'fast' camera

I am looking for a new digital camera that will allow me to take several shots in a row without much "lag" time between shots. I am photographing my young children and I often miss the most ideal moments because my camera is either saving the picture to the disk or recharging the flash. I'm not sure what I am looking for, but I seem to think I might need to look at digital SLRs as opposed to point and shoot type models. Is this correct? Is there anyone out there with advice on a good quality (yet not professional quality) camera that will be reliable and take pictures when I need to capture the moment(s) quickly?Thanks for any advice!..

Comments (6)

Well, if you can afford a DSLR then I say get a DSLR. You aren't going to find a p&s to match the speed of a DSLR...

'I reject your reality and substitute my own' -Adam Savage

Comment #1

Its obvious you want an SLR..

Just look at the cheaper models of DSLR, handle them in the shop and pay for the one that fits your budget and your hands.Its just a camera...

Comment #2

Okay, thanks! As I'm looking at reviews, is there a certain specification or term that I should be looking for?Thanks again!..

Comment #3

Read the reviews for the Canon 350 and 400D, Nikon D40, and Pentax K100D. All are excellent intro dslr cameras, and all are relatively unexpensive. They are all probably more camera than you need, and they differ in ways that likely will be unimportant to you. Feel free to ask questions after you read the reviews..


Comment #4

Bbsquared wrote:.

...I am photographing my young children and I often miss the most idealmoments because my camera is either saving the picture to the disk....

As others have suggested a DSLR will generally speaking (in typical usage) give faster response times..

...or recharging the flash..

A DSLR by itself may help with some of this issue - since the pop-up flash on a DSLR will probably be more powerful than the one on your current camera - but perhaps not as much as you hope..

I suggest you also look into getting a powerful external flash. It would run off it's own set of batteries, be much more powerful than the pop-up flash and be able to recycle faster in a greater variety of shooting situations.. that will be reliable and take pictures when I need to capturethe moment(s) quickly?.

Bear in mind that even a DSLR's focusing system can "hunt" and fail to get a lock or take "too long" to get a lock under certain circumstances or simply mis-focus. There are times it may need to strobe the pop-up flash to help it get a focus lock..

Good Day,Roonal.

'Money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes for an extravagant depression' by golf tournament sportscaster..

Comment #5

Sounds like you are looking for a camera/lens combination that will focus quickly in low light, has decent high ISO image quality, has a short shutter lag time, is capable of sustaining a high frames-per-second rate while the shutter release is held down, and has good focus tracking capabilities..

Inexpensive kit lenses with fairly small apertures will not pass as much light through to the camera's autofocus sensors as more expensive "fast" lenses; a camera equipped with one will tend to hunt for focus in low light. SLR lenses have longer focal lengths than comparable P&S cameras focus issues become more critical with longer focal lengths and larger apertures (depth of field can be surprisingly shallow compared to what you may be used to). Shutter lag on SLR's is minimal, once focus is achieved..

A high FPS rate will depend on build of the camera's shutter/mirror mechanism, the size of the camera's internal data buffer, the resolution you choose to shoot at, the efficiency of the camera's JPEG engine, the data write rate that the camera supports, and the write speed of the card that you choose to purchase..

If you are planning to use flash, the high FPS rate is less important; it is the flash's recycle time that will limit you. Roonal is right; no camera has a built-in flash that will perform in the way you say you want. A fast (large aperture) lens will pass more light to the camera sensor and a camera capable of operating cleanly at high ISO settings will need less light to record an image. A combination of the two qualities will not require as much light output from whatever flash you choose and recycle times for the flash will be correspondingly faster. A hotshoe flash attachment with 4AA batteries might recycle from a full-power discharge in something like 5 seconds with fresh batteries, a far cry from the 5 FPS capability your camera might be capable of. External flashes with separate supplemental battery packs will recycle much more quickly..

Each component's cost escalates very quickly when you are demanding "speed". You are looking at thousands of dollars to approach state-of-the-art specs. A more conservative approach might be borrow equipment, try it, see what you like and don't like about it. Talk to others who are photographing children. Define what it is that you really need and look for that instead of a broad-spectrum "fast" rig..

Cheers, John..

Comment #6

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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