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Old Sep 8, 2005, 9:54 PM   #1
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The pictures I take that I care the most about are the pictures of sporting events, particularly equestrian events that my wife and her friends compete in. I currently have a Nikon CoolPix 880 that I have been pleased with. I have some problems with it, however. The TC-E2 2x Teleconverter blocks most of the view of the optical viewfinder, and the LCD display on the back of the camera is difficult to see on a sunny day. Also, panning throws off the AE/AF so the shutter lag is especially bad (not a good thing when you're trying to capture a special moment.)

I'm interested inNikon's Vibration Reduction technology that they've incorporated in the CP8800 and their VR Lenses (to help with panning.) TheCoolPix 8800 looks very good, except that the electronic viewfinderand the LCD display shut down when the camera is taking photos (not a good thing to happen while panning.)

A D70s (or D50) with a24-120mm VR Zoom would have the Vibration Reduction in the lens (to help with panning) and an optical viewfinder that should be more useable than the electronic viewfinderin the CP8800.

I know I'll lose some things by going with the D70s/VR Zoom instead of the CP8800. For instance, I'll only have a 6 MPixel CCD instead of the 8 MPixel CCD in the CP8800, and I'll only have 5x Zoom instead of 10x Zoom on the CP8800, but after the CP 880, I think I can live with the limitations of this setup.

Does anyone have any experience with a D70s with a24-120mm VR Zoom, or any Nikon dSLR with a VR lens? Are my fears about the effects of the CP 8800 electronic viewfinder unfounded? Are there other differences I should be aware of?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Sep 8, 2005, 10:20 PM   #2
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TCav-

I have owned the Nikon 8700 and the D-70 with the VR lens you chose. To my thinking, you would be much better off with the D-70 and the 24-120mm VR lens. The Nikon 8800 I have read is very slow in boot up and shot to shot times.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 9, 2005, 12:58 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info.

Do you have other lenses for your D70? Do you take many photos while panning? Does the VR really help with panning?
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Old Sep 9, 2005, 2:03 PM   #4
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TCav-

I have never used the VR 24-120mm while panning. I have taken lots of action photos, but I have depended on fast shutter speed not panning. I honestly do not see a need to pan.

Tell me why you are proposing this technique?

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 9, 2005, 3:25 PM   #5
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Sarah Joyce,

>Tell me why you are proposing this technique?

Because the subject I want to capture is moving across my field of view. The subject is my wife on her horse in a Dressage ring (20 meters by 60 meters). I will typically beat the center of one of the long sides.

My wife is dressed in a black jacket, derby, and riding boots, and a white blouse and breeches. Her horse is a bay (that's brown with a black mane and tail to all you non-equestrians). The ring is usually sand, but could be grass.

Sometimes, the ring will be indoors, so the lighting is bad.When the ring is outdoors, the background will be any or allof dark trees, green fields, white buildings, grandstands,other Dressage rings, or blue sky. The sun could be anywhere, but I generally prefer to keep it behind me.

I keep the camera pointed at the subject (roughly 10 feet high and 10 feet wide) and try to capture actions that are supposed to occur at various points during a performance and at different locations in the ring.At any point during a performance, the subject will be anywhere from my far left to my far right, and from within an arms length to as much as 100 feet away.

I'm sure you can see that the frame is filled with lots of contrast, and while panning and zooming, the AE/AF features are throwing a fit. I'm hoping that VR will calm things down a bit so that, in addition to the inherent shuttter lag, I don't have to wait for AE and AF to figure out what to do.

TCav

P.S.: This photo is not her current bay but a previous chestnut (that's brown with brown mane and tail.)

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Old Sep 9, 2005, 4:30 PM   #6
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Have you or considered or would you consider a Panasonic FZ-5 as a less costly alternative - image stabilization, 12X optical zoom, short shutter lag. I don't know about the viewfinder or the camera's ability in low light, but it might be an easy to handle, relativelycheap substitute for daylight pictures. In any case, I think it might be more suitable for your purposes than the 8800, which is not usually recommended for action shots and whose lowlight performance (i.e. high ISO picture quality) is not usually seen as its strong point.
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Old Sep 9, 2005, 7:34 PM   #7
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TCav-

Thanks for explaining your photo situation. I could indeed be incorrect, but I sincerely believe that it could be done with a somewhat higher shutter speed rather than panning. That way the background would be sharp and well focused.

Robo made a good suggestion concerning the possible use of the Panasonic FZ-5. However, in my experience with the FZ-5 it is not able to take existing light photos very well and produces much more than normal noise. I still believe that the D-70 is your best bet.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 9, 2005, 7:49 PM   #8
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speaklightly wrote:
Quote:
I honestly do not see a need to pan.

Tell me why you are proposing this technique?

Sarah Joyce
Panning is great technique to enhance the appearance of motion. Many times stopping the action cold with fast shutter speeds makes the subject appear static. Panning allows the subject to be clear, while blurring the background in the direction the subject is moving (which conveys the subject is moving). This can also eliminate a busy or distracting background.
Quote:
the AE/AF features are throwing a fit. I'm hoping that VR will calm things down a bit so that, in addition to the inherent shuttter lag, I don't have to wait for AE and AF to figure out what to do.

VR will not enhance AF or AE speed. It simply allows you to shoot slower shutter speeds than would normally be possible, reducing or eliminating camera shake. At very fast shutter speeds (above 1/500 or so) the effects of VR are negligible. VR helps most on longer focal lengths, as camera shake is magnified at longer focal lengths, and for static low light situations. VR will not reduce subject blur.

For your shooting needs, I think you'd be better off getting the kit lens (the 18-70) coupled with the Nikon 70-300d lens. Not only would this be cheaper, but would give you enough shooting flexibility to cover any situation.This would givea greater focal range than the 8800 (over 20x...BTW, "x" factors are meaningless, true focal length is what matters). The 24-120VR is not a bad lens, but is not alot better optically than the 2 lenses I mention. Also, taking the crop factor into consideration, this lens becomes a 36-180, and you'd be losing out on the wide end.

I would tend to agree the 8800 is not well suited for action photography. Image quality is going to be better with the D70, even with 2 less MP, as the larger sensor reduces or eliminates noise, which will be present in all but the lowest ISO on the 8800. Your not really giving up anything by choosing the the D70...I think you'd be giving up more by choosing the 8800.

Good Luck
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