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SLR/SLR-Like Camera Suggestions
Ill apologize in advance if this request is overly simplistic or one thats been posted previously..

Im looking for a SLR/SLR-Like camera with the image stabilization feature that will work well both indoors under fast action/low light conditions as well as outside at childrens sporting events. Im looking to spend in the neighborhood of $750-$800 for the camera and a zoom lens..

Unrealistic?..

Comments (10)

For that budget, I think so. For the low light it really has to be an SLR, and if you want in-body image stabilization it'll be Pentax or Sony. I'd go for the former..

But for the outdoor sports, if you saved a bit more you could get a Nikon with a zoom lens which has IS (though Nikon call it VR): e.g. the 55-200VR or 70-300VR, with say a Nikon D40 body. They're good but bottom of the range zooms, maybe with enough reach, but not fast, i.e. without a wide maximum aperture which is nearly essential for fast action in all but bright light..

Outdoors on a sunny day you should be OK - you'll need a shutter speed of faster than 1/250th sec, which may mean dialling up the ISO to achieve..

But action in low light, you're going to struggle, you need f/2 or better for that..

Alex.

Http://alexandjustine.smugmug.com/..

Comment #1

I'd say the Pentax K100D with a reasonable zoom would be best. With some technique and care you can get reasonable results. However for good results you will need a good lens. Good lenses are expensive and that's that..

However any DSLR and kit lenses will be way ahead of any bridge camera ( super-zoom )..

Invest in noise reduction software and consider shooting RAW. The combination will stretch entry level setups a little more. This helps if you have to up ISO to 800 or 1600 ( which you will for some of your needs ).

Bare in mind that the longer the zoom you want to use the harder taking shots is going to be ( less light to work with - i.e. hitting the sensor )..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #2

Tough for your budget, K100D + kit lens + 50mm 1.4 prime (for low light, when you want utmost sharpness or shallow depth of field) + Pentax 360 flash = $780. Alternatively, drop prime lens and upgrade zoom to a 2.8. This would cost a LOT more with Pentax 16-50 2.8 but only about $100 more with Sigma 18-50 2.8. Zoom would be more versatile, but can't match the 50 1.4 in image quality or 2 stop light advantage...

Comment #3

Jr w wrote:.

Ill apologize in advance if this request is overly simplistic or onethats been posted previously..

Im looking for a SLR/SLR-Like camera with the image stabilizationfeature that will work well both indoors under fast action/low lightconditions as well as outside at childrens sporting events. Imlooking to spend in the neighborhood of $750-$800 for the camera anda zoom lens..

Unrealistic?.

Your talking about sports and action photography and IS doesn't really do much for that. IS is generally most effective with low light, slow shutter speeds and cancels out the motion of the camera (not the subject)..

What you need is a camera with a good high ISO capability and a fast (low apature number) zoom lens so that you can keep the shutter speed high in order to stop the action of the subject. IS will do you no good in stopping the action of the subject, fast shutter speed will..

The camera is easy, most of the dslrs have good high ISO capabilities although Canon and Nikon are some of the best. And even the cheap ones will do you a good job. The fast zoom is where the problem comes. When it comes to zooms with good reach (at least 200mm at the upper end) You can have fast, cheap, or good. You can only pick 2 of the 3. If they are fast and cheap, they're no good.

And if they are cheap and good they're not fast.A member of the rabble in good standing..

Comment #4

Im not sure a fast and cheap 200mm zoom exsists....Sigma 70-200 HSM is cheapest at $900 and it's a pretty good lens. However, if you read the OP it would appear that this is the first DSLR. If what he means by being "good" in low light with moving subjects is relative to experiences with digital point and shoots, then I don't they he/she necessarily needs a 5D / 70-200 2.8L setup because ANY DSLR is going to be vastly superior to a p/s in those circumstances. Also, it was never mentioned that the indoor stuff was going to be at any distance, could just be birthday parties and stuff...

Comment #5

SMPhoto wrote:.

Im not sure a fast and cheap 200mm zoom exsists....Sigma 70-200 HSMis cheapest at $900 and it's a pretty good lens..

You're making my point here, fast good or cheap, pick any two..

However, if youread the OP it would appear that this is the first DSLR. If what hemeans by being "good" in low light with moving subjects is relativeto experiences with digital point and shoots, then I don't theyhe/she necessarily needs a 5D / 70-200 2.8L setup because ANY DSLR isgoing to be vastly superior to a p/s in those circumstances..

Why I made the point that even the entry level Canons and Nikons would do..

Also, itwas never mentioned that the indoor stuff was going to be at anydistance, could just be birthday parties and stuff..

Possible, the OP used the words "fast action" in relation to the indoor stuff, and certainly a birthday party with kids includes a lot of fast action..

Still the key to sports is high shutter speed and not IS whether in the lens or in the body. And it's hard to do that with zooms that start at f4 and go to f5.6.

But your point about perception, when moving from a point and shoot the improvement in the photos will be marked but not worthy of Sports Illustrated. As long as the OP knows that and is willing to live with less than perfect results then things like the Oly E510 dual lens kit gets you to an equiv of 300mm but at the expense of apature (the cheap and good, but not fast option) become viable.A member of the rabble in good standing..

Comment #6

Personally, for what you want to use it for, I would save about $400/US and get a Fuji S6000/6500. At 28mm the Super-CCD sensor is very nice in low light. At the long end it is very nice for outdoor sporting events. Do not be unhappy that it is "ONLY" 6.3 MP. It makes really good-looking prints up to 11x14". It is not IS/VR, but at 28mm IS/VR is not very helpful and at longer end it doesn't do a thing for moving subjects/targets..

To do better you will need to spent lots more than your budget (as talked about in other replies to your question)..

Get back here and let us know what you finally do..

Gordon.

'Who loves yah, Baby?'... Lt. Theo Kojak, Manhattan South..

Comment #7

Fuji is IMHO the best alternative if you don't want to go DSLR. Consider Fuji S9100/S9600 (same camera, different name, depends on where you live), too. It has got a hot-shoe for an external flash. External Flash would be very useful indoors..

I don't know, what your definition of "action" is, but you will have problems with AF-Speed indoors with non-DSLRs when trying to take pictures of running children/dogs/cats, etc..

The Fuji cameras mentioned have no IS, but IS doesn't help if your objects move. What helps is low noise at High-ISO and fast lenses (that would be a DSLR).

Both (S9xxx and S6xxx) got 28mm wide-angle. Which is very useful, too...

Comment #8

Just for clarification:.

"indoors under fast action/low light conditions" (dance/gymnastic events from 20-35 yards away).

"outside at childrens sporting events" (sideline @ soccer/T-ball games).

Do I really need a zoom lens from these distances? If so, how much of one? I have a Sony DSC-N1 for snapshots at birthday parties/family gatherings, so the DSLR would primarily be used at the functions listed above..

The comments/suggestions have been very helpful, and I really do appreciate them all...

Comment #9

Jr w wrote:.

Just for clarification:"indoors under fast action/low light conditions" (dance/gymnasticevents from 20-35 yards away).

"outside at childrens sporting events" (sideline @ soccer/T-ball games).

Do I really need a zoom lens from these distances? If so, how much ofone?.

Yes. A 55-200 is probably the best bet in your budget. As others have noted, a 70-200 f/2.8 is ideal, but such a lens is $800+..

Nikon D40 kit with 18-55. Nikon 55-200VR. SB-600 flash. $900 total. Assuming you can use flash at the dance/gymnastic events, this should work fine..

Range of SB-600 is ~70 feet, assuming full zoom, f/5.6 and ISO 800...

Comment #10

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