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Old Nov 8, 2014, 8:04 PM   #1
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Default Best Action Shot DSLR?

I'm looking for a fast DSLR camera to take sport action shots inside and outside. By fast mean fast to respond when I take the shot and also fast enough auto focus for burst or rapid fire mode. Fast enough for objects that may be moving up to 30 MPH, like a snow boarder. I also prefer more automated features vs manual.

I understand this may not be cheap and that likely need a telephoto lens, but I am sick of snapping blurry or late shots at sporting events. I've thrown out more point and shoot cameras than I care to admit...

I've looked at Canon and Nikon so far, but they both have a very large number of options. Open to other brands as well.

Thanks in advance for any help!!
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Old Nov 8, 2014, 8:14 PM   #2
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Look at the Canon 7D Mark II.....its new on the market and used (as was its predecessor) for a lot of sports. If you can afford the FF, go with the Canon 1DX as its a beast for Sports...over kill for portrait work. I don't have any Nikon experience....but the D750 has great reviews.
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Old Nov 8, 2014, 8:44 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response. I actually was looking at the 7D Mark II. Glad to know its a good sports camera. I'll do some more research on that model. The 1DX is a little more than I'd like to spend...
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Old Nov 9, 2014, 7:34 AM   #4
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Almost all P&S cameras use Contrast detection autofocus, which is more accurate for still subjects, but not nearly as accurate as Phase detection autofocus for moving subjects, which is the autofocus system that dSLRs use. While CDAF is performed with microprocessors within the camera, PDAF is performed by a separate set of sensors within the camera body. That makes it more complicated, bigger, and more expensive, and thus remains in the relm of the bigger, more expensive dSLRs.

I suggest you take a look at the Sports & Action Photos Forum. There you will find many shots taken with many brands and models of dSLRs. The Canon 7D Mk II is a fine example of a dSLR that will serve you well for what you want to do, but the key part of the formula is the lens, especially for indoor shooting. Focal length is important, as is focus speed, but for indoor shooting, the maximum aperture will make or break you.

For shooting sports, you need to use a fast shutter speed to capture the action without too much motion blur due to subject movement. That's not difficult for outdoor sports like baseball, football, soccer, and equestrian sports. But for indoor sports like basketball or volleyball, you need a lens with a maximum aperture of at least f/2.8, which means big, heavy glass, which means a big powerful AF motor in order to keep focused on the action.

Find a lens or lenses that will provide the capabilities you need with the image quality you want at a price you can afford, and buy a body that can use them.

That is, search for lenses first, then pick your body.
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Old Nov 10, 2014, 12:08 PM   #5
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What sports?
For each sport, where will you be shooting from?
some sports are obvious, but specify indoor vs. outdoor day vs. outdoor night

As Tcav pointed out, the camera body is only part of it. You need to have appropriate lenses - what lenses you need will depend on the answers to the above questions.

Also, it is important WHERE you shoot from. If you want to take good shots at an NFL football game, you're wasting money on a DSLR. Same for NCAA Div I basketball. Given the sport and where you must shoot from you may already be crippled in your ability to get good photos and given camera restrictions at certain venues, a DSLR may not be allowed - especially not with the lens you would need.

The 7dII mentioned above appears on paper to be an outstanding sports camera. It just hit the streets a week or so ago. Hopefully no big defects will be uncovered.

Give some answers to the above questions and we can help you figure out lenses in both Canon and Nikon mount that fit your specific requirements as well as the different bodies. You then have to do the cost benefit to see whether, say, a 7dII or D750 is still in the cards if you buy the appropriate lenses to shoot your sports as well.
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Old Nov 11, 2014, 3:26 PM   #6
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I agree with the above. The body is just one part of the equation. You have to include the quality of the lens you use and most important the skill of the user as is the level of access. I have been using a 7D for the last couple of years and tried a series of entry level lens to compensate for my inexperience. Guess what all they did was show the weakness in my technique. This year I got a little better. You really need to specify what sports you want to shoot, where you will be shooting from and what level of shots you are expecting (you are not going to get JohnG level shots from a PS). Steven
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Old Nov 11, 2014, 7:45 PM   #7
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I bought an old Canon EOS-1D used for $325. The camera has lightening fast autofocus and shoots 8 frames per second.

Of course, your results may vary
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Old Nov 19, 2014, 9:56 AM   #8
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I might consider the Sony A77 Mark II. It compares favorably to the 7D Mark II in DXO tests. I know Canon has more lenses, but there are some decent affordable lenses for the Sony, too.
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Old Nov 19, 2014, 3:59 PM   #9
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I was actually trying to make a comparison SLT-A77 II vs. SLT-A77 before making a purchase. I wanted to know which one would actually take the better photos overall as I sometimes scan my photos for storage. Then I saw that there were some major differences like the addition of WiFi. I love tech features.
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Old Nov 19, 2014, 4:28 PM   #10
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the Sony has a great sensor, but is relatively slow in terms of frames per second and buffer capacity.
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