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Camera for the Race Track
Hello,.

I'm looking into purchasing a camera that would be able to take pretty decent pictures at a race track (of normal cars, not the Formula Ones) once in a while..

I'm not sure exactly what to look for in terms of capturing high-speed objects (I'm a newbie to DSLRs) but I've basically looked into the Nikon D40 and D80, and the Canon G9, 400D and 40D..

I'm not sure if investing in a D80 or a 40D would be a wise choice for a beginner such as myself, but I'd like something that would be able to capture fast-moving objects..

Would one of the high-end compacts and/or entry-level DSLRs suffice?.

Thanks!..

Comments (12)

Are the races at night or during the day? What other types of photographs will you be wanting to take?..

Comment #1

Stopal wrote:.

Are the races at night or during the day? What other types ofphotographs will you be wanting to take?.

The races take place during the day..

I'm not really looking into taking pictures of anything in particular. I guess what I want is a camera that's "all-purpose" (ie: for portraits, landscapes, macros, etc.) but good enough to take nice pictures at the tracks. ..

Comment #2

Here's a link to a thread I started several months ago which includes 11 shots from a race at Indy. These were all taken with a Canon compact A610... a basic 5Mp camera with 4X lens..

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1010&message=24109795.

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Regards,Hank.

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Comment #3

Racing in daylight is not that demanding on the camera although it may be pretty demanding on the photographer. Both DSLR you mentioned will do nicely WITH THE PROPER LENS(ES). The super-zoom class of P$S cameras will also do well..

In 35mm equiv term you probably need 250mm - 400mm for cars on the track, 35mm - 50mm for cars in the pits if you have pit access, and 100mm general people shots. How many lenses it takes to cover that range is up to you. A super-zoom such as Canon S5, Panasonic FZ8, Kodak Z812 and others in that class..

With the right lens(es) a DSLR can do that and much more but the extra versatility come at a $price...

Comment #4

Thanks for the advice. .

I've read some reviews that the Nikon D40 isn't a good camera for "sports photography" and I just figured that car racing would be classified as such. I'm not sure how true that statement is..

Should I be worrying about stuff like shutter speed and continuous shooting (fps) of the camera for general purpose, and a little bit of track photography?..

Comment #5

Wendiful wrote:.

Thanks for the advice. .

I've read some reviews that the Nikon D40 isn't a good camera for"sports photography" and I just figured that car racing would beclassified as such. I'm not sure how true that statement is..

I'm not sure either? Find the guy who made that statement and challenge him to explain why....

Should I be worrying about stuff like shutter speed and continuousshooting (fps) of the camera for general purpose, and a little bit oftrack photography?.

Some racing photogs use burst mode a lot. Some don't. I'm of the latter persuasion, believing that I can capture the peak action with one exposure. I occasionally use burst if I intend to make a composite to show a sequence..

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Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #6

I thought all the 914's rusted out 20 years ago.Leonard Migliore..

Comment #7

Leonard Migliore wrote:.

I thought all the 914's rusted out 20 years ago..

The stories of their demise were premature. Certainly in CA you see a lot of 914's?.

A little rust just makes them lighter... .

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #8

Http://www.higginstribe.com/.../index.php?image=2007-07-22-TPC-Mosport-80.jpg.

That is the kind of picture I want to achieve. I see that the photographer used a Canon 30D. Would I be able to achieve that kind of image with a more basic entry-level DSLR such as the Canon XTI or the Nikon D40?..

Comment #9

Wendiful wrote:.

That is the kind of picture I want to achieve. I see that thephotographer used a Canon 30D. Would I be able to achieve that kindof image with a more basic entry-level DSLR such as the Canon XTI orthe Nikon D40?.

Sure, it's his panning technique that made the shot so even a good super zoom compact could produce that result. If you notice it was taken at 1/60 with which the car would be a total blur, but by tracking the car he made the background blur. To get a close shot he used a long reach lens..

You mentioned racing but specifically what kind? Will you be in the stands where you need reach? The Panny FZ18 or Canon S5 would work too but of course with the DSLRs you have to buy into a system which means expensive glass for a specific purpose. If money is no object then DSLRs are the way to go but be prepared to carry a lot of gear with you.Regards,Hank.

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Comment #10

This type of shot is pretty easy on the camera it's going to depend on your panning technique (and or some type of vibration reduction system).

1) you will not need "that" long of a lens, it's going to be safe getting fairly along the side of a straight (behind guardrail ALWAYS).

2) The AF system isn't really working that hard as the target/subject will not be change distance as it passes you shoot point.

3) Even an average lens will be very very good when stopped down to around f8 (but not all the way, they never look good stopped down all the way) I would have a very tuff time picking an affordable $200 70-300 shot at f8 from my 300mm 2.8 at 25 times the cost..

The camera and lens will start giving you grief when you start shooting.

1) subjects coming at or away from you will be hard on your AF system.

2) A much longer lens, you will want to put some distance between you and the car when it's heading in your direction..

3) long lenses that let enough light in can be expensive so you will be possibly dealing with slower shutter speeds than your used to with the extra focal length..

I love shooting motor sports, if you have any questions I would be happy to try and help if I can..

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RegardsRay.

Wendiful wrote:.

Http://www.higginstribe.com/.../index.php?image=2007-07-22-TPC-Mosport-80.jpg.

That is the kind of picture I want to achieve. I see that thephotographer used a Canon 30D. Would I be able to achieve that kindof image with a more basic entry-level DSLR such as the Canon XTI orthe Nikon D40?.

Http://www.pbase.com/ray645..

Comment #11

All of the camera you listed will perform well with motorsport. You will need a decent lens between 100-400 (will probably use between 180 and 320)..

You dont need a particularly fast one. If the shutter speed in too fast then you will freeze all the action, when you need a little bit of motion blur in the wheels to show speed..

I have a canon 400d, and a 100-400L lens that I took to Croft (NE UK) for the British super bike race....

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It is also great for portrait too, using other lenses....

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Which ever you choose, you will be ok with..

MATT.

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Comment #12

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