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Old Oct 14, 2004, 10:30 AM   #1
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I've been bitten by the photography bug pretty hard but have a VERY limited budget. I'd love to buy either the Oly C-765 or Fuji Finepix S5100 but just can't swing the bucks. I own a Fuji Finepix A205 that works fine for landscapes & still objects but want something that will do a much better job with sports photos. I like the idea of having the larger zoom at my disposal as the 3x optical on my A205 just isn't enough.

Subjects:
my kids, family

Conditions & light levels:
track - outdoors in good light to overcast
cross country - same as track but closer subject
soccer - outdoors in varying light (daylight/dusk/lights)
basketball - shot from the stands
family gatherings - indoors

Do you think I'd be happy with this camera or is the newer technology so much better that I should wait? Any other cameras in this price range that I should consider? Thanks.

David
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Old Oct 14, 2004, 11:09 AM   #2
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dsuds wrote:
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Olympus C-740 new for $200 a good deal? (for my needs)
David:

Something's not right with that price. Even the refurbished units are selling for a little over $200.00 This sounds too low for a new Olympus C-740UZ.Did you check the text for the camera carefully? Areyou sure it's a model intended for sale in the U.S. (if not, you won't be able to get it serviced)? Did you check the vendor's reputation using http://www.resellerratings.com?

Even the "scam artists" that try to send you gray market cameras, cameras without the necessary included accessories, charge you high shipping charges, etc., are advertising it for more than that (although I do see new cameras for around $250.00 or so from a couple of dealers)

Where did you see it, and have you got a link?

Quote:
soccer - outdoors in varying light (daylight/dusk/lights)
basketball - shot from the stands
Although you'll still need to work around problems with Autofocus Lag in the other conditions you'll be taking photos in,the low light conditions are where you'll have your biggest issues (particularly inside where the flash is going to be useless at further ranges, and outdoors at night under stadium lights).

What's bright to the human eye, is not to a camera's lens. What you think is good light (indoor sporting events, night sporting events under stadium lights), is not good light to a camera. Chances are, you'll have high noise and/or motion blur in these conditions. You'll need to increase ISO speed to get the shutter speeds up some (which will increase noise). Even with ISO speeds set high, your shutter speeds will be far below what you'll need to get shots without motion blur in many cases (both blur from camera shake, and blur from subject movement).

So, don't expect to be able to get a high number of "keepers" in these conditions.


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Old Oct 14, 2004, 12:46 PM   #3
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eCOST is the company that has the camera at $238.95 with an instant $30 rebate. I've dealt with them before so I know they are legit.

As for the light situation, I did know that digital cameras (and camcorders) need more light than the human eye. That is exactly the problem I have with my Fuji A205. But the Fuji is a completely automatic camera and seems to set itself very "aperture centric", which is bad for sports photography. An example would be at a recent cross country race. The conditions were overcast with slight fog. I couldn't get a single good photo because the camera set itself at ISO 100, F/3.8, and a shutter speed of 1/60 and slower. The foreground and background were in focus, but the runners were very blurry. And there is no way to know what the settings are as there is no feedback on the display. I found the settings out later by viewing the EXIF info after transferring the pictures to my computer.

See, right now I'm stuck using the Fuji A205, and although I have gotten some very good photos, I get a very large number of unusable photos (over 50%). Some are my fault for panning the camera trying to catch action, but a lot of these I think could have been saved by using a "faster" camera (both focus and lens). Or giving up some pixel clarity by forcing a higher ISO to support the higher shutter speed.

I was hoping to find someone on here who has a C-740 that might be doing the same type of photography. That way I could get their feelings on how good/bad is this older Oly. I know the C-740 would be a BIG step up from my A205, but if it is totally unsuited for my needs, or the newer cameras are soooo much better/faster, then I'll wait or decide on a different camera.

Thanks for your input though.

David
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Old Oct 14, 2004, 2:32 PM   #4
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dsuds wrote:
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eCOST is the company that has the camera at $238.95 with an instant $30 rebate. I've dealt with them before so I know they are legit.
Several concerns here.

1. The listing for the camera does not show it's condition (new, used, refurbished, etc.)

2. The Manufacturer's part number is shown as 225385.I'm seeing the same part number listed on sites that show both new and refurbished cameras for this one. So, I am unable to tell which one you'd be getting. Chances are, they don't *really* stock product anyway. Most online dealers with no store locations selling digicams (even the big ones like dell.com and buy.com) are only taking orders, with the order being forwarded to a distributor like techdata or ingram micro. The distributor then drop ships the order to you (with custom shipping labels, etc., to make it look like it came directly from the dealer you ordered it from).

The vendor systems and distributor systems communicate so that you can get inventory status, tracking numbers, order status,etc. Most online dealers don't stock anything themselves. So, mistakes with part numbers, etc., are not uncommon.

3. Their Six Month Customer Satisfaction Ratingat resellerratings.com isdown to 4.36 (the average reseller ratingis 7.49). Even lower, is the likelihood of future purchases (down to 3.85). Even more interesting is that 9 out of 10 customers reviewing them since September 1 of this year have indicated that they were Very Dissatisfied (if this trend continues, the next 6 month rating should be pretty bad).

http://www.resellerratings.com/seller1932-p1-s1-d1.html

4. Even though they claim no shipping charges on orders over $25.00, I see multiple recent complaints in the customer reviews at resellerratings.com regarding the "handling fee" added to the order. So, make sure to factor this into the price.

Quote:
As for the light situation, I did know that digital cameras (and camcorders) need more light than the human eye. That is exactly the problem I have with my Fuji A205. But the Fuji is a completely automatic camera and seems to set itself very "aperture centric", which is bad for sports photography. An example would be at a recent cross country race. The conditions were overcast with slight fog. I couldn't get a single good photo because the camera set itself at ISO 100, F/3.8, and a shutter speed of 1/60 and slower.
Light for indoors sports, or night sports in a well lit stadium, will bemuch lower than the light you'd have in the conditions for your cross country race in the daytime. Even at ISO 400 (allowing shutter speeds 4 times as fast as ISO 100), shooting at full wide angle (where the largest available aperture would be f/2.8 ), your shutter speeds would be around 1/125 second with an EV of 8 (typical lighting levels for well lit stadiums, or indoor sports).

At close to full zoom, your shutter speeds would drop to around 1/80 second at ISO 400 in the same lighting. This is because not as much light reaches the sensor when using zoom with most cameras(this model's widest aperture is f/2.8 at wide angle, dropping off to f/3.7 at full zoom).

The "rule of thumb" for hand held photos to prevent motion blur from camera shake is 1/focal length. So, at full zoom (equivalent to 380mm with this model), you'd want shutter speeds of 1/380 second. That's not going to happen for low light sports! The reason you need shutter speeds that are faster when more zoom is used, is because any shake or vibration is greatly magnified. So, faster shutter speeds are needed to reduce motion blur. Now, some people can hold a camera steadier than others. But, don't expect miracles for low light sports. You'll probably need to take lots of photos to get many keepers when using much zoom, even at ISO 400.

BTW, in addition to camera shake, you also have to consider subject movement.

Look, I don't want to discourage you. New or Refurbished, it's probably a very good deal. But, I do want to make you aware of potential problems when shooting low light sports (night sports, or indoor sports). Compared to your outside events, it's a different ballgame (pun intended). :-)

Ifyou plan on doing this kind of shooting often, and want to increase your number of keepers, I'd consider getting a different model with a stabilized lens to reduce blur from camera shake -- preferrably one that has an evenbrighter lens at longer focal lengths.
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Old Oct 14, 2004, 4:04 PM   #5
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You may have dealt with ecost before, but at resellerratings.com past an average of 319 customers have only given it a rating of 4.36 out of 10...not very good. You may have had a good experience in the past, but you may have a problem this time.

Anyway, the C-series is not a good action camera due to shutter lag, so for the sports stuff you'll be missing shots. The C-7xx (and I'm a C-700 user) is really meant for shots in bright daylight of stuff that isn't moving too much.

To shoot sports you should get a dSLR with a fast processor (which is getting close to 4 figures).

There's one exception in consumer long zooms, the Kyocera M410R..."with a virtually non-existent shutter lag time of 0.07 second, it can capture images at an incredible, unlimited 3.3 frames per second (when used with an optional high-speed SD memory card)." (from Steve's review of the M410R). You'll be paying more for it though.
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