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Old Jun 2, 2010, 12:52 PM   #11
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Well you wont use a tripod for sports work. With a monopod you don't have to worry too much about gear weight - but you still have to carry the rig around when you switch positions. But there, lens weight is the biggest factor. None of the cameras under consideration are heavy - they're not a 1dmkIV or D3s.

On memory card - it depends - what specific cards do you have now? I would recommend a 16gb Sandisk Ultra if you don't do video - a Sandisk Extreme if you do.
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 2:59 PM   #12
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I've been reading lots and looking at the recomended cameras. My husband and I agree that we want to buy once and not buy something and later wish we bought the better option.
The 7D and D300 are bundled on some websites. We're thinking of getting the body and small lens now. Then get the longer zoom after we save some cash.
Are there sites that offer better prices?
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 3:45 PM   #13
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Be careful, as there are a lot of scam artists around with nice looking web sites. Some even have their own price search engines and review sites now (with a lot of the customer reviews "padded" with fake reviews to make them look better).

As a general rule, the ones with better prices are selling gray market gear (especially if they're located in Brooklyn, where they seem to be able to get away with sometimes shady tactics).

You don't want to buy a gray market Nikon camera (one that's not intended for sale in the US), as Nikon USA will refuse to service it, even if you are willing to pay them for the service (and most of the cheaper prices you'll find on the internet are for gray market gear, often with misleading warranty statements like "one year USA Warranty" when they mean a store warranty versus a Nikon USA Manufacturer's warranty). It's a racket, with bait and switch tactics, trying to sell you cheap accessories at outrageous prices, tacking on high prices for shipping, insurance, etc. (sometimes unauthorized), etc. It's been going on for years.

See this .pdf file for authorized Nikon USA Dealers:

http://www.nikonusa.com/fileuploads/...uthDealers.pdf

As for your strategy, I'd do the opposite. Invest the bulk of your money in good glass first (the lenses you'll need), going with a cheaper body. Lenses are more of an investment, as you can usually take them with you if you upgrade the body later within the same manufacturer.

But, if you go with a more expensive body and cheap lenses, you're not going to get good photos in challenging conditions. The lenses are more important than the camera if you have to choose between them. Bodies are more disposable in comparison (as you'll see more breakthroughs in imaging sensor design, features, etc. as time passes).

In other words, why spend a lot of money on a camera body without any lenses that will work in the conditions you want to use one in?

Then, you'd have spent a lot of money on a camera body that's going to depreciate more rapidly than good lenses as better bodies come out with more features later, without being able to use it in the conditions you want to take photos in because the lenses are not up to the task (versus using a lower end body that can take advantage of the better lenses to begin with, even if the features, frame rate, build quality, etc., are not as good). ;-)

Some vendors I'd look at:

http://www.adorama.com

http://www.bhphotovideo.com

http://www.amazon.com (making sure to buy from amazon, versus one of the sellers listing products there).

http://www.buydig.com

Cameta Camera (they sell both new and refurbished gear on Ebay, with the refurbished gear listed as "Sales Demos").
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 3:45 PM   #14
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The Canon 7D and the Nikon D300s are the co-kings of the hill as far as APS-C dSLRs for shooting sports. There is no doubt about that.

But, within all that magnificent machinery, there are lots of capabilities that will almost certainly overwhelm you, now and in the future. The Canon 50D, the Nikon D90, and even the Canon T2i and T1i are quite possibly more camera than you'll ever need, and the rule with dSLRs is that your money is amost always better spent on lenses than on cameras. That is, a Canon 50D or a T1i with a 70-300 IS USM, or a Nikon D90 with a 70-300 VR will serve you better, now and in the future, than a 7D or D300s now, and a good long telephoto zoom later.

And you can start out doing what you want, instead of learning with the kit lens now, and then have to unlearn some stuff when you get the longer lens.
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 7:07 PM   #15
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well the sigma 50-500 is available for canon, nikon and pentax. So which ever system you get this is the long reach lens you will need for the range you need for soccer.
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 7:42 AM   #16
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Ok. So now I get the importance of camera body and lens. Thanks! You are suggesting that I buy the Canon 50D over the 7D AND buy the better lens.
Another question: The big companies like Canon and Nikon do not necessarily make the best lenses? If I want a long lens, the Sigma is the best choice for sports?

Thank you all for the education!
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 7:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Another question: The big companies like Canon and Nikon do not necessarily make the best lenses? If I want a long lens, the Sigma is the best choice for sports?

Thank you all for the education!
Absolutely - Canon and Nikon make the best sporting lenses on the market. Let's say you go Canon. For soccer, the choice of the pros is the Canon 600mm f4 ($7900) and 400mm 2.8 ($7100). They make the outstanding 300mm 2.8 ($4500) but that's a bit short for soccer. Those are lenses the pros use. Most of us can't afford that gear. Nikon offers similar lenses at slightly higher prices but of similar quality. What sigma offers is some cost-effective alternatives. The lenses aren't quite as good but they're less expensive.

For example, I use the sigma 120-300 2.8 lens. It now sells for $3000 but a few years back when I bought it, it sold for $1900 (sigma realized how competitive their lenses were and really raised prices). It's not as sharp or fast as the Canon 300mm 2.8 prime, but it's a good alternative at a lower price.

Given the distances involved, the one Canon lens that would work for you is the 100-400L. Great lens and lighter than the Bigma. And the Canon is image stabilized - which makes it hand holdable. At shorter focal lengths, IS is useless for sports. But at 400mm hand-held it can be helpful. BUT, it's more expensive than the Bigma and I think you'll benefit from the extra reach the Bigma provides.
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 12:50 PM   #18
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The canon 100-400L ia a very very good lens, and it is more expensive then the sigma 50-500mm. To get IS with the sigma, you will need to match it with a camera that has IS in the body like the pentax K-x.

Sports shooting with long distances can get very very expensive.
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 1:04 PM   #19
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Quote:
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The canon 100-400L ia a very very good lens, and it is more expensive then the sigma 50-500mm. To get IS with the sigma, you will need to match it with a camera that has IS in the body like the pentax K-x.
BUT, there's a down side to that approach too. Which is the difference between theory and practical reality. The down side is - the Bigma is a heavy animal. You're not really going to want to hand-hold it very long anyway. Second, while you gain IS by choosing the pentax, you give up on focus tracking ability. The focus tracking ability (notably predictive focus which pentax has not yet implemented in it's cameras) will provide more keepers than IS will. So, the anti-shake benefit of pentax for such heavy lenses for sports use is not worth it, IMO. (3lbs for 100-400 vs. 4.34lbs for bigma). That little bit might not seem like a lot of weight, but it can be.
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 1:13 PM   #20
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Yes the bigma is a heavy lens, but it it does have 100mm more reach and 160mm if you factor in the crop factor. On a long field that extra reach may be an asset, at 1.3 pounds more. There is no perfect solutions with budget constraints. Just need to keep the options open.

I think the canon 100-400L is the better lens, and it is something I keep considering, but for the price, I have decline every time LBA starts to nip at my heels.

Like I said, the sport shooting a long distance can get super expensive. And it is up to the OP to decide it the 1500 or 1600 dollars lens is something that they really want to invest in. All we can do is give them the options. It is their choice at the end.
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