Son going to See Olympics
My son just graduated from college and is leaving for Bejing in a few weeks to see the Olympics. For graduation he asked for a camera that he can take with him. I have read so many reviews and viewed so many galleries I'm more confused than ever. He doesn't want a DSLR but a DSLR like is OK. We are trying to stay under $600 if possible. He'll be shooting action shots both in bright light and low light.

Is there a long zoom out there that shoots well in the higher ISOs? I have a Fuji S8000 and a Panasonic TZ5 and FZ8. We are looking at the Panasonic FZ18 for him or the Nikon Coolpix P80. Someone also suggested the Fuji S9100. Are there any sports photographers out there that have a camera that does well in low light?.

Thanks in advance!..

Comments (8)

IMHO there is no non-DSLR capable of producing adequate action shots under low light and at a distance. You need a DSLR and a fast telephoto lens - and that means a big, heavy, expensive lens..

I think that you have to settle for only shooting fast action in reasonably good light (certainly not at night or indoors) and concentrate on getting a camera for that. Depending on the sport, he may still be able to get some static shots under low light..

For the action shots you probably want to consider what events he is going to see and how far away he is going to be. Fast focussing may be important.Chris R..

Comment #1

He will be attending the swimming and diving events which I understand are all indoors. Until he gets there I don't think he will know how far away his seats are. For what they cost he should be relatively close but really not sure. Any ideas for a camera with fast focus that will work OK indoors?..

Comment #2

I don't know about the various models of bridge camera you're mentioning. I could see video mode being useful for the diving events. I think good, long, video mode should be at least one criteria you consider..

As stated earlier anything less than a midrange (think Canon 40D-ish) dslr with a high frame rate and a fast long lens (read expensive) is not likely to get good still images for indoor action. One idea for making the best use of a bridge is anticipate the action, prefocus on the spot the action will be, and time the shutter release to account for whatever lag it has. This will take some practice ahead of time...

Comment #3

Personally, I would want a good quality P&S to soak in the flavor of the Olympics..

If I wanted an action photo of an athlete, I would just pay for one when I return to the States. Do you really want to spend your Olympic experience looking through a viewfinder, and then chimping on the LCD screen?.

Warm regards,DOF..

Comment #4

Texas hobbyist wrote:We are looking at the Panasonic FZ18 for him.

Or the Nikon Coolpix P80. Someone also suggested the Fuji S9100.Are there any sports photographers out there that have a camera thatdoes well in low light?.

Thanks in advance!.

Its possible that the lighting in a lot of the events will be better than usual given the TV coverage. Fuji is reputed to have the best low light sensors for bridge cameras while the Pany FZ-xx models have the best stabilized zooms..

My 9-day trip last year to China included both my D50 and my Pany FZ-30. The FZ-30 did fairly well in low light for an acrobatics show while in Movie mode. Personally, my experience with the FZ-30 would argue for the Pany approach if just one bridge camera is desired since there are so many more photo opps outside of the indoor Olympic venues.Telecorder (Dave)My Image Galleries.



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Comment #5

The nikon has iq problems. Look at the fz18 and the sony h50...

Comment #6

My son and I went to the Olympics in Athens and I was shooting with a Nikon Coolpix 5700. It worked very well. Yes, I got some grain for the night time shots, but these are shots taken for memory not for sale. BUT, we are track and field groupies, so I really can't comment on how well that camera would have functionned for swimming..

Because I was satisfied with my shots from my old coolpix, I did purchase the Nikon P80. I have shot over a thousand test shots with it - action shots indoors and outdoors. It has a faster shutter response and faster focus than my old 5700 and a better zoom. To me, it seems like the 5700 showed less noise than this does. But, that may just be the quality of my memory, not the camera's components when I check the old review on the 5700, it shows a fair amount of noise. So, it is coming to the Olympics with me this year and not my much better, but a LOT heavier, Nikon D300..

I totally agree with the prior posting where the member said that you want a point and shoot to catch the flavor of the Olympics without a lot of stress. If Beijing works like Athens, there will be a daily program with fabulous pictures from the prior day's events in it. The best shots will be there and you can take those home to remember the high points..

Constantly striving to do better...

Comment #7

To give you an idea of the video on my FZ-30, I've posted 3 short clips - one from the Temple of Heaven's Long Corridor with local dancers when we first arrived. The other two are short segments of a dimly lit theatre performance of acrobats.

This image is a screen shot at full zoom from the video of one of the acts....

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The FZ-18 unfortunately does not allow one to zoom while video recording (FZ-30 does). The video is shot at 1/30-sec per image in QT MOV mode. As the tumbling acrobat clip indicates, there will be blur on fast movements but the OIS aids in keeping stationary and slower action without blur..

These are some images from the FZ-30 out doors/from the flight home....

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Make sure one has a lot of memory. I brought 10-GB of SD cards and down loaded 37-GB/5,500 images during my 9-Days in China. Video will eat up a lot of memory fast ~1-GB/10-minute clip. I had a 60-GB Wolverine PSD for transferring the images/video... If you can find one, the FZ-30 is great bridge camera for the price...Telecorder (Dave)My Image Galleries.



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Comment #8

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