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Old Nov 11, 2008, 10:27 PM   #1
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I have narrowed my choices to these three DSLR's. Will be utilizing for kids sports both indoor and out, mostly day time but some night as well. From the standpoint of body alone which of these would you reccomend and why?

I appreciate all of your help and comments.
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Old Nov 12, 2008, 5:49 AM   #2
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40d or d90 depending on which system you prefer. The xsi is a great camera but the 40d is a little better for sports (iso 3200 available, higher burst rate). Just make sure you save money for lenses as that will get expensive as well.
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Old Nov 12, 2008, 7:35 AM   #3
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Which would you prefer, I can get the XSI in a package that comes with a 70-300mm canon lens as well as basic lens or the 40d package with basic lens for about the same money.

What I am struggling with is I can get the lesser body with the lenses I need to start shooting the kids sorts out of the box or I can get the better body and have to wait a little bit for the lens. What would you do? Go for the better body or the lenses to start out with?


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Old Nov 12, 2008, 8:04 AM   #4
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The kit lenses will not be bright enough for indoor or night sports.

Where are you seeing a kit with a Canon 70-300mm? Are you sure it's not a Canon 75-300mm (less expensive, with no IS)?

But, neither of those lenses (Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, Canon 75-300mm f/4-5.6 USM) would be suitable for indoor or night sports (they're too dim for that purpose, so you'd get lots of motion blur). For daylight sports, the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM would make a good choice. The less expensive 75-300mm has much lower optical quality.

At a minimum, you'll want a lens with f/2.8 available throughout the focal range for low light sports (night sports under the lights, or indoor sports). f/2.8 is 4 times as bright as f/5.6, and f/5.6 is the widest aperture you'll have zooming in much with lenses you're probably looking at.

For example, a Canon or Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 ($799 for the Sigma, more for the Canon models), if you can get close enough to get some keepers shooting from the sidelines, or a longer Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 ($2699) for more flexibility. For indoor sports, you may want to go with a brighter prime (fixed focal length versus zoom) like a Canon 85mm f/1.8 ($355). You'll probably need to shoot at ISO 3200 if you use an f/2.8 zoom (and the entry level bodies like the XS, and XSi only go through ISO 1600). With a brighter prime, you may be able to get by using ISO 1600.

IOW, for best results, you'll need both a good body and good lenses. Low light sports is very demanding on both the equipment and your skill level. If you eliminate the requirement for indoor and night sports, you'll have more choices. But, if you need to shoot night or indoor sports, expect to spend a lot more on gear.

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Old Nov 12, 2008, 8:13 AM   #5
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Specifically, which sports and at what level of play(u6 soccer is different than U14)? And for the outdoor sports, how much is at night? These answers will drive what lenses you need - and get used to the idea that sports require multiple lenses (none of which is the kit lens).

Let me give you some examples:

Indoor basketball - typical settings are ISO 1600 f2.0 1/400 or 3200 f2.8 1/400. This is important because in canon and nikon there are no f2.0 zoom lenses so you either need prime lens(es) or you have to be comfortable with the ISO 3200 performance of your camera. If you go prime you give up a lot of flexibility on where you can shoot from and what action you can cover but you get the benefit of lower ISO. Indoor swimming - you almost need a 70-200 2.8 zoom. Swimming is tough to shoot with a prime lens because you can't control what lane they're in and sometimes where you can shoot from. Wrestling especially benefits from use of an external flash because there are so many shadows and wrestling mats are non-reflective. SO I can shoot basketball and wrestling in the same gym - basketball I dont use flash but wrestling I do because the lighting and position of faces is different in the two sports.

Outdoors, 200mm is fine for peewee football, teeball and smaller soccer fields. By the time you're up to full size diamonds and soccer fields 200mm is too short. But, if you have a lot of overcast or evening games you need an f4 lens (vs 5.6 of the consumer zooms). If you're playing at night under lights you need 2.8 lenses and/or external flash.

My point is - the equipment needed is dependent upon the specific sports and specific levels of play. You'll have to make some compromises but that's all part of it.

I also want to add my standard caveat:

Successul sports photography requires 3 things:

1. Right Equipment

2. Right access (you're not getting good varsity football or soccershots from the stands). A sport like volleyball with the right gear you can get a lot of shots from the stands. A sport like basketball, some but not much. Wrestling - not really as you want to be on the ground. Outdoors, football, teeball and soccer at the lowest levels you're practically on the field anyway. But as the kids get older and the fences start to appear then not only are the fields getting bigger but you're being pushed further and further away - and not to mention a big metal fence between you and the players. A prime example is varsity football. I you can't get on the sidelines, IMO, it's not worth spending the money on all the gear. You won't get enough opportunities for shots anyway.

3. Skill and technique of the photographer. Sports photography is NOT a point-and-shoot thing. I have pro grade gear. If you used my gear, until you know HOW to shoot specific sports you'll get poor shots. There are whitebalance and exposure issues to deal with, there's the issue of where to position yourself to get the better angles, there are certain techniques you have to master to get sharp focus - there is the timing and there is the post processing. 100% of my sports shots are post processed. It's a necessary evil. Sports shooting is very fun and rewarding but it's difficult too. We've got some great people in the sports forum that will absolutely help you along. But don't underestimate how challenging it is. Moreso than people that don't do it believe.

I mention all 3 because without 2 & 3, you could spend thousands on gear and still get poor results.

Also, I might mention I'm not aware of any Canon kit offerings that include the 70-300 IS USM lens. There are kits that include the 75-300 lens which is a very poor quality lens. Don't confuse the two.
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Old Nov 12, 2008, 9:07 AM   #6
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The majority of the sports shooting will be outdoors (U14-U15 soccer full field) where I have full access to the sidelines, endlines, etc. Below are three kits I am looking at all come with the standard lens and then an extra. The first two 40D and D90 come with the 70-300mm and the XSi 55-250mm. Is it worth the extra bucks to get the 7-300mm in the kit. And how much ofa differene will the better body make.

My thinking is that If I go with with the kits that have the 70-300mm I will be able to shoot the soccer games right out of the box. On the other hand I could go with a better body, 50D or D300, and get the lenses down the road. Or I could get used to shooting the shots I want now and look to upgrade the body at the same point down the road.

I am starting to confuse myself. But I just want to know if it is better to go with the better body to start or the lenses since I cant afford both at the same time.

http://www.1wayphoto.com/products.as...oduct_id=13739Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi Black W/ Elite Package (W/ Canon 17-85 IS & Canon 100-400 IS and More!) $1769

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....prd96500050009 40D $2015

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....rd100900050003D90 $1799

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....prd96500050007XSi $1199 (with 55-250mm)
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Old Nov 12, 2008, 9:11 AM   #7
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Big Texx wrote:
Quote:
http://www.1wayphoto.com/products.as...oduct_id=13739Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi Black W/ Elite Package (W/ Canon 17-85 IS & Canon 100-400 IS and More!) $1769
If a price looks too good to be true....

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/1_Way_Photo

P.S.

The 100-400mm alone sells for around $1400 for the U.S. versus gray market version.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...6L_IS_USM.html


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Old Nov 12, 2008, 9:38 AM   #8
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Thanks for the heads up. Thats why I came to this forum! all of the expert opinions are invaluable. By the way what do you think of the other 3 kits from bestbuy?
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Old Nov 12, 2008, 9:54 AM   #9
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You can't be too careful. There are lots of scammers around with nice looking web sites now. Most are located in the Brooklyn area (where they seem to be able to get away it).

As for the other kits, JohnG is more familiar with Canon gear and he shoots a lot of sports. So, I'd pay attention to his comments about them.

If I were looking at those kits and was worried about shooting low light sports in the future, I'd probably be inclined to go with the 40D or D90 over the XSi (since both of those have ISO 3200 available, and the XSi is limited to ISO 1600).

Chances are, the Canon models will have better Autofocus compared to the D90 (which is using a dated AF system in comparison, as it doesn't appear that Nikon changed it from the older D80). The Nikon D90 is likely going to have a bit better image quality at ISO 3200 if you needed it though (although the 40D is going to be close). The Nikon D90 is using a Sony 12MP CMOS sensor design (and you'll also find a Sony 12MP sensor in the Nikon D300 and Sony A700), and Nikon's Noise reduction algorithms are pretty good now. There are pros and cons to any of them.

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Old Nov 12, 2008, 9:56 AM   #10
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BigTexx, this may sound a bit goofy, but it may be a consideration too.

I own a Canon XTi and love it. But I sometimes wish I owned the 40 D for the craziest of reasons.

I'm a big guy... 6' 4' 230 lbs and I have big hands. I could palm a basketball in 6th grade.

The XTi is a small camera for my hands, and I never ever shoot with out the strap around my neck because I easily drop the camera. The grip is small in comparison to my hands. Had I bought the 40D, I'd have a camera that I could hold an grip better. I can't truly grip my camera, it's more like I hold it in my fingertips. That's doesn't feel secure to me.

This comment should be shot down by just about everyone. But the guys with big hands will back me up. So if BIG TEXX is more than just a name, you might want to go to a camera store and hold that camera for 10 minutes and make sure you're happy with the fit.

If I could find someone to trade me their 40D for the XTi and I'd pay them the differnece in the MSRP, I'd do it in a heart beat.

Faithfully yours,

FP






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