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Old Mar 11, 2005, 9:50 PM   #1
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Looking for a digital camera mainly to shoot soccer and baseball games. Would also use for inside family shots . Want to be able to get up close from the side lines. Don't need any of the fancy features as I am a newbie. Also interested in a video with sound feature for short clips of play. I would like to be able to print at least an 8x10 size photo with good quality. Would like to stay well under $300, if that's possible.

I'm confused on the optical vs. digital zoom, which do I want for those far away shots?:?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.



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Old Mar 11, 2005, 10:46 PM   #2
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If you want to "get upclose to the sidelines", then you will want a high zoom lens. Most of them are over your budget, but there are a few for under $300. The first one I would look at would be the Fuji S5000, which has a 10x zoom. There is also the Minolta Z2 w/10x, and the Z10 w/8x zoom as well. All of these have enough mp's to print up to 8x10. I don't know about their movie modes, but you can look that up in the reviews.

Don't worry if your camera has fancy features. You don't have to use them if you don't want to. Just put the camera in automatic mode and let it do the thinking for you.

Optical zoom uses the lens to do the "magnification". Digital zoom just uses interpolation by the camera to magnify the central portion of the picture, which will degrade the image. Digital zoom can be helpful, but as it doesn't provide a good image as compared to optical, most people would say to disregard dig. zoom.

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Old Mar 12, 2005, 6:43 AM   #3
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You've place a tall order for under $300... You most likely frustration with trying to shoot sport with a $300 camera will be shutter lag... Even if you prefocus with a lot a cameras there is still a noticable delay from the time you push the shutter button until the time the camera actually takes the picture... so you really have to be able to anticpate the action...

As far movie modes... I don't know anything about those...

I've a 8.5 x 11 hanging in my office that came from a 3MP Casio... It was heavily cropped... i figure it's really only just over a 1MP... Not perfect print but still VERY acceptable...

good luck!
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Old Mar 12, 2005, 12:22 PM   #4
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I'll need to spend over $300 then. Was wondering if that would be an issue. What camera would you recommend if money wasn't an issue?
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Old Mar 12, 2005, 1:54 PM   #5
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Shriv wrote:
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I'll need to spend over $300 then. Was wondering if that would be an issue. What camera would you recommend if money wasn't an issue?

If money wasnt an issue Then I would go with the Panasonic FZ20. It has a 12X optical zoom with a very high quality Leica lens. With a optical zoom over 6X you need a camera with an IS to reduce the effects of an unsteady hand. The FZ20 has this and it works very well. It also has a very nice burst mode to take a bunch of quick shots back to back. With the 5mp it makes wonderful 8X10 prints. You can get it online for around $419. Thats what I paid for mine brand new. I absolutely love it.
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Old Mar 12, 2005, 2:44 PM   #6
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You may also want to look at the Panasonic FZ3 or Cannon S1 IS both are 3MP which will allow you to print good quality 8 x 10 prints and are closer to your original $300 budget. I have the FZ3 use it for the same type of situations you are planning and have been very happy with it.
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Old Mar 12, 2005, 4:33 PM   #7
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If money were no object, a DSLR (the nikon d70 for me!!) would be ideal. Point and shoot cams with shutter lag, slow lenses and limited shutter speeds are not ideal for action photography. You'll definately need something close to a prosumer level point and shoot to get truly great pics. You may be able to shop around and get something used for a decent price. The canon G series (even though I'm a Sony/Nikon shooter) can be had for a decent price used.
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Old Mar 12, 2005, 6:03 PM   #8
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Other important thing about DSLRs is the larger sensor which is a big benefit.... I have a Canon 20D and all my indoor sports are shot at ISO3200... :-)
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Old Apr 11, 2005, 12:54 PM   #9
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I have another question.

As far as taking several shots one right after the other. What should we be looking for? I have seen (i.e. Shutter Speed 16-1/1700 sec & Frames per second: 2). Assuming this is whatwe should be looking at when it comes to wanting to take 4 - 6 shots in a row.
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Old Apr 11, 2005, 2:01 PM   #10
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The first is the speed of the shutter, the higher the speed (the bigger the 1/xxxx number ) the more "action stopping" ability, but also the more light (faster lens, more available light) needed.

The second, the "Frames per Second" is the ability to takes images in a row. My ProSumer Nikon 5400 P&S can manage a burst of 5-frames a second for 1 second, but then takes about a week(about 20seconds a RAW image)to write out the buffer to CF card during which time the camera is pretty well frozen. My eos 20D on the other hand has no trouble keeping up with me.

Again as Mr_Saginawhas pointed out the tiny 1/1.8 sensor in the nikon P&S can manage ISO400 tops, the APS-C sized sensor in the 20D has no trouble operating at ISO3200.


Shriv wrote:
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I have another question.

As far as taking several shots one right after the other. What should we be looking for? I have seen (i.e. Shutter Speed 16-1/1700 sec & Frames per second: 2). Assuming this is whatwe should be looking at when it comes to wanting to take 4 - 6 shots in a row.
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