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Old May 18, 2009, 10:39 PM   #21
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Let's be clear on something. There is a VAST, VAST difference between specs and real life performance. I'd be very interested to see how that camera's 10 fps does against a subject moving toward the photographer. Is it capable of continuous focus during 10fps? Or is that single focus lock only on the first shot - which extremely limits it's usefulness. Additionally, 10fps doesn't buy you much if 8 of the frames are out of focus. This is not to bash the camera at all. It's merely a dose of reality - when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. I would not recommend buying ANY camera for sports work unless you've seen galleries (not just one or two shots but say 70-shot galleries from a single game). If you can't find those galleries it means one of two things:
1. Best case the camera is unproven in the field - in which case you take a big gamble buying it for a purpose that it hasn't been proven for

2. Worst case is it's no good in the field - photographers love to share their photos. If a sports photographer won't share their photos it's either because the photos are no good or they don't actually have any sports photos.

Hopefully the camera turns out to be good but I haven't heard ANY noise about this camera as a sports camera to date. If it were capable of producing halfway decent results of moving subjects at 10fps I would have expected a roar of praise for it. But I haven't heard that yet. Caveat Emptor.
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Old May 18, 2009, 10:53 PM   #22
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Well, JohnG-

I am sure that we will soon see several professional reviews of the newly introduced Sony HX-1 camera.

As I mentioned previously, the HX-1 will never supplant the key job that good DSLR cameras do in the sports/action field.

Sarah Joyce
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Old May 19, 2009, 7:23 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Well, JohnG-

I am sure that we will soon see several professional reviews of the newly introduced Sony HX-1 camera.


Sarah Joyce
Sarah - those reviews never really cover sports shooting. People need to see actual photographer's real life results to judge how a camera performs in real life - especially sports.
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Old May 19, 2009, 9:57 AM   #24
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From DP Review's review of the camera - on the 10 fps:

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The downside to continuous shooting on the HX1 is that as soon as you let go of the shutter it has to write all the images it is holding in its buffer to the Memory Stick before you can shoot another burst. This can take up to 17 seconds for 10 images, making the camera feel frustratingly sluggish if you're desperate to take another shot. Other aspects of the HX1's performance, such as shot-to-shot speed, are about par for the current generation of superzooms which means that, while it may have improved from the last generation, anyone who is expecting SLR-like responsiveness to go along with the looks will be disappointed.
Other items of note as far as sports use - camera is slow to zoom (but that is mitigated by better planning on the part of the photographer), and has typical limitations of non-dslrs: high noise at ISO 400 and above and not really very usable at 1600. The review mentions it is quick to focus but that is single shot - no comment in the test on the camera's ability to track a moving subject.

Now - let me come back to the FPS thing. I actually shoot sports - a lot. I actually have a camera that takes 10fps. I've had the camera for 2 years and can probably count on 10 fingers the amount of times I've taken 10 shot bursts. The benefit of fps isn't so you can rattle off 20 frames in 2 seconds. Sports shooting is still done in 2-5 shot bursts. The benefit is less time between shots. But you still need to be ready for the next burst - which could come a couple seconds later. For many sports you're better off with 3-4fps and quick buffer handling than 10fps and losing the camera for 17 seconds.

But, all of it is moot if none of the shots are in focus. That's the most frustrating thing of all - and it's the toughest part of the whole electronic process of sports shooting - the camera's ability to track a moving subject. That's why it's worth waiting to see other photographers using the camera for sports and see whether the camera can track a moving subject (and note - the key here is tracking subjects moving across focal planes not slow moving perpendicular to the shooter remaining in the same focal plane).

Again - I'm not knocking the camera. I just believe people that don't shoot sports underestimate how difficult it is for a camera to do it well. And I've seen enough photo evidence over the years to know that there's a vast chasm between marketing and real-world results. I don't like to spend my hard earned $$ on marketing - I prefer real world results. Just my opinion though.
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Old May 19, 2009, 10:45 AM   #25
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JohnG-

I mean no offense at all! I have continually tempered each post with comments to the effect, that Sports Photography in the venue of the DSLR camera. I was only commenting on the fact that 10fps (Sony HX-1) was the fastest burst rate we had ever see from a digicam.

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Old May 19, 2009, 11:04 AM   #26
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Sarh - no offense taken at all. My point is simply you can't judge a camera based on a spec sheet. Just like some cameras offer ISO 3200 but it's completely useless. My further point is that rarely can a sports photographer rely on professional reviews - those reviews just don't usually take sports photos - too difficult and time consuming to do. A perfect example -when Olympus released their flagship DSLR they claimed it was the fastest focusing camera on the market. Strangely enough though, I haven't heard of a single professional that has abandoned their Canon or Nikon gear for that camera (wheras a number of pro shooters will routinely switch from Canon to Nikon as one system gains the advantage). My point is - if people wanting to buy a sports DSLR (not the case here) simply listened to marketing or people who use Oly but don't shoot sports they would be buying a very un-real-world-tested (as far as sports shooting is concerned) product. Same thing here - on paper a hapless buyer sees 10fps and a few people bring that up and suddenly the camera appears like the holy grail to a person on a budget that wants to shoot sports.

But in no way did I take any of your comments the wrong way Sarah. So, no worries.
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Old May 19, 2009, 11:05 AM   #27
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Well, actually, the Casio superzooms have higher FPS, but they are not great in low light.

John, maybe you already mentioned it, but I was curious. What is your DLSR that does 10 FPS and about how much would it cost to buy one now? I am thinking of buying a lottery ticket and am feeling lucky.
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Old May 19, 2009, 11:13 AM   #28
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you really DO need a lottery ticket - not just for the body but the lenses. Want professional quality results for football or soccer? A 400mm 2.8 lens runs about $7000-8000 in the Canon & Nikon worlds.

The camera I use is the Canon 1dmkIII. Again, on paper, a world beater sports camera. In reality the camera has been plagued by a number of autofocus issues since it's release. Not all cameras are affected but enough are to cause issues. With a $4500 price tag, pros expect results to match it. In real world, Nikon's D3 outperforms it - with a lesser burst rate. The D3 has slightly slower focus but appears to be more accurate. So Canon has lost a lot of pro sports shooters to Nikon over this. My body performs well but there are certain situations where it has issues with focus accuracy (strong bright side-ligthing seems to be it's achilles heel).

By the way - if you win that lottery, can you help a guy out and send me $7,000 so I can buy one of those 400mm 2.8 lenses
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Old May 19, 2009, 12:00 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
I was only commenting on the fact that 10fps (Sony HX-1) was the fastest burst rate we had ever see from a digicam.
Actually, the long discontinued Olympus E-100RS can do 15fps. See this old review from 2001:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2001_reviews/e100rs.html

In current camera models with higher resolutions and much faster frame rates, look at some of the Casio offerings using new sensor designs from Sony. The EX-F1 and EX-FH20 can take still photos using burst rates of 60fps and 40fps respectively.


Casio Exilim Pro EX-F1





Casio Exilim EX-FH20
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