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Beginners dSLR for Windsurfing (distance from beach & fast action) shots?
Hi,.

I'm a long-time very happy user of the wee Canon IXUS models, but they just don't cut it for shots taken from the Beach, of a relatively fast moving object (my wife). A friend recently took a really nice shot of my wife windsurfing, using a NIKON D60 and I was just really impressed, so I thought I'd see what I should start looking for. I hope you folks can help us out..

I'm really not into developing into a fantastic photographer, I guess I'm looking for the simplicity and robustness of a P&S in a dSLR camera that can do action shots well, as well as some nice shots of our 3 & 4 yr old kids. I don't need more than 6MBPs either to be honest, if it's more that's OK, but I'm not into printing massive photos and if it has very few controls that's fine too, like I said, I'm quite happy with "automatic" mode for now..

I'm not big on weight, so lighter is good (although doesn't need to be SUPER light, if it is rugged) and the fewer lenses the better, certainly no more than two, one of possible. The smaller (I guess I'd need a telephoto?) lens the better, those monster lenses are not something I (think) I need. Would need to be a bit rugged too, I'm a clumsy sort of fellow..

I have seen a review http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/digitalcameras/0,39030233,49286113,00.htm of "Best dSLRs for beginners, and thought the Pentax K100 Super looked quite good, but it seems the slow and small buffer fill-up is not good for what I want it for. Others I have looked at are the Canon 400D..

So, I am quite sure what I want it to DO (and what I'm not fussed about whether it can do or not), but I'm not sure what Camera fulfils these guidelines. Can you folks make any suggestions. Happy to add any more to requirements if need be..

Cheers.

Kristian..

Comments (12)

The lens is going to be more important than the camera and I imagine that for windsurfing shots taken from the beach you are going to need a long telephoto lens. The key specification of the lens is the maximum focal length in mm, e.g. a 70-300mm lens has a maximum focal length of 300mm. The longer the focal length, the greater the magnification..

I think that a starting point would be to find out what lens was used for the D60 shot of your wife. Does your wife fill enough of the frame in this shot? If so, then this focal length is probably adequate. If you want the windsurfer to fill more of the frame, then you are going to need a longer focal length..

Cheaper zoom lenses tend to be smaller and lighter, but they may have adequate quality for your purposes, especially since you live in HK and probably have good light for beach shots. Over 300mm lenses tend to get big, heavy and expensive..

Go to a camera store and try out a DSLR camera/lens combination and see what suits you. The make of camera isn't that important. More MP enables you to crop and gives you a bit more magnification which means that you may be able to make do with a shorter lens. A 12MP image cropped down to 6MP will effectively give you about 40% more magnification than an image from a 6MP camera.Chris R..

Comment #1

Jksmurf wrote:.

Hi,.

I'm a long-time very happy user of the wee Canon IXUS models, butthey just don't cut it for shots taken from the Beach, of arelatively fast moving object (my wife). A friend recently took areally nice shot of my wife windsurfing, using a NIKON D60 and I wasjust really impressed, so I thought I'd see what I should startlooking for. I hope you folks can help us out..

I'm really not into developing into a fantastic photographer, I guessI'm looking for the simplicity and robustness of a P&S in a dSLRcamera that can do action shots well, as well as some nice shots ofour 3 & 4 yr old kids. I don't need more than 6MBPs either to behonest, if it's more that's OK, but I'm not into printing massivephotos and if it has very few controls that's fine too, like I said,I'm quite happy with "automatic" mode for now..

I'm not big on weight, so lighter is good (although doesn't need tobe SUPER light, if it is rugged) and the fewer lenses the better,certainly no more than two, one of possible. The smaller (I guess I'dneed a telephoto?) lens the better, those monster lenses are notsomething I (think) I need. Would need to be a bit rugged too, I'm aclumsy sort of fellow..

I have seen a reviewhttp://reviews.cnet.co.uk/digitalcameras/0,39030233,49286113,00.htmof "Best dSLRs for beginners, and thought the Pentax K100 Superlooked quite good, but it seems the slow and small buffer fill-up isnot good for what I want it for. Others I have looked at are theCanon 400D..

So, I am quite sure what I want it to DO (and what I'm not fussedabout whether it can do or not), but I'm not sure what Camera fulfilsthese guidelines. Can you folks make any suggestions. Happy to addany more to requirements if need be..

Cheers.

Kristian.

Hi.

Any dslr will be good..at least if you are careful and limit useage, go try what you can find. Having said that there is one thing...The beach can be a hostile environment for cameras, so in that regard a weather sealed camera would be much better if doing this fairly often and at the entry level or nearly so that pretty much means the Oly E1 or Pentax K10d or K200d (or Samsung equivalent of K10d)..

You could get an old manual focus zoom for any of those three for very little that will give you reasonable image quality in the sort of light you would expect .... that would be worth starting with to get an idea of what you need,...that way if the lens DOES get killed off by the sand/wind/water etc you have not lost much..

Neil..

Comment #2

Budget is going to play the big part in this.. any thoughts on what you are looking at to spend?e1 w/ grip, e510, e300 w/ grip, 8mm FE, 14-54mm, 35mm, 50mm, 40-150mm,50-200mm, fl-50, fuji - 6800..

Comment #3

Not sure how to answer you all at the same time, so I'll reply to my 1st post.Thanks for all your replies, they are very much appreciated..

Chris: I had a look at the EXIF info (below, snipped) in Irfanview and it's actually a Canon EOS350D, sorry for some reason I had thought it was a Nikon D60). I think the info tells us it was a 90~300mm lens? It didn't look huge so I was impressed by that as well as the pic quality. The NIKON D60 has a 18-55mmVR and a 55-200mmVR bundle which looks good too..

I also took your tip on cropping and did a crop on my own pic of my wife using my IXUS 800IS and while it wasn't great, it felt a lot more "close-up" than the original pic, thanks for that..

Neil: Robustness against sea, wind and clumsiness is a concern, I'll admit, although the K100D Super/K200D seemed to be sold as being a bit slow? I don't need to take a huge number of shots, but a windsurfer can move quite quickly so it'd have to be able to capture that?.

Fealfas: I guess US$700~750 is about the limit..

For me it's more about the getting shots that the IXUS can't, they don't have to be perfect, but I'd like to get them where I can see my wife's smiling face .

Cheers.

Kristian.

Make - CanonModel - Canon EOS 350D DIGITALExposureTime - 1/500 secondsFNumber - 10ExposureProgram - Normal programISOSpeedRatings - 250ComponentsConfiguration - YCbCrShutterSpeedValue - 1/500 secondsApertureValue - F 10.00ExposureBiasValue - 0.00MeteringMode - Multi-segmentFlash - Flash not fired, compulsory flash modeFocalLength - 300 mmExposureMode - AutoWhite Balance - AutoSceneCaptureType - StandardMacro mode - NormalSelf timer - OffQuality - FineFlash mode - Auto + red-eye reductionSequence mode - Single or TimerFocus mode - AI FocusImage size - LargeEasy shooting mode - Full AutoDigital zoom - NoneContrast - High , +1Saturation - High , +1Sharpness - High , +1ISO Value - 32767Metering mode - EvaluativeFocus type - AutoAF point selected -Exposure mode - Easy shootingFocal length - 90 - 300 mm (1 mm)Flash activity - Not firedFlash details -Focus mode 2 - SingleWhite Balance - AutoSequence number - 0Flash bias - 0 EVSubject Distance - 0Image Type - Canon EOS 350D DIGITALFirmware Version - Firmware 1.0.3..

Comment #4

I might get shot down in flames here, but... From everything I've seen, the 90-300 is not one of Canon's better lenses. You'd be better off with at least a 75-300, although I once owned one of them and wasn't terribly impressed..

Jksmurf wrote:.

Not sure how to answer you all at the same time, so I'll reply to my1st post.Thanks for all your replies, they are very much appreciated..

Chris: I had a look at the EXIF info (below, snipped) in Irfanviewand it's actually a Canon EOS350D, sorry for some reason I hadthought it was a Nikon D60). I think the info tells us it was a90~300mm lens? It didn't look huge so I was impressed by that as wellas the pic quality. The NIKON D60 has a 18-55mmVR and a 55-200mmVRbundle which looks good too...

Comment #5

"The lens is going to be more important than the camera and I imagine that for windsurfing shots taken from the beach you are going to need a long telephoto lens.".

OK so how about a D40 body (fast enough?) + Kit Lens (should I go for VR?) and a 2nd lens 55-200 or 75-300?.

K...

Comment #6

The D40 is a good deal these days; a nice, easy to use DSLR with a good range of features that's under $500 with a kit lens. Yes, there are compact camera with more megapixels but the D40 will outperform them, espcially with a good lens..

Adorama has a Nikon D40 with an 18-55 and 55-200 lens for $669, which is a great deal. (No, I don't work for them). For a few bucks more they'll throw in the VR version of the 55-200. Either way there's some good deals out there...

Comment #7

Thanks John, it's definitely attractive price-wise, fulfils my requirements wrt weight, battery and Megapixel size. Sounds robust enough. I guess all I need now is help with confirmation that:.

1. It is speedy enough (assume outdoors, good light on a beach, lens below). I don't need lots of shots one after the other, but would like to capture a decent shot at a middling distance..

2. Lens dilemma. Kit 18-55AF-S + 55-200AF-S VR or straight to 18-200AF-S VR? I like the "idea" of the latter, ONE lens is very attractive.3. I don't really really need a 75-300mm lens .

Cheers.

Kristian..

Comment #8

1. The only thing faster is going to be a dedicated sports shooter, like the Canon 1D mk III, which cost a fortune, weighs a ton, and is by all means overkill..

2. It's less convenient, but the two lens combo is a better bet in the long run. 18-200 lens are filled with comprimises to get that kind of zoom range. That said, if your not going to carry both lenses around with you, go with 18-200..

3. There are some cheap (generally non-VR) 75-300 lenses out there, only if you need the reach. The cheap ones are slow (f/5.6 or slower); so only areas with a lot of light (like the beach) would be a good use. I have a 70-300mm zoom for my Canon system that I don't use much at all...

Comment #9

Consider an Olympus E-510. You can get the camera with 2 kit lenses for under $700 and they are highly regarded lenses. It's also light weight. Olympus has affordable sealed cameras and lenses, especially used if you decide to move up later. The two kit lens are 14-45mm and 40-150mm. You have to double that to get the effective focal length.

You can find the two lens kit for $650 easily, but if you look around a bit some people have found it for as little as $350 at Best Buy..

For about $400, you can get their 70-300mm lens. That's 140-600mm effective focal length. Much further reach in a small package. None of these are exactly fast lenses, but if you are shooting during the day they'd probably be ok. Others might be able to give you more input on that. They have other weather sealed faster options in their mid-range lenses...

Comment #10

Flickr search will flush out some examples that I think will work for you for the e510.

Http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=all&q=e510+surfing&m=text.

E1 w/ grip, e510, e300 w/ grip, 8mm FE, 14-54mm, 35mm, 50mm, 40-150mm,50-200mm, fl-50, fuji - 6800..

Comment #11

Cheers.

Flickr is a nice way to search..

K...

Comment #12

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