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Old Mar 7, 2011, 6:18 AM   #1
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Default Bridge camera for soccer

Hello everyone,

Im looking for a camera that will be used 90% in sports! And to be more specific soccer (European football)

Being a former owner of the Nikon D3000(with 18-105mm) I fell that I need to move my place from field into the stands! Im more a guy that enjoys matches from the middle of the people . The current photos are excellent but I would also like some new things that currently are not possible (like recording).

In general thing, this is what Im looking for:
  • good image quality - probably will not be same as Nikon D3000 but in that area will be nice;
  • great zoom (over 20x) here Im a little not sure about how much would I need. Basically, I want to be able to make some photos from the middle of the stand!
  • Indoor and outdoor
  • HD Video Recording also to have two options (zoom in video + external microphone would be nice but not mandatory) because I usually attend the conference press. Now we are using the phone for recording the audio.
  • Price: 400-700$

Ive read some reviews and basically Ive excluded almost all the options and some of them remains because they hadnt been launch yet .
What remains: Panasonic FZ35/FZ38/FZ40/FZ45, Nikon P500 (not yet a detailed review) and Sony HX100V (I hope that the Spanish review is not represents the true output of the camera because is disappointing).

Do you think that one of this camera is suitable for soccer? Or is there a chance that one of the last two(Nikon P500 and Sony HX100V) will do best that the Panasonic series?

Thank you very much
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Old Mar 7, 2011, 7:04 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert by any means, but thought I'd offer a suggestion. I own a Panasonic FZ28 and have enjoyed using it for a few years but even though its a great outside camera it suffers a bit at fast outside sports and severely at indoors sports. After doing a ton of forum reading in the past month I purchased a Canon T2i with the kit lens for $647 US., and plan on getting more lenses as time goes on. I almost bought the new Nikon D3100 but liked a few more of the Canon options. If you liked the Nikon D3000 you would probably love the D3100 and right now there are alot of deals out there on it with both the 18-55mm lens and the 55-200mm lens for about $729 US. Don't know where you live, but costco.com has it on their website for this. Thats just a bit over your $700 and you would have a good camera with two lenses (one being a telephoto) and you can expand on your lens collection later.
Don't know if a bridge superzoom is gonna get you what you will want for inside sports action.
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Old Mar 7, 2011, 11:18 PM   #3
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You're not going to get IQ even remotely close to a D3000 with any bridge camera. Moving on from that, the FZ100 is a good choice if you can be be satisfied with the IQ. The speed of the FZ100 is amazing.

Aside from speed, the FZ40 (FZ45 is same cam) and FZ35 (FZ38 is same cam) have better IQ imho and are both excellent bridge cams. As you already said, the Nikon and Sony we really don't know much about though I doubt either will really match the overall package of Panasonic. I'm not some Panny fanboy - I just think Panasonic makes the best bridge cams currently, as far as overall package.
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Old Mar 8, 2011, 6:56 AM   #4
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First of all, thank you both for your comments
Quote:
Originally Posted by jopojo View Post
I'm not an expert by any means, but thought I'd offer a suggestion. I own a Panasonic FZ28 and have enjoyed using it for a few years but even though its a great outside camera it suffers a bit at fast outside sports and severely at indoors sports. After doing a ton of forum reading in the past month I purchased a Canon T2i with the kit lens for $647 US., and plan on getting more lenses as time goes on. I almost bought the new Nikon D3100 but liked a few more of the Canon options. If you liked the Nikon D3000 you would probably love the D3100 and right now there are alot of deals out there on it with both the 18-55mm lens and the 55-200mm lens for about $729 US. Don't know where you live, but costco.com has it on their website for this. Thats just a bit over your $700 and you would have a good camera with two lenses (one being a telephoto) and you can expand on your lens collection later.
Don't know if a bridge superzoom is gonna get you what you will want for inside sports action.
Regarding the Nikon D3100 - it was/it is also on my list. Ability to record is one of the most important (if we are doing a paralel with D3000) and ussualy is not found on that price. The reason why I left this option behind is that I was thinking that I can achive my goals (good IQ, recording, good zoom) without using expensive lens. The desire one was Tamron AF 18-270mm but the price is to high and I preffered to give the D3000 to my girlfriend (because she is traveling a lot and she is transfoming photografy into a hobby) and I will search for a soccer camera in that area of money .
Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveO View Post
You're not going to get IQ even remotely close to a D3000 with any bridge camera. Moving on from that, the FZ100 is a good choice if you can be be satisfied with the IQ. The speed of the FZ100 is amazing.
Aside from speed, the FZ40 (FZ45 is same cam) and FZ35 (FZ38 is same cam) have better IQ imho and are both excellent bridge cams. As you already said, the Nikon and Sony we really don't know much about though I doubt either will really match the overall package of Panasonic. I'm not some Panny fanboy - I just think Panasonic makes the best bridge cams currently, as far as overall package.
Sad to hear that the IQ of any bridge camera is not so close to a D3000 because that was my ideea from the first place: give the camera and take a multifunctional camera for soccer. As any multifunctional - there is one ore more weak points. Defenitily I would look to have better IQ than better zoom!(and you are wright when you are saying that I am not satisfied to much with the FZ100 pictures). The questions is - do you think that FZ35/40 can do well in sports if we consider theyr speed? Do you think that I miss other possible contenders?(like Fuji HS20)(I know that maybe I'm asking to much - appologize for that).

I will wait the Nikon P500 to appear and see the review that will probably lead me to a Panasonic.
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Old Mar 8, 2011, 7:44 AM   #5
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there are a few threads here if you look around with pics from each camera. one in particular was done by a guy who did close to the same pics using each of the fz35, fz40 and fz100. very handy comparisons.
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Old Mar 9, 2011, 3:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kr3bs View Post
The questions is - do you think that FZ35/40 can do well in sports if we consider theyr speed? Do you think that I miss other possible contenders?(like Fuji HS20)(I know that maybe I'm asking to much - appologize for that).

I will wait the Nikon P500 to appear and see the review that will probably lead me to a Panasonic.
Well the focus is just as fast on the FZ40 as the FZ100, but you lose the good burst mode. I think without the the burst mode, you'll just have to hope that you click the shutter at the right moment.

The HS20 and P500 are likely to offer similar IQ as the FZ100 or if history repeats itself, worse IQ. The CMOS sensors in these cameras are much faster than the CCD sensors in the FZ35/40 cameras, but you lose some sharpness and gain some unwanted noise. When the camera's JPEG engine tries to remove the noise, you often lose detail.
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Old Mar 15, 2011, 1:59 PM   #7
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Hi guys! Thank you for the your help!
I've did more research this days and I finaly decided to go for a..DSLR (I think that sport fotografy - even at an entry level - it's prety hard to achive with a bridge camera)!
The lucky winner was Canon Eos 550D with both 18-55mm and 55-250mm lens ! It was a good offert on Ebay and I've borrow another 300$ and, in the end, I've reach 1000$! I'm happy and looking forward to enjoy the new camera!


All the best,
Krebs
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