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Old Jun 24, 2008, 1:04 AM   #1
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I am looking to upgrade to a dslr from a "PHD" style to photograpgh my kids during their sporting events.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"My kids play both play baseball and football, so my needs would be a mixed bag of hot summer days and cool autumn nights, lighting wise.
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All the reviews I've looked at point me towards either the Canon Rebel xsi or the Nikon D80. The Nikon seems to consistantly be higher rated than the Canon, and offers a bundle with a 135 mm lens, but quite honestly may be too much camera for me.

I like the image stabilization technology in the Canon however.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I guess I need some advice because I think I'm stuck on the extra lens.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Thanks inadvance for your responses. I stumbled across this site and it has already been a wealth of knowledge.


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Old Jun 24, 2008, 1:31 AM   #2
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Just read a long post and related replies further down the page pertaining to the same question I just ask. Off to research sony vs canon.

Thanks


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Old Jun 24, 2008, 11:03 AM   #3
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For outdoor sports, you'll need something a lot longer than 135mm, and for night games on high school playing fields, you'll need a fast lens as well. Probably something with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. That is going to cost you.

You might be able to get by with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM (~$560) or the stabilized counterpart, theEF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM (~$1,100),but they may not be long enough or fast enough. The Tamron AF70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro (~$700) should be available RSN, and will be available for a variety of mounts, but while it will be fast enough, it probably won't be long enough. The Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 II EX DG MACRO HSM (~$800) falls into the same category, except that it will also be available for the Four Thirds mount used by the Olympus dSLRs where, because if their smaller image sensor, it might be long enough. There's also the Nikon AF Zoom-NIKKOR 80-200mm f/2.8D ED (~$915), but nothing else for less than $1,000.

You didn't say what your budget was, andI think the only reasonably priced solution for what you say you want to do is an Olympus dSLR and the Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 II EX DG MACRO HSM for Four Thirds, when it comes out! The downside is that Olympus dSLRs don't have the fastest autofocus systems on the market.

If you can give up the night games, or have unlimited funds, there are other options.
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 12:08 PM   #4
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Thanks for the post. I am about as far from a professional as I could be. I guess I had hoped that I could find a bundle that would work. In reading the post down the page followed by the 2 pages of replys, its obvious that I was way off in assuming that.

It sounds like the best approach would be to find the housing I like and then add to it with the appropriate lenses.

From some of the discussions I've read on this board, the Sony a200 would be a good starter for a newbie like myself, but there seems to be trouble finding the right lens attachments at a reasonable price.

My original interest was in the Nikon d80, but after reading here I think the the Canon xsi may be a better fit for my skills/needs and still be flexible enough to add lenses as needed from a variety of aftermarket (or brand name) manufacturers.

I don't know if lens length will be my issue so much as the focus and the lighting (or lack of) issues.


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Old Jun 24, 2008, 12:30 PM   #5
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robertpilote wrote:
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It sounds like the best approach would be to find the housing I like and then add to it with the appropriate lenses.
Actually, I beleive the opposite is true. I think someone looking at dSLRs should find the lenses that will do what they want and buy the camera that they will fit. Buying a camera for which you can't find lenses is like painting yourself into a corner. The differences between one camera and another might seem significant, but not when compared to the potential selection of lenses for each of them.

Case in point:

robertpilote wrote:
Quote:
From some of the discussions I've read on this board, the Sony a200 would be a good starter for a newbie like myself, but there seems to be trouble finding the right lens attachments at a reasonable price.
The Sony A200 is a very nice camera, but it's limited selection of lenses and accessoriescan be very expensive, and third party lenses and accessoriesare more difficult to find than those for Canon and Nikon, for instance.

robertpilote wrote:
Quote:
My original interest was in the Nikon d80, but after reading here I think the the Canon xsi may be a better fit for my skills/needs and still be flexible enough to add lenses as needed from a variety of aftermarket (or brand name) manufacturers.

I don't know if lens length will be my issue so much as the focus and the lighting (or lack of) issues.
Canon has one of the fastest autofocus systems available, and the best selection of OEM and third party lenses and accessories. And for what you say you want to do (outdoor sports), it might be the best choice. I suggest you take a look at the Sports & Action PhotosForum to see what cameras and lenses others are using.

And I suggest you pay particular attention to the comments from JohnG.
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 7:27 PM   #6
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Thanks.

In hind sight I guess I'm beating a dead horse here as this same discussion is occurring further down the forum. Any online sources you have had success with that seem to beat "local retail" outfits?

Onanother note, moving to a dslr feels a bit like a "giant leap" from point and shoots (or as I call them PHD's-Push here dummy.

Is the canon/nikon etc too big of a step? I realize that I may not use the camera to its fullest potential, but is essentially an item that I could have the rest of my life if taken care of. Maybe I'm wrong on that, I dunno.
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 8:08 PM   #7
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No one dslr is a bigger step than another really. The challenge here is you want to shoot sports. And you want to shoot a low light sport (night time football). That means you can kiss the automatic 'scene' modes goodbye. You'll need to do that no matter what DSLR you choose. I will also caution that to have much success with football you need to have field access. You're not going to successfully shoot it from outside the fence - not if it's night time football.

Sports shooting is a lot of fun but yes it is a lot of work - there's a lot to learn. Those who don't shoot it might think it's simple but just ask anyone down in the sports forum and they'll tell you it's some of the most challenging shooting there is. It also requires a LOT from the gear. For sports shooting both the camera AND the lens are important to success.

It's unfortunate Nikon has not released a successor to the D80. The d60 isn't a great sports camera and the D300, while excellent at sports, is a bit pricey. On paper the Sonys seem like they could be good but the honest truth is I haven't seen much photographic evidence of how good they are - especially below the A700. So, IMO, the model you're considering is unproven as a sports camera. There's a HUGE difference between a focus test and real-world sports shooting. IMO, the sony's below the A700 are a huge risk for sports shooting because they're unproven. The performance in the Nikons (above d60,d40) and Canon's is a known commodity and from a sports shooting perspective there's a reason why those brands dominate 99% of the sports shooting market.

For your football you absolutely will need 2.8 lens at night. But remember you need to be right on the sidelines. The least expensive 2.8 lens - sigma 70-200 2.8 ($850) is only good for about 25 yards of coverage. If you're not right on the sidelines the lens will be useless at night. Even when you are on the sidelines, 25 yards isn't much. Now on to baseball. If you're on a full field, that 25 yards (75 feet) isn't anywhere near enough. In fact I struggle with a 300mm lens shooting HS baseball from on the field. 400mm is more appropriate.

So, to summarize: Sports shooting isn't easy - you have to be willing to put in the time to learn and practice. You also need the right equipment if you want acceptable results. Baseball can be easier as long as it's day time. Night football, however, is one of the toughest sports to shoot.

In fact, now that I think on it - night football really does require ISO 3200 AND 2.8. I would therefore strongly encourage you consider either the Nikon D80 or the Canon 40d. Paired with the proper lenses they're the best option around $1000 out there. I'd also be VERY, VERY careful about advice on what you need to shoot that sport - make sure the people advising you actually shoot it. Pretty much the same advice for any sport (or any other genre of photogrpahy - after all, if you're asking about doing portraits you really want advice from someone who does that type of photography).
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 8:00 AM   #8
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robertpilote wrote:
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In hind sight I guess I'm beating a dead horse here as this same discussion is occurring further down the forum.
Not necessarily. You want something for outdoor sports, and that's a specialization that isn't part of the other discussion.

robertpilote wrote:
Quote:
Onanother note, moving to a dslr feels a bit like a "giant leap" from point and shoots (or as I call them PHD's-Push here dummy.

Is the canon/nikon etc too big of a step? I realize that I may not use the camera to its fullest potential, but is essentially an item that I could have the rest of my life if taken care of. Maybe I'm wrong on that, I dunno.
Yes, a dSLR will be a more capable camera than what you're used to, and it will involve a learning curve. But I think the results will be what you're after. DSLRs are 'No Compromises' cameras, and that's what's needed for outdoor sports. You might get a few good shots with a superzoom, but nothing like what you'll get with a dSLR and an appropriate lens.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 8:37 AM   #9
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robertpilote wrote:
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I realize that I may not use the camera to its fullest potential, but is essentially an item that I could have the rest of my life if taken care of. Maybe I'm wrong on that, I dunno.
I don't actually have a DSLR yet and I am looking just the same as you are. I do however own an original film SLR Canon EOS Rebel which I purchased around 1991 and it still works fine (about 17 years). Don't know how the digital age holds up but if it is anything like the film type you could possibly have it the rest of your life...
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 9:49 AM   #10
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JohnG wrote:
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I'd also be VERY, VERY careful about advice on what you need to shoot that sport - make sure the people advising you actually shoot it. Pretty much the same advice for any sport (or any other genre of photogrpahy - after all, if you're asking about doing portraits you really want advice from someone who does that type of photography).
And yes, I do shoot night football so my advice is based on hands-on experience:





as well as baseball:





The intent here is not to show off. It's merely to give you an indication I have some first hand experience when I give you advice on shooting these sports.
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