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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 7, 2010, 2:10 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Beautiful Denver Colorado
Posts: 7
Default Sweet Grandpa Wants Sharp Pics of Sporting Grandkids

Greetings Experts!

You were so helpful guiding me to my new camera, I am back requesting help for a friend. He goes to every one of his grandkids' games (basketball, baseball, football, soccer, track) and is tired of blurry pics. Bless his heart, he is not very tech savvy and will, no doubt, do everything in AUTO.

He would like a camera that is small but has a "decent" zoom. He has no desire to video anything. He is happy using the LCD viewfinder. His final request is "as inexpensive as I can get with the options I need."

So, I need recommendations for a fast, cheap, PS camera that does not need to video (though I know they all do) and will work well on AUTO. I am thinking Image Stabilization is probably must.

My thoughts were on the Panasonic ZR1. I was a bit worried about convincing him that a good camera is not cheap, but I read in these forums that someone found this camera at Costco for $170! I am sure I can convince him to spend that much

Any advice or other suggestions would be very welcome. Last time I posted with two potential choices (for me) the experts here recommended, and I just ordered, a camera hadn't even considered that I think is going to be perfect for me! Thank you for your expertise!
TheDenverFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Apr 7, 2010, 2:56 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

Sports is tough. Indoor sports is very tough. Indoor sports with a P&S ...

Sports requires fast shutter speeds. In order to do that, he'll need to use large apertures and/or high ISOs, neither of which are common on P&S digicams. He'll also need a camera with little shutter lag and a good AF system, two more features that are rare on P&S digicams.

If he wants good results, it will cost him, and he'll have to stop using AUTO.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 8, 2010, 7:09 AM   #3
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

TCAV is correct. There is no camera on the market that meets your friend's requirements. I would like to retire tomorrow, but me wanting to do it does not mean it is possible.

I will also add the following: lots of people in internet land will make claims that a given camera is up to the task. Before you accept those claims - ask them for photos of HS level or below basketball shots (i.e. NOT pro games and not stage performances) - but real basketball games of kids. I have not seen pictures from a digicam yet other than the odd 1 in a 100 shot. What I mean by that is he could go to his grandkids game with any digicam and take 100 shots. Sure 1 or 2 might be OK. But most people don't want to have to take hundreds of shots just to get 1 or 2 that are usable.

So, here's my advice - anyone suggesting a digicam for your friend's needs - have them show you 8-10 photos from a single game. Your friend can then see what the camera is capable of and make up his mind if that is an acceptable level of quality.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 8, 2010, 7:28 AM   #4
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

Both TCav and John are right (sorry). Indoor sports is a tough environment to shoot which is why those of us who do have spend thousands of $$$s on the kit. High speed and low light don't mix. For the outdoor shots, yes, there is a much better chance assuming shooting daytime but that's about it. Also the camera mentioned doesn't have the longest lens so possibly going longer would help as you need to be pretty close to the action to get anything half good.

I wish there was an easy solution to this but I think he is still going to be disappointed even after spending a few hundred $$$s.

I guess one last question is do you know what he would call acceptable re shots, if you could post a link to something similar then in case it is not what people are thinking of here as acceptable then there could be a solution... even so it is a long shot, and more so if shooting in auto.
__________________
Any problems with a post or thread please use the report button at the bottom left of the post and the team will help sort it out.

Have fun everyone!


See what I'm up to visit my Plymouth Wedding Photography
site or go to my blog.
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 8, 2010, 1:09 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

If you want a laugh, see http://www.docs.sony.com/release/Sony_Sport_Photos.pdf

Sony had Nigel Barker, a fashion photographer, put together some tips on shooting sports. This should solve all your problems.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 8, 2010, 1:16 PM   #6
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Sony had Nigel Barker, a fashion photographer, put together some tips on shooting sports. This should solve all your problems.
I especially like the part about "if your camera doesn't have [a sports mode], play around with the settings and try them out at a practice"

Yep. Great, useful document there.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 8, 2010, 1:38 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
tizeye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 382
Default

Do you know what camera he has now that he is tired of "blurry" pictures? While P&S are limited on indore action, and the budget limits to P&S, it may be something as simple as adding a monopod or other support to steady the existing or future camera. Wouldn't be perfect, but every little bit helps, and holding a camera out with max zoom and slow shutter while looking at the LCD invites blurriness.
tizeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 8, 2010, 1:56 PM   #8
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

I've not been able to look at the PDF as I'm on my phone but I can't wait for the laugh of a non sports shooter trying to talk sports lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tizeye View Post
Do you know what camera he has now that he is tired of "blurry" pictures? While P&S are limited on indore action, and the budget limits to P&S, it may be something as simple as adding a monopod or other support to steady the existing or future camera. Wouldn't be perfect, but every little bit helps, and holding a camera out with max zoom and slow shutter while looking at the LCD invites blurriness.
I agree knowing the model will be helpful but camera shake is the least of the worries to a sports shooter as it action is moving fast. If we are in the realms of camera shake then we are far out of the realms of getting an action shot.
__________________
Any problems with a post or thread please use the report button at the bottom left of the post and the team will help sort it out.

Have fun everyone!


See what I'm up to visit my Plymouth Wedding Photography
site or go to my blog.
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 8, 2010, 2:30 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Beautiful Denver Colorado
Posts: 7
Default

I appreciate all of the info - nice to see a dumb question that can unite all the experts! lol At the very least, I can let him know that blurry pics of his all-star basketball grandson are normal :-) I'll let him know all of your comments, especially Mark's, that he might still be disappointed after spending a few hundred dollars.

I love this guy, but there is no chance he will take a camera off of AUTO. I have made him promise to call when his computer frustrates him rather than running it over with his pick-up. Generally it is a very simple thing to fix. He doesn't do tech well, but he is crazy about his grandkids.

So I tell him forget the basketball pics, or to befriend a high-tech parent who has proper equipment. How about the outdoor sports - baseball, football and track? The monopod suggestion is a good one, thanks!

So, let me revise my request. What fairly inexpensive p&s can handle the outdoor sports, on AUTO, the best? I see now that even "the best" might not be so great, but I suspect there are cameras that would be better than others. What feature do I look at for the best chance at some good pics in the bunch?

Thanks for taking the time to educate me in what can and cannot be expected with a p&s! I'll find out what camera he is using now.
TheDenverFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 8, 2010, 4:11 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Denver-

You might have "Grandpa" take a look at the Kodak Z-980 which you can find pretty cheap on E-Bay. It has 24X optical zoom and a strong Automatic Mode.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber 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 11:05 PM.