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Old Jan 13, 2010, 6:29 AM   #11
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If you are doing night games, I think you would do best with a DSLR. If you are doing day games, the best candidates, in my view are the FZ35 and Canon SX10. Also, if the lighting is good, think about the Casio FH20, which has a super burst mode. Normally a 9 megapxiel camera, this camera can do bursts of up to 40 images per second at 7 megapixels or 30 images per second at 8 megapixels. It's not a perfect camera, but in the right light it is a great camera for sports. It started out at $599 about a year ago, but was selling in the high 200's and low 300's a week or two ago.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 10:10 AM   #12
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softballmom-

Well you have received some pretty good advice let see if we can sort it out and put everything into perspective.

Panasonic G-1:
This will not be an ideal camera for sports photos as it does not have an optical viewfinder, and it must depend on an EVF (like you have in the Kodak DX-6490) which is slower and not fast enough for action shots. Secondly, the G-1 will not focus fast enough for action shots.

Fuji S-200EXR: This is another bridge or super zoom camera that has an EVF and it is even slower than the G-1, FZ-35, and the SX-20 to focus. It also has a very unique imager/exposure system called, the EXR syatem that has it own rather steep learning curve. It would be my last choice among the bridge or super zoom cameras, when the slow focus, EVF, Focusing, and EXR system was considered.

Super zoom or Bridge Cameras such as the Panasonic FZ-35 or the Canon SX-20:
These cameras are also affected by the very same problems as the G-1. They use EVF viewfinders and are slower to focus both. Now it you want to take photos, during the day of Batter cage practice, or a runner on 1st or 3rd base with you shooting from the field sidelines, where action is minimized and there is time to focus, the G-1, the FZ-35, and the SX-20 might be able to minimally handle that.

Night games under the lights
: Only an advanced level DSLR such as the Canon T-1 is capable of handling this challenging photo situation, where high ISO and very rapid, precise focusing are the prime requirements. In as much as high ISO setting will have to be used, the telephoto lens used must also be of large aperture and long range. Just the lens alone will begin at $695 and go to well over $1,500 based on the zoom length and aperture selected. Night games with action shots are some of the most demanding photo situations in all of photography. A Canon brand DSLR is required because of its advanced focus system, and the Canon T-1 is the lowest or minimal DSLR that you can use. Most probably you will soon want a more expensive and advanced camera body.

Photographic Skills:
Sports photography is very demanding of the photographer's skill sets. So you would be jumping into one of the most photographically demanding venues in photography. I sincerely believe it would be a leap to far for somebody just beginning their transition to a DSLR camera.

Post Processing Skills: DSLR cameras are designed with the expectation that the photographer will want to post process their photos with excellent photo editing software and skills. The photos right out of a DSLR camera require adjustment, the camera manufacturer planned it that way. So you would have to have acquired very good software skills with something like Photoshop Elements as a minimum to really do photo editing justice to your DSLR photos.

Those are the issues involved SoftballMom. I have attempted to clarify and elaborate, where required, to facilitate further discussion. Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Jan 13, 2010 at 10:16 AM.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 11:49 AM   #13
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I use the FZ35 for my boys little league and it's been working well. Most of the games are during the day and the evening games are well lit.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 11:59 AM   #14
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Can someone post some sports sample from the FZ-35 or SX-10/20 please. I think it would be helpful to the discussion.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 5:10 PM   #15
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Most of the games will be during the day. I want to be able to get runners, batters, plays at home, etc. I am not expecting to quickly get the camera to the play and get good pictures. I anticipate where the play will be. Sometimes I get lucky and I'm right, sometimes I'm looking at the totally wrong place. The shots I DO get I would like to be clear, and I would like to be able to get a "burst" for a better chance of getting the play. I'm not totally in love with the dSLR idea. I have a friend with a Nikon D40 and the pictures with my Kodak were better than hers, so I realize there is also skill involved, not just point and shoot. I haven't done much photo editing, just with iPhoto, but I'd like to learn.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 5:14 PM   #16
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The D40 is not the best dslr for sports. But allot of it has to do more with the photographer then the camera. If you have a good eye, and know what to do, you can take better photos with a lower grade camera then someone who is not as good with a super expensive dslr. Photography is 2/3 the person 1/3 the camera, as my old photography class teacher told me.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 5:20 PM   #17
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I think I have a good eye, but I think I would like to try with a better camera than my old Kodak. I just want to make the best decision I can on this.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 6:18 PM   #18
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If you are going to take up photography as a hobby more, the dslr may be the way to go. But if you are just looking for something better then a point and shoot. And can live with a lower imagine quality on your softball shooting. A good bridge camera may be a good compromise and less expensive choice.

Last edited by shoturtle; Jan 13, 2010 at 9:05 PM.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 9:04 PM   #19
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Softballmom-

Your decision about getting a better camera is an excellent one. What kind of budget have you allocated for this new camera? That will also come into play as this decision is made.

Anthony_b has mentioned that he uses his Panasonic FZ-35 super zoom camera to take photos of his son's Little League games. Could that possibly work for you. Have you considered how much zoom you really desire?

Sarah joyce
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 9:08 PM   #20
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I think a bridge camera is a good way to start. Don't most of those have manual settings so I can play around with it and learn more about getting the pictures I want?
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