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Old Feb 25, 2009, 9:38 AM   #11
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The yellowish cast to the image is probably due to the white balance not being set correctly for the type of available light. All cameras regardless of manufacturer will produce the same effect if the white balance is set incorrectly, however this is something that is correctable after the fact (post processing) with the provided software.

On keeping the camera, if you have doubts now, then by all means switch, or like others have said, you will always have a question as to if you made the right decision. There is no perfect camera, just that some design elements are optimized for certain types of use. In this case Canon has an auto-focus system that is more conducive to fast action sports.
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Old Feb 25, 2009, 10:20 AM   #12
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I have the K200D and like it. I haven't had a big problem with the autofocus. That having been said. I might be choosing the XSi if I were in your shoes. I think it has better image quality at ISO 1600. That's important if you want to take pictures of night games or indoor games. I went to afew college football games last fall - night games. The stadium was well lit as the games were being televised. Nevertheless, I had to up the ISO setting to 1600 to get non-blurry shots of the action. The image quality was ok, good enough for 4" X 6" and even 5" X 7" prints, but not great for bigger prints. the upside of the K200D is the built in image stabilization - you don't need to buy more expensive image stabilized lenses. To get significantly better low light image quality, you will probably have to buy a more expensive camera and/or fast lenses, many of which, by themselves, cost more than an entry level DSLR.
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Old Feb 25, 2009, 10:57 AM   #13
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Edward B. wrote:
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That's my problem... when people talk about getting the best results from sports pictures I'm not sure what they're talking about, exactly.
A good sports photo should be sharp, exposed properly, have correct white balance, fill the frame with one of the following: Peak action, emotion or atmosphere. The photo should also be as free as possible from distracting elements. This means the background should not distract from your subject. You control this by using shallow DOF, light fall off (if using flash) and your shooting position to keep your backgrounds as clean as possible. But, what you don't seem to want to hear is that the lens plays a very important part in getting these quaity shots. The body is only part of the equation - in many instances the lens is more important than the body.

For print sales, "sportraits" are good - an isolation shot of a player even without action - but you're not doing that. Now, at HS level and below the 'atmosphere' shots are few and far between. The HS gym doesn't look like Duke University at a basketball game. White balance and exposure are controlled by the photographer. For indoor sports you should set a custom WB - so no edge to any camera there (except the higher end ones that allow you to save custom WB settings and re-use them). For outdoors, cusutom WB isn't always an option because lighting isn't consistent so auto WB performance can matter.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"The best way to get better results is to actually seek and accept feedback from other sports photographers. Just like the best way to become a better wildlife photographer is to get feedback from those that shoot wildlife. For instance, we have a number of photographers that shoot basketball in the sports forum. Some of also shoot all the other common sports - baseball, softball, soccer, football, track,wrestling, volleyballetc....

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Not only get their feedback on your shots but look at their work too and decide what you like and don't like about the work they're producing.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"
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Old Feb 25, 2009, 2:28 PM   #14
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Hi. -Karl Trausti from Iceland here.

I recently bought a Canon EOS 450D (what you call the digital rebel I believe) at the tax-free store at Keflavik airport when I was returning from abroad. It was actually a sort of a spur-of-the-moment purchase, as I hadn´t intended to buy the camera then and there. -But I had been reading a lot of reviews, of course, and the 450 got good reviews.

But when I started using it, I was rather underwhelmed. The controls didn´t feel good to me, and when I went to buy the extra telephoto zoom lens that I also intended to get (but they didn´t have at the tax-free), I learned that because Canon builds the shake reduction system into the lenses, the 75-300mm would cost about 75 thousand (icelandic króna). Without the anti-shake however, it costs about 32 thousand kr.

So, an extra (ca.) 400 dollars just for the image stabilization system! For every lens that you ever buy to add to your camera system, you can expect to pay a very hefty additional price if you want the advantage of anti-shake.

So I called and asked if I could return the camera, but (outrageously!) that wasn´t possible because I´d bought it at the tax-free (i.e. outside the tax zone).

At first, I tried just to "settle" for using a camera that I wasn´t happy with, but I just grew more and more frustrated with it, so I finally just sold it :-)

I went out the next day and bought the Pentax K 20 D, and couldn´t be happier :-)
-Since Pentax has the image stabilization system built into the camera house, every single K-mount lens, is a shake reduction lens.
I suspect that image stabilization will have more impact on your eventual sports photography than a slight difference in focusing time.

My thoughts:
Go with your original instinct regarding the Pentax.

If you suspect that you´ll be unhappy with it, return it.

And if you *do* decide to return it, forget the Canon. Take a look at Olympus instead. (Wich apparently has the world´s fastest autofocus at the moment).
(And in-camera image stabilization). (And great price!)
(Sony might also be an option?)

-Cheers :-)
(And sorry about the rather long post)
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Old Feb 25, 2009, 2:55 PM   #15
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karlbark wrote:
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... Take a look at Olympus instead. (Wich apparently has the world´s fastest autofocus at the moment).
Uh, no.
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Old Feb 25, 2009, 3:18 PM   #16
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karlbark wrote:
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I suspect that image stabilization will have more impact on your eventual sports photography
While I love having SR, it doesn't do much for sports photography. It comes in handy when your shutter speeds are lower than you are capable of hand-holding the camera without camera shake. For sports you are going to have to use a fast shutter speed to stop the action, a shutter speed that would more than likely be fast enough to not show camera shake. If you are using a shutter speed that's slow enough to need anti-shake (like at a night-time football game) you'd end up with sharp grid lines and blurry players (I have just such a picture!).
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Old Feb 25, 2009, 7:29 PM   #17
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mtngal wrote:
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karlbark wrote:
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*I suspect that image stabilization will have more impact on your eventual sports photography
While I love having SR, it doesn't do much for sports photography.* It comes in handy when your shutter speeds are lower than you are capable of hand-holding the camera without camera shake.* For sports you are going to have to use a fast shutter speed to stop the action, a shutter speed that would more than likely be fast enough to not show camera shake...
Yes, good point of course.
-Never having owned a camera with image stabilization before, I don´t have much personal experience with it. (Just all the reviews etc. I´ve been reading).
IS obviously won´t help motion blur, since shutter speed is not affected.

-Regarding Olympus and fast autofocus, I just read somewhere (only minutes before I wrote it) that they "apparently" have the fastest autofocus right now.
I can´t find that quote right now, though.

By the way, here is a quote from dpreview.com´s in depth review of the K200D. (In pros vs. cons on the conclusions page):
"11-point AF, Accurate and fast auto-focus"

-Sorry, I know I´m coming down pretty hard against the Canon 450D here, but I felt that I should tell you about my experience, especially in light of your question.
Also, since I talked a lot about IS, I´d like to reiterate that I was unhappy with the controls. And I thought it felt rather plasticky.

-Like you said yourself; the Canon might (?) be better suited for sports photography. The question is how *much* more.

Best regards,
Karl Trausti from Iceland
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Old Feb 25, 2009, 7:41 PM   #18
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TCav wrote:
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karlbark wrote:
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... Take a look at Olympus instead. (Wich apparently has the world´s fastest autofocus at the moment).
Uh, no.
Probably yes, if you invest into E3 with SWD lenses, at least that's what they claim and what's said in the Steve's review of E3 :-). You just need about $3-4K budget to get started.
Was thinking about doing the switch, but decided to stay with Canon :-)
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Old Feb 25, 2009, 8:20 PM   #19
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OK,

back on point - there's an important aspect of AF that you won't learn from reading reviews - for sports work it's important how good the AF TRACKING is. Most reviews that talk about AF are refering to single shot performance - ability to lock on a target and get one shot. That is only part of the puzzle. As for the E3 being the fastest - that claim is from Olympus. The reality is you're not going to see a single Nikon D3, D700, D300 or Canon 1-series or 50d sell off their gear to buy an E-3 and expect better focus performance. So far I haven't seen anything from an E-3 user in the sports field that competes with the shots the Canon and Nikon folks are getting. To be fair, that's mostly because sports shooters primarily flock to canon & nikon. So the challenge for Oly is actually attracting accomplished sports shooters to use the E-3 and prove it out in the field. But, as of now, I've seen nothing that says the E-3 is in the same league as the above cameras in the field for sports shooting purposes.

Every manufacturer makes marketing claims - I wouldn't pay them much heed. The great thing about photography is you should be able to see for yourself. The reality is, the OP isn't considering cameras in the E3 range. And no, Olys cameras below the E3 can't compete focus wise with canon or nikon, not to mention high ISO wise. If the OP is intent on sticking with budget lenses, the Pentax is probably better option than Oly or Sony at the low model level. And without the right lenses the better af performance of the canon won't be fully realized.


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Old Feb 25, 2009, 9:18 PM   #20
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AF Tracking is an interesting subject.

Here's a thread about a test in a magazine using an approaching vehicle to test AF tracking:

Magazine Review: K20D/SDM AF.C performance vs. 8 competitors

Here's a thread that shows some AF speed tests (without taking tracking into consideration).

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...834743#p834743

Disclaimer... I use a Sony A700 right now, so I may be a bit biased in that direction. ;-)

There should be a way to compare AF tracking in a wider variety of conditions, if you could take photos using multiple camera models in a controlled manner and calculate the number of keepers from a large group of images to see what works best for a given subject/movement type. It would be a lot of work to do it though (and you'd probably see a lot of variation based on subject type, lenses used, etc.).


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