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Looking to buy a new camera
I've always liked photography, but never got into it. Recently I was thinking of getting a SLR instead of my little point and shoot. There is so much information on the internet that it is confusing..

I was looking to get a beginner camera like a Nikon D80 or a Canon Rebel XTI. I looked on ebay and there are 10 million different packages with differnt brand lenses, different types of lenses that it is a little overwhelming..

The reason I want to buy a new camera is that I go to a lot of sporting events and would like to get live action shots..

Does anyone have any good ideas where I can find like an overview of what I should get as a beginner?.

Thanks...

Comments (20)

Does anyone have any good ideas where I can find like an overview of what I should get as a beginner?>>.

That question is virtually impossible to answer because when you read books by established pros they're certainly not beginners..

Instead, visit the Pro Talk forum on this site, also Canon and Nikon Forums (these are the two brands that together take more than 75% of the DSLR market.) Post specific rather than general questions, asking why and how rather than what to get, and carefully read the repsonses..

Essentially, Sport needs a fast (wide aperture lens) and a DSLR with good high ISO capabilities plus - very important - a decent viewfinder (glass pentaprisim - rather than mirror-based - and good eye-relief distance. eg. for me as a glasses wearer I might start with a Canon 40D) so that you can quickly and accurately follow the action. The lenses you buy are the most important component as they will stay with you as you upgrade your camera bodies over the years. So Choose either Canon or Nikon and stick with the system of your choice..

John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..

Comment #1

Whats your budget? Both cameras you mention would work for sports photography provided you purchased the right lenses. The lenses can be expensive. What kind of sports?..

Comment #2

You might like to check out this site for some dSLR info:.

Http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/#s.

Cheers ..

Comment #3

I hate the idea of buying online, especially as a newbie since I'd like to be able to bring the camera back in case I don't like it or if there is a problem...

Comment #4

Photoeng wrote:.

I hate the idea of buying online, especially as a newbie since I'dlike to be able to bring the camera back in case I don't like it orif there is a problem..

What does this have to do with the thread?..

Comment #5

MaryGierth wrote:.

Photoeng wrote:.

I hate the idea of buying online, especially as a newbie since I'dlike to be able to bring the camera back in case I don't like it orif there is a problem..

What does this have to do with the thread?.

Just that he mentioned looking at ebay. That stuck out like a sore thumb when I read his post. I know that I want to have somewhere to bring my high dollar item *back* to (and not have to worry about shipping) in case there's any issue...

Comment #6

Racing is very different from singles tennis, which is very different from ice hockey, which is very different from afternoon baseball..

Shooting up-close-and-personal from sidelines is also quite different from shooting from the upper levels of a stadium..

I would recommend searching based on what sports and lighting conditions you have in mind. If you're expecting better answers, you need to provide better detail...

Comment #7

I'm in the same boat looking for a camera..

Visit an actual camera store if at all possible. Pick up everything & shoot it. Talk to more than 1 salesperson or visit other stores, they tend to, in my experience, only keep on on "their" brand ( not always the case, but I found it common). Don't be biased towards any of the brands..

If they have a decent return policy, go ahead & buy it there at the store. First time buying? Don't worry about the savings of an online store, you will gain that back with the bazillion questions you should get good answers to versus a big box store..

My advice, good luck!.

'OOOOOH, they have the Internet on computers now!' Homer J. Simpson..

Comment #8

Start by going to local in town tell them you needs, but stick with Nikon, Canon which are biggest one out there...

Comment #9

Kmac1036 wrote:.

Visit an actual camera store if at all possible..

Absolutely essential..

Pick up everything & shoot it. Talk to more than 1 salesperson or visit other stores, they tend to, in my experience, only keep on on "their" brand......

Again, very true. having worked in a big-box store selling IT and camera gear etc, manufacturers were always offering us increased commissions and selling credits to push new or under-selling models..

If they have a decent return policy, go ahead & buy it there at thestore......

Yes: far better than getting stuck with a camera you ultimately don't like and can't easily return without restocking, postage, insurance costs etc (as versus online)..

Don't worry about the savings of an online store......

I agree again: All too often one's "savings" with an online purchase disappear when you add in freight and insurance costs, and the potential of money-wasting return and restocking costs, and (heaven forbid!) a product that turns out to be DOA..

Cheers ..

Comment #10

If you've been at sports events you'll probably have noticed small armies of photographers ( pros ) at the sidelines snapping away. You may also have noticed that they have ( a) big expensive lenses and (b) big expensive cameras and (c) they know what they are doing..

Sports photography is extremely demanding and requires a combination of technique and equipment..

You may get quite good results with less expensive equipment ( although your success rate drops, which is why pros need pro gear )..

Technique is absolutely essential. For some work you just have to be able to manually focus/pre-focus and post-process well. Choice of shooting position is important ( to avoid flare, back-lighting, high-contrast ( or indeed to get these effects ) )..

I would suggest, therefore, that you do two things before looking at equipment :.

(1) Read up (online) about shooting sports. Places like Photo.net and the dpreview forum are good starting points. Photozone have some excellent technique notes as do LuminousLandscape. You need to concentrate on what technique and knowledge is required..

(2) Consider what level of quality and success you want. Do this after you have researched. Establish a budget and make your choices based on the closest you can get to what you want. One thing to remember - lens is more important than body so if your choices are expensive body+cheap lens or cheap-body+expensive lens, get the second choice..

It's worth saying that indoor sports and artificially lit sports require a lot more skill and better equipment than outdoor sports. For example you'll get perfectly good shots of a street marathon or car rally using something like a Fuji S9600 ( a well equipped point-and-shoot ) whereas a floodlit football game or ice-hockey is going to be pushing these really a little past the edge. Dimly lit or fast action or long range action - this is where a DSLR and a well chosen lens makes the difference..

For the sake of giving you a starting point I'd suggest my favorite general introduction to photography - Daniel Lezano's The Photography Bible. Strictly speaking you can get the same info on-line, but it's a much easier introduction in this form..

I'd suggest you start by getting a cheap superzoom with a decent manual mode and using that as a basic learning tool. The Fuji S9100/9600 or S6000/6500 the Canon S5 or S3 would be good choices. Don't misunderstand me. If you're comfortable spending money on say, a Nikon D80 and a 55-200 VR then go ahead. I'm just saying that you may be a year or two learning and in that time better DSLRs and lens will appear, so perhaps save now, wait and learn, and then get equipment based on your own knowledge and experience that suits your needs..

Here's a link to a street marathon shot I took with a Fuji S9600 to show you what's possible http://www.flickr.com/photos/sjgcit/2155518419 and bare in mind I'm strictly an amateur and not very good..

StephenG.

Fuji S3 ProPentax K100DFuji S9600Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #11

I'm glad I asked and got all the responses. I think for now I am sticking with my little point and shoot will be the best thing for me now. Im going to try to figure out how serious I am about getting a new camera and getting into photography or if it just my new idea of the week..

Pretty much I am a huge dodger fan, but usually dont have seats close enough to get any cool pictures..

Below is one of the Flickr users I saw and she has a Nikon D80 and got some amazing photos over her years of going to games and I thought it would be a good hobby to pick up..

Just finding a camera is more complicated..

Http://flickr.com/photos/malingering/sets/1583283/.

Thanks for everyones Help..

Comment #12

If you wanna take a lot of pics of the game, then this might be the camera for you:http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfz18/.

Pretty wide 28mm if you're close to the diamond, and a huge tele if you wanna catch the occasional female fan in the opposite stand LOL!.

Cheers ..

Comment #13

Good luck & sorry you are having trouble..

Maybe another approach is to set on a lens first. In order to do that, you would have to pick Nikon or Canon or whatever, but I think your optics in this case are going to (or should) dictate your purchase strategy..

I would worry about spending the money on glass, the camera seems trivial, most of the SLR bodies are pretty good. Nikon D40-60 requires the AF-S lenses AKA focus motors in the lens. Std AF would be manual on bodies that don't have a drive motor. On Canon, the EOS lenses will work on just about any of the bodies. Pentax will take any K mount lens or an adapter that covers the rest (again, with some limitations). So know the limitations of the brands at particular price points..

I spoke to a guy that worked at the local store that also shoots sports for the local newspapers. He has a Canon system but only buys IS (Image Stabilization) when he has to for the weather sealing. It's pretty useless for sports due to very fast shutter speeds..

There are good choices both from name brand & 3rd party lenses. Baseball is pretty sensitive to weather. Anything greater than a sprinkle & they got the tarps out  So, not sure how often the Dodger games get rained out or how often it rains in LA, so I'm not personally sure how important weather sealing should be to you..

Lighting should be pretty good even for the night games, esp. when they are on TV & being a major league club..

I finally made my choice over the weekend, so I know how you feel. My final thought is put a few bucks or whatever into a "pot" every week & when you are comfortable with trying to look again, maybe the choice won't be so troublesome a 2nd time around.'OOOOOH, they have the Internet on computers now!' Homer J. Simpson..

Comment #14

Those were nice pictures she took with the Nikon d80. Well I'm glad we were of some help. Some people start with a superzoom before moving up to a dslr. You can also consider the Canon s5 besides the Panasonic Z18 that was mentioned...

Comment #15

Ok, I need to correct something-.

On Canon, the EOSlenses will work on just about any of the bodies..

Read this first:http://forums.dpreview.com/...ums/readflat.asp?forum=1002&thread=27896414.

Only really matters if you plan to buy older lenses for a Canon, but wanted to clear up my statement...

Comment #16

I am starting to look into some of the superzoom cameras and beginning to think that this is more where I should be looking instead of a SLR. Thanks for the advice..

Currently I have an Casio Exilim EX-Z850 little point and shoot. My main goal was to get a camera where I could zoom in and get some decent shots at a game. Just photos that I could keep for myself as memories. The casio doesnt really do it, since there is a little lag from when the button is pushed and the photo is taken. It also does not take pictures of anything in motion very well..

Probably more than half of it is because of me not knowing how to work properly and the other half is the camera isnt equipped for it..

Do you think this would be a better route? and also...besides the Canon S5 and the Panasonic that were mentioned, does anyone have any recommendations? What do you think of a Nikon P80?.

I am currently looking on reviews on Cnet.com...

Comment #17

If you're set on a superzoom camera then the best of the lot at present is the Fuji s100FS. This is image stabilised, has a very long reach and handles higher ISOs better than it's rivals. A downside is a potential for purple fringing when shot against a light sky. Take a look at some of the excellent shots people are posting from it on PBase.com (search by camera)..

It's as big and heavy as a Sony Alpha 350 DSLR (which also offers live view on flip out LCD) plus 18-250 (375mm due to the crop factor) Tamron zoom, but costs about $300 less..

John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..

Comment #18

Dabruins07 wrote:it..

Do you think this would be a better route? and also...besides theCanon S5 and the Panasonic that were mentioned, does anyone have anyrecommendations? What do you think of a Nikon P80?.

The superzoom route would be a good one for you. The cameras have alot of advanced features that would allow you to progress in photography as well as get the type of images your after. The Canon s5 is a pretty good deal price wise right now too. After you've used a superzoom you'll be in a better position to decide if the dslr route is something you'd want to pursue...

Comment #19

Dabruins07 wrote:.

I am starting to look into some of the superzoom cameras andbeginning to think that this is more where I should be lookinginstead of a SLR..

Wise choice, in my humble opinion. For the sort of photography you're looking at, you simply don't need the "complications" of using a dSLR  although a lot of people will argue that you'll NEVER get the same quality of pic with a point 'n' shoot as you will with a dSLR. Which  broadly speaking is true  but it comes down to what sort of pics you want and how crash-hot you want them to be. And if you're prepared to put in the (inevitable) higher technical involvement required with any dSLR  as versus the "impulse" shooting more commonly associated with P&Ss. Horses for courses..

Currently I have an Casio Exilim EX-Z850 little point and shoot..

This model is probably one of the best P&Ss out there. The only thing it lacks is a 'decent' zoom (beyond 3x), but feature-wise, it's actually hard to beat when compared to most of it's competitors. You may also be pleasantly surprised that it's image quality will match anything (in the same class) on the market today..

Do you think this would be a better route?.

Definitely agree the super-zoom, P&S is the way for you to go..

What do you think of a Nikon P80?.

On paper it has excellent specifications, but..... the limited reviews I've read have all queried it's image quality, and although it's very early days in this cam's life, nobody has said it's got outstanding  or even acceptable  image quality for a 2008 model. One commentator said it only had 2004-vintage image quality! Its specs are certainly good, but without the IQ to match that, why would you bother?.

There's been no in-depth reviews from any of the 'recognised' review sites yet (and why not?) but there's a medium-depth preview here:http://www.ephotozine.com/article/Nikon-Coolpix-P80.

I am currently looking on reviews on Cnet.com..

It's only my very personal opinion (and others may disagree), bit I reckon that Cnet's "reviews" aren't much better than useless. To them, EVERY camera seems to have at least one major shortcoming, and NO camera ever gets their unequivocal recommendation. Oftentimes they pick on the silliest, inconsequential issues that wouldn't impinge on the average (non-professional) shooter's expectations from the camera. For example, in every second review, they criticize the cameras' demosaicing algorithms  like a trained parrot!.

There's FAR better review sites out there  such as this one..

Cheers ..

Comment #20

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