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Old Aug 22, 2006, 12:42 AM   #11
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It's only volleyball, you could do 1/500th....
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Old Aug 22, 2006, 12:52 AM   #12
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I don't think you would need much 'zoom' unless you are trying to shoot from the stands. Probably a 35mm equivalent of 100-150mm would get you a lot of good shots. You almost certainly will need a lens/camera capable of around f1.8 and ISO1600 to get fast enough shutter times though, and I don't think there is a p&s that comes close to being able to do this.
True. I imagine if your not talking about being in the stands at a professional arena, yes you can get away with less zoom. Probably can shoot right from the sidelines. And the Fuji F30 does get pretty close, getting you decent enough quality at ISO 800, and an ISO 1600 that might even do in a pinch (better than the Kodak P850 at ISO 400). But if you zoom at all, the lens gets slow. At only 3x zoom (128mm equivalent) your max apperture is f5.0.

So you're not really going to be able to stop action with any of these, not without a DSLR. The question is how close is close enough?

I think the new Fuji s6000 might end up being a candidate when it comes out (at least a month away from being available most likely). Using the same sensor as the F30, and with a lens that goes to 300mm f4.9, you might be able to shoot 120mm at around f3.5 with ISO 800 or 1600 (3200 only if truly desperate). That's close enough to get some decent shots, maybe with a bit of motion blur, or maybe a bit dark that can be brightened a bit in post processing. But, as it's not out yet, who knows whether it will live up to expectations?

The other option short of a DSLR might be one of the prosumer "bridge" type models. The Sony DSC-R1 for example, will do a decent ISO1600, but it's lens isn't much faster than the F30 either, f4.8 at 120mm. And of course you're stuck with the lens.


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Old Aug 22, 2006, 12:54 AM   #13
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jacks wrote:
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1/250 isn't near fast enough for action photos. It would be fine for stationary players though, especially if stabilised.
Where I am sitting my camera is suggesting 1/60sec at f1.8 and ISO1600 and I believe this room is at least as well lit as most gyms, so I'm not convinced that you could get those shutter speeds at that ISO.
There must be some people here who regularly shoot volleyball. What gear and settings do you use?

You are correct it usually isn't fast enough for sports, at least not with the average lighting conditions.
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Old Aug 22, 2006, 4:34 AM   #14
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For 900 USDs, you can get a Nikon D50 body (One of the best high ISO performance), and the Nikkor 85 mm F/1.8 prime glass. (One of the best quality glass around).

Multiply 85 mm with 1.5 crop factor of the 6 MP CCD and you get 127.5 fast telephoto range. Simply perfect; couple that with the D50's superb high ISO performance, you are in to freeze all the actionsa human beingcan possibly do.

Summary: A Large F/1.8 aperture at 127.5 telephoto range with a worry free ISO range option including a fully usable ISO 1600 option.

Don't forget that you can get fantastic bokeh (Background blurr)too with that combination.

D50 body (550 USD) + 85 mm F/1.8 Nikkor (350 USD) = 900 USD total. :-)(I'm in for one!!)

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Old Aug 22, 2006, 5:37 AM   #15
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Where I am sitting my camera is suggesting 1/60sec at f1.8 and ISO1600 and I believe this room is at least as well lit as most gyms, so I'm not convinced that you could get those shutter speeds at that ISO.
I believe jacks is correct. Well, maybe I'm a bit more optimistic, but I think 1/60 might be as good as you'd normally do at ISO 400.

I suspect that even the best of the cameras mentioned above wouldn't be good enough for 1/250 at ISO 1600 in most gymnasiums. And if you're getting a 1/200 shutter with a camera doing a good ISO 1600, that's going to be around 1/50 if you can only go to ISO 400.

Even a DSLR with a zoom lens might not be quite enough in some cases, as you can't really find a zoom lens faster than 2.8. In some places I think you might need a prime lens like an 85mm f/1.8, and maybe a DSLR with a decent ISO 3200 to really get it right with a shutter of 1/500 or faster if the venue isn't very well lit.

Here's a good sample shot from an F30, a well lit mall, ISO 800, 1/105 sec, f2.8. Notice there's even a bit of blur here with people just walking:

http://img2.dpreview.com/gallery/fuj...s/dscf0739.jpg

Now if the lighting is that good, at ISO 1600 you'd still be over a stop away from getting a 1/500 shutter, but at least you're getting close. You can shoot wide angle like that and crop later for close ups. You can even underexpose a bit to get a faster shutter, and brighten it up later in post processing. And maybe you can live with a bit of motion blur. But that's really assuming very good lighting.

Even if the cheapest DSLR isn't any better at ISO 1600 than the F30, if you could add a 85mm f1.8 lens, you'd then be about 2 stops better than the F30 lens at that zoom.

But a quick search of pbase for the tag "gym" shows that some people do get some decent shots with shutters of around 1/200, though 1/400 or better is obviously more ideal.

http://www.pbase.com/rickp/image/47992375&exif=Y
http://www.pbase.com/bhm/image/40463172
http://www.pbase.com/speedshotphoto/image/54497053
http://www.pbase.com/speedshotphoto/image/54497056
http://www.pbase.com/prevacidman/image/56679847
http://www.pbase.com/wingspar/image/23955606
http://www.pbase.com/prevacidman/image/56581414
http://www.pbase.com/gowansa/image/53823026


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Old Aug 22, 2006, 5:54 AM   #16
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If it is in a gymnasium, thenthe Nikkor50 mm F/1.4 prime glass will do just fine and at evengreater speeds.

You can still get a good 75 mm telephoto reach on the 1.5 crop factor CCD in such a situation and still have perfect bokeh.

The 50 mm F/1.4 Nikkor prime glass cost about $239.67.
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Old Aug 22, 2006, 8:29 AM   #17
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kenbalbari wrote:
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Where I am sitting my camera is suggesting 1/60sec at f1.8 and ISO1600 and I believe this room is at least as well lit as most gyms, so I'm not convinced that you could get those shutter speeds at that ISO.
I believe jacks is correct. Well, maybe I'm a bit more optimistic, but I think 1/60 might be as good as you'd normally do at ISO 400.

I suspect that even the best of the cameras mentioned above wouldn't be good enough for 1/250 at ISO 1600 in most gymnasiums. And if you're getting a 1/200 shutter with a camera doing a good ISO 1600, that's going to be around 1/50 if you can only go to ISO 400.

Even a DSLR with a zoom lens might not be quite enough in some cases, as you can't really find a zoom lens faster than 2.8. In some places I think you might need a prime lens like an 85mm f/1.8, and maybe a DSLR with a decent ISO 3200 to really get it right with a shutter of 1/500 or faster if the venue isn't very well lit.

Here's a good sample shot from an F30, a well lit mall, ISO 800, 1/105 sec, f2.8. Notice there's even a bit of blur here with people just walking:

http://img2.dpreview.com/gallery/fuj...s/dscf0739.jpg

Now if the lighting is that good, at ISO 1600 you'd still be over a stop away from getting a 1/500 shutter, but at least you're getting close. You can shoot wide angle like that and crop later for close ups. You can even underexpose a bit to get a faster shutter, and brighten it up later in post processing. And maybe you can live with a bit of motion blur. But that's really assuming very good lighting.

Even if the cheapest DSLR isn't any better at ISO 1600 than the F30, if you could add a 85mm f1.8 lens, you'd then be about 2 stops better than the F30 lens at that zoom.

But a quick search of pbase for the tag "gym" shows that some people do get some decent shots with shutters of around 1/200, though 1/400 or better is obviously more ideal.

http://www.pbase.com/rickp/image/47992375&exif=Y
http://www.pbase.com/bhm/image/40463172
http://www.pbase.com/speedshotphoto/image/54497053
http://www.pbase.com/speedshotphoto/image/54497056
http://www.pbase.com/prevacidman/image/56679847
http://www.pbase.com/wingspar/image/23955606
http://www.pbase.com/prevacidman/image/56581414
http://www.pbase.com/gowansa/image/53823026


ISO 3200 even on the best DSLR is not that good. I would not reccomend usingit for sports. The only time I use3200 is when I cannot get a shot any other way and at that point it is a matter of deciding top live with thenoise, but at least I got the shot. Iuse it for stuff like stage performances where a flash is not acceptable and the dark backgrounds and colorful stage lighting actually look OK even with a little noise.

Also, 1600 ISO even on the cheapest DSLR is betterthan the F30 due to the sensor being much larger. As much as I love the results of my F30 in low light, it still cannot match my DSLR. It is about as good as it gets for a point and shot.




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Old Aug 22, 2006, 8:43 AM   #18
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BenjaminXYZ wrote:
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If it is in a gymnasium, thenthe Nikkor50 mm F/1.4 prime glass will do just fine and at evengreater speeds.

You can still get a good 75 mm telephoto reach on the 1.5 crop factor CCD in such a situation and still have perfect bokeh.

The 50 mm F/1.4 Nikkor prime glass cost about $239.67.
It's all about individual needs and desires. The 50mm will do fine in terms of quality, but 50mm, 75 cropped, is not good enough for closeup shots.Sure you can crop the images, butyou will end up with garbage. Your options are to carry a second camera with a longer lens orinvest in a quality zoom. The zoom is more fun and convenient than swaping cameras. Of course, you could just use one body with multiple lenses, but you might miss some great shots and you increase your chances of introducing dust into thebody.

So.... did you buy a camera yet?


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Old Aug 22, 2006, 12:23 PM   #19
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It's all about individual needs and desires. The 50mm will do fine in terms of quality, but 50mm, 75 cropped, is not good enough for closeup shots. Sure you can crop the images, but you will end up with garbage. Your options are to carry a second camera with a longer lens or invest in a quality zoom. The zoom is more fun and convenient than swaping cameras. Of course, you could just use one body with multiple lenses, but you might miss some great shots and you increase your chances of introducing dust into the body.
Yes, but you aren't going to do better than f2.8 even in a quality zoom. I think it depends on what the situation requires. I think you would show up early, figure out where you're shooting from, in what conditions, and then go with the appropriate lens. Courtside, 25-50 feet from the action, you might not need a big zoom.

And, looking at the gymnasium shots I pulled up from pbase, the majority were shot at f2.8, ISO 1600, and shutter speeds that could have used another stop. They're all shooting at 2.8 because that's the widest their quality zoom allows. And they're shooting at ISO 1600 because 3200 is too noisy. But judging from the photos many of them would have been better off with an 85mm f/1.8 prime and a shutter speed of 1/400 instead of 1/250.

The F30 will do ISO 1600 at f/2.8 with noise pretty close to some DSLRs. Granted that's without the zoom, but if the problem is not the lack of zoom, but that it's not going to be a quick enough shutter, then that's not going to be quick enough on a DSLR either.

Given how much less costly a quality prime is than a quality zoom, I'd think that would be an option you would at least want to have in the event it was needed. And if there's enough light that it isn't needed, I have to wonder if there isn't enough light at times that you might not get away without a DSLR either. There might end up being only a half stop difference on that new S6000 from a quality zoom at 120mm. If it does a passable ISO 1600 it might be not much worse an option than a DSLR.

Finally, the F30 vs. a cheaap DSLR at ISO 1600:
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/ol...htshot1600.jpg
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/fu...htshot1600.jpg

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PROD...E300IN1600.HTM
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PROD...30INI01600.HTM

OK, so maybe you weren't going to suggest the Evolt 300...but still--I don't think any low end DSLR is gaining more than 1 stop total between ISO performance and a faster zoom lens combined. If you have the ability to gain another half stop to a full stop with a prime lens, there are times you might need it.

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Old Aug 22, 2006, 12:58 PM   #20
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shooting_rubber wrote:
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yes I have, it would work well in a gymnasium with the lights turned on,at 1/200 or 1/250th with ISO 200-400!

shooting_rubber.

P.S. with a TCON 17 it gives you 20X Optical Zoom and 734.4 mm with a 35mm eqivalent!
It would "work well", huh?

About the best lighting you an expect in a typical gym environment would be an EV of around 7, which means you'd need to keep the shutter open for about 1/60 second at ISO 400 and f/2.8 (or longer if you're zooming in much with a camera like this Kodak).

You'd be about 2 stops underexposed trying to shoot at 1/250 second at ISO 400 in most gyms, even without a TC, and if you underexposed deliberately and tried to use software to brighten the images later, noise would be worse, just as if the camera had even higher ISO speeds available, not to mention loss of dynamic range using this technique.

Quote:
It's only volleyball, you could do 1/500th....
You can't just select any shutter speed you want to use and expect usable images. The camera must keep the shutter open long enough for the sensor's photosites to build up a strong enough signal before being read for a properly exposed image, unless you want to suffer the image degradation you'd get trying to boost the brightness later (if it's not so underexposed that it's totally lost).

Ssome people might actually want to recognize the players in the images at typical viewing sizes. ;-)

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