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Old Oct 26, 2009, 1:16 PM   #41
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You're perfectly welcome to your opinion. But, when it degrades into personal attacks (and I'd consider many of your posts to be borderline in that area, with suggestions that readers ignore posts from someone that doesn't have albums full of sports photos to share), then I'm going to disagree with your approach.

If anything, that approach helps to prevent users from sharing their impressions, for fear out of being "knocked down" or criticized over their lack of experience, reducing participation in the forums (and the fun that users have sharing their experience with cameras that may not be up to your standards, as you are using far more expensive gear than a typical member here).

Just because someone hasn't taken photos in the exact same conditions with a given camera model that you have, or that they're not as experienced in a given area (and your skill level at shooting sports is obviously very high), doesn't mean that they're not capable of offering opinions about one camera model versus another, based on their experience with them in other conditions.

I've seen you express the same type of attitude towards reviews at various sites (including here at Steve's). Just because a given reviewer doesn't include photos you think are appropriiate for the conditions you like to shoot in, doesn't mean that their impressions of a given camera model are not valid.

For one thing, the reviews here (and most places elsewhere) tend to be geared towards "typical" users of a camera, not someone shooting sports in a semi-professional manner).

IOW, IMO, you need to lighten up. ;-)

One thing that I'd like to encourage here is more entry level shooters sharing their results with various cameras, so that we have a higher level of participation in that area, instead of referring them to other sites to get semi-pro opinions of models. Again, you're welcome to disagree.
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Old Oct 26, 2009, 4:35 PM   #42
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Quote:
and I'd consider many of your posts to be borderline in that area, with suggestions that readers ignore posts from someone that doesn't have albums full of sports photos to share
My advice is fairly strait forward. The internet is full of a lot of advice - much of it is bad advice. If someone is telling you how to shoot portraits or what gear you need for portraits, and that person has no portrait photos to show you that should be a red flag. Sports shooting is no different. I fail to see how a person that doesn't shoot say basketball or any sport similar to basketball can give good advice. And, seeing as people visiting web sites don't know who's advice is good and whose is bad - the common denominator is photos. Its about photography after all.

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Just because someone hasn't taken photos in the exact same conditions with a given camera model that you have, or that they're not as experienced in a given area (and your skill level at shooting sports is obviously very high), doesn't mean that they're not capable of offering opinions about one camera model versus another, based on their experience with them in other conditions.
It isn't about what conditions I shoot in. It's about the conditions a given poster shoots in. And my advice to them is - you're going to get the best info from people that shoot in that environment. But specifically when it comes to sports shooting, equipment makes a big difference. You will not find a proficient sports photographer that disagrees with that assessment. And, with things like focus systems, we can't rely on the standard tests reviewers perform - they don't test that. It's a difficult thing to test. So, the only educated advise you can get is from people that actually use the gear in the field.

As to my comments about reviews here and elsewhere - I'm fairly consistent in that I say those reviews aren't a good basis for judging sports shooting ability of the equipment. I don't disagree the reviews are not geared towards sports shooters. But the fall-out of that is those reviews are not a good measuring stick for how that gear will perform in the sports shooting world. So again, if those reviews don't address sports shooting you need to look for people that have been-there-done-that. Given the small number of people that post here at Steves about sports shooting - that often means people have to look elsewhere for that been-there-done-that advice.

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One thing that I'd like to encourage here is more entry level shooters sharing their results with various cameras, so that we have a higher level of participation in that area, instead of referring them to other sites to get semi-pro opinions of models.
I agree completely. And I would suggest an entry level person who happens to shoot drag racing would be an excellent source for the OP to hear from.

In the end - this forum is about people asking how they should spend their hard earned money. I think it's only fair to give them an honest answer - even if that answer is: there's no one here with enough experience in what you want to shoot to give you a good answer - but here are some people at other sites who might be able to better answer your question. The worst instructors I ever had weren't ones that didn't have answers they were the ones who couldn't admit they didn't have them and couldn't help direct you to someone/something that DID. I've run into too many people in real life that have a camera they bought to shoot sports and they're disappointed with the results. Too late - they already spent their money. If they had gotten credible advice BEFORE spending their money they could have made different decisions.

It's up to the OP and other readers whether they believe my advice is valid or not. In the end - this particular sub-forum is asking for advice on how to spend money not about asking me to be their friend. I'll leave this thread as-is. Viewers can decide for themselves whether what I'm saying has merit or not.
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Old Oct 26, 2009, 5:12 PM   #43
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John, of course your advise is valid. I think your sports photos are great.

However, from what I've seen, your standards are much higher than most users are going to have moving from a point and shoot to entry level dSLR model; and I think opinions from others help to balance that.

For example, in this case, the OP is wanting to move from a Panasonic point and and shoot model to a dSLR in the $500 - $600 range. You're not going to get pro level performance from any model in that price range from many perspectives. However, the skill of the photographer can get around some of those limitations with a bit of practice (understanding how the equipment works or doesn't work, learning how to time shots to get around some of those limitations, etc.), as long as we're not telling them they can't do that because their equipment isn't good enough. ;-)

So, I'd disagree that members should ignore opinions from shooters that haven't posted albums full of sports photos from a given camera model.

Are those types of posts helpful (if you can show results from others that use a given type of gear for a given type of photography)? Sure they are. It's just that you may not always be able to find that type of thing very easily with newer entry level models, especially since replacements tend to come out on a more frequent basis.

But, when you take into consideration how much cameras are improving from one generation to the next (and you'll often see one brand "leap frogging" over another with newer models), and what photographers have used to get good photos in previous generations of cameras, there really aren't a lot of *bad* cameras now (as the market is very competitive) compared to what many photographers have used in the past.

Also, you may not realize the experience level of a given shooter, because they don't post a lot of photos. I've got hundreds (if not thousands) of *folders* full of photos taken over the past few years that I've never bothered to upload to web sites anywhere (other than for use by their intended audience), mostly because I've been pretty darn busy doing other tasks (for example, keeping an eye out for spammers in the forums is one big one, as that occupies a lot of my time)..

Heck, I just spent the better part of two days last week sorting through photos taken at a recent celebration, uploading a few hundred of them from one afternoon's shoot to a local printer, providing the client with a CD with those photos on it. Are they viewable by anyone else? Nope. That's just the way I work. Ditto for many other photos. I probably should share more photos with members. But, time constraints usually prohibit that approach.

I think your advise is great, and your photos speak for themselves. But, budget does come into the equation and you've got very few cameras that fit within the OP's desired expense for a camera.

Frankly, I think posters' attitudes towards a given camera brand also has more impact that some members think it does, too. IOW, if a user doesn't think a camera model is capable of getting good photos, then that user probably won't get good photos.

Skill level using a given camera/lens combo is probably the most important part of getting good results (and your skill level is very high for what you shoot). If we can find shooters that have taken photos in the same conditions a poster wants to shoot in, using equipment within their desired budget, great. If not, IMO, we should try to find good alternatives, based on what we know about a given niche. Then, help those users get the best photos they can with their existing gear.
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Old Oct 26, 2009, 6:26 PM   #44
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I happen to agree with JimC-

Rather that always going to the biggest, the best, and the most expensive, it would be better to follow the OP's original question.

The OP could probably get by nicely with a Canon XSi, which is in his budget range.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 26, 2009, 7:43 PM   #45
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These are satellite images of NHRA drag strips in the US:

Atco Raceway

Maple Grove Raceway

US 13 Dragway

Atlanta Dragway

Bristol Motor Speedway

Gainesville Raceway

Beech Bend Park

Gateway International Raceway

Great Lakes Dragaway

Kil-Kare Raceway

O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis

Route 66 Raceway

Summit Motorsports Park

Brainerd International Raceway

Texas Motorplex

Bandimere Speedway

You get the idea.

The spectator area is at the start line.

The OP wants to take photos of cars that are mostly motionless. And even if they are moving, they're not moving very fast, and they're moving across the frame so the distance doesn't change much. AF performance isn't important.
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Last edited by TCav; Oct 27, 2009 at 6:01 AM.
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