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Old Aug 22, 2006, 1:45 PM   #21
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kenbalbari wrote:
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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.
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I think I didn't make my point clear. My point was 50mm is not enough for closeups of action shots. Showing up early to determine the best lens is OK if you want to limit yourself to specific focal range. Lock yourself into a 70mm, 100mm or fill in the blank for whatever size you deem appropriate andnow you are committed to a specific focal length unless you are willing to change lenses or carry more than one camera.
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I never said big zoom, but let me elaborate. For my needs, I think it is moredesirable to fore-go the prime lens and get a variable zoom.I have a 28-75mm 2.8 which is adequate as far as range for mostmy situations and very adequate in low light sinceI shoot with a KM 7D. If that is not enough lens for the situation, I have break out my Tamron 28-105 2.8 and if I need more than that and the lighting is reasonable, I runwith my70- 210 F4 lens, aka "the beercan",and guess what... in most lighting situations it does thetrick. Yes I wish it was a 2.8, but in spite of being a 4, it is a remarkable lens. Just ask anyone who has one.
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kenbalbari wrote: 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.
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That's the beauty of theKM 7D. It cuts me a little slackbecause of the built image stabilization. I can get awaywith slower shutter speeds forshots that would normally be blurrydueto hand shake.
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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.
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I will be the first one to stand up for the F30... I love the the results of the F30 and I would buy it again if looking for of the best low light, low noise compact cameras on the market. It is very good, but there isa significant difference between the results I achieve with the F30and my DSLR. It comes down to pure physics... a small sensor just doesn't have the low light capabilities and low noise ratios of a larger sensor no matter how you slice it. If it was as good as my DSLR, I would sell the DSLR.
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kenbalbari wrote: 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.
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I do have the option of using a prime if the range of a zoom isn't needed.
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kenbalbari wrote: 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.
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OK, so if I use an S6000 when there is enough light,what do I do when there isn't enough light? We all know that when there is enough light, a point and shot will provide admirable results even some of the worst noise monsters on the market will work well in adequately lit situations. The trouble with that logic is that I can only take pictures under idealsituations.
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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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I couldn't open the links for some reason and no I wasn't going to suggest an Evolt 300, but I am not knocking it either.
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Old Aug 22, 2006, 7:23 PM   #22
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I think I didn't make my point clear. My point was 50mm is not enough for closeups of action shots. Showing up early to determine the best lens is OK if you want to limit yourself to specific focal range.

Well, I agree that the 50mm probably isn't quite enough. But I thought Ben's initial suggestion of the 85mm f/1.8 was a good one.

As for the links, well they were just ISO 1600 test shots from reviews that are really very close in terms of noise between the F30 and a DSLR. The point being that if low light is the issue, you're not gaining enough in ISO performance to make a big difference there. You'd pretty much need to be able to shoot at 3200 ISO to gain a stop there. But the f /1.8 lens is nearly a stop and a half better than f/2.8. Which is itself at least a half stop better than those digicam lenses which might require around f/3.5 at 85mm equivalent.


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That's the beauty of the KM 7D. It cuts me a little slack because of the built image stabilization. I can get away with slower shutter speeds for shots that would normally be blurry due to hand shake

But not on low light shots where the subjects are running, jumping, or spinning around in midair! Certainly on shots of a stage in a dark theater, for example, you might slow down the shutter. IS is awsome, and useful to some degree on almost any handheld shot. But I thik we're talking here about a specific use for which you might still get some "useable" shots with a 1/200 shutter, but you really would want 1/400 or faster if at all possible.
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OK, so if I use an S6000 when there is enough light, what do I do when there isn't enough light? We all know that when there is enough light, a point and shot will provide admirable results even some of the worst noise monsters on the market will work well in adequately lit situations. The trouble with that logic is that I can only take pictures under ideal situations.

I agree. And the same logic would apply if you had that more expensive DSLR but didn't at least leaave yourself the option of an f/1.8 lens. The zoom is certainly going to be more flexible, and preferable if there's enough light. But for someone specifically set on stop action athletic photography in low light, something like an 85mm f/1.8 might be an essential tool to have in the toolkit. Unless I'm overestimating how poorly lit those gyms sometimes are.

I agree that a DSLR is far and away the best choice. But I do think it's interesting that if it might be possible in some situations with a point and shoot, even if only in more well lit arenas (and perhaps even assuming capabilities of a camera which doesn't quite even exist yet).


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Old Aug 22, 2006, 10:17 PM   #23
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kenbalbari wrote:
But not on low light shots where the subjects are running, jumping, or spinning around in midair! Certainly on shots of a stage in a dark theater, for example, you might slow down the shutter. IS is awsome, and useful to some degree on almost any handheld shot. But I thik we're talking here about a specific use for which you might still get some "useable" shots with a 1/200 shutter, but you really would want 1/400 or faster if at all possible.

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I agree with your statement... I thought I was specific and stated thatbecause of the built image stabilization, I can get away with slower shutter speeds for shots that would normally be blurry due to hand shake. I never said or implied that IS would help with fast action shots. Having said that, my experience has been that indoor sporting events are not always such extremely low light to the degree of requiring a lens brighter than 2.8. Your personal experiences may vary, butI am speaking for my experiencesand my equipment. The KM 7D and 5D are known for performing well in low light with low noise ratios. I cannot speak for any other cameras since I don't own them. I can also tell you I have taken some great shots with my my 28-75mm 2.8 and my 70-210mm F4. I am not alone in this summation. I would not make the same argument for a zoom that is not a constant aperture.
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Old Aug 22, 2006, 10:32 PM   #24
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JimC wrote:
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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.

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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. ;-)

Well put Jim... I have a TCON17 that I had purchased for use with the FZ30. I t wasn't worth the effort and only worked well outdoors. I only kept it because I was past the 7 day return policy and I can use it with my MiniDv recorder. It's not great on the MiniDV, but it works better than using the digital zoom feature. It also would not fetc h me much on EBay as I paid less than 90 dollars new.
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