Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 11, 2009, 11:33 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3
Default

:? I have been reading for months, and I think I have read myself into more confusion that what I started with! :?

This is what I take pictures of:

1. Kids, Kids, Kids (we have 6): Indoors, outdoors, portraits, parties, etc-anywhere a kid would be!

2. Sports (again, the kids): This consists of baseball (day & night), Football (day & night), cheerleading (day & night), gymnastics (indoors-typically poor lighting, and no flash allowed, pics alsooutdoors), school events (indoor, poor lighting)

3. Landscape and wildlife

4. Interested in getting into macro

5. Stabilization is a huge factor for me! My hands shake naturally, when I zoom, it's a blur. I do not care it it's in camera or lens.

I'm a little flexible with my budget and I do not have any equipment from previous cameras, so I don't intend having it all now. I'm more interested in what will work with the sports. I have read mostly about the Nikon D60....I am interested in either Nikon or Canon....but I'm not closed minded!

Thank you to all who are able to tell me what to do!
dg6k22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Apr 11, 2009, 11:58 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 324
Default

Budget?

Real Goals of Photos, acceptable quality of photos, purpose of photos?



Everybody has a budget. Give us a chance and we could spend all of your spare cash and a lot more. Lot more.

Does this mean you must spend big $? No, but there will be compromises. For example, maybe you won't be able to sit behind home plate at the baseball game and shot a really tight shot of Junior standing at the Center Field fence, much less of Junior running to catch the ball. Spend a few more $$ and you can achieve those pictures .... except during dusk or a night game. Want to shot at night and achieve those pro type pictures... welcome to the big time $$$$.

Goals, quality, purpose?

Everybody has seen the video of a famous person making a speech and people in the audience taking pictures with those dinky pocket cameras. Do they produce good pictures? Nope. Not even close. Half the time the person is 100 or 500 ft awy trying to take closeups. Ain't going to see the pics in Time or Newsweek any time soon. But those pictures are important. They say "I was there". For some people that is all they want.

Are your goals to share pictures (via the web or other digital media) with family and friends? Moveup a step or three and want toprint 8x11 glossy pics for your daughter's modeling portfolio? Something in between? See, everybody has different goals.



Are you willing to carry a camera bag full of lens? Some of the suggested lenses could weight a couple pounds (or more). Prepared to spend $1000, $1500or more for a big lens? Can you shot from the gym floor or will you only be shooting from the bleachers?

Lots of questions. More than just what you want to shoot, but also how you want to shoot.
StevieDgpt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2009, 7:51 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

dg6k22 wrote:
Quote:
:? I have been reading for months, and I think I have read myself into more confusion that what I started with! :?

This is what I take pictures of:

1. Kids, Kids, Kids (we have 6): Indoors, outdoors, portraits, parties, etc-anywhere a kid would be!

2. Sports (again, the kids): This consists of baseball (day & night), Football (day & night), cheerleading (day & night), gymnastics (indoors-typically poor lighting, and no flash allowed, pics alsooutdoors), school events (indoor, poor lighting)

3. Landscape and wildlife

4. Interested in getting into macro

5. Stabilization is a huge factor for me! My hands shake naturally, when I zoom, it's a blur. I do not care it it's in camera or lens.

I'm a little flexible with my budget and I do not have any equipment from previous cameras, so I don't intend having it all now. I'm more interested in what will work with the sports. I have read mostly about the Nikon D60....I am interested in either Nikon or Canon....but I'm not closed minded!

Thank you to all who are able to tell me what to do!
Ok. That's a full plate. And, I might add, an ambitious undertaking.

First, no P&S digicam will do well at all, or even most those things. So we're talking about a dSLR.

With kids, the speed of the autofocus system is important, and that leaves out the entry level Nikons (D40/D40x/D60) and the Olympus line.

There are two methods of image stabilization used buy dSLRs. Canon and Nikon put optical image stabilization in the lens, which make their lenses bigger, heavier, and more expensive. Pentax, Sony and most Olympus dSLRs use sensor shift image stabilization in the camera body, which makes the bodies bigger and heavier, but you only pay for it once.

For sports, especially indoor or night sports, you'll need fast lenses, and for outdoor sports, you'll need long lenses. Put those together and you're talking about a significant investment in multiple lenses, each for a specific purpose. Canon and Nikon have the best selection of lenses, but not very many of them are stabilized, so that may put them back on a more equal footing with the other brands. On the other hand, for shooting sports, you need to use fast shutter speeds, so camera shake isn't much of a problem.

In general, Sony has a better selection of telephoto lenses than Pentax, but Pentax has a better selection of fast, fixed focal length lenses than Sony. Olympus has an extraordinary selection of fast (f/2.8 or better) lenses, but, as I said earlier, their autofocus system can't keep up with sports/action/wildlife.

The combination of stabilization and macrophotography narrows your selection down quite a bit. Thereis a good selection ofmacro lenses available for Sony and Pentax bodies, but only one stabilized macro lens for Nikon and none for Canon. If this is something you're serious about, now is the time to decide.

Some of the things you want to do are not easy, and will take a lot of practice and some expensive equitpment to do well.

I think your needs would best be met by the Canon XSi with the stabilized kit lens (for "Indoors, outdoors, portraits, parties, etc-anywhere a kid would be!", and landscapes) (~$700) (perhaps supplimented by an external flash), the Canon 85mm f/1.8 (for indoor sports) (~$350), the Tamron 70-300 Di LD (for outdoor sports in daylight) (~$175), and the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS (for outdoor sports at night, and stabilized for indoor events) (~$1,700). But, as I said, there areno stabilized macro lenses for Canon.

Alternatively, there's the Nikon D90 with the stabilized kit lens (~$1,150) (perhaps supplimented by an external flash), the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 (~$450), the Tamron 70-300 Di LD (~$175), the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR (~$1,800), and the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR Macro lens (for macrophotography) (~$850.)

There's also the Sony A700 (~$1,000) with the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 (~$350) (perhaps supplimented by an external flash), the Sony/Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 (~$1,370), the Tamron 70-300 Di LD (~$175), the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 (~$1,800), and the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro lens (~$400.)
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2009, 9:26 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,241
Default

Quote:
With kids, the speed of the autofocus system is important, and that leaves out the entry level Nikons (D40/D40x/D60) and the Olympus line.
Quote:
In general, Sony has a better selection of telephoto lenses than Pentax, but Pentax has a better selection of fast, fixed focal length lenses than Sony. Olympus has an extraordinary selection of fast (f/2.8 or better) lenses, but, as I said earlier, their autofocus system can't keep up with sports/action/wildlife.

Sorry, but all that proves is your not using the newer Olympus DSLRs. Olympus claims "worlds fastest AF" which is somethong I'll not buy into, but the speed is certainly in the same ball park as the rest. It lacks the multipoint sophistication of others, but to disreguard because of focus speed is IMHO not with reality.

Greg
fldspringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2009, 10:09 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3
Default

Hello,

Well Yes, I will be sharing photos and printing as well! I do the photography for one baseball team, and I'm not able to keep my camera up with the players! Gymnastics is always hard to shoot because no flash allowed. I also photo a few drag racers...yes, I'm doing this all w/my point and shoot-yes, I have more bad pictures (missed timing) than I do good shots. And I'm to the point of wanting to invest and learn so I can quit wasting so much time on the missed shots. I know I will have to limit myself and not buy everything all at once! (But that would be so much fun)! Macro is at the bottom of my list for 'needs'...that's just an interest. I don't mind what I have to carry around for the sports. I will keep a point and shoot for some around the yard shots (maybe). I have a 'beach/pool' camera (Olympus waterproof) which I miss shots with but I don't have to worry about damage.

My initial purchase, I prefer to keep around $1500 (maybe a bundle kit would help with this?)

I am not looking to be a professional (yet):-) but want nice quality photos, clear images, and less blurring with sports, and less lost photos indoors. I would like less distance in between me and the outfield shots.

Thank you for all the aspects that need cleared up! This is why I have come here! You all are so helpful!
dg6k22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2009, 10:16 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3
Default

Thank you so much! To think, I was on the brink of settling on the D60! I am going to definately look into the Canon. This has narrowed down what I need to review drastically! I am sure I will have more questions! If I am shooting photos of racecars, does that change anything? It's not something I do often, which is probably why I left it out of myinitial post. But it is something I do (drag racing photos).Macro is at the bottom of my list, something maybe I can do when the kids aren't the main subjects!
dg6k22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2009, 10:19 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

fldspringer wrote:
Quote:
Olympus claims "worlds fastest AF" ...
When Olympus advertises the "worlds fastest AF", they're talking about the speed of the autofocus motors in their lenses, not the speed of the AF systems in their cameras, which is not in the same ball park as the rest.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2009, 10:21 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

dg6k22 wrote:
Quote:
... I would like less distance in between me and the outfield shots.
Can you check the EXIF data in the outfield shots you have, to see what focal length you used to get those shots?
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2009, 10:27 AM   #9
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

fldspringer wrote:

Quote:
Sorry, but all that proves is your not using the newer Olympus DSLRs. Olympus claims "worlds fastest AF" which is somethong I'll not buy into, but the speed is certainly in the same ball park as the rest. It lacks the multipoint sophistication of others, but to disreguard because of focus speed is IMHO not with reality.

Greg
Greg - that's a marketing claim and I have yet to see any accomplished sports or wildlife shooter back it up. There is a world of difference between initial focus lock and the ability to track a subject and predictively focus on it. Show me a serious sports shooter that believes as you state - that Oly is on par with the rest. And the reviews I've seen indicate the E3 - the top of the line does very poorly in low light. And, of course, there's the ISO issues. Oly is a great system for certain types of photography - low light sports just isn't one of them.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"
Quote:
My initial purchase, I prefer to keep around $1500 (maybe a bundle kit would help with this?)
Quote:
baseball (day & night), Football (day & night), cheerleading (day & night), gymnastics
The reality is you're not going to do all of those well for $1500. Each sport has it's own needs and you've got some tough ones. For gymnastics you'll either need ISO 6400 capability in your camera or f2.0 or better lenses. Compound that with distance issues: Canon and Nikon offer 85mm 1.8 lenses for about $370-400. But such a lens is only good for about 25 feet of quality usage. Which means for gymnastics you would need the ability to move about the floor freely and position yourself by each aparatus. Shooting from the stands just won't cut it with that lens. With ISO 6400 you could step up to a 70-200 2.8 and get added reach so you can get additional shots. Although the working range on such a lens is only 75 feet for quality sports shots so if you're in the stands you're still likely going to miss a lot.

With that in mind I would skip the Canon Xsi and look at the new 500D or stepping up to the 50D. In nikon, forget the entry levels you would need the D90 at a minimum. The only non Canon non Nikon camera I've seen capable of good sports work is the Sony A700. The lesser sony's don't have the ISO performance or the focus performance for low light sports work and Pentax and Oly as well suffer from poor focus and/or ISO performance compared to Canon / Nikon.

Baseball is even tougher. If it's full field, you're in trouble. As mentioned a 200mm lens is only good for 75 feet or so - do the math, it's not capable of shooting quality baseball action on a full field even if you're on the field. If you're behind the fence you need 400-500mm lenses. And, of course, if you want to shoot night you need 2.8. A 400mm 2.8 lens will set you back $7,000. A sigma 50-500 is a good choice for day time games from off the field but the lens alone is $1000 and no good when light levels drop.

Football if you're shooting from on the field can be done with a 70-200 but that 25 yards is limiting - you have to follow the line of scrimmage and you're limited to shots middle of the field to your sideline. but it can be done much better than baseball. The least expensive 70-200 2.8 lens I would recommend is the Sigma 70-200 2.8 ($800). Tamron makes a nice sharp version but doesn't have a fast enough focus motor. All in all, if you buy an A700, D90, 500D / 50D and the Sigma lens you could do the cheer, football (if you're on the sidelines) and gymnastics. Baseball you'll need a longer lens - for day time you could add a 1.4x TC. This would get you started but realize it's limiting - especially if you don't have field / floor access.


JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2009, 10:32 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

dg6k22 wrote:
Quote:
... If I am shooting photos of racecars, does that change anything?
While your kids probably don't move as fast as Top Fuel or even Super Stock dragsters, no, the situation doesn't change, though it will tax the AF system more. And since the AF systems in the cameras I mentioned are all very good, they should serve you well on the quarter mile.

dg6k22 wrote:
Quote:
... Macro is at the bottom of my list, something maybe I can do when the kids aren't the main subjects!
If macro isn't a priority, and you think you can either use a tripod or wait forCanon to release a stabilized macro lens, thenit shouldn't play a significant role in your decision.

Something that should, however, is how the cameras feel to you. If you can't comfortably hold the camera, if you can't find the controls and commands when you need them, you'll miss some shots.



TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:21 PM.