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Old Feb 17, 2006, 11:31 AM   #1
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My first concern is price. With that said I will spend what is necessary. I will be using this for pictures to be posted on the school web site. What is the minimum equipment needed to shoot pictures in gyms that sometimes have poor lighting. The shots are for the web only so lower resolution is fine. Zoom is not critical as long as the pictures are clear. I have the Olympus RS100 which is great out doors with plenty of light but I am not satisfied indoors. I need a simple camera to use because multiple people could be using it with a wide range of expertise.

I am looking for a complete shopping list from start to finish.
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Old Feb 17, 2006, 12:21 PM   #2
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You didnt state a price you wanted to stay under. Indoor low light actions shots are asking alot of a camera. Since you said zoom is not important if you went with a Minolta 5D DSLR (with its ISO up to 3200 and antishake) with a 50mm 1.7 prime you would be set back around 700 bucks but would give you the best possible low light ability without using a flash for a "minimum" price in this level of quality.

If you want a Non DSLR option I believe some of the panasonic superzooms have reasonably fast glass (2.8?) although the ISO capability and quality is not near that of the DSLRs. It would be a cheaper/more versatile right out of the box with less "ability" for low light.
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Old Feb 17, 2006, 1:55 PM   #3
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Tell me more about the rating of lenses. I found the Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D at Circuit City for $650 after rebate. It includes an AF DT 18-70mm zoom lens. Do I need to look for something special for high speed lower light?
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Old Feb 17, 2006, 2:51 PM   #4
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well, when you are talking about apeture the lower the number, the more light the lens will let pass into the sensor or film. So a lens with apeture of 1.7 will let in much more light then a lens with an apeture of 5.6, hence being better for low light conditions. Also, you can crank up the ISO spped and get still better low light performance. ISO 1600 on the 5d is pretty usable, giving you at least 4x the ISO performance (think low light speed) of your average consumer digicam.

That being said, the kit lens is not the greatest for low light. At the long end its apeture of 5.6 is not considered very fast. But along with the High ISO and just larger sensor, the pics will be well above the quality of an ISO 400 shot on say the Canon S2 superzoom at an apeture of 5.6. The flexability of a DSLR comes in because you can change lenses. The 50mm 1.7 lens I mentioned can be had cheap ($70 new, 50 used in nice cond) and is fast.


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Old Feb 17, 2006, 3:55 PM   #5
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Before you invest, you should just try a slave flash. I bought one a couple of months ago for the exact same sports and my pictures are now awesome! I have an older Fuji S602 3 MP and was ready to trash the thing because I couldn't get any good indoor/low-light action shots. Now I don't have any trouble and it only cost me $55 on e-bay. I love my camera again. The other good thing is it fits on my smaller Canon A610. Good Luck.

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Old Feb 17, 2006, 4:47 PM   #6
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yes, flashes are a viable option. You need to be careful though of the requirements of where you are shooting. Some people dont want a bright flash going off in their eyes before a foul shot
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Old Feb 17, 2006, 7:19 PM   #7
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I usually sit on the side lines and am at an angle more to their back. It's all common sence.:-) I haven't had any problems as of yet. Good Luck!
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Old Feb 17, 2006, 9:19 PM   #8
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I was thinking of getting the flash off ebay. However, I don't know what things to be looking out for. All I know so far is that it has to have a good guide number and bounce and swivel capabilities. I think the brand was called bower on ebay

what does everyone else reckon?
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Old Feb 17, 2006, 10:42 PM   #9
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wisely_foolish wrote:
Quote:
I was thinking of getting the flash off ebay. However, I don't know what things to be looking out for. All I know so far is that it has to have a good guide number and bounce and swivel capabilities. I think the brand was called bower on ebay

what does everyone else reckon?
My suggestion is you look for recommendations from people doing EXACTLY what you want to do. I will say this - you mention your need is for web publishing and not prints. That gives you a little more flexibility - especially depending on the size of the print. You may very well be able to stick with a digicam rather than invest in a digital SLR. There are two attributes that will be important - a wide aperture (there are some digicams like panasonic and at least one sony that have an aperture of 2.8 or better at the full zoom0 and at least decent performance at ISO 800. If you were doing prints then a DSLR is the way to go. But with web prints, especially smaller sizes you don't have to worry so much about a loss of detail with noise correction software (you'll want to use it -noiseware, noise ninja and neatimage are the three top packages of noise reduction software).

A flash solution is certainly one route but flash is tricky - first you must be close enough so that the flash can really reach your target and second untill you become very proficient you'll get the 'alien eyes' - red eye, yellow eye - it varies - but it takes some skill to make flash sports pictures look good. But, as I said - publishing just to the web and not for print will be to your benefit.
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Old Feb 17, 2006, 11:13 PM   #10
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I got a Bower Digital SF 328AZ. It came with the bracket, the head swivels left/right and up/down. My Fuji has a shoe, and it works well with that also. I also take pictures of my kids in karate, and sometimes can be pretty far away. The range on my Bower is up to 38 feet (that's what the little guide on the back says). As I said before, it has really resurrected my camera and bought me some time before purchasing a new one. I really want to see what comes out this year especially with the Sony/KM merge.
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