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best camera for sports

HELP!!! I need a camera to take good pictures of my kids sports ie, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, and football. I don't want to go with a camera that I need to change the lenses like the Canon EOS 20D. I know that I need a big zoom like a 10 or 12x. So, of all the no lense changing cameras out there, which has the fastest shutter speed ect. that would be great for sports. Thanks for any help you can give!!!

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In reply to: best camera for sports

Most digital cameras can handle sports.

But when you start talking.... sports under low light look for a camera with the lowest f-stop when it is fully zoomed.

All lenses are rated for their brightest setting when not-zoomed. The majority of the cameras will have an f-stop of f2.8

When you zoom the lens to its fullest, the camera gets another rating for brightest setting and it is often around f4.5 to f4.8.

This means when you zoom out, your lens loses about 1 1/2 f-stops. When shooting in low light, this becomes critical.

Here is a link to f-stop information:


The Panasonic FZ20 outshines the competition with a rating of f2.8-2.8 .... meaning.... it does not loose any brightness when fully zoomed.


Shutter speed and brightness are related....because as you increase the shutter speed, you will need more light (brighter lens). You can (in effect) add more light by raising the ISO setting.

Here is a good write-up on "exposure":


The point of all of this information is to let you know, that when you get into low light action shooting you will need to use the manual controls on the camera to get the best picture.

The ol' point and shoot method will not do the job.

The Panasonic FZ20 has a good set of manual controls.

It also has image stabilization.


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Another consideration....

In reply to: best camera for sports

It also depends on what sports you plan on shooting and how you plan on shooting them.

For some of us "sports shooting" also takes into consideration the # of frames/second you can shoot if you only have a few fleeting instances to get the right shot(s). Taking images at a bike race or track meet for instance. The Konica/Minolta Z3 and Z5 do very well in those situations. More frames per second, lighter, and costs at least $100 less.

Not to disparage the FZ 20 or FZ 5 however. If pics will be taken indoors then I'd choose the Panasonic. Both the K/M and Panasonic ultra zoom lines are great values to be honest.

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