You are going to struggle with a zoom lens unless you get the very best high ISO/low noise output and a constant f/2.8 zoom. Mostly that will take you outside your budget..
I am not sure of US prices but check out the Niikon D40x plus a Sigma 50-150 f/2.8. That should just about do it..
You will find a good review here:.
If that does not appeal you will really have to consider a fixed prime lens in which case most modern DSLRs from Canon or Nikin will do - but do check out the dynamic range figures at ISO 1600 on this site..
Hope that helps..
*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.
I would suggest something like a canon 40D and the 85 1.8 lens.
The 85 1.8 focuses fast and accurate enough for sports and is very inexpensive (320)..
The 40D will give you high ISO so you can shoot at ISO 1600 and get shutter speeds fast enough to shoot action.
Thanks for your reply! I'll look into the review you forwarded!..
This is super deal. Minolta 85mm f1.4 costs about 1K for used!http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..
If you wanna stay within budget, you're gonna have to settle for the 20D. Here are some differences between the 20D and 40D that might affect sport shooting:.
5fps instead of 6.5fps in continuous mode. If you use only the center focus point then focusing will be equal. 23 frames JPEG buffer instead of 70.
6 frames RAW buffer instead of 17 (6 could be too restrictive, if you shoot RAW).
Both have ISO3200. 8MP of the 20D and 30D might be slightly cleaner than the 10MP of the 40D, although we'll have to wait for Phil's review to be sure..
Of course the 40D offer other nice features, and only you can determine whether they are worth the price..
The Canon 85mm F1.8 is a must. It's the ultimate indoor sport lens for sure. You're much better off buying 20D and 85mm F1.8 than 40D and 50mm F1.8..
Don't buy the 50mm F1.8. It's cheap for a reason. It doesn't focus consistently, and you can't use it wide open - very soft picture. For fast action indoor sport, believe me, you desperately need to use it wide open. I tried this lens for an event with slow people walking, and it couldn't focus accurately half of the time. For sport, it will be a lot worse...
You suggested that the 20D was the right camera body, but what about the 30D? It seems that it only costs $80 more. Do the features make it worth the extra $$? If most of my shots will be indoor sports (volleyball and basketball), will there be advantages with the 30D over the 20D?.
The lens suggestion seems to get great reviews. Whatever camera I buy, it looks like I should NOT ge the kit lens, but just get the 85/1.8 instead...
At only $80 difference between 20D and 30D, I'd go 30D. More features, newer model so fewer shutter actuations more than likely, etc.Jon (love my 30D FWIW)Give me something to shoot..
If you can find that deal, then take it. I think the difference is more like $250-$300..
The 30D has bigger RAW buffer for continuous shooting, 11fps vs 6fps of the 20D. That's useful for raw shooters. There's a few other goodies as well, like bigger LCD and spot meter. All basic functionalities and image quality are the same though..
At only $80 difference between 20D and 30D, I'd go 30D. Morefeatures, newer model so fewer shutter actuations more than likely,etc.Jon (love my 30D FWIW)Give me something to shoot..
Again, to those who replied to my questions - Thanks so much for the input! I may have to spend a little more than I wanted to, but isn't that usually the case? I appreciate your opinions...