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Best DC to capture figure skating without blur?

by becky_spin / April 21, 2011 12:29 AM PDT

I have a hard time with the junky old Canon I have as well as the Sony Bloggie (which is made for video sharing, but blurs every move). I want to be able to take high quality photos of spins and jumps, which means I need the camera to take several photos in succession, without blur or lag time. Zoom is somewhat important, as is ease of use. My price range tops out around $400-500 I suppose. I don't want anything too fragile I will have to entrust others to operate the camera. What do you suggest? (FYI - I know nothing about cameras) Thanks for any info in advance!

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All Answers

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / April 21, 2011 12:59 AM PDT

The problem is available light.

If you moved the skating rink outside, you would not have a problem if you have a camera that lets you control the shutter speed.
Then you could select a faster shutter speed to eliminate the blur.
A faster shutter speed requires more light.

Video might still be a problem because you have so little control over shutter speed with an inexpensive video camera. You might need a professional video camera.

Some questions:

How much zoom do you normally use?
Are you using something like stage lighting?
..(bright lights on the action with dark audience)
Are you using spot-lights?
Are you using flash with the still camera?
What Canon camera are you currently using?


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Ice rink is well lit
by becky_spin / April 21, 2011 2:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Blur

This is all recreational skating now, so it's in a bright arena with white ice, white boards and no spotlights or flash necessary. The Canon I have may be an old powershot. Not sure on the exact model, but it is silver and used to be pretty common. As far as zoom, I don't know how you determine that...I try not to skate in the distance too much, so I guess there is never a need for too much zoom. I think in the range of 2-4x sounds about right. Otherwise you start cutting off heads or skates.

Spins are very, very fast and I just want to make sure that if I sink money into a good camera, it will be able to get the right shots. So far it sounds like I can't afford this venture and that is bumming me out! Cry

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by PistonCupChampion / April 21, 2011 3:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Blur

If the camera you are currently using is giving you motion blur but adequate exposures, i.e. not dark pictures, a budget DSLR with standard kit lens should be able to capture what you want. IMO the best value is the Pentax K-x, which you can find online for about $500. Depending on how well lit the rink is, you might need to crank up the ISO which will make the photos grainier looking, but that would allow a faster shutter speed, thus solving the motion blur problem. If you desire more zoom, you can get the same camera with an 18-55mm and 55-300mm two lens kit for about $150-200 more.

If you don't have any hesitation about refurbished products, Sony has their a330 with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses for $553. It is not as critically acclaimed like the Pentax, and it lacks some of the features and performance of the K-x, but it should be up to the task.

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Will I need a bunch of fancy attachments?
by becky_spin / April 21, 2011 4:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Blur

I found a couple with similar specs that you mentioned on my local craigslist. I usually go with craigslist, as I am not opposed to used stuff. Would a Nikon D40x by itself or a Nikon D40 with a bunch of attachments be a better bet for me? The D40x comes with nothing but the batteries, charger, camera and manuals. But the D40 comes with two screw on lenses: 0.45x fisheye and 2x telephoto for about $150 more. I just want to make sure I don't get a bunch of extras I won't need. But if these lens attachments are necessary...then I guess I will have to deal with that. Thanks for all of the info! Very helpful indeed!

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D40 and D40x
by PistonCupChampion / April 21, 2011 7:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Blur

Both would be fine, although they are relatively old, being from 2006-2007. The D40x produces larger photos, 10 megapixels vs. 6 megapixels. You should ask the seller how many actuations are on the shutter; you do not want to buy a camera that has a very high count (in the 10's of thousands). Going by eBay, and knowing that there are no seller fees on Craigslist, you shouldn't pay more than about $250, body only.

The lenses being offered for $150 are of no use to you; you would still need to buy the main lens (screw-on lenses are meant to be attached to the main lens; they cannot be used by themselves). A good used lens would be the Nikon 18-105mm for about $250, or for greater savings but less veratility, the Nikkor 18-55mm for less than $100.

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Not enough budget
by PistonCupChampion / April 21, 2011 1:20 AM PDT

You would need a camera with good high ISO (imaging sensor sensitivity to light), a lens with a bigger aperture (to allow more light in), very little shutter lag, and one with a faster shot-to-shot time and faster burst mode. Only a DSLR camera has all those things, and only if you buy an additional, upgraded lens. Cost would be well over $1000.

At $500, you could get a new "beginner" DSLR with a standard lens. The lens won't have much zoom (it would have less than a compact camera with a 3x lens), and it won't be very bright either...which means you might still have blur.

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / April 21, 2011 6:05 AM PDT

I would still like to know the model number of your old Canon.
Many of the old Canon cameras did have manual controls.
If I have the model number, I can determine if your camera does have those manual controls.

With manual controls you can improve the results you are getting.
Just how much, I don't know.


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