kid on the block" for dSLR models compared to Nikon or Canon. So, you're not going to find as many experienced sports shooters (and the photographer's skill is important) like JohnG using these systems yet. But, if you dig around, you can find users getting good results from these systems (see links above), and that will no doubt improve in the future, since Sony has been introducing more dSLR models and lenses as time passes. Plus, you're trying to find equipment on a budget that can get you photos of your kids playing sports, not make the cover of Sports Illustrated, right? Image quality is very subjective, and the purpose of the images, viewing/print sizes needed, percentage of keepers, and more comes into the equation. Unless you want to spend a lot more money, I'd look at solutions that offer more "bang for the buck" if you're trying to stay within a tighter budget. ;-)

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Old Jun 25, 2008, 3:26 PM   #19
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It's hardly ever a bad idea to get a kit lens, just to have something for general purpose photography (family events, etc.), but you haven't given much info about what else you might use a camera for. But remember that, for all that other stuff, you can always fall back on your "PHD" camera.

robertpilote wrote:
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I'm willing, and excited, to make the plunge, but I will have a $1000 ($2000) investment into a piece of equipment that I now have to learn how to use.
How much was your first car? your first computer? Did you already know everything there was to know about using them before you bought them?
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 5:05 PM   #20
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ok good point. Although the potential with a camera is great, like a computer I will probably only use a fraction of its capabilities. To answer your question, other than kids sports I'll probably fall into the same general uses as the "average" joe-holidays, parties, maybe some business use.

Off topic a little here-but generally speaking, if you have a 18-55mm lens and a 18-135 mm lens, is there a need to even swap lenses on the low end or would you use the 18-135 lens for the same applications as the other?

Maybe I showed how much of a newbie I am with that question.....
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