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Old Feb 16, 2009, 9:24 AM   #1
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I want to purchasea digital camerato obtain multiple action sports shots i.e. football. I would prefer to not invest in an SLR and 300+mm lens. The quality and zoom of the megazoom cameras would be sufficient, if they have adequate shooting speed. My previous experience with an availableburst mode proved to provide little control and the end results were not that good. Which of the current megazoom cameras is the best for optaining multiple action shots? Thanks
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 10:42 AM   #2
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Of the SuperZoom cameras on Steve's Best list:
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 11:05 AM   #3
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How about these specs for still images?

Maximum 40 frames per second at 3072 x 2304 pixels
Maximum 30 frames per second at 3264 x 2448 pixels
Maximum recording capacity: 40 images

You'd have to have very good light to get that kind of frame rate though (otherwise, your shutter speeds will impact how many frames you can shoot in a second)


Note that I have not seen any reviews of this model, and don't know how the image quality stacks up. Ditto for Autofocus Speed.

Note that you'll need to be shooting in good light (sunlight, not stadium lights at night) with a Super Zoom type camera for good results. Otherwise, your shutter speeds are going to be too slow to stop blur from subject movement. For night games, you'll want a dSLR with usable high ISO speeds (i.e., 1600 or 3200) using a lens that can maintain f/2.8 throughout the focal range (and you'll want to shoot from the sidelines versus the stands).

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Old Feb 16, 2009, 11:11 AM   #4
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The Canon SX1 has 4 fps so that's pretty quick but none of the mentioned cameras will really do a good job in comparison to a dSLR. It basically comes down to what your expectations are to whether a superzoom will do the trick.
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 7:32 PM   #5
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I have the FZ28. It takes great pictures in good light and pretty good pictures at ISO 800. Its burst mode is fairly fast. I think it does more than 3 FPS for the first second. It can maintain a rate of 2 FPS until the memory card fills up. If I wanted really fast burst modes in good light. I would pick the Casio FH20. I read a review that said its image quality was ok, maybe even good, but not great. Its burst mode blows away even expensive DSLR's. That camera costs over $500 though.

I took a Pentax K200D DSLR to a night football game and shot several hundred shots. A week or two later, I took my FZ28 to another night game. The Pentax was better. It tracked the various players faster and its burst mode was pretty fast.

Ifthe light is decent and you're takingpictures of a player who is in one spot (e.g. a baseballbatter at home plate, afootball quarterback taking the snap, a soccer goalie blocking a shot)some ofthe ultrazooms might do a good job. However,if you are trailing a football running back as he sweeps around the end or a baseball player going from first to second base,I would urge you to consider a DLSR withzoom lens.

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Old Feb 16, 2009, 7:48 PM   #6
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It should also be added that the speed of the auto focus is going to help out a lot, and if the camera can AF while in continuous shooting mode. It's not an issue if the action is going past you where there is little change in distance between you and the subject.

I will say again that you are going to get much better results with any of the entry level dSLRs and a 70-300mm lens (well there are a couple of lenses to avoid) than with any of the MZ/SZ cameras.

The reasons for this are better AF performance, shallower depth of field (this means the background will be blurred to some extent giving isolation to your subjects), better high ISO performance (allowing you to get faster shutter speeds in a wider range of lighting conditions).

This is the sort of thing I mean regarding separation of the background.

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