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How best to satisfy my needs while stimulating the economy.
Ok, first let me preface my post by apologizing in advance for asking a question that has been asked many times over in many different ways. I understand that if you search on here for "Sports Photography" you can get over 4,000 hits, one guy was really upset that someone asked the dreaded "Sports Photography" question again. That being said, I just spent the last 3 hours reading about 200mm lens with point 8 this's and point 2 that's and metering, white balance EV steps, FOV crops and ISO's. This industry is just as bad as the IP (Internet Protocol) space with all the fancy abbreviations and acronyms. Guys my brain is fried. I don't know what an f-stop means and I don't really understand aperture and all the other fancy terms you all know without even thinking about.

I also coach youth basketball, football, soccer, wrestling and when my girls get older I will probably coach softball and maybe even dance. (Ok, that's a lie I won't coach dance; do you even coach dance?).

Anyhow, I digress. The good Mr. Bush and the US Congress have given me some money to spend (ok, loaned me some of my own money, but that's a different post for a different forum, grrrr) and since I am from Utah and I have more than the national avg of 1.2 kids (No, I Do NOT have more than one wife.) I have a little extra to spend on a new camera for taking nice photos of the aforementioned sporting activities I am involved with. I am not trying to earn money nor am I looking for awards at the county or state fairs. I simply want the best camera / lens combination for the money I am going to send back into the economy. I have read and studied enough to know that I believe the following cameras are the best choice for my budget.



Olympus E-410 - Nikon D40 - Nikon D40X - Canon EOS 400D.

It seems like the default lens that sell with these cameras are of the 18-55MM variety give or take a mm here or there. Will this combo be sufficient for youth sports where as the coach I have the advantage of being close to the action - you know like right on the sidelines, or should I get something else? Keeping in mind that "Sports Photography" will probably only be 30% of the use for this camera. I figure (probably incorrectly) that if I can get really good sports shots then all the other photos I take of the family, nature, etc will be plenty good enough for me..

So again I apologize for the oft repeated question being repeated once again as well as the rambling attempts at humor and what not (again it's 2:00 am and I am fried from reading so much - something about too much of one thing can be bad) in closing I simply ask that you cast your vote - no need to justify why, I trust your opinion/knowledge - in favor of one of these fine camera / lens combinations over the other..

Thank you all in advance for your time....

Jon FI pretty much know nothing about DP!..

Comments (19)

Any of those cameras will do you fine. You could also consider the excellent Sony alpha-200 ar the Pentax K200D..

It doesn't really matter which camera you get. They all do the same thing in the same way, and a picture you take on one will look the same if you take it on any other..

So how to decide? The general advice is to pick them up and try them in your hand and see how they feel. Ergonomics matter and that is a personal issue... how big are your hands? Some people like the small size / weight of the Olympus series; others find them too small and fiddly. Some people find the Canon a bit 'plasticky' and prefer the greater heft of the Pentax. If you find one that fits your hands and feels good, go with that. or if your local store has one on specdial offer....

They all come with a more-or-less standard kit lens. if you are going to be very close to the action that may well be enough to start with; an obvious addition would be a telephoto zoom like the Tamron 70-300 (about 120UK) which is probably the best of the cheap telephotos..

As to camera settings... you can easily learn about f-stops, shhutter speeds, ISO values etc. as you go. Until you have got the hang of it, all entry-level DSLRs have a 'sports' mode (a symbol of a running man or something similar) which will bias the camera settings to high shutter speeds to freeze the action; this will do fine to start with. If you are shooting outside, set the ISO to 400 and use sports mode, that will do fine to start with. But you will be surprised how difficult it is to get sharp, well-focussed shots...



Best wishesMike..

Comment #1

Hi,.

I'll go along with the previous answer and add that you should check that, when you grab the camera you don't hit any buttons by mistake. Some are designed with them very near where your thumb will be and hitting one by accident can take you somewhere in the menu or change a setting that you won't want to stop and sort out (and so miss the action)..

So being able to grab the thing quickly is an advantage. Big "pro" cameras are best for not messing things up like this; I've held on to one for far too long simply because I can grab it and shot fast with it..

Hope this helps..

Regards, David..

Comment #2

First welcome!.

If you are coaching soccer and the like you are going to need a lens longer then 18-55..

I agree that for your purposes the camera bodies will produce similar results..

But when it comes to lenses some mfrs have a range better suited to your needs than others. You may want to consider a Nikon 18-135 kit lens as a single sensible lens for your needs and budget. It should allow you to get a shot of action on the far side of the soccer pitch in most conditions..

I recommended the Nikon D40x plus 18-135 to my son who is delighted with the combination..

Two problems:.

In the US the D40 is only sold as a kit with the 18-55 and the D40x is commonly sold with that same 18-55..

The D40x is no longer in production and has been replaced by the D60 (which is near identical).

I endorse the advice to lay your hands on as many cameras as you can but if you can find a D40x plus 18-135 I think that will suit you. Do also look at buying one with the D40. The 18-55 lens is not worth much (although a good lens). You can sell it or keep it in a draw as a spare..

Finally if all of the candidates you list feel a bit small to you but you like the 7.5 x zoom on the 18-135 you could do worse than look for a good deal on the D80 where the 18-135 is the usual kit lens. It is abit bigger in the hand and you might find one reconditioned at a good price. Also the D80 will soon be replaced so you might find one at a good price soon..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #3

Jon.

I am in the same position you are except I started dabbling about two years ago. For the past two years, I used a Canon Rebel on automatic setting. I used the 70-300mm lens outdoors and the kit lens indoors. Outdoors my pictures were ok. I couldn't shoot pics indoors at all. I started using this site and learning about F stops, apertures, ISO and other terms.

I upgraded from the Rebel and bought a Canon 40D. I love the camera. I invested in the 70-200mm F/4 lens and the 85mm 1.8 lens. Lets just say I went over budget. I am using the manual setting and aperture priority settings on my camera and to do so, I have had to learn about the various settings.

I am slowly improving. I just posted some pics after you post. I still consider myself a newb and if you want to see some of my pics, you can visit:.

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/23833556@N03/.

I really don't feel qualified to give you any advice other than read posts, visit your local independent photo store (not a national chain). You will get better service..

Tell them what you are wanting to photograph, and they will help. What I can tell you is the lens is more important than the body. I would invest more in good lenses than a new body. Just my two cents..

Best of luck..

My 7 year old daughter is playing softball and I coach my son's 10 year old baseball team. We are in similar situations..

Take care...

Comment #4

I bought the D40 as a two lense kit 18-55 and 55-200 both non VR It was a kit from Nikon and not something the store was kitting out..

GaryPhotos at http://www.pbase.com/gary_602zVery funny Scotty now beam me down my clothes!..

Comment #5

Mike,.

Thanks for taking the time to respond. Great feedback on the "how they feel" aspect. While I had read a lot about that factor I didn't remember to save it in memory for my decision..

Anyhow, I borrowed from my work a couple years back a Canon D20 for a cruise to the Caribbean. (talk about appearing like a hot shot photo guy) When I got home I snapped a few photos with a friends Canon Digital Rebel and remember thinking how much smaller the Rebel felt in my hands..

Thanks again for the response..

JonI pretty much know nothing about DP!..

Comment #6

I agree with that, the bigger the camera the better it feels for me - someone who usually wears a size L or XL when purchasing working gloves for the yard / garden..

Thanks for your response,.

JonI pretty much know nothing about DP!..

Comment #7

Chris,.

Thank you for the feedback, particularly this piece of advice:.

Finally if all of the candidates you list feel a bit small to you butyou like the 7.5 x zoom on the 18-135 you could do worse than lookfor a good deal on the D80 where the 18-135 is the usual kit lens. Itis abit bigger in the hand and you might find one reconditioned at agood price. Also the D80 will soon be replaced so you might find oneat a good price soon..

I will check around on the D80, and maybe some used or reconditioned cameras of the other brands that are of the higher end models. I oft times get caught up thinking that new is the only way to go, but I suspect that if people spend the money on the high end cameras that they probably take care of them so that they can resale them when it is time to upgrade. Good thinking..

Jon.

I pretty much know nothing about DP!..

Comment #8

I still consider myself a newb and if you want to see some of.

My pics, you can visit:.

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/23833556@N03/.

Thanks for the feedback, those are great pictures. If I can get anywhere near the quality of those photos I will be a happy camper. Currently my Canon A4 Powershot isn't even in the same ball park - so to speak. Also, in photos 9484 - 9489 that pitcher has a common problem of not "flexing" his back leg while at the apex of his balance position in order to transfer the moment forward. You can tell in the photo's that he is stepping forward and simply bringing the back leg along with him. He could also raise his elbow a little bit higher in order to create a better throwing motion, but that's pretty ticky tacky he has good form for a 10 year old.

Thanks for the link this just solidifies in my mind the need to spend the money and get the right equipment..

My 7 year old daughter is playing softball and I coach my son's 10year old baseball team. We are in similar situations..

Here's a piece of advice for you: Hand the camera to someone else from time to time and make sure to get in some of those shots with your kids. I find that so often there are tons of photos of the kids but none with my wife or me and the kids. Anyhow, thanks again for taking the time to post this information and the link to your Flickr album..

Regards,.

Jon.

I pretty much know nothing about DP!..

Comment #9

Gary,.

I bought the D40 as a two lense kit 18-55 and 55-200 both non VR.

Do you use the 55-200 for youth sports? How do you like that lens as an all around lens?.

Thanks,.

Jon.

I pretty much know nothing about DP!..

Comment #10

RE>This industry is just as bad as the IP (Internet Protocol) space with all the fancy abbreviations and acronyms. Guys my brain is fried. I don't know what an f-stop means and I don't really understand aperture and all the other fancy terms you all know without even thinking about. I am a simple guy,<.

Well, no..

Except for Sony,. which is really a video tape recorder company, the photo industry, or at least it's leaders, uses simple language that is almost always interchangable between manufacturers..

And most of the numbers make sense..

As for simple guy... we did not use those words..

But simple guys seems to fail; to notice that photography actually is cimp-licated.Want to hit a ball with a stick? Simple..

Want to take five different focal lengths of lenses, combine them into one tube, and make that tube focus automatically on obkects 3, 5, 7, 9 and many other feet worth of distance away?.

Son of a gun. That's complicated.So a considerable number ow writers have goine to ac onsiuderable amount of trouble to write a considerab le number of books to explain this is fairlyt simp-le terms to those newcomers to the craft / hobby who are not too lazy to get up and go to a store and buy a book..

Tom Ang and Michael Freeman and Jpohm HEdhgecoe and lots of others..

They exxplain aperaturesand f stops and focal lengths and light intensity and shadows and fill and lots more..

Yes, from time to time, things get complicated AND not explained well. How Canon and Nikon flash units work, for instance. But other than that, it's all pretty straightforward and anyone who blames the science... well, I guess it's the calculators fault that the numb ers are wrong..

If some of the people in the woprld understand [photography, it's because we WORKED at understanding it. Some of us spent years..

But the basiscs are simple..

Light needs to go thorugh a lens and hit a sensor..

The lower/shorter the focal length, the more subject hits the sensor. (more of the subject with a 35mm lens than with a 85mm lens.).

The film or sensor is available in a variety of sensitivities. That is the ISO setting. With film, you choose different films, based on the number written on the box. 100, 1260, 200, 400....

With digital, you turn a dial or press a button..

A specific amount of light needs to hit the sensor. Just like a tap on a bath-tub, the amount of light / water depends on how big the hole the light goes though is, and how long the hole is open. he hole is the apertture, and the size of it is measured in f stops. 2.8 and 5.6 and 8 are f stops..

The time the hole / aperture is open in a camera is called tghe shutter speed. Longer it is, more light gets through..

BAlance the shutter speed and aperture, and you get the sameamoutn of light with a big aperture and short shutter speed, or small aperture and liong shutter speed. The numbers all tell you this, but cameras use automation so you don't need to pay attention..

So, for anyone wanting yto makle an effort, the photo industry has sets of numbers and a glassary of words that apply from camera to camera and lens to lens..

For anyone not wanting to make an effort, there are dozens of digital cameras that will take really good pictures with hardly any effort at all..

Photography is hard and requires work, and there are lots of books and courses..

BAK..

Comment #11

Seems like just like the IP industry the Camera industry have the same type of personalities, of course I am sure that they are everywhere. Anyhow, you know the type, those individuals we like to call KIA's, or rather Know It All's. These are the guys that like to show just how much they know and how very intelligent they, while everyone else is lazy or stupid or both..

Typically in IP they are application programmers. These are the guys who will respond to an inquiry about which programming language to use with the same type of condescending attitude as this fellow has displayed below. To non-programmer type it's not important how the code works, or why one is better than another, they just want a good solid application built and they want a little bit of feedback as to why. They don't want to be a programmer, that's not what they are interested in..

Nice work answering a question that was never asked. I don't think I asked for an explanation about technical photography jargon or anything like that. I just wanted a vote on 4 different cameras, simple enough. Further, I just want to coach youth sports and take photos with the best device available for doing that within the budget constraints indicated. I don't really care to become a DP pro and I don't want to spend the time learning about all of that technical jargon you spieled out below in order to simply buy a camera..

In closing, it has been my experience that truly successful people are not afraid to seek advice from people who know more about a subject than they do. Anyhow, I hope you feel better about yourself for taking the time to post your very condescending post!.

BAK wrote:.

Except for Sony,. which is really a video tape recorder company, thephoto industry, or at least it's leaders, uses simple language that isalmost always interchangable between manufacturers..

And most of the numbers make sense..

As for simple guy... we did not use those words..

But simple guys seems to fail; to notice that photography actually iscimp-licated..

...fairlyt simp-le terms to those newcomers to the craft / hobby who are nottoo lazy to get up and go to a store and buy a book..

But other than that, it's all pretty straightforward and anyone who blames thescience... well, I guess it's the calculators fault that the numb ersare wrong..

If some of the people in the woprld understand [photography, it'sbecause we WORKED at understanding it. Some of us spent years..

I guess that it is required that people have to WORK years or else they simply aren't or shouldn't be allowed to even be involved in the photography space, geesh my bad!.

But the basiscs are simple..

Light needs to go thorugh a lens and hit a sensor..

No sh!t? Wow, I never knew!.

For anyone not wanting to make an effort, there are dozens of digitalcameras that will take really good pictures with hardly any effort atall..

Now was that so hard? But still after all that you didn't add ANY value to the original question, so why did you even post? Actually scratch that question, don't bother answering, I don't need to be told once again that I am a stupid lazy person who shouldn't even consider buying a camera until I have done years of study on how camera systems work..

JonI pretty much know nothing about DP!..

Comment #12

I have only used my 18-55 a few times as I almost always have my 55-200 on the camera and I hate changing lenses. 90 percent of my shots are probably at the long end of it. Haven't shot much for sports or action. If you can afford a faster lens a don't think you would be disappointed..

GaryPhotos at http://www.pbase.com/gary_602zVery funny Scotty now beam me down my clothes!..

Comment #13

Wow, that response was a bit off the wall. I think if someone is going to be in the beginner's forum, expect questions from beginners. Try to add some value and at the very least use the Preview button before posting.Some other JonGive me something to shoot..

Comment #14

Actually, I handed the score book to my assistant coach and took some shots of my son today. I made a settings mistake and am disappointed with my shoot. I know better. We have plenty more games and I will correct my issue..

Thanks for the pitching tips. I'll look at those pictures and check it out. The pitchers were not of my son. My son needs much more work on his pitching..

Have a great weekend..

Matt..

Comment #15

Hey Jon..

I would get any of the above mentioned cameras. I would forgo the normal kit lens and strike out a little except with the Oly 410-420 two lens kit..

I'd get the wonderful Nikon D40 with the 18-135 zoom. It comes as a kit in lieu of the 18-55 making it in the $600-$700 range. That would make a great sideline kit and it takes great images out of the box with little or no tinkering. If you wish to learn more about photography later, it will grow with you..

Another choice would be the same D40 from Costco with a 2 lens kit; the 18-55 and the 55-200 vibration reduction zoom. Costco sells it for $599 with memory..

The Olympus I mentioned in the first line is a very high quality camera and has a wonderful 2 lens kit that will fit your needs..

Http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/recommended-cameras.htm.

I'm a system level programmer. We're not as bad as the app guys. LOL But, we do eat orange peanut butter crackers and chinese food and stay up all night with core dumps even when we get older and crustier...

Comment #16

Weird that I read everyone elses response, but when I got to BAK's, I just skipped it. There was nothing pertain to your question. Anyways, I am a Canon guy, so I'd say the Canon. I have the new XSi myself, and I really like it, but it's $900... For sideline sports, I don't think a 18-55 lens is enough...

Comment #17

Matt,.

My son is 9 years old and this is his first year playing baseball. He never really showed much interest in it at a younger age and so therefore I never pursued it with him. Having this be his first year has both pros and cons. The Pros are that he never developed any bad habits mechanically that now need to be corrected. The cons are that he struggles with a lot of the little nuances, lingo and intricacies of the game. For example over running second base, or getting picked off when the assistant coaches tells him "get back cuz they are going to throw it down on ya" you know all the baseball stuff..

Anyhow, as I have been getting ready for this year in coaching I did a bunch of research and watched a ton of DVD's and VCR tapes and two of the best on pitching were: "Baseball the Ripken Way - Pitching" & "Teaching the Mechanics of the Major League Pitcher" If you have a Netflix subscription you can actually watch the Ripken DVD's on the instant watch program. If you don't have one I think you can actually sign-up for a free trial. Either way you can buy them on ebay all the time. I like aspects of both series, Ripken is much newer and includes video of recent stars while the Coach Emanski videos cover more aspects of the game. Either way you can't go wrong watching those two videos. If you would like more information I can find the email address of the ebay guy where I got a smokin deal on the Coach Emanski series..

Thanks,.

JonI pretty much know nothing about DP!..

Comment #18

Yeah, I was a bit onry this morning when I read his post and over-reacted a little bit..

Anyhow, it's amazing how you start to notice things when you are investigating something new. This evening I went to my 5 year olds Gymnastics recital and there was a fellow who had the first version of the Digital Canon Rebel. He had that thing all sorts of decked out. Big greyish white lens, what appeared to be a special handle under the camera that made the whole thing much bigger. (Battery?) and a flash on the top of it. I kept having to run all over the room to get shots of my daughter with my point and shoot camera while he sat in one place and I imagine took great photos..

I pointed the camera out to my wife and told her to notice how he just was sitting there snapping photos all relaxed while I was a total wreck..

Anyhow, thanks for the response..

JonI pretty much know nothing about DP!..

Comment #19

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