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Best Compromise Megazoom for Indoor Sports
I would be grateful for any and all recommendations as to the best (I know it will NOT be ideal) megazoom for taking action shots of my son wrestling. From my reading, a DSLR is best suited for this purpose, but currently I don't have the time to learn or the funds to spend. I'm now using a Canon SD450, so I'm assuming any of my candidates will be an improvement. My main problems (AFAIK) will be low light and poor burst mode for actions shots..

I guess the conventional wisdom is that megazooms are a great concept that have not yet been perfected. With that in mind I'm looking at the Canon S3 (better pics than the S5?), S5 (Hot shoe for flash), Panasonic FZ8 (better than FZ18), or the Fuji S600fd (Great low light, but no IS)..

Sometimes I'll be right on the mat taking shots, so I will not need the zoom. Other times my wife will be in the stands and need the zoom. Gyms usually have fluorescent lighting. Photoshop can only do so much....

If you have experience with any of these great cameras, please give me some advice. Also, I hear this is some big camera trade show coming up next week. Should I wait until them? Thank you!All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this..

Miyamoto Musashi, 1584-1645(Japanese Samurai, Author of The Book of the Five Rings)..

Comments (16)

Try to find a Fuji S6000fd..

Has a 28-200mm manual zoom lens and is the best of the superzoom low light shooters!.

IS won't help you with action shots, so I wouldn't worry about that feature..

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

Remember.always keep your receipt, the box, and everything that came in it!..

Comment #1

Regardless of what you are shooting, and from where, the light in indoor stadiums is almost always very low. It may look bright to your eyes, especially after a little while in the gym, but it's not. That means that you will need the fastest lens at maximum zoom that you can get, PLUS the best high ISO capability available, even to capture an image, let alone stopping wrestlers as they thrash about. Your personal preference for brand name, what colour it is, etc, all need to be very much second after letting the light in. Choose the camera for it's light gathering abilities first. Unfortunately, most of the bridge-cams are somewhat lacking in this regard, as their lenses tend to get slowwer the longer you zoom - you will need to trawl through the spec pages and reviews here and find the one that has the best numbers.



If you can find a camera with hotshoe, that MIGHT help, but not all coaches are going to be very happy with you making bright spots in front of their charges eyes - check first, and look into how a flash actually operates (if you have no experience with it). The flash falls off over distance according to a mathematical principle: It falls off inversely as the square of the distance. Move twice as far away, and you get only one-quarter of the original power. This means that shooting from the stand with a long lens and a flash is going to be somewhat impractical..

Another thing not to consider is Image Stabilisation - don't worry about it for this use of the camera. It won't help in bad light. All you'll get is a blurry picture of wrestlers on a pin-sharp mat, as IS does not freeze action, it merely helps eliminate camera shake..

Good luck with it.Rob.

Everyone, everywhere, has to do everything for a first time. There is no shame in failure, only in failure to try...

Comment #2

Forgot to mention..

The big photo show was last week..

And all the new cameras were announced!.

The Fuji S1000 was announced, but may be priced too high for what you are after..

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

Remember.always keep your receipt, the box, and everything that came in it!..

Comment #3

Hi JD,.

Thank you for the reply. You confirmed the choice I was leaning towards, based on the DP review. Now all I have to do is find one...All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this..

Miyamoto Musashi, 1584-1645(Japanese Samurai, Author of The Book of the Five Rings)..

Comment #4

And you touch the distant beaches with tales of brave UlyssesHow his naked ears were tortured by the sirens sweetly singing....

Thanks for the detailed reply Rob. Your ID gave me a quick flashback and now iTunes is set to Cream. I owe you twice..

Flash could be a problem, especially since I don't want to blind my son, only to get a super pic of him getting pinned. The more reading I do, the more I realize that my request is a very hard one. It lappears that the older Fuji's were the best P&S for low light. On the other hand the S5 Canon has a hot shoe for non-competition uses and a pretty nice video mode from what I read...All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this..

Miyamoto Musashi, 1584-1645(Japanese Samurai, Author of The Book of the Five Rings)..

Comment #5

Wrestlingdad as MusicDoctorDJ said try to get an Fuji s6000fd..

This camera has the best high iso in a bridge camera I know of (this will allow for a faster shutter speed to freeze action). The zoom range of 28mm to 300mm should be enough for your needs.I believe there was a post that showed the cameras ability at a basketball game.Try a search I thought the pictures were quite good.The best camera would be a DSLR(budget permitting) and fast zoom lens.Hope this helps you with your decision.

James..

Comment #6

Wrestlingdad wrote:.

And you touch....

Thank you - most people don't get it. Clapton, Baker, Bruce - what a team..

Thanks for the detailed reply Rob. Your ID gave me a quick flashbackand now iTunes is set to Cream. I owe you twice..

OK - mine's a Nikon D3, please. (Already got the lenses.) :~D.

Flash could be a problem, especially since I don't want to blind myson, only to get a super pic of him getting pinned..

That's not very nice! It should be of him doing the pinning, nyet? And it's not so much the 'blinding' as it is the potential distraction and/or momentary loss of clear vision that I was referring to..

The more readingI do, the more I realize that my request is a very hard one..

Yes, it is. Maybe you should consider a dSLR and at least one good quality, long, fast lens. The 'genuine parts' are generally considered 'the best', but selected lenses from the 3rd party makers are pretty well thought of. A mid-range dSLR and a good Sigma zoom will cost you more than the bridge-cam (but not too much more), and will actually do what you want it to do, plus it will be so much more versatlie in general use..

It appears that the older Fuji's were the best P&S for low light..

From a sensor point of view, yes. They lost out with the slowness of the lens at the longer focal lengths though, which kind of removes the sensor superiority..

On the other hand the S5 Canon has a hot shoe for non-competition usesand a pretty nice video mode from what I read....

You're on your own with Canon, I'm afraid. I'm a Fuji and Nikon guy....

Rob.

Everyone, everywhere, has to do everything for a first time. There is no shame in failure, only in failure to try...

Comment #7

Go to the reviews on this site for the bridge cameras you are considering. Look at the sample images shot at higher ISO. View them at full resolution. If you are satisfied with what you see then you may be happy with one of the prosumer bridge cameras. You may get a few good shots of subjects when they are not moving. As far as shooting multiple frames of a fast moving subject, forget it.



If you are not happy with the high ISO sample images from the reviews, then don't waste your money on one of these cameras. You will not be satisfied and will end up buying a DSLR in the long run. If you can't afford a new one, consider a used 20D and a 50mm f/1,8 lens. This would get you great shots from the floor. Later on you might invest in a fast telephoto or zoom.Good luck whatever you choose...

Comment #8

Cameras are like computers where in the 90's, so many new models, the old good ones were almost give aways. Here is an ebay link to a Canon Digital Rebel; you can probably buy one, without lens for around $175. This is the camera I use and it will do what you want a camera to do, and it has "idiot" settings, just set it on "sports" mode and shoot away..

Http://cgi.ebay.com/...QitemZ250210873577QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item250210873577.

Now you need a lens, again check out ebay and see if you can pick something used up for around $150, something like the Canon 70 - 300 lens, though not considered a great lens, will be better than what's on point and shoots. If you do decide to go this route, check back in for advice on lens. There are several variations of the 70 - 300 lens, some quite expensive, others cheaper..

You are better to go this way, the quality will be better. Although the camera has 6.3 megapixels on it's sensor, larger sensors are better than smaller ones, so the camera will take better pics than even bridge cameras with more megapixels..

Comment #9

Thanks to all of the educated people here, sharing their expertise with me, I'm leaning towards the low end DSLR. I did read the reviews, but I didn't examine the photos as you suggested. Will do so from now. Thanks again!All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this..

Miyamoto Musashi, 1584-1645(Japanese Samurai, Author of The Book of the Five Rings)..

Comment #10

Thank you James. I will search the forum for those basketball photos. I didn't realize that the s6000 was going to be so hard to find. I looks the the retailers who still have it are asking a premium for it. It's about double the price of the s8000 I could buy on Amazon.All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this..

Miyamoto Musashi, 1584-1645(Japanese Samurai, Author of The Book of the Five Rings)..

Comment #11

I think the dSLR with a fast Sigma lens is probably the way for me to go. I'll blow my budget, but if the bridge camera isn't going to get me the results I want, buying one is a waste of $$$. I'll look into the starter Nikon (D40 I think) and I also saw the Canon XT on Amazon with a lens for about $499..

Thanks again BraveUlysses. You're my kinda guy!All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this..

Miyamoto Musashi, 1584-1645(Japanese Samurai, Author of The Book of the Five Rings)..

Comment #12

Thank you for your excellent suggestions and for taking the time to actually post a link from eBay. I think you're on to something and you reminded me that I have an old EOS Rebel S film camera I haven't used in years..

It came with a Canon Zoom Lens EF 35-80 mm1:4 - 5.6. Do you think it will fit/work on the Rebel body on eBay? If so, then all I need to do is buy a fast lens for wrestling and I'll be set..

Also, what is the approximate life span on a used Canon Rebel body?All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this..

Miyamoto Musashi, 1584-1645(Japanese Samurai, Author of The Book of the Five Rings)..

Comment #13

Wrestlingdad wrote:[snip].

It came with a Canon Zoom Lens EF 35-80 mm1:4 - 5.6. Do you think itwill fit/work on the Rebel body on eBay?.

Should work - in principle all Canon EF lenses will work on Canon EOS bodies..

However, because of the 1.6x crop factor on the Digital Rebel, the effective focal length will be 56-128mm which isn't quite so useful..

Chris R..

Comment #14

If you're set on the D40/D40x, have a look here for more information (and an expert's review).

Http://www.bythom.com/d40review.htm.

And while you're at it, browse around the rest of the site as well - you may find that a D80 would suit you better, as it's a bit more sophisticated where it counts. More $, true, but possibly more use to you as well. From what I know of wrestling (which, I will admit, is limited to repeated viewings of 'Crazy for You' many years ago; yes, I'm still in love with Ms Fiorentino, but that's another story), the action tends be fairly short and sharp as a general rule. Therefore, something with a bit more bite might be what you need. Pop over to the Nikon forums here and ask - most of us are nice guys, even the ones who'll tell you that you really need a D300 to do what you want to do (you don't)..

When you decide which Nikon you want (and you WILL want a Nikon, won't you? :~) ), get the relevant manual from Thom as well - best $30 you'll ever spend on camera accessories, trust me - his D200 version lives in the drive of my laptop for when I'm shooting away. No connection (never even emailed the man), just a happy customer..

Seriously, if you decide on a Canon, that will do just as well - there is so little REAL difference in the performance and image quality that it makes no difference at all. You might want to look a little up the ladder with your Canon body as well..

Best of luck, and post pics in the relevant forum..

Rob.

Everyone, everywhere, has to do everything for a first time. There is no shame in failure, only in failure to try...

Comment #15

First off, yes your lens will work with the new Digital Rebel (or I guess I should say, old Digital Rebel). There is a crop factor which should make the lens more useful, not less useful as the poster above suggests..

The life span of digital camera's really isn't known except by very heavy users, I'm talking about folks who shoot pics in the 10's of thousands every year. Its usually the shutter that gives out. We really in the horse and buggy stage of Digital photography, maybe we moved up to the next stage of the Model T car; we are all learning as we go..

In four or five years, you'll want a new camera anyway. The Digital Rebel will get you in the Digital DSLR ball game and you will learn much of what you need to know for your future new camera..

I personally am waiting for a full sensor digital camera that is "affordable;" lets say around $800 so I can shake off the partial sensor blues. I am convinced this will happen in the next 5 years..

People like the pictures from my camera, they don't know it's a model outdated. In fact a buddy of mine has asked that I bring my camera over for him to see; he shots medium format and he was impressed with some shots I took; he's now inquisitive..

Here is a gallery in dpreview, that will show you sample shots for the original Digital Rebel, also know as 300d. You will find the photographs outstanding and you wouldn't know it was from an "older" digital camera: (Hit the "next" button in the gallery; you'll see many photos from this camera).

Http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/canoneos300d_samples/..

Comment #16

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