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Old Nov 7, 2008, 10:32 AM   #1
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Please Help- I want to buy a good ($500 range) point & shoot camera with good zoom to take mainly sports pictures. (ie; daughter's soccer, both indoor and outdoor)

I've been looking at the fuji s100fs and the olympus sp570uz...any thoughts on which way to go..
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Old Nov 7, 2008, 11:03 AM   #2
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The Fuji S100fs is about as good as you'll find for higher ISO speed in a point and shoot model.

But, that may not be good enough for indoor sports. You'll probably need a dSLR model with a bright prime (fixed focal length versus zoom) lens on it (50mm f/1.8, 85mm f/1.8, 100mm f/2, etc.) for best results indoors shooting at around ISO 1600.

If you want to use a zoom, it will need to have f/2.8 available throughout it's focal range (ruling out inexpensive kit type lenses), and you'll probably need to use ISO 3200 for a higher percentage of photos without motion blur.


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Old Nov 7, 2008, 11:08 AM   #3
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Jenanne,

Welcome to Steves. The S100Fs is by most accounts a very nice camera. First though it appears the price is in the $600 range from reputable merchants - hope that is OK.

Try as I might I wasn't able to find many sports photos from it relevant to your needs.

Let me say this right out of the gate. It WILL NOT get you very good photos of the indoor soccer. Indoor soccer is difficult - lighting is very poor and you need fast shutter speeds. The camera is not going to give those to you in that low lighting. But neither is any other non-DSLR on the market. And even with a DSLR it will be tough and you need some very expensive lenses. So you need to adjust your expectations.

For outdoor sports it should do abaout as well as many digicams on the market. In the reports I've seen, it's ability to successfully track moving subjects isn't great - but that's par for the course with most digicams. But, image quality is very good and it's got a good amount of reach (400mm equiv).

So, the question becomes what level of quality are you expecting to achieve? Base solely on comments I've read in posts (strangely lots of people talking about how good the camera did for outdoor sports in another forum but no one posting photos) it should do as good as any other superzoom. But that's still a different category than what a DSLR can do.

The question is what level of quality can you live with?




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Old Nov 7, 2008, 12:53 PM   #4
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I had the Olympus SP-560, the predecessor to the 570. I liked it, but I would recommend that you also consider the Panasonic FZ28. It's cheaper than the 570 and has a more impressive full resolution burst mode. If you have the money, and don't want a DSLR, the Fuji S100fs is good. It will have better high ISO image quality than other superzooms.

Outdoors in the daytime, either of the cameras you were considering will do ok. But, as John said, indoors or at night, you probably need a DSLR with a bright lens to get good pictures. Most gyms and high school soccer fields are not that well lit. I went to my community college's championship game in soccer 2 years ago. I had a Fuji S9100, which is not a bad camera. However, unless I used ISO 1600, I couldn't get non-blurry shots, and at that setting picture quality is bad - very noisy.
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Old Nov 7, 2008, 8:53 PM   #5
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Ideally a consumer level DSLR camera would be best for low light level shooting where there is not much existing light. An ultra zoom like the Sony H-50 can get photos under stage lighting conditions that are brighter than the typical sports lighting. Here is a sample.

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Old Nov 8, 2008, 6:53 AM   #6
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Sarah,

Looks like you forgot to include the photo.

Also, as you mentioned stage lighting is different - AND, the amount of motion involved is greatly different. You can get shots on stage at 1/60-1/100 if you time it right. For soccer you want shutter speeds around 1/400. So I'm not sure how relevant it is that a given camera can get shots of a stage performance.

AND, you're not using focus tracking in stage shots. So degradations in focus performance aren't as impactful as they will be in a sports shooting situation.
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Old Nov 8, 2008, 7:54 AM   #7
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Thanks, JohnG-

When you are loading sample photos from half way around the world, it does not always work perfectly. The sample photo is now in place.

I also agree that the shutter speed used in a stage lighting situation is far less demanding than for indoor sports.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Nov 8, 2008, 9:46 AM   #8
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Jenanne,

The photo Sarah posted is taken in lighting 3-4 times as bright as what you'd be shooting in (as determined by the EXIF information imbedded in the posted photo). It was also taken at ISO 400 and as mentioned you'll need to be using ISO 3200. The quality difference from ISO 400 to 3200 in most cameras is very dramatic.

I would not recommend basing your decision on ISO 400 shots of non-moving subjects with stage lights. It is completely different situation than you want to shoot in. I only say this because I believe the posted photo might give you or another poster a false sense of the quality you can expect in the situation you intend to shoot in.
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Old Nov 8, 2008, 1:57 PM   #9
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JohnG-

That is exactly why I took particular pains to point out that stage lighting is typically rather brighter, when compared to indoor sports in general. What you are going to be shooting with the prospective camera is of primary importance.

Sarah Joyce
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