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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Oct 26, 2009, 9:32 AM   #21
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Jim - I realize Sony has a challenge ahead of them - getting sports shooters to use their system. That's a problem they're going to have to figure out if they want to market themselves to people wanting to shoot sports. But, as I've said in other threads - until they do - the fact that you like Sony isn't a good enough reason for a sports minded photographer to buy their cameras.

As to finding sports photographers out there - there are sports photographers of all levels out there - shooting from pro bodies down to entry level bodies. Saying there are no sports photographers using entry level bodies simply isn't a true statement. Sure there are no PRO sports shooters using those bodies but there are plenty of hobbyists. Now, even if you can't afford the gear of pro photographers - what people with hands-on sports specific experience can tell a new photographer is what types of gear are important. What focal lengths they use, what types of shots are available from where, what exposure settings they use, etc. etc. etc.

For example, I shoot football - day and night. Now, a new photographer may not be able to afford the gear I have but I know a lot more about what gear can do what when shooting football than someone who doesn't do it. Because I base my opinion on hands-on experience. And when I give someone an opinion on what gear to use for shooting football, I have football photos to share with them. They can then make their own decision on whether or not I'm qualified to advise them on what gear and shooting requirements are for football.

But that's the difference between my approach to these discussions and yours. Your approach continues to be to try and convince people Sony models which have never been field tested are the way to go - simply because you like the Sony system because it's the system you shoot with.

On the other hand, I don't care whether someone buys my system or not. I advise them to buy equipment that has been proven to be able to do the job - whether it's Nikon, Sony, Canon, or whatever. Because my goal is to get them the best tool for the job and their budget not to try and convince them to buy the brand I am loyal to. And I've seen enough bad advice on the net related to sports shooting and equipment as well as enough results from prior camera models in various systems to say to ANYONE - trust your eyes.

Now, drag racing may be a tough sport to find a lot of shooters doing it. But, the advice to the OP is this:
1) Someone out there shoots it - and if they do, they're in a much better position than people I've seen on this board to recommend what gear is required. I could be wrong, but I've never seen a drag racing photo from anyone in this discussion.

2) Once you have the information from the person with actual drag racing experience and they can educate the OP on what gear is required and why, the OP can look for some related types of shots from other sports if they can't find shots from drag racing. Is NASCAR close enough (that's a question for the expert) - if so look for NASCAR shots. In the end you want to find some sports shots from a proposed solution. If you can't find sports photos from a proposed solution that's a big red flag. It means that solution is worst case the wrong solution or best case an unproven solution.

The fact Sony has a problem getting people to use it's gear for sports shouldn't be the OPs problem. That's Sony's problem - and your problem to solve if you're going to continue to advise people these unproven cameras are a good solution.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2009, 9:43 AM   #22
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

One follow-up: it is also entirely possible what someone WANTS to do and what someone CAN do within budget constraints are two entirely different things. That's also what a photographer experienced in a particular sport can tell the OP.

For example - someone could WANT to take HS varsity football photos at night under the lights from the stands with a $500 budget. But they're not going to be able to do it. A number of people that don't know what they're talking abou may suggest a solution - but almost always it's not based on any hands-on experience. And if a poster follows that advice they spend their money and are disappointed with the results. Versus getting useful advice - they can then adjust their expectations. But at least they go into the decision with their eyes wide open and not fooled by poor advice from people that mean well. So, after talking with people that shoot the races, the OP might find that, given distance and lighting constraints and other issues specific to shooting drag racing they might have to spend $1500 on a kit capable of doing what they want to do (NOTE: I don't know this is the case - this is all hypothetical). They can then decide it's either worth-while to increase the budget or they could give up the notion of shooting the races or they could buy something that won't do the job yet, but with an additional lens purchase in a year would be capable of it. But in order to make that decision they need to know what the gear requirements are. Most of us in this thread are just going to be guessing at what those requirements are. SOmeone who shoots drag racing at a level of quality the OP wants to achieve or better (this is judged by the OP looking at the advice givers photos) is in a better position to give the right advice.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2009, 10:05 AM   #23
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

follow-up:

In the Sports Corner of www.fredmiranda.com I did a search on "drag" and got 20 different threads from the past year. The people that authored those posts or responded to them would, IMO, be great resources for the OP.

A similar search on www.dgrin.com sports forum got 97 hits. Again, the posters of those threads or the people responding would be good potential resources for the OP.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2009, 10:09 AM   #24
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

John:

I suggest the Sony systems to those looking for entry level bodies, because I know how much they've improved compared to my older KM 5D (which I've still managed to get photos using in tough conditions, even if my percentage of keepers was not as great with it), not to mention test results I've seen from AF tests of them showing how much faster they are compared to my older 5D. Yes, I do like their system (if I didn't, I wouldn't be using it, since I spent my hard earned money to buy into it). I'm not being sponsored by any camera manufacturer, or compensated in any way for my opinions about these cameras.

The Sony models offer a lot of "bang for the buck" in the price range the OP is looking at (i.e., the $500 type cameras). I think you'd be hard pressed to see much difference in performance in real world conditions from any of the Nikon, Sony or Canon cameras in that price range, and the Sonys are about the least expensive model you're going to find with decent AF speed in tough conditions (although the XS is roughly the same price).

Any of the entry level models are going to be much better in the AF area than earlier generations of cameras (and the same thing applies to Nikon and Canon models).

Now, once you get into pro level gear, that's different. For example, I would not recommend a Sony camera over something like a D3 (a camera I thought excelled in the AF department). Would I suggest something like an A700 to someone looking at a D300 or D90? You betcha, as I do have some experience using them, and you get a lot of "bang for the buck" with the Sony (and I prefer my Sony A700 to any of the competing models I've used in it's general price range, for a variety of reasons, including AF performance, control layout, menus, etc.).

Someone that uses a Nikon or Canon may have a different opinion, as familiarity with a given system also comes into the equation (i.e,. the skill of the shooter using a given camera is probably the most important factor).
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2009, 10:21 AM   #25
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

We'll have to disagree on the ability to get any photos in tough conditions, too (i.e, just put the camera away and forget it if you have a limited budget).

One of the things I try to do with cameras is "push their limits". For example, I may take tons of indoor photos at slower shutter speeds without a flash in many conditions, waiting for pauses in movement, etc. I think nothing of shooting people in conditions where I'm only getting 1/10 second shutter speeds, where others may just assume that photos are impossible to get. Sure, your percentage of keepers isn't as high (and if the event is important, I make sure to use a flash for a percentage of them to make sure I've got keepers). But, part of the fun taking them at shutter speeds that slow is to see how far you can push the equipment (and you hone your timing skills that way, too). ;-)

I've done the same thing for rapidly moving subjects, too. For example, here's a photo taken with a pocket camera (from the stands) at the race track. ;-)

Konica Revio KD-510z, ISO 400, handheld, 1/20 second at f/2.8, at a 35mm equivalent focal length of 39mm:
Attached Images
 
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2009, 10:26 AM   #26
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

IOW, even though the quality of the photos may not be as good using lower end gear, you use what you can afford within a given budget.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2009, 11:02 AM   #27
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
IOW, even though the quality of the photos may not be as good using lower end gear, you use what you can afford within a given budget.
Jim - this is why photos are so important to review when making a decision. Everyone has a different definition of 'good enough'. If you've got racing photos from entry level Sonys then the OP can judge whether they're "good enough" for his purposes with his budget. Same is true of any solution. It's also why it's good to get advice from people who do the specific activity. Now, you mentioned shooting low light shots at 1/10 and the keeper rate being very low. You may be perfectly happy with a10% keeper rate - someone else might be happy with 1% while another person is looking for 40% or 80%. Not everyone wants to take 200 shots in the hopes of getting a couple keepers. Everyone is different - what's important is a person looking to buy have a realistic impression of what the gear options are. Then they can make a decision whether it's a worthwhile investment for them to make.

The important thing to me is they make an INFORMED decision. Best way to make an informed decision on what equipment is needed for drag racing is to ask people who actually shoot drag racing.

I have no idea if the advice of those people would lead the OP to buy a Sony or not. But again, getting the OP to buy a particular brand isn't my goal. My goal is to direct the OP to people best suited to help him reach an edcuated decision.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2009, 11:36 AM   #28
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

If you know of someone shooting drag racing with an entry level camera, feel free to post links with their comments on what's needed for best results.

But, in the entry level category within the OP's price range, IMO, you're just not going to see a lot of difference between models from Nikon, Canon or Sony in the AF performance area based on AF tests I've seen, and my experience using some of them (and AF may not even be very important, as you may be able to get better results from any of them by prefocusing on the intended area instead). I've used that approach with cameras like the D300 before shooting oval track racing at the local track (although I have not taken drag racing photos, unless you want to count "monster truck" races).

While it would be nice to find someone using the exact model you're looking at for something like drag racing, you sometimes have to extrapolate based on your experience with a given camera in other conditions.

I've been taking photos for many years, and with each new generation of cameras, you're going to see improvements in the AF area (and AF is something I didn't have with many of my earlier cameras, yet I still managed to take a lot of photos I liked with them). ;-)
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2009, 11:44 AM   #29
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
If you know of someone shooting drag racing with an entry level camera, feel free to post links with their comments on what's needed for best results.
Jim - perhaps you missed the post I made about searches on DGRIN and Fred Miranda. You or the OP or anyone else can perform those same searches. I don't know what cameras they use - but they shoot drag racing. My opinion is someone who shoots drag racing is a better source for advice than someone who doesn't. They're speaking from actual experience on the subject. So I would surmise their advice is more valuable than yours or mine. I realize you've been shooting for over 30 years. But if I want advice on equipment for drag racing I'd rather have advice from someone who shoots drag racing for the past year alone and is getting results as good as I want to get. It's not about total experience it's about RELEVANT experience.

Honestly Jim, if DGRIN and Fred Miranda have shooters who post drag racing photos - why shouldn't the OP look to them for advice on what gear to use? Why is that a bad idea?
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2009, 11:52 AM   #30
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

That's not a bad idea at all John. The OP should look at what some of those photogs are getting with a given camera model and lens. But, just because you may not see photos from a different camera, does not mean it's not as capable as another. ;-) For example, most of the entries at Fred Miranda are going to be using models from Canon (as they have always had a larger market share with sports shooters).
JimC 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 12:14 AM.