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new to DSLR, Pleas help.
I am looking for opinions, I am new to the photography in general and my research is limited to camera shop salesmen and the internet. I am looking at doing a lot of action shots mostly in the motorcycle world and lots of the pictures will be at a distance, so 200-300mm lenses are what I am looking at shooting with mostly. I had my search narrowed down to the Nikon D40X with it's 55-200mm VR lense, but recently I had a large group of people tell me to consider the Sony Alpha A-100. I am aware of the differences between the two as far as the auto focus motors and the image stabalization, and have found decent deals on both cameras. I was looking for some more opinions on which would be the better camera for a beginner and also allow for ample room to grow with the camera. I am hoping to purchase soon and am at a stale mate between the two.

Thank you...

Comments (21)

I'm a Canon person, so I can't really help with the camera situation..

But I shoot a lot of motorsports - Indy and F1. Considerably bigger subjects than motorcycles. I think you will find 200mm far too short unless you can get really close. I would try to find something that will get you in the 300-400mm range..

Motoshooter wrote:.

I am looking for opinions, I am new to the photography in general andmy research is limited to camera shop salesmen and the internet. I amlooking at doing a lot of action shots mostly in the motorcycle worldand lots of the pictures will be at a distance, so 200-300mm lensesare what I am looking at shooting with mostly. I had my searchnarrowed down to the Nikon D40X with it's 55-200mm VR lense, butrecently I had a large group of people tell me to consider the SonyAlpha A-100. I am aware of the differences between the two as far asthe auto focus motors and the image stabalization, and have founddecent deals on both cameras. I was looking for some more opinions onwhich would be the better camera for a beginner and also allow forample room to grow with the camera. I am hoping to purchase soon andam at a stale mate between the two.

Thank you..

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Comment #1

Image stabilization will help with freezing motion due to your hand shake. However, image stabilization will not do anything to eliminate blur caused by the movement of your subjects (the motorcycles and their riders). For that, you need to crank up the shutter speed..

To crank up shutter speed while maintaining correct exposure, you can:.

1. Increase ISO (at the possible expense of noise). A camera body that has good high ISO performance can help here..

2. Open up the lens aperture (at the expense of depth of field). A more expensive lens that allows opening up the aperture to f/4 or f/2.8 can help here...

Comment #2

Don't worry too much about the make of camera. Both the nikon D40x and Sony a-100 are very good and popular cameras. At that price point the other obvious contender is the Canon Rebel XTi (EOS-400D). They all do the same thing in the same way and work fine. Pick then up in a shop and play with them and see if you prefer the feel of one over the others: that's as good a way as any to choose. None of them is obviously 'better' than any other..

The Nikon 55-200 VR lens has a good reputation. The previous poster suggested from personal experience that you might need something longer, in which case the Nikon 70-300 VR would be a good choice. If you go for a Canon or Sony body, the Tamron 70-300 f/4-f/5.6 is probably the best value tele-zoom (it's not compatiable with the Nikon D40x due to lack of an in-body autofocus motor)..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #3

You really need to think about something a little faster..

Canon 30D can still be found new for $800 or so or used for $600..

If outdoors and the light is good then you can use a slower (less expensive lens)..

Like the other poster mentioned, 200mm is going to be too short unless you can set up right on the track or corner..

30D/40D with Canon 100-400IS Zoom would be my choice..

Gene..

Comment #4

Thank you all, I am leaning towards the Sony at the moment just because there is a little bit better deal out on it currently. Plus it sounds like the Sony has more lense options which could be good since I will have to do a little lense experimenting to see what works best for me. I am worried a little about the lense sizes to use, but that will just take some time with the camera and lenses. Some of my shots will be a the local amature events where I can be track side, other times it will be a little further away like stadium stands for professional supercross. Once again thank you!..

Comment #5

Have you considered the Pentax? The k10d is weather resistant. That the other cameras are not. Shooting events like motorcycles is dusty that is not a friend of cameras. To get a dust reduction camera is going to cost. Also there are a lot of good prime lens that Pentax have made over the years that will work with all of there cameras. Just a thought...

Comment #6

Thank you, and as I said I am brand new so I am unaware of the speed difference and how that all works, but I have had some friends who shoot motorcycle racing to stay away from cannon. I am not exactly sure why but I have not consider going that way, but I willl look into it now, thanks!..

Comment #7

Motoshooter wrote:.

But I have had some friends whoshoot motorcycle racing to stay away from cannon. I am not exactlysure why.

Approximately 80% of motorsports photographers will disagree with that assessment. Canons are dominant amongst the professionals and serious amateurs...

Comment #8

Motoshooter wrote:.

Thank you all, I am leaning towards the Sony at the moment justbecause there is a little bit better deal out on it currently..

The body is only a small part of the cost. Price out a Sony 70-200F2.8 lens compared to a Canon 70-200F2.8..

Plusit sounds like the Sony has more lense options which could be goodsince I will have to do a little lense experimenting to see whatworks best for me..

In that case - Canon is your best bet...

Comment #9

Motoshooter wrote:.

Thank you, and as I said I am brand new so I am unaware of the speeddifference and how that all works, but I have had some friends whoshoot motorcycle racing to stay away from cannon. I am not exactlysure why but I have not consider going that way, but I willl lookinto it now, thanks!.

If you buy a Canon camera, you will lose your friends. And even worse, all your "new" friends will be Canon people! .

Consider the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 with a 1.4TC. They can be configured to fit many different dSLR camera bodies..

Depending on the organizer, you may be forced to shoot from a distance or be allowed to get up close. You need to assess this before you select a lens. I can get up close so I don't need a 300mm+ lens..

Forget VR/IS. Get a monopod and a shoulder brace (that does not rotate)..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #10

The other brands hate when I say this, but if I were you, I'd stick with Canon or Nikon. Chances are you will only buy a camera and kit lens, or maybe one other lens. In that case, any brand will do..

But, if you decide you love the hobby of photography and become enthusiastic about it, you might want to expand. You're not just buying a camera, you're buying a system. Nikon and Canon have the most complete system by a long shot, a huge amount. Canon has a larger selection of current lenses. Personally I think Nikon consumer lenses are better. Both Canon L and Pro Nikon lenses are pretty equivaltent.

Those old lenses won't autofocus or meter, but they will work..

You need a right angle viewfinder add-on? No problem, most everyone carries it for Nikon or Canon. You need a spare battery charger? There's always a Canon or Nikon authorized dealer in most towns. The dealership network, parts, repair places, etc. are much more plentiful for these two companies..

Many of the other cameras by other brands have some fancy features that might catch your eye, but consider the whole system, the whole network. I'd go try a Canon XTI and XSI, then try a Nikon D40/D40x and a D80. Feel them and try them out and get one of those. I think you'll be happier in the long run. With Nikon, I would suggest the 70-300 VR. The Canon guys can suggest an equivalent lens..

Good Luck and have fun...

Comment #11

Motoshooter wrote:.

I am looking for opinions, I am new to the photography in general andmy research is limited to camera shop salesmen and the internet. I amlooking at doing a lot of action shots mostly in the motorcycle worldand lots of the pictures will be at a distance, so 200-300mm lensesare what I am looking at shooting with mostly. I had my searchnarrowed down to the Nikon D40X with it's 55-200mm VR lense, butrecently I had a large group of people tell me to consider the SonyAlpha A-100. I am aware of the differences between the two as far asthe auto focus motors and the image stabalization, and have founddecent deals on both cameras. I was looking for some more opinions onwhich would be the better camera for a beginner and also allow forample room to grow with the camera. I am hoping to purchase soon andam at a stale mate between the two.

Thank you..

Motoshooter, I would personally not recommend either the D40X or the A-100 for fast action sport. Primarily this is because they are too slow. By slow, I mean they can't get enough frames per second off. The same goes for the Canon XTi/400D. I would probably recommend you step up to a faster camera...unfortunately, that means more money but as was mentioned earlier, a Canon 30D can be had for a good price these days. I personally prefer the XXD models from Canon as they "fit" me better (they are larger and a bit heavier but have a better feel to them - for me)..

As for Image Stabilization, again, it was mentioned before but you really need to understand, IS/VR/SSS what ever they want to call it, is designed to reduce camera shake, not "freeze" or stop action..

As for your friends that don't recommend Canon, did they tell you why? While Canon isn't strickly a camera company, the photography division is very successful and has been for many decades. While they may not have some of the gizmos from a sony (electronic viewfinders and stuff like that) they produce a camera that does exactly what it is designed to do - take quality pictures. And they do it quite well. Some will spew the same garbage all the time like "the ergonomics are terrible" or "they are too expensive" but the truth is, ergonomics are a personal thing when it come to many luxury items. Heck, I hate the way you operate the windsheild wipers on many GM cars, but many other people don't have a problem with that design...it is all what you become familiar with. I picked up a friends Nikon one day and had a heck of a time trying to figure it out...because I wasn't used to it, they had the same problem with my Canons..

I am no saying "Buy a Canon" I am saying, don't close your mind to them unless someone can tell you that they won't do the job. There are many millions of people who have used Canons and that would say otherwise..

One more thing, I noticed you mentioned the Nikon D40x and not the D40...any reason? The D40 still isn't fast enough but if it was just because of the megapixel count, we may need to have another coversation. Many people feel the image quality of the D40 is better than the D40x...then again, if you get a shorter zoom you may need to do some cropping which would make the higher MP camera a better choice..

Good luck with your search...

Comment #12

The reason was for the D40x was the megapixels and it was because I would like to be able to crop and increase sizes, for posters and such. I have several little sibblings and nephews that would love it if I could make a poster of them in a race. I talked more to my friends and one reason for avoiding Canon was because according to them it didn't seem to hold up to the conditions as well as their Nikons (high dust levels, some what rough at times) But mostly I think it is brand loyalty which I am finding in photography that is often worse than in the motorcycle industry which I didn't think was possible!  I have looked at Canons now that I had many suggestions to do so and I like them but am not educated enough yet to know if they are the superior camera in the price level I am searching for. My main questions still pertain to the Sony A-100 I have had more than one person in the last several weeks tell me it is the best camera in that range but I have yet to talk to many people that have experience with it or are using it to tell me what they think. The reason I am so interested in it is the price and options you get with it for that price it seems in features to have a slight advantage over the D40X and yet is a little cheaper. Why? As I said I am new and this is something I hope to really get into but want make sure I can actually stay off the bikes long enough to take pictures so I don't want to spend to much in the beginning but would like the best bang for my buck ( I know you can't have your cake and eat it too, but a guy can try  )..

Comment #13

You're right, they're blinded by brand loyalty..

I on the other hand offer this advice - you cannot go wrong with Canon or Nikon..

It doesn't matter which is 'superior' because whichever it is, it's only superior by a hairs with..

Motoshooter wrote:.

The reason was for the D40x was the megapixels and it was because Iwould like to be able to crop and increase sizes, for posters andsuch. I have several little sibblings and nephews that would love itif I could make a poster of them in a race. I talked more to myfriends and one reason for avoiding Canon was because according tothem it didn't seem to hold up to the conditions as well as theirNikons (high dust levels, some what rough at times) But mostly Ithink it is brand loyalty which I am finding in photography that isoften worse than in the motorcycle industry which I didn't think waspossible!  I have looked at Canons now that I had many suggestionsto do so and I like them but am not educated enough yet to know ifthey are the superior camera in the price level I am searching for.My main questions still pertain to the Sony A-100 I have had morethan one person in the last several weeks tell me it is the bestcamera in that range but I have yet to talk to many people that haveexperience with it or are using it to tell me what they think. Thereason I am so interested in it is the price and options you get withit for that price it seems in features to have a slight advantageover the D40X and yet is a little cheaper. Why? As I said I am newand this is something I hope to really get into but want make sure Ican actually stay off the bikes long enough to take pictures so Idon't want to spend to much in the beginning but would like the bestbang for my buck ( I know you can't have your cake and eat it too,but a guy can try  ).

Some cool cats that can use your helphttp://www.wildlife-sanctuary.org.

Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word...

Comment #14

Motoshooter wrote:.

My main questions still pertain to the Sony A-100 I have had morethan one person in the last several weeks tell me it is the bestcamera in that range but I have yet to talk to many people that haveexperience with it or are using it to tell me what they think..

Go with the new Soiny DSLR-A200 instead. It's now shipping. It's got a beefed up AF system compared to the A100 (the A200 is 1.7 times as fast, with a beefed up AF motor and AF tracking algorithms). The A200 also has lower noise as ISO speeds are increased..

JimChttp://www.pbase.com/jcockfield..

Comment #15

IMac, therefore iAm wrote:.

You're right, they're blinded by brand loyalty..

Yes, perhaps. BTW, my earlier comments about Canon were jokes..

I on the other hand offer this advice - you cannot go wrong withCanon or Nikon..

I disagree..."just". I don't consider the D40/x suitable for motorsports. Not because it's a Nikon, but because it's AF system is primitive and it's burst rate is moderate. In fact, all the cameras being considered are unsuited to taking action SEQUENCES. They WILL take individual shots..

It doesn't matter which is 'superior' because whichever it is, it'sonly superior by a hairs with..

This is generally true, but one thing to consider is that C & N intentionally position their bodies to NOT directly compete. So if the OP was considering, for example, the D80, XSi, D200, 40D, D300 group, each is different enough that it MIGHT fit his needs better than the others around it. The IQ of this group is generally quite good and not too much to distinguish one brand from the other...but the features and capabilities are not comparable..

Also, the OP is confused about MP. Here are the "rules":.

1. Buy the biggest piece of Silicon you can afford.2. Buy the FEWEST number of pixels you can put up with.3. Buy a camera that fits your hands.4. Buy a camera that is intuitive (ie, don't have to read the manual).5. Read the @#$%ing manual anyway!6.



Motoshooter wrote:.

The reason was for the D40x was the megapixels and it was because Iwould like to be able to crop and increase sizes, for posters andsuch. I have several little sibblings and nephews that would love itif I could make a poster of them in a race. I talked more to myfriends and one reason for avoiding Canon was because according tothem it didn't seem to hold up to the conditions as well as theirNikons (high dust levels, some what rough at times) But mostly Ithink it is brand loyalty which I am finding in photography that isoften worse than in the motorcycle industry which I didn't think waspossible!  I have looked at Canons now that I had many suggestionsto do so and I like them but am not educated enough yet to know ifthey are the superior camera in the price level I am searching for.My main questions still pertain to the Sony A-100 I have had morethan one person in the last several weeks tell me it is the bestcamera in that range but I have yet to talk to many people that haveexperience with it or are using it to tell me what they think. Thereason I am so interested in it is the price and options you get withit for that price it seems in features to have a slight advantageover the D40X and yet is a little cheaper. Why? As I said I am newand this is something I hope to really get into but want make sure Ican actually stay off the bikes long enough to take pictures so Idon't want to spend to much in the beginning but would like the bestbang for my buck ( I know you can't have your cake and eat it too,but a guy can try  ).

Some cool cats that can use your helphttp://www.wildlife-sanctuary.org.

Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #16

Charlie, your comments are right on the money and thank you for elaborating on my comments which were more 'generally speaking' that both Nikon and Canon have excellent systems. The photographer still needs to determine what model meets their needs best..

Chuxter wrote:.

IMac, therefore iAm wrote:.

You're right, they're blinded by brand loyalty..

Yes, perhaps. BTW, my earlier comments about Canon were jokes..

I on the other hand offer this advice - you cannot go wrong withCanon or Nikon..

I disagree..."just". I don't consider the D40/x suitable formotorsports. Not because it's a Nikon, but because it's AF system isprimitive and it's burst rate is moderate. In fact, all the camerasbeing considered are unsuited to taking action SEQUENCES. They WILLtake individual shots..

It doesn't matter which is 'superior' because whichever it is, it'sonly superior by a hairs with..

This is generally true, but one thing to consider is that C & Nintentionally position their bodies to NOT directly compete. So ifthe OP was considering, for example, the D80, XSi, D200, 40D, D300group, each is different enough that it MIGHT fit his needs betterthan the others around it. The IQ of this group is generally quitegood and not too much to distinguish one brand from the other...butthe features and capabilities are not comparable..

Also, the OP is confused about MP. Here are the "rules":.

1. Buy the biggest piece of Silicon you can afford.2. Buy the FEWEST number of pixels you can put up with.3. Buy a camera that fits your hands.4. Buy a camera that is intuitive (ie, don't have to read the manual).5. Read the @#$%ing manual anyway!6.



Motoshooter wrote:.

The reason was for the D40x was the megapixels and it was because Iwould like to be able to crop and increase sizes, for posters andsuch. I have several little sibblings and nephews that would love itif I could make a poster of them in a race. I talked more to myfriends and one reason for avoiding Canon was because according tothem it didn't seem to hold up to the conditions as well as theirNikons (high dust levels, some what rough at times) But mostly Ithink it is brand loyalty which I am finding in photography that isoften worse than in the motorcycle industry which I didn't think waspossible!  I have looked at Canons now that I had many suggestionsto do so and I like them but am not educated enough yet to know ifthey are the superior camera in the price level I am searching for.My main questions still pertain to the Sony A-100 I have had morethan one person in the last several weeks tell me it is the bestcamera in that range but I have yet to talk to many people that haveexperience with it or are using it to tell me what they think. Thereason I am so interested in it is the price and options you get withit for that price it seems in features to have a slight advantageover the D40X and yet is a little cheaper. Why? As I said I am newand this is something I hope to really get into but want make sure Ican actually stay off the bikes long enough to take pictures so Idon't want to spend to much in the beginning but would like the bestbang for my buck ( I know you can't have your cake and eat it too,but a guy can try  ).

Some cool cats that can use your helphttp://www.wildlife-sanctuary.org.

Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/.

Some cool cats that can use your helphttp://www.wildlife-sanctuary.org.

Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word...

Comment #17

The A200 suffers the same weakness as the D40x and the XTi when it comes to motorsports, it is too slow for decent sequences sure sony's press release says it focus faster (1.7 times) than the A100 but even if that is true, it is still too low for fast action..

Motoshooter, those who told you that the Canon will have problems with the dust are wrong. I had a 20D until just the past fall, never had to clean the sensor, I have a 5D (reported dust magnet) and I still wouldn't consider it abnormal..

I am not sure how someone can tell you that the Sony A100 is the best value out there, it may be cheap to purchase a body but what do you want to put on the body (lense wise)? A few months ago I looked around at what it would cost to build a sony system like my canon system (without the "full frame" sensor) and it didn't work out as many people (who own sony's) will tell you..

That said, you don't have to buy a canon or a nikon, you can buy the sony if you want. It is your choice...others have offered their opinions to you and you can see that everyone has a different idea of what will work for you...but I think the point that many are trying to impress upon you is that 3 frames per second won't be enough, what ever you purchase, I would recommend something with at least 5 frames per second and a big buffer. No sense having 5 FPS but being limited to 5 images before the camera needs a breather!.

Jim Cockfield wrote:.

Motoshooter wrote:.

My main questions still pertain to the Sony A-100 I have had morethan one person in the last several weeks tell me it is the bestcamera in that range but I have yet to talk to many people that haveexperience with it or are using it to tell me what they think..

Go with the new Soiny DSLR-A200 instead. It's now shipping. It'sgot a beefed up AF system compared to the A100 (the A200 is 1.7 timesas fast, with a beefed up AF motor and AF tracking algorithms). TheA200 also has lower noise as ISO speeds are increased..

JimChttp://www.pbase.com/jcockfield..

Comment #18

Thank you all and I have looked into all the suggestions I have gotten, for my first camera and new to things I am a little leary to spend as much as some of the cameras you all have suggested I found the best deal that I have seen on an.

A-100 while the FPS may not be quite as fast as I may need I may go this route as my first "learners" camera plus it comes with a 18-70mm lense and a 75-300mm, which for what I am looking at doing in the beginning should be enough according to some of the people I know shooting at local events now. I really hope to take to this and learn more and about it and when I do I am all for upgrading and maybe using the Sony as a back-up or passing it on to another looking pick up photography for a new hobby. Thank all again for your input and advice I will let you know if and when I purchase and post some of my learning shots. Thanks again!..

Comment #19

Hi:.

I don't know if this is true but it was told to me by a reliable source. The Sony A100 changes the Shutter Speed and or ISO to achieve "Image Stabilization" in camera..

It also seems to me that you may want high burst rates, e.g. 6.5 frames per second and Shutter Speed of up to 1/3200 sec...

Comment #20

Sheldon Teicher wrote:.

I don't know if this is true but it was told to me by a reliablesource..

The Sony A100 changes the Shutter Speed and or ISO to achieve"Image Stabilization" in camera..

No, it's not true, which means your so called "reliable" source has no idea what they are talking about..

The Sony DSLR-A100 uses a mechanical CCD shift based stabilization system..

JimChttp://www.pbase.com/jcockfield..

Comment #21

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