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Old Apr 13, 2011, 4:06 PM   #11
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I sound a lot like you and will be taking a big variety as well. I'm not sure that sports photos will be my main focus. The canon-compatible lenses will be a big investment for me that I'm not sure I'm ready to make. But, having the option in the future is nice. Anyway, I'm on the fence I guess.
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 5:00 PM   #12
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jlucier-

If sports are not a an all out priority, but instead less than 25% of your total shooting. The Sony a33 may indeed be a good choice for you. In addition, the 18-55mm kit lens is highly rated, and the Sony 55-200mm lens is much less expensive than the Canon 55-250mm lens. I just picked up an "open box" Sony 55-200mm lens for $88.

The Sony a33 is only average at sports, bit is a great all around SLT/DSLR camera that will serve a family well. I have attached a a33 sport sample.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Apr 13, 2011, 5:16 PM   #13
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If you go the Pentax route, I found that the DA* 200mm f2.8 ED (IF) SDM was the most effective wide aperture sports lens, but that was over a year ago. They also have a couple of DA* lenses now that may be OK as well, if you can get VERY close to the action:
DA* 16-50 f2.8 SDM
DA* 55 f2.8 SDM

I don't know for sure since I never used those and don't know how fast they focus. I do know that the 50-135 is NOT a good sports action lens. It just doesn't focus quickly at all, so stay away from that one without a doubt.

I don't use Pentax anymore because 80-90% of my use is for sports action and I decided to make a switch, but that doesn't mean you wouldn't be more than satisfied with your results if you choose Pentax. By the way, those lenses I mentioned aren't cheap either, so you'll fork out some money for good lenses for indoor action, regardless of which direction you go.
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 10:19 PM   #14
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If your main focus is going to be sport, go the canon or nikon route. It will save you a bunch of money down the road.

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I sound a lot like you and will be taking a big variety as well. I'm not sure that sports photos will be my main focus. The canon-compatible lenses will be a big investment for me that I'm not sure I'm ready to make. But, having the option in the future is nice. Anyway, I'm on the fence I guess.
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 12:27 AM   #15
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I just bought the A33 last week and will be shooting my sons baseball game this weekend. I did shoot his game last weekend (1 day after getting camera) and got some great pics just using the "sports" mode but I am tweaking the settings for this weeks game in hopes of getting even better pics. I have been practicing/experimenting with the settings on flying birds (for action shots) in my back yard to get a handle on how each setting changes the exposure. I can post some pics, if anyone is interested. ( I could also use some advise! ) Granted, I am totally new to the DSLR world and photography for that matter. So far, I absolutely love the camera. All the lenses I use focus really fast and hold it. The stabilization is built into the camera (vs the lense) and does an incredible job. The auto focus during HD video is great, especially for sports as the subject moves towards/away from you. You can also get some pretty good stills from the video. As a beginner, I love Sony's "hint's" on each "Mode". As you scroll through each mode, it will tell you what situation that mode is for. It can be turned off if you don't like it. I got Sony 18-55, 75-300 with the camera and bought a 50mm and 24mm f1.8 off ebay for $100...which takes incredible photos.

Personally, I think learning your camera and how to use the cameras settings for the situation/setting your shooting may be more important than the brand of camera. I'm sure they all take great pictures.
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 1:00 AM   #16
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sport is sub divided. And the op is shooting the toughest of all sport. Indoor, and none of the lenses listed will work for swim. The OP will need a 70-200 2.8, which in the least expensive form is 900 dollar for the sigma without OS. None of the kits or low end consumer lenses will work very well in this environment. A olympic pool is 50m long. And depending on where the deck the OP is shooting. It could be 70m away form the subject. So at 200mm with a kit lens. It is at f5 or higher. That will be very dark even with 3200iso and 6400iso depending on the light level in the pool. This is where the canon or nikon with the AF systems for sports match with a sport oriented lenses pays off big time.

And as the OP's maine focus is sports, and swim is big. Getting into a canon or nikon system, will have the cost of switching systems down the line.

Do not mix consumer grade with semi pro and pro grade. The focus of the OP is semi pro and the minimal with lenses.
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 7:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glntx View Post
Personally, I think learning your camera and how to use the cameras settings for the situation/setting your shooting may be more important than the brand of camera. I'm sure they all take great pictures.
In general, that is a very true statement. However, sports shooting is one of those areas where equipment really does make a difference. Not just the brand name but the actual equipment. And some sports are more demanding to shoot than others. Think of it like this - try shooting soccer with only 50mm lens. Does having 300mm make a difference? Sure it does. The two biggest differences with regard to brands are:
1) focus system in camera. Not all focus systems are created equal - not by a long shot. This is one of those things where everything is relative - you don't know there's a better option until you try it.

2) sports capable lenses. Generally speaking one important attribute is wide aperture - f2.8 zooms, f2.0 or wider primes. But the other attribute that is very important for sports is how fast a given lens focuses. Even within brand, not all lenses are created equal in this regard.

There are other attributes that are important to a sports shooter but all brands pretty much have the other stuff covered. The above two areas are still what separates Canon & Nikon from everybody else.

Specifically, pentax has improved their focus systems a great deal with the K-x, k-r and k-5. But they still lag behind Canon & nikon. Even within canon and nikon there are different focus systems. A canon 60d will do a little better than 500d. The 7d does quite a bit better than 60d and a 1d will do quite a bit better than 7d.

jdnan is a user here that can provide an excellent perspective. Owned several pentax cameras as was constantly frustrated by performance when shooting sports (though very happy with pentax otherwise). He then switched over to canon and bought a used 1dIII body (around $2000) and some lenses. He's much happier as a shooter because now HE and not the equipment is the weakest link in the photography chain. That's not a knock on him at all. It's just that, when it comes to sports, you can do everything right and know your equipment but if you have the wrong tools for the job you'll be frustrated. Don't get me wrong - Pentax is great. And compared to digicams, the capability to shoot sports with pentax is a HUGE improvement. But, specifically with regards to sports (because of the focus systems and because of the available lenses) canon & nikon provide a photographer with a better set of tools for the very specific job of shooting sports.
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 9:05 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
jdnan is a user here that can provide an excellent perspective. Owned several pentax cameras as was constantly frustrated by performance when shooting sports (though very happy with pentax otherwise). He then switched over to canon and bought a used 1dIII body (around $2000) and some lenses. He's much happier as a shooter because now HE and not the equipment is the weakest link in the photography chain. That's not a knock on him at all...
What John is saying is ABSOLUTELY true! I'm usually the weakest link in ANY chain I happen to be a part of! HE HE HE!

Seriously, I couldn't be happier with my switch, but I still use my older Pentax K10D (sold the K7), which I passed to my wife, when I just want to use a light DSLR for general purposes. But even there, I bought a fairly good quality walk around lens with a constant f2.8 aperture (Tamron SP AF aspherical XR Di LD IF 28-75mm f2.8 MACRO) and I'm very happy with the camera for just simple family pics, etc. The lens only cost me $250 used, but it's a VAST improvement over a kit lens. The lens on any DSLR systems makes a very big difference, just like the autofocus IQ.
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 10:39 AM   #19
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Again, thanks for all of the feedback. Since I may be doing a lot of sports photography especially as my kids get older, it sounds like investing in a Canon or Nikon is my best bet at this point. I think I will go to the store and see which one I like the feel of better between Canon T2i and Nikon d5100. One good thing is that I can play around with the camera outdoors a bit before the indoor sports start next winter when I will need a new lens or two!
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 2:54 PM   #20
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if you are looking at the d5100 also look at the T3i, they are the same price, the t2i is a little less
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