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Overwhelmed
I have spent more than a week digging through this website to find the best camera to fit my needs. Well, the result- I've found tons of helpful information, but I'm overwhelmed. I welcome any suggestions regarding the best camera for:-taking great pictures at my son's baseball, soccer & potential basketball games-taking excellent close-ups.

-taking professional quality pictures of my children to display in standard size prints as well as the occasional poster size print (I usually enlarge several pictures a year to display in my home).

I received a Sony Mavica 5 years ago and took great pictures (many of which I enlarged to 11X14 that are matted & framed in my house). The Mavica broke so I purchased a Sony Cyper-Shot DSC-W100 after great reviews from the salesmen (without researching for myself) and have been completely disappointed. In the past I have relied on the auto settings (i.e. sports, portrait) but would be interested in taking a few courses in digital photography once my schedule allows. So I would love a camera that offers a great sport & portrait setting, but would allow me to advance my individual settings in the near future (not interested in a SLR yet r/t the gear and inconvienence of changing lenses often). I take pictures occasionally of my friend's children and would love to advance this ability with a better camera..

I'm willing to pay for a top-of-the-line transition camera if needed (around $700) & I'm not too concerned about size anymore..

Thanks for any suggestions!..

Comments (21)

The market has changed since you bought the first Sony..

Compacts are now little more than shiny accessories void of features, decent lenses and hald decent sensors..

There are a few exceptions but frankly the sensors are now WAY too small and generate far too much noise and NR artifacts to be taken seriously IMHO..

Take a long look at a used DSLR and strap on a decent all in one lens like the Tamron 18-250..

Over at pentaxforums. com a used K1ooD and Pentax 18-250 is maybe $700..

Lilpark3 wrote:.

I have spent more than a week digging through this website to findthe best camera to fit my needs. Well, the result- I've found tonsof helpful information, but I'm overwhelmed. I welcome anysuggestions regarding the best camera for:-taking great pictures at my son's baseball, soccer & potentialbasketball games-taking excellent close-ups-taking professional quality pictures of my children to display instandard size prints as well as the occasional poster size print (Iusually enlarge several pictures a year to display in my home).

I received a Sony Mavica 5 years ago and took great pictures (many ofwhich I enlarged to 11X14 that are matted & framed in my house). TheMavica broke so I purchased a Sony Cyper-Shot DSC-W100 after greatreviews from the salesmen (without researching for myself) and havebeen completely disappointed. In the past I have relied on the autosettings (i.e. sports, portrait) but would be interested in taking afew courses in digital photography once my schedule allows. So Iwould love a camera that offers a great sport & portrait setting, butwould allow me to advance my individual settings in the near future(not interested in a SLR yet r/t the gear and inconvienence ofchanging lenses often). I take pictures occasionally of my friend'schildren and would love to advance this ability with a better camera..

I'm willing to pay for a top-of-the-line transition camera if needed(around $700) & I'm not too concerned about size anymore..

Thanks for any suggestions!.

***********************************************Please visit my gallery at http://www.pbase.com/alfisti.

Pentax Lens examples at http://www.pbase.com/alfisti/images_by_lens.

Updated February '08..

Comment #1

I'd think seriously about a second hand dSLR..

I bought a bridge camers (Canon Powershot Pro S3 IS) and it lasted less than 9 months before I sold it on - I'd replaced it within 6 months. My experience of the high end compacts is not good. Chromatic aberration on the lenses is pretty major and noise is an issue on just about every single camera on sale once you get anywhere near ISO400..

As Alfisti mentioned - look out for second hand dSLRs. If you're worried about bulk then get a used "all-in-one" lens. If you compare the image quality between a $700 bridge and a $700 used dSLR you'll be suprised how much of a compromise the bridge is...

Comment #2

Lilpark3 wrote:.

-taking great pictures at my son's baseball, soccer & potentialbasketball games.

Cameras don't take great pictures. Great photographers take great pictures..

-taking excellent close-ups.

A dedicated macro/close focus distance lens is the only way..

-taking professional quality pictures of my children to display instandard size prints as well as the occasional poster size print (Iusually enlarge several pictures a year to display in my home).

10 or more megapixels for poster-size prints, for which you will need very steady hands or a sturdy tripod (the larger the print, the more evident the flaws)..

A DSLR and a couple of lenses is likely your best option...

Comment #3

Chris Pirson wrote:.

I'd think seriously about a second hand dSLR....

As Alfisti mentioned - look out for second hand dSLRs. If you'reworried about bulk then get a used "all-in-one" lens. If you comparethe image quality between a $700 bridge and a $700 used dSLR you'llbe suprised how much of a compromise the bridge is..

I'll admit I'm scared to death of an SLR...Would the "all-in-one" lens allow me to take a picture of my 5 year old on the baseball field and then turn and capture a picture of my toddler sitting next to me?..

Comment #4

Any used Pentax or Sony should do the trick. Both have built in image stabilization which will help in low light. One could argue that the Sony has a better sensor shift system. All you need is a body. Then get a Tamron 18-250 or 28-300 to give you the "face next to me" to "kid at other end of the soccer field" flexibility. The only limitation to this lens is that it is "slow" (doesn't work so well in low light) Image Stabilization will stop shake, but wont stop motion.

That being said you will also want to get a 50mm f/1.8 for the indoor candids and birthday party shots. My short list would be a Nikon D40, Pentax K10d or K100 used or Sony A series used. The Nikon does not have built in image stabilization but makes up for it in color and dynamic range...

Comment #5

Exactly right. It's a "superzoom" lens but with justa better sensor in the camera..

If the size is not a big issue then honestly DSLR used is a great buy..

Use the AUTO or SCENE modes and you're set..

Lilpark3 wrote:.

Chris Pirson wrote:.

I'd think seriously about a second hand dSLR....

As Alfisti mentioned - look out for second hand dSLRs. If you'reworried about bulk then get a used "all-in-one" lens. If you comparethe image quality between a $700 bridge and a $700 used dSLR you'llbe suprised how much of a compromise the bridge is..

I'll admit I'm scared to death of an SLR...Would the "all-in-one"lens allow me to take a picture of my 5 year old on the baseballfield and then turn and capture a picture of my toddler sitting nextto me?.

***********************************************Please visit my gallery at http://www.pbase.com/alfisti.

Pentax Lens examples at http://www.pbase.com/alfisti/images_by_lens.

Updated February '08..

Comment #6

Thanks for the suggestions/feedback!.

I began researching the Pentax K100D and found one NEW on a website that included the 18-250 lens for around $674. Is that too good to be true?!.

-Is it safe to purchase a DSLR that only includes the manufacturer's warranty?-Will I need to purchase a "lens cleaning kit"?..

Comment #7

There are a lot more disreputable retailers on the web than good ones. What website?..

Comment #8

Lilpark3 wrote:.

Cameraaddict.com.

Http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Camera_Addict.

Try bhphotovideo.com, adorama.com, buydig.com, or amazon.com. The K100D has been replaced with the K200D...

Comment #9

You have a reasonable budget, look for a used Canon XT and one long zoom that others can recommend. The XT is a decent camera, will do everything you want it to do and will allow you to bridge into the DSLR world..

Stay away from the web retailer you were going to use, one of the worst records of happy shoppers I think I have ever seen. The two trusted sites (there are others) are Adorama and B&H (Goggle them)..

Interestingly I think some of the upper end "bridge" cameras that are P&S's are actually more difficult to use for a host of reason's I won't bore you with. You will learn eventually that changing lenses is a good thing - Martha Stewart would approve..

Rationally I have no hope, irrationally I believe in miracles.Joni Mitchell..

Comment #10

Lilpark3 wrote:.

I have spent more than a week digging through this website to findthe best camera to fit my needs. Well, the result- I've found tonsof helpful information, but I'm overwhelmed. I welcome anysuggestions regarding the best camera for:-taking great pictures at my son's baseball, soccer & potentialbasketball games-taking excellent close-ups-taking professional quality pictures of my children to display instandard size prints as well as the occasional poster size print (Iusually enlarge several pictures a year to display in my home)...>.

I'm willing to pay for a top-of-the-line transition camera if needed(around $700) & I'm not too concerned about size anymore..

I took the advice of each of you and convinced myself to buy a DSLR and began researching many of the ones you suggested. I suddenly realized that buying a DSLR meant that I must give up the Movie Clip mode (is this correct?). I can NOT give up the ability to capture great still memories as well as action memories with the convenience of one camera. My boys are still very young and I use the video option often & spontaneously..

Can any of you now recommend a camera that would cover the reasons I mentioned above as well as provide me with the ability of capturing videos?..

Comment #11

Lilpark3 wrote:.

I can NOT give up the ability to capture.

Great still memories as well as action memories with the convenienceof one camera. My boys are still very young and I use the videooption often & spontaneously.Can any of you now recommend a camera that would cover the reasons Imentioned above as well as provide me with the ability of capturingvideos?.

Everything in life is trade-off.No camera yet does both mediums well..

If you truly want great STILL Images, get a DSLR..

If you want average still images and yet be able to capture that 60 second video, any of the advanced Point& Shoots will fill the bill.

Really need to decide which is more important, Capturing a terrific quality still image you can blow up and think"wow" everytime you see it, or getting that short video of dubious quality..

There is a reason some of us invest thousands on our camera gear. Equipment we do little with, other than taking "still" pictures of our loved ones..

I have not touched our movie camera in years..

One day, I realised that when we show images, to each other, family or firends, it;s always the still images. Even when we watch movies, those movies were made using a dynamic presentation of, You guessed it, "Still" Images..

Not really interesed in reliving every mment of a magic moment. Prefer, instead, to relive those spectacular moments, frozen in time, and presented in a moving sequence, with other spectacular moments..

Good Friend spent 40K on his daughters wedding. Videographer, the works. The one dvd they watch the most, is one I made of all images taken of that event, including a few frames from the videographers..

Simply put, Its more interesting.Dave PattersonMidwestshutterbug.com'When the light and composition are strong, nobodynotices things like resolution or pincushion distortion'Gary Friedman..

Comment #12

I hear you..

Fact is thouugh, you will need 2 cameras. At times the DSLR is just too much camera for an occassion, especially when out and about wit the spouse. Get a nice compat camera and carry that as well..

BTW you should look at used gear. Look athttp://www. pentaxforums.com for a K100D, body only is going for under $300 and the twin kit lenses are cheap used as well as many owners are upgrading..

For compacts, look at KEH.com, I bought a used Panasonic from there (great video, AWFUL still images) for under $200 and it was $400 retail just 6 months earlier..

Lilpark3 wrote:.

Lilpark3 wrote:.

I have spent more than a week digging through this website to findthe best camera to fit my needs. Well, the result- I've found tonsof helpful information, but I'm overwhelmed. I welcome anysuggestions regarding the best camera for:-taking great pictures at my son's baseball, soccer & potentialbasketball games-taking excellent close-ups-taking professional quality pictures of my children to display instandard size prints as well as the occasional poster size print (Iusually enlarge several pictures a year to display in my home)...>.

I'm willing to pay for a top-of-the-line transition camera if needed(around $700) & I'm not too concerned about size anymore..

I took the advice of each of you and convinced myself to buy a DSLRand began researching many of the ones you suggested. I suddenlyrealized that buying a DSLR meant that I must give up the Movie Clipmode (is this correct?). I can NOT give up the ability to capturegreat still memories as well as action memories with the convenienceof one camera. My boys are still very young and I use the videooption often & spontaneously.Can any of you now recommend a camera that would cover the reasons Imentioned above as well as provide me with the ability of capturingvideos?.

***********************************************Please visit my gallery at http://www.pbase.com/alfisti.

Pentax Lens examples at http://www.pbase.com/alfisti/images_by_lens.

Updated February '08..

Comment #13

Just get a Canon A570IS (~$150.00). That should fit the bill for the movie clips and the occasional snapshots. Get the DSLR for when the image counts and the situation gets tough...

Comment #14

No one mentioned the S5 yet... Have you checked that out? It does video well and has decent IQ. If you have the 700 to spend then buy an external flash for indoor shots with the S5..

I do agree with the two camera idea. The S5 is a bit big to have in your pocket 24/7.Olympus 720SW.

Canon S5-IS (with CHDK, Promaster 7500EDF flash, .45x Wide Angle Lens, Lensmate 58mm adapter, various filters)Sony HandyCam DVD DVR-105..

Comment #15

Sounds like maybe a used Sony R1 might do. Probably iffy as a sports shooter but for most of the rest of what you need it might do if you can find one..

I know it will produce the poster sized prints you mentioned at least mine does..

No, mine 's not for sale!.

Jack1931..

Comment #16

Efectiven wrote:.

No one mentioned the S5 yet....

Thought about bringing it up, but to big to fit in a pocket and IQ not up to DSLR standards. If you had to have only one camera... I suppose, but... I take a Canon 850IS and a D40 with me when I go skiing. The Canon for the video and spontaneous shots and the D40 for everything else. The S5 is just to much of a compromise in to many areas...

Comment #17

Wchp mentioned the possibility of a Sony A series....

I've found a used Sony A100 18-70 mm kit which also includes a Tamron 18-250 lens (it has been used for less than a year)..

Does anyone have any experience with sport photos on the A100?Also, what is a fair price to pay?.

Thanks to all of you for your helpful suggestions so far!..

Comment #18

For SPORTS work .... you can't beat the UNIQUE features in the new Casio F1..

60fps .... and for a full second BEFORE you push the button..

It is a TIME machine first, camera second..

Lilpark3 wrote:.

I have spent more than a week digging through this website to findthe best camera to fit my needs. Well, the result- I've found tonsof helpful information, but I'm overwhelmed. I welcome anysuggestions regarding the best camera for:-taking great pictures at my son's baseball, soccer & potentialbasketball games-taking excellent close-ups-taking professional quality pictures of my children to display instandard size prints as well as the occasional poster size print (Iusually enlarge several pictures a year to display in my home).

I received a Sony Mavica 5 years ago and took great pictures (many ofwhich I enlarged to 11X14 that are matted & framed in my house). TheMavica broke so I purchased a Sony Cyper-Shot DSC-W100 after greatreviews from the salesmen (without researching for myself) and havebeen completely disappointed. In the past I have relied on the autosettings (i.e. sports, portrait) but would be interested in taking afew courses in digital photography once my schedule allows. So Iwould love a camera that offers a great sport & portrait setting, butwould allow me to advance my individual settings in the near future(not interested in a SLR yet r/t the gear and inconvienence ofchanging lenses often). I take pictures occasionally of my friend'schildren and would love to advance this ability with a better camera..

I'm willing to pay for a top-of-the-line transition camera if needed(around $700) & I'm not too concerned about size anymore..

Thanks for any suggestions!.

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #19

I have not read all the posts but a Canon S5 might cover your needs. It has great video and has one of the fastest lens among the superzooms which would give you the best chance of doing outdoor sports with a P&S. (You'll need a dslr for basketball.)..

Comment #20

Lilpark3 wrote:.

Wchp mentioned the possibility of a Sony A series....

I've found a used Sony A100 18-70 mm kit which also includes a Tamron18-250 lens (it has been used for less than a year)..

Does anyone have any experience with sport photos on the A100?Also, what is a fair price to pay?.

The Sony, Pentax or Olympus all have built in Sensor stabilizers. Consensus seems that the Sony has a slight edge in this field. That being said, having shot a Pentax all last season I will tell you that having the stabilization (Canon & Nikon) in the lens is really nice as this give you a stabilized image in the viewfinder. The sensor based cameras don't do this. It DOES NOT help with stopping motion though so for sports it would seem of little consequence..

The Sony A100 is wort $250-400 used. The 18-70 $100-150 and the 18-250 ~$250.00 +/-..

If you are talking about the one selling on eBay at the moment I would expect to pay 500-700 for the system but nothing more than 700 and even then that would be a push..

It will serve you fine for the first year or two until you start trying to take the actions shots after the sun has set and the light gets low... then you will want faster glass and/or a high ISO, low noise body..

Http://picasaweb.google.com/.../wchpitt/GAA10G2008Season?authkey=uK8XKQVIiSw (All shot with Nikon D300 or D3 with Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR but this is all in the $4K + range)..

Comment #21

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