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 Post subject: gymnastics photos
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:18 am 
Help! i am trying to buy a camera. I have been borrowing my sisters camer, a Nikon D3000 using a 55-200mm zoom lense and a canon rebel something or other, for the last three years :). it is no longer making the cut :( as my daughter's gymnastics level has increased needless to stay. all the pics are coming out blurry in her tumbling passes and her bar routines, whereas it didn't the last two years, but most her routine was handstand or backwalk over, etc now we are into the backtucks and back handspring, etc. i know alot of this is due to the extremely poor lighting in the gym but i am tired of buying pics from the guy at the gym for $100 a pop for 5 pics... i am now having trouble in my son's basketball games as the lighting is poor too and the boys plays are faster at 14 then they were at 10. outside sports, in fastpitch softball, the camera is great!

i do not thoroughly understand camera lingo and am quick to learn and to be quite frank, just need to be told what to buy. the $400-700 camera's just aren't cutting it anymore and i am willing to invest in a good camera that i can take pics with for the next 4 years. any suggestions on body and lense? Note: no flashes are allowed. i have done a search on the internet on photography in gymnastics and there is not really anything about it other than negative feedback about how pictures rarely turn out unless you buy a $7000 camera.

Help please :)

thanks,
jo


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 Post subject: Re: gymnastics photos
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:32 am 
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Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Personally, rather than getting a whole new camera, I'd get a new lens, a faster one. Just being curious, what lens/lenses are you using with the Canon Rebel? I can see that your 55-200mm is quite slow, it has an f/4 aperture at it's widest, and an f/5.6 at it's longest zoom.

Let me explain something so you can understand what I'm talking about. A fast lens is a lens that has a large aperture. Large apertures are equal to smaller f numbers, I'm pretty sure you've seen something in your lens like this: f/4-5.6. That is the f number or aperture. Fast lenses can let more light in and consequently lead to faster shutter speed which can get you sharper photos. One thing to consider is that the depth of field (DOF) is reduced, this is the amount of stuff that will be in focus. Let me explain.

Just a small note, this is probably inaccurate, but it's just to demonstrate. If you focus in the same place, when you have your lens at f/5.6, your DOF is 2 meters front to back of what will be in focus, but if it's in f/2.8, only 50cm will be in focus.

Let me explain differently, probably more clearly. Imagine you have a large ruler starting at the end of your lens and extending forever. Imagine you focus at the 50cm mark. When you have your lens at f/5.6, you will have from the 25cm mark up to the 80cm mark in focus, but if you have it at f/2.8, you will only have from the 40cm mark up to the 65cm mark in focus, and if you have it at f/1.4, you will only have from the 45cm mark up to the 55cm mark in focus. This is imprecise, but it's a general idea of how aperture affects your DOF.

Another aspect to consider is getting a lens with IS (or in Nikon lenses, this is known as VR). This is basically a motor (I think) inside the lens that compensates for the movement of your hands to get sharper shots. In my experience, IS or VR is VERY helpful, it has allowed me to get sharp shots in really dark environments.

Now let's recap. To get a faster shutter speed, you need a faster lens, that means, a lens with a smaller f/ number. This reduces your DOF, so be careful with moving objects. Another thing worth mentioning is that lenses with faster apertures are usually bigger, heavier and more expensive. Also IS or VR will help a lot, but this also adds up to the price and weight.

If you still get blurred pictures with a fast lens, you might need to upgrade your camera to be able to bump up the ISO a little higher without introducing so much noise.

In case you don't understand ISO or noise, let me explain. ISO is the sensitivity of the camera when you take a picture. ISO starts in most cameras, at 100 ISO, and it doubles itself in this fashion: 200 ISO, 400 ISO, 800 ISO, 1600 ISO, 3200 ISO, and so on and so forth. Each increment of these is one light stop, and it helps so you can get faster shutter speeds. Shutter speeds increment in 1 light stop as well, so if you start with a shutter speed of 1/8 of a second and 100 ISO, which will probably get you a blurred shot, when you increase the ISO to 200, the shutter speed increases to 1/15 of a second. So when you get your ISO to 400, your shutter speed is 1/30, and with ISO 800 it will be 1/60, and with ISO 1600 it will be 1/120. At this point, you'll probably get a sharp picture as long as you have steady hands (or IS), but here is where noise comes in. When you increase ISO, small colored dots start appearing, especially in dark areas of the picture. This is known as noise. Better cameras often have less noise at higher ISOs, and cameras with larger sensors will give you better results. Cameras with large sensors are known as full-frame cameras.

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 Post subject: Re: gymnastics photos
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:32 am 
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Location: Mexico City, Mexico
If I missed anything or you didn't understand something, let me know :)

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Gear: Canon SX20 IS, Canon Rebel T3i, Canon EF-S 18-55mm, Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Wishlist: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6L
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 Post subject: Re: gymnastics photos
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:28 am 
ok, don't laugh at me.... so i need to get a lens that has a higher shutter speed and a camera that has a higher ISO? one of the parents at one of the gym meets said he took all his pics with a setting of a 1/500, f2, iso 800/1600. no clue what camera he had what that means! lol! i just wrote it down, but he had some great pics of the gymnasts in poor lighting.

does the settings or whatever sound right to you?

thanks,
jo


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 Post subject: Re: gymnastics photos
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:56 am 
album 11 hit on the mark. just tell me what i should buy please :)

thanks,

jo the lost one ;)


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 Post subject: Re: gymnastics photos
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am
Posts: 718
lostingymphotos wrote:
just tell me what i should buy please


Canon 7D + 70-200mm f2.8 lens (original version without IS). Total cost for both should be around $3,000.

But with all due respect, the hardware won't do you any good if you don't know how to use it. So to that end, I posted a quick low-light action guide before:

viewtopic.php?p=252911#p252911

(There's also another post of mine re: Taekwondo in which I said essentially the same thing. You can seach for that one if you want.)

And yes, as you can see there, the settings you mentioned are in the same ballpark. Also, don't worry about IS (image stabilization) since you will be using a fast enough shutter speed that it won't have an effect, but the IS version of that lens will cost you several hundred dollars more.

Mark


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 Post subject: Re: gymnastics photos
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 10:34 pm
Posts: 1417
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Maestro wrote:
Canon 7D + 70-200mm f2.8 lens (original version without IS). Total cost for both should be around $3,000.

Maestro wrote:
Also, don't worry about IS (image stabilization) since you will be using a fast enough shutter speed that it won't have an effect, but the IS version of that lens will cost you several hundred dollars more.

Well I have to disagree a bit there. The 7D seems like the best body for your case, but the lens isn't the best option in my opinion. The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM would be a better option in my opinion. Note that it isn't the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, this second one has a $1000 price increase over the version with no IS. This first one I mentioned has a price increase over the one Maestro recommended of $450. So if you can spend a little more, in my opinion IS would be handy to reduce stuff such as noise.

I just want to make it clear, it's important that you see version I of the lens and not version II as the latter is quite more expensive. Also it will be a little harder to find the lens because it has been discontinued, but I bet that you'll find it pretty cheap in Amazon, Ebay or Newegg. If you buy from either, you could use the links found in the Support Me page of Cameralabs.com.

By the way, sorry for my "crash course" in how cameras work, I tried to explain maybe too quickly :P

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Gear: Canon SX20 IS, Canon Rebel T3i, Canon EF-S 18-55mm, Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
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 Post subject: Re: gymnastics photos
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 10:34 pm
Posts: 1417
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Also I'd just like to clear this so you don't have any misunderstandings in the future:
lostingymphotos wrote:
ok, don't laugh at me.... so i need to get a lens that has a higher shutter speed and a camera that has a higher ISO?

Actually shutter speed and ISO are inside the camera, those settings are part of it. The lens only controls aperture and focal length (your amount of zoom). Hope you understand now :)

_________________
Gear: Canon SX20 IS, Canon Rebel T3i, Canon EF-S 18-55mm, Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Wishlist: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6L
Visit me and leave me a comment in My Flickr :)


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 Post subject: Re: gymnastics photos
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:58 pm 
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pierovera wrote:
...IS would be handy to reduce stuff such as noise.


Care to explain how IS would do that?


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 Post subject: Re: gymnastics photos
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 10:34 pm
Posts: 1417
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
I'm sorry if I didn't go into detail on how it helps, let me explain:

In my experience, IS is really useful when you are shooting in low-light and it can help you get away with slower shutter speeds, most of the times by 2+ stops of light. This would, for example, allow you to shoot at 1/30 with ISO 400, instead of having to shoot at 1/120 and ISO 1600, so indirectly, it helps reduce noise by allowing you to use a lower ISO. This is not always the case, though.

Hope you understand what I meant now :)

_________________
Gear: Canon SX20 IS, Canon Rebel T3i, Canon EF-S 18-55mm, Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Wishlist: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6L
Visit me and leave me a comment in My Flickr :)


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 Post subject: Re: gymnastics photos
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am
Posts: 718
pierovera wrote:
...it can help you get away with slower shutter speeds, most of the times by 2+ stops of light. This would, for example, allow you to shoot at 1/30 with ISO 400, instead of having to shoot at 1/120 and ISO 1600...


And you don't see a problem with using a shutter speed of 1/30 when shooting gymnastics?


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 Post subject: Re: gymnastics photos
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:53 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 10:34 pm
Posts: 1417
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Oh....... :oops:
Well it might still be useful if the lens is used for other applications.....

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Gear: Canon SX20 IS, Canon Rebel T3i, Canon EF-S 18-55mm, Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Wishlist: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6L
Visit me and leave me a comment in My Flickr :)


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 Post subject: Re: gymnastics photos
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:51 am 
Sony camera is a good choice! i think...Actually shutter speed and ISO are inside the camera, those settings are part of it.


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