My first SLR
Ok so I'm new to the DSLR world. I want to get a camera, so I can join with my local community in there picture weekends. I plan on taking pictures of sport activitys, space shuttle launches, and vacations, so I need a big lens, with image stabilization but dont want to spend alot of $$$. I looked at the Canon XTi, and the Nikon D60. what do you guys suggest?..

Comments (10)

What kind of budget do you have? Sports will in general require a long lens which will be expensive especially if it's stabilised. Also if it's night (floodlit) sports or gym sports, then that requires a bright lens (typically f2.8 or brighter) which will add to the price drastically. The typical cheap zooms you see will not cut it, in general at max zoom they will be "darker" than the lens of a superzoom (non dslr) at full zoom and a lot lot bigger. You could be looking to spend 3 to 4 times the price of the camera just on a bright, long zoom, so be aware of that. Some dslrs (some Olympus, all Sonys etc) have inbody stabilisation, that grants any lens attached stabilisation, so you may want to look into that as well. Best thing to do while you consider the finances is to go to camera shops and ask to try the various cameras out. You need to find one that fits your hand, one you like the viewfinder on and one that you like the button placement and grip on...

Comment #1

Well not really long. something like 200mm with an f stop of about 4-5.6 (is it really that important). the d60 also has VR so thats a plus. just wondering about the camera. how is it. the kit comes with the 200 mm nikon with a VR, or a canon 300mm with no IS...

Comment #2

The f5.6 lens might be ok for bright day sport shooting, but not even close for nighttime/floodlit/gym sports. As an example the lens on the Canon S5 (non dslr) is f3.5 at the far end and takes in over twice the light of the f4-5.6 lens you are considering, while a f2.8 dslr lens would take in 4 times the light. The d60 can of course be shot at at high ISOs to make up for a dim lens where the Canon S5 as a point and shoot (tiny sensor) can not go, but still, it's better to have a bright lens than rely on extremely high ISOs where you may only be able to print at small sizes. The d60 does not have a built in focus drive motor, so a lot of older lens (and many current), that do not have a built in motor would be manual focus only, though the d60 has a inbuilt electronic rangefinder which is supposed to help with manual focus. More lenses with inbuilt motors are being released, but I would check the lens you want has one, for Nikon lenses you would need lenses marked AF-S and AF-I, for Sigmas and Tamron compatible lenses you would have to check. VR (image stabilisation) is not as important for sports, it's used to damp down the shake that you would see transmitted by your hands in a picture at a low shutter speed.

The faster the sport the higher the shutter speed needed to freeze the action. Of course in some cases a slow speed is fine, the pause before the pitcher releases, the pause before the tennis serve etc, but for most people shooting sports they want to capture the running receiver about the catch the ball, the swing of the bat, etc all of require a good fast shutter speed, a good autofocus system and in most cases either a lot of shots or luck!..

Comment #3

How fast of a shuttter speed, will I need to have like 1/100 th of a second or something?..

Comment #4

For sports (well fast sports anyway..) you should be looking at 1/400s at a minimum. As Telchard said, you can get away with slower speeds by picking your moment when a player is still. Another thing to consider is camera shake. Generally the rule to minimise the chance of shake due to handholding, the shutter speed should be 1/focal length of the lens. Ie at 200mm shoot 1/200s, at 500mm shoot 1/500, etc etc You also have to factor in the crop factor of the sensor, ie on most low end canons the crop factor is x1.6, so that 200mm lens gives a field of view of 200x1.6 = 320mm, so the minimum shutter speed (without IS/VR) becomes 1/320s or above..

Comment #5

Well I read that the nikon d60 can have a shutter speed from 1/4000 to 30 sec, when on manual focus. is that ture, and can that work for sports...

Comment #6

Yes the d60 has a shutter speed as you say same as the xti. You can always set any dslr (and many point and shoots) for a fast shutter speed, but if you don't have enough light your picture is under exposed or quite possibly black.. In other words you camera will try to meter for a properly exposed image, if it tells you that at it's widest aperture (lens open to gather as much light as possible) and at it's highest ISO (most noise) it can only give a shutter speed of say 1/50s you are quite at liberty to enter manual mode and set the shutter speed to 1/400s.. however thats 3 stops of underexposure, so you may not be able to actually see a lot in the photo. All exposures are a balance of three things. ( ) Aperture (the size of the opening in the lens to let light in) Shutter speed (how long the shutter is open to let in the light) ISO (the sensitivity of the sensor to the light, similar to ASA in film days) When you need a higher shutter speed, you can open the lens wider and/or increase the ISO.

Post process and bring the dark image up via software, which will increase noise or just look plain terrible. Light the subject better, hard to do at a sports game. Use flash, which depending on the sport/location may not be allowed or the action is simply too far away ( ever see those idiots at football games flashing away with little point and shoots ? Those flashes have a range of maybe 2-3 meters ! ) Or get a faster lens. (ever wonder about pro photographers and those lenses the size of rocket launchers ? Those are very fast very long lenses with the appropriate price tag.)..

Comment #7

Hi Mr. Fernandez, You are lucky to be buying a dslr now as there are many excellent choices, the tough part is deciding which one to get ! I recently got a D60 with the kit 18-55VR, a very nice package, good for scenics, family gathering, and reasonable close ups, I posted a couple images on this site under Nikon D60 thread. Because I don't shoot action shots much, I can't offer much advice, however, the D60 has only three auto focus points, that may limit focus performance when dealing with moving subjects. Sounds like you'd like some greater tele-capability, me too. I've been reading reviews on the 18-200 as an all purpose lens and maybe this is perfect for what you want. I'm fussy about image quality and will likely get the sharper and longer 70-300 VR, and be stuck with more gear and lens swapping.

You'll probably find a camera body that appeals to you some optics that meet your needs. Happy hunting ! ...

Comment #8

I am basically in the same situation looking for a DSLR. Unless your super strong, consider the weight of the camera since most bodies run from one to two pounds and the lens another one to three pounds, so you soon have a four or five pound camera to lug around. I am considering a Sony A350 which has a tilting LCD to give good angles and a Sony 18-250 mm lens, so you have both wide angle and telephoto, and you only need one lens to start with.

Both are fairly priced, acceptable weight and have received above average reviews. I also found it wise to go to stores with cameras tp examine and hold the cameras. Reading about a camera is one thing and holding and using it is another. Your sometimes surprised at the difference...

Comment #9

I`ve just read about your problem and as I understood you don`t really need a SLR camera.I`d suggest you to buy Canon SX100IS,this camera is more than a compact camera,has Canons Digic III processor. I`d advise to read review at this site to see what you can do with it.I was like you and I have it now for more than 2 months and I`m enjoying very much and It`s a great pleasure to take pictures with it which gives you a total liberty according to your imagination and excellent results.Other,advantage of this camera is easy to handle and carry with you anywhere you go.SLR cameras are heavy to carry and expensive. Attachments:.


Comment #10

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