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Please help me find a digital camera

by Needacam / November 29, 2013 1:03 AM PST

I am buying a camera as a gift but need your help. The person I'm getting this for enjoys both landscape photography and sporting evens (high school football and soccer). This is for an amateur photographer who has used their iPhone up to this point. Which "type" of camera do I need for high quality sports and landscape shots - ones that can be print great 16x20's but potentially larger too. As for a budget, I would like to first learn about the type of camera I need for the uses above before I set a strict budget. I dont need a tiny camera, though something at least semi portable is ideal. Thank you in advance for your help.

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Clarification Request
What camera do they have now?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 29, 2013 1:17 AM PST

And remember that the camera does not take or make the shot. This drives folk crazy at times and there are lot of nice DSLR and mirrorless cameras today. For me, I won't go without a viewfinder.

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by Needacam / November 29, 2013 2:15 AM PST

Thank you for your comments Bob. I didn't mean to suggest that 'anyone' can take perfect photos. I am just trying to find the best camera to aid someone in taking a quality photo, would that be a DSLR

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Or one of the new mirrorless models.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 29, 2013 2:35 AM PST
In reply to: Reply

It's been debated that reducing parts can really help. There was a very good reason for SLR and now its muddier than ever.

Lots of nice web sites with example pictures so my comment is what I won't go without.

All Answers

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Let's dive into the iphone as a camera fray.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 29, 2013 2:40 AM PST
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For high school football...
by MarkatNite / November 29, 2013 6:51 AM PST

...I'd say the bare minimum would be a Panasonic FZ200. It has a decent amount of zoom (to 600mm full frame equiv.) which you'll need for capturing people 50+ yards away and a relatively bright lens (constant f2.8) for capturing pics in low light (i.e. Friday Night Lights).

Printing low light action pics shot on an FZ200 at 16x20 is going to be pushing it, but anything capable of professional quality prints at that size or larger is going to cost several thousand dollars and require a tripod/monopod (i.e. it will not be anywhere near as portable as the FZ200). e.g. Canon 70D ($1,000) + 70-200mm f2.8 ($1,500) (or $2,500 for the IS version) + 200-400mm f4 ($10,000) (+ 2nd 70D body so you don't have to switch lenses another $1,000).


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by Needacam / November 29, 2013 11:44 AM PST

Do either or both of these cameras fit my needs in the original post? Sony HX300 or Fuji HS50EXR

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / November 30, 2013 11:37 PM PST
In reply to: Mark?

Here is a comparison chart:

The Panasonic will give you the best picture quality.
The Sony and Fujifilm have too many pixels for such a small sensor assembly.
12 megapixels is about ideal, for that size sensor.
Once you get above 12 megapixels, the camera has to include noise reductrion firmware, which reduces detail.
The Panasonic will perform better in low light, again because of the smaller number of pixels
Also because the lens brightness decreases as you zoom further.
The Panasonic lens does not darken as you zoom.


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