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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:51 am 
Hello there, I have a question for you:

I'm going to buy my first dslr, and it's for sure that sports photography will be my job, so I want to buy some nice gear instead of the entry level, I mean I don't want to change the equipment every year for something better.


The main sport event I'm into is midget car racing.

They run in a 1/4 mile dirt track oval at night time, drifting at high speeds and there's a lot of dust in the air.

My first choice could be a Nikon D300s, Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II lens and a SB900 Speedlight flash.

I talked to a pro-photographer and he said that I should go for it.

However, after reading all the reviews in this awesome place I'm actually not sure at all... I wonder what Canon and the other brands have to offer and turn me away from Nikon.

Are there any other options or should I buy the Nikon kit ?

Here's the link so you can check the racing event by yourselves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK7-z-6fh-o


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:30 am 
Whats your budget?

I think you have correctly identified that you will need a 70-200mm f2.8. But on a non-full frame camera, consider the version 1 as you will save yourself some money for no loss of quality.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:47 am 
I would recommand the D300 or D700 as a camera,preferably the D700.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:52 pm
Posts: 2177
Location: The Netherlands
I dont know, but is it clever to buy a pro model as first dSLR?
I should think about the Sony A550or A500 with good glass.
But, if you already have some experiences with dSLRs, go your way :wink:

_________________
Ruben

Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:35 am 
Ruben,the Sony has awful noise performance & it's not a viable choice for sports...their super awesome CMOS sensor delivers the same noise performance as my ancient CCD.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 827
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
Razvan, you are very much off-base on that statement. Though entry-level Sony DSLRs using CCD were very poor high-ISO performers, the A500 and A550 sensor (the very same used in Nikon D90, Pentax KX, etc) is an excellent performer at controlling noise at high ISO. It is also a viable choice for sports as it is capable of shooting at 5 frames per second with full focus and metering, or up to 7 frames per second with focus and metering fixed on the first shot...it also has in-body stabilization which will render some excellent fast primes fully stabilized, something that you cannot get in some other brands.

With my A550, I shoot regularly at up to ISO6400 with no problems retaining detail and avoiding heavy noise, with solid color fidelity as well. Even shooting in straight JPEG, no RAW conversions, and retaining shots straight from the camera with no additional post processing or noise reduction, I can make sellable large prints from ISO3200.

Here's ISO3200 straight from the camera, JPEG, no processing:
Image

Here's the same at ISO6400, straight from camera, shot in JPEG, no processing:
Image

Of course, shooting at night, underexposed, at high ISO is harder than daylight...but I also shoot a lot of handheld night and low light photography, also mostly in JPEG, and without additional processing necessary.

ISO6400 extremely low light sample:
Image

ISO3200 nighttime sample:
Image

Many people dismiss Sony DSLRs because of some personal reason against the brand Sony...and that's their prerogative. Personally, I don't feel it's appropriate to condemn, dismiss, overlook, or convince others to avoid a product solely because I don't like something some division of the corporation did in the past, but many others disagree, and are happy to dismiss Sony as a recommendation or consideration. Again, fine by me - but spreading wrong information is the only thing I will make effort to correct. Previous Sony cameras were poor high ISO performers, and therefore they were easily dismissed by other brand users and rightly so. But several Sony models have come out over the past year which are at the top of the APS-C performers for high ISO (not better than, but as good as).

Those folks not familiar with Sony, and used to dismissing them with the same old lines, are no longer correct when it applies to these newer cameras. There will always be strong bias against Sony - so many dislike them as a company for past transgressions in different divisions and cannot separate the two completely different industries - and reviewers often approach Sony cameras with preconceived biases, expectations, and dislikes...this often taints the reviews or causes them to seem mildly less favorable. Advantages of Sony cameras are often not really emphasized - features missing from Sony cameras which are available on Canon or Nikon cameras are listed as 'cons', while features unique to Sony and not available on Canon or Nikon are NOT listed as 'cons' in their reviews. A mild double standard, but again life will go on and there's really no way to completely eliminate bias. Some might say Sony is just getting what it deserves, and will have to work hard for years or decades to win back favor...I don't own interest in Sony so it doesn't really bother me either way.

But making blanket statements which are untrue are misleading, and I will always work to correct those.

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:46 pm 
I know what I'm talking about,but it's not my fault for uploading photos on the internet that don't do justice to Sony.
here's an example: http://photozone.smugmug.com/photos/804 ... 2mV2-O.jpg And there's a lot of samples that I saw on other esteemed sites that show the same moderate performance in ISO.

I know about Sony's evolution & also their cameras & lenses. I for one never liked the brand because they always had bigger prices for the same quality offered by the competition,but this doesn't apply to the cameras market. The DSLR offer is evergrowing & if they hold back on lens prices,I aqsually think they can steal Canon market shares. (or from other brands as well)

Back to the topic at hand,a D700 with the 70-200mm VRI might be a better solution than the D300s with 70-200mm VRII. But that's me.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:52 pm
Posts: 244
Location: NB, Canada
If you're going to do mostly night-time photography, I think I would recommend a full sensor instead. A popular pro pick is the Canon 5D-markII. The bigger the sensor, the more light photon it catches.

If you ever decide to branch out in sports videography instead, the 5D-markII would definitely cover both photos and videos extremely well.

Sony could be a decent option, but for the lenses in my budget, they're all overpriced, not to mention that the Sony A550 doesn't seem to do video, while the Canon T2i does 1080p video.

Sony has a lot of great products; I love my Sony Bravia TV and my Sony BD + home theatre combo. For photos and videos, though, I don't think they are quite ready to play with the big boys (Canon / Nikon) yet, at least not in the dSLR realm.

_________________
Cameras: Canon EOS 6D, Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Canon EOS Rebel T2i, Canon S90
Lenses: Tamron: SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD, Rokinon: 8mm Fisheye cine, Canon: EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens, 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III, and EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Retired camera: Fujifilm Finepix s700


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:51 pm 
A 5D MKII is not really fit to shoot sports....no offence to any 5DMKII die-hard fans. :) It's a wonderful camera for studio though.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 827
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
Quote:
I know what I'm talking about,but it's not my fault for uploading photos on the internet that don't do justice to Sony.
here's an example:


Unfortunately there's no accounting for poor photographers, lemon cameras, or mediocre lenses...those things will exist for all brands. I've seen some really horrible photos from D300s too, yet that is a fine camera. The photographer and the lens make the biggest difference!

Quote:
I for one never liked the brand because they always had bigger prices for the same quality offered by the competition,but this doesn't apply to the cameras market. The DSLR offer is evergrowing & if they hold back on lens prices,I aqsually think they can steal Canon market shares. (or from other brands as well)


I don't disagree. In fact, I'm actually not a Sony fan for any other products - I don't use Sony TVs, computers, game systems, audio equipment, or much of anything else (the only other Sony I have besides cameras is a digital voice recorder).

As for pricing, the Sony lenses are definitely overpriced, especially considering they don't have to make stabilization in the lens. But the trick for Sony users is to shop used lenses, especially Minolta lenses. That's where the price becomes the equal of Nikon and Canon. I picked up a great 50mm F1.7 Minolta lens for $65. And a 300mm F4 APO for under $1,000. Both of course are stabilized! Some third-party lenses from Tamron and Sigma are also equally priced whether in Sony, Nikon, or Canon mount, so I buy those as well. In fact, I only have 1 Sony lens out of 8.

Jean-Pierre - you're right with regards to video...Sony hasn't gone there yet on DSLRs, so if looking for video/still combo cameras, Sony isn't ready to play. Personally I have no interest in video, so it doesn't affect my decision. If and when video is added to all DSLRs, I'll still not use it...I just don't enjoy shooting video the way I do with still photography.

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:19 pm 
ok....but what does "poor photographers, lemon cameras, or mediocre lenses" got to do with the noise in that photo?
btw:
1. why don't you upload full-res samples & link them here? 900 pixels is not very relevant
2. question: if the D90 & the A550 share the same sensor,why does DxO rate the Nikon sensor much better? there's a lot of variables which affect noise performance,the sensor is just one of them


Last edited by Razvan on Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 827
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
Quote:
ok....but what does "poor photographers, lemon cameras, or mediocre lenses" got to do with the noise in that photo?


Well, there could be a few factors. First, the lens could be fairly poor at rendering detail, which would yield unsharp results...certainly the detail in that shot doesn't look anything like the detail I get from my A550 and a nice lens.

Secondly, how the shot was metered, and what DRO setting the camera was on, can result in a fair amount of noise even at a low ISO like 400. If, for example, the shot was exposed too much to the highlights, it could have created darker than desired shadow areas, and if DRO was turned on (it is by default, and many don't even realize what it is or where it is), the DRO would attempt to process up the shadows to show detail. Bringing up shadow areas will result in more noise.

And for lemon cameras, sometimes there is enough difference between models that there can be a few cameras that are just poorer performers - less detail, more noise if the gain on the sensor is poorly set, etc. But that's the least likely scenario. The most likely probability is that this was a shot at ISO400 using a fairly cheap or poor lens like the kit lens, and with DRO on which artificially gained-up the shot creating additional noise. If the shooter is in a hot, humid climate, then the sensor would be performing with more noise already, as sensors tend to be noisy when they are hotter.

Whatever the reason, I shoot from ISO200 to ISO6400 with a variety of good lenses and do not have any problems with detail, softness, or noise. My guess is that person would have similar results from a Nikon D90, Canon 7D, or Pentax KX, all which share Sony sensors with roughly the same noise output and high ISO performance...using the same shooting technique and lens quality.

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 827
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
Quote:
1. why don't you upload full-res samples & link them here? 900 pixels is not very relevant
2. question: if the D90 & the A550 share the same sensor,why does DxO rate the Nikon sensor much better? there's a lot of variables which affect noise performance,the sensor is just one of them


I don't post full res shots online, mostly because I like to control and protect my photos and make them less usable as there is a lot of photo stealing online. By posting smaller res shots I can prevent any significant use of my photos. I do post 100% crops though - unfortunately I only have two currently uploaded. Here's a JPEG straight from camera at ISO3200, cropped from the 100% original:

Image

And here's a 100% crop from an ISO200 shot:
Image

As for Nikon being rated higher - probably because Nikon is an excellent camera company, who can take a Sony sensor with strong performance and run very good processing algorithms on it to get the most out of it, and paired with a good lens can get very good results. As I stated before, I don't claim Sony is BETTER, or even BEST...just that they are very good performers, up with the best of the APS-C sensors, and paired with a good lens and with a decent photographer behind it, can perform very well at all ISOs, and better than all but a handful of cameras. I personally find all these cameras to be near-equals - each may have slight advantages in some areas, but all are very close performers and all should be more than capable of professional results in the right hands.

I personally believe that a great photographer with a D3000 could outshoot a poor photographer with a D90, no matter how much better-rated the D90 is. The poor photographer might pull out a few shots at high ISO that are better than the D3000 shooter, but the technique, skill, knowledge, and lenses of the great photographer will yield the better photographs overall.

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:36 pm 
Thanks everybody for your answers,

my budget is the one for the kit I wrote before.

I guess you already know that I need a camera with high iso performance.

when you asked me about the d300s as my first dslr I forgot to tell you that I don't live in North America or Europe, I live in Argentina and here buying that kit is like buying a brand new car when we talk about prices. That's why I wanna be sure about what I'm getting so it can last for some years before getting another equipment.

Thanks again !!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:07 pm
Posts: 256
Location: Holland
I didn't read al the reactions on your initial queston.
So or I'm going to state someting that's already been said, or it's some more advise.

I read in the opening post about a speedlight.
Now I'm not really into flash photography, but make sure that if you buy one. It has enough reach to cover the distance to your subject. Or make shure you are close enough to it.

But I can imagine that you're a safe distance from the cars, and that a flash is useless because of the reach.

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