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Reccomendation for a Digital Cemera for Sports

by jlambe / November 20, 2006 5:31 AM PST

Do I need to move up from a point and shoot camera to take great sports pictures? I want to capture both baseball (outdoors) and baketball indoors. Is a 12x optical zoom on a point and shoot good enough? DO I nned to get a 200M lense? I ahve a budget between 500 - 1000. Thanks

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Sports Camera
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / November 20, 2006 9:02 AM PST

Yes you do need something more that a point-and-shoot camera.
You need a camera that has manual controls, so that you can select the shutter speed.
For baseball, there are several 12X zoom camera that have manual controls. Canon S3-IS, Panasonic FZ50, Sony H2 or H5.

But for basketball, I would not choose any of those cameras.
Because, they do not have a CCD sensor that will let you do action shots in low light or under artificial lights.

You need a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera.
They all have ISO settings that are mostly noise free through ISO 1600.
And they let you change lenses.

The less expensive popular DSLR cameras are the Canon 350D, 400D and the Nikon D50, D80 and D40.


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Great sport photo
by hjfok / November 22, 2006 6:52 AM PST

If you plan on taking lots of indoor basketball photo and expect great result, you likely need to reconsider your budget. Due to usual poor indoor lighting and quick basketball actions, you will need some expensive equipment to obtain great result. You will need a DSLR, a good fast (or bright) lens, a tele extender lens and a tripod. Any entry level DSLR will probably do well enough (Canon may have slightly better high ISO performance). But you will need a fast (or bright) lens with at least 200 mm reach (probably more, unless you sit very close to the court). For zoom lens, you will need f/2.8. However, the Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L runs at about $1200 without IS and $1700 with IS. Sigma has similar lens that costs around $700-900 (depending on the features you want). Prime lens is less expensive, you may be able to get the Canon EF 200 mm f/2.8 for $650 but it has much more limited versatility. The sports photographer uses very large lens at the court side to get the best quality (costs thousands for one, but they may mistake you as a pro and let you have court side seat). Most people will buy a 1.4x tele extender lens (2x extender may lower the image quality). If you don't need great result, the Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS may be adequate, and it costs about $600. Some non-pro has used this lens for indoor sports and claimed that they had okay result. I have not used this lens personally. But this is a slow lens, and there can be motion blur when a slower shutter speed is used in low light condition.
Someone else may be able to recommend you non-DSLR choice (I'm not familiar with current PS or advanced compact cameras).

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One more consideration.
by Kiddpeat / November 22, 2006 7:08 AM PST
In reply to: Great sport photo

Although a fast, sharp lens will put the image into your camera, you will need very fast physical response or luck to capture it. I quickly decided I need burst mode to capture the right 'moment'. That means you may need something more than the most basic DSLR. Those tend to have lower burst rates (frames or photos per second).

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hope this helps
by / November 22, 2006 9:28 AM PST

i definitly suggest moving up from a point and shoot camera. i am shooting with a olympus e-500 and it is a great camera for the price. it will do just about anything u need it to do. i have used it for many sport events; such as hockey, soccer, paintball, ect.ect. there are alot of cameras out there in that price range and many brands and this is where i would go to look at all of them., i havent had any problems with my e-500 and u get two lenses in the package for i think it was about 700-800 and one is a telephoto which can be really pricy.

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