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Selecting a camera for action shots

by bonjovi1988 / May 27, 2007 6:29 AM PDT

I am looking for a good camera that has a very low shutter lag (preferably none!), good image quality, and the ability to take good pictures in both light & dark settings. The camera would be used for action shots and would need to cost less than $2000. I currently own the Lumix DMC-FZ7 and it just does not seem to be fast enough for the type of shots I'm looking for.

If anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!

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Get a D-SLR
by hjfok / May 27, 2007 10:00 AM PDT

That budget should be able to get an entry level D-SLR and a good lens.
For the D-SLR, entry level will get you continuous burst at 3 fps. The mid range D-SLR like Canon 30D and Nikon D200 can let you shoot at 5 fps.
For the lens, you need to decide what focal length you need and what lighting condition you shoot at. If you always shoot outdoor in good day light, you just pick the focal length you need and don't need to worry about the aperture as much. If you sometime shoot indoor and in low light, you need a fast lens with aperture f/2.8 or wider (the smaller the f/number the wider the aperture, eg. f/1.4 is wider than f/2.8).
Canon Rebel XTi (3fps) or Canon 30D (5fps)
In good day light at close range: 17-85 mm IS or 28-135 mm IS
In good day light at longer range: 70-200mm f/4L(IS) or 70-300 mm IS

Close up at lower light: 17-55 mm f/2.8 IS, 50 mm f/1.4, 85 mm f/1.8
or Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8
Longer range at lower light: 100mm f/2, 135mm f/2L, 70-200mm f/2.8L,
or Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8
(The 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS is good for low light action but is slightly out of your budget).

For long distance: 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or get a 1.4x or 2x lens extender. The size, weight and price are insane for lenses with focal length longer than 400 mm ($5000 plus). The only lens with 500mm within your budget is Sigma 170-500mm (but don't expect too much at the 500mm end, and only use this lens in good day light outdoor with a tripod).

Outdoor and don't want to change lens: Tamron 18-200mm or 18-250 mm

For Nikons and other brands, I let others to give you more info.

You can check prices at or

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To clarify
by hjfok / May 27, 2007 10:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Get a D-SLR

Those lenses above are all Canon lenses except for those that I specify as Tamron or Sigma.

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Looking for Ultracompact that is very fast
by jsandri / May 30, 2007 1:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Get a D-SLR

I'm looking for an ultracompact digital camera with a viewfinder that is very fast that will allow me to take action shots both with and without flash and that will take good quality photos. I have a DSLR Canon EOS 20D with 17-85mm lens that is fast takes excellent action shot photos, but I can't always carry that camera around. So I need an ultracompact I can put in my pocket, especially when I am traveling. Any suggestions?

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / May 30, 2007 8:07 AM PDT

If you plan to spend that much for a camera you should visit a camera store and get a look at what is available.

Not a department store with a camera department.....but a camera store that sells only cameras.

The people there are knowledgeable about cameras and can show you the cameras that suite your needs.

You will be looking for a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera and a lens that fits your requirements.

After you see what is available and have any doubts, come back to this forum and let us help.


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Camera for sports photography
by suefoto / May 30, 2007 2:08 PM PDT

Hi! I use the Canon 20-D and it's fast enough for the sports I photograph, i.e. dog agility, equestrian events, soccer, hockey, baseball, etc. You really need a sports lens though and that'll cost you quite a bit $$$ What kind of sports are you taking pics of?

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by bonjovi1988 / May 30, 2007 11:42 PM PDT

I will be taking photos of equestrian sports primarily.

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Depends on how serious you're about to get.
by jump1127 / May 30, 2007 5:25 PM PDT

For a semi-professional, Canon EOS 20-30D and upcoming 40D are ideal. Otherwise, Canon 1D mark IIN or 1D mark III are for the professionals. I've tested them and leaned toward 1D series for the accurate and nice shooting. However, you can't end up with a required budget for a single lense, suitable to many purposes.

In my opinion, Canon lenses provide the best outcome for Canon camera. The other compatible lenses are eventually not fully compatible to camera ( some errors reported ), and add light and color distortion. But, it charms new DSLR buyers with the cheaper price. In the long-term, you end up spending for more Canon lenses instead. So, my suggestion is that you'd better spend your money for some required lenses. Don't haste and purchase them all at once. Select what you must use at start, and later spend more for what are mostly used. Good luck.

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by jmax72 / June 2, 2007 11:03 AM PDT

DMC-FZ7 have you tryed using the camera set at (S) shutter-priority then changing the time that the lens is opened you have to experiment with this setting using the arrow key, before you give up as this is a very good camera. Jmax

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