Re: I'm looking for a prosumer "sports" camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by David J Taylor, May 17, 2008.

  1. Joe wrote:
    > which can take good action shots under low-light conditions such as
    > inside a basketball or volleyball arena.
    >
    > I've asked this question in 2000 & 2004 and ALL answers came back
    > "Get a DSLR" -- with the cheapest offering going to the Canon EOS
    > Rebel!
    > Are there any subcompact/consumer/prosumer cameras that can do the
    > trick now?
    >
    > Thx in advance.


    If a job needed a large-sensor camera (e.g. DSLR) in 2002 and 2004, it
    still needs a large-sensor camera in 2008. In fact the, large sensor
    cameras have go even better with products like Nikon's D3, but they are
    not cheap. Small-sensor cameras (i.e. compacts), have neither the large
    sensors (to capture more photons) nor, usually, the large aperture lenses
    required. Although small-sensor cameras gave improved a little, it is
    probably by less than a factor of two, whereas a factor of 10 or 20 is
    required.

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, May 17, 2008
    #1
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  2. David J Taylor

    Alex Monro Guest

    David J Taylor wrote:

    > Joe wrote:
    >> which can take good action shots under low-light conditions such as
    >> inside a basketball or volleyball arena.
    >>
    >> I've asked this question in 2000 & 2004 and ALL answers came back
    >> "Get a DSLR" -- with the cheapest offering going to the Canon EOS
    >> Rebel!
    >> Are there any subcompact/consumer/prosumer cameras that can do the
    >> trick now?
    >>
    >> Thx in advance.

    >
    > If a job needed a large-sensor camera (e.g. DSLR) in 2002 and 2004, it
    > still needs a large-sensor camera in 2008. In fact the, large sensor
    > cameras have go even better with products like Nikon's D3, but they
    > are
    > not cheap. Small-sensor cameras (i.e. compacts), have neither the
    > large sensors (to capture more photons) nor, usually, the large
    > aperture lenses
    > required. Although small-sensor cameras gave improved a little, it is
    > probably by less than a factor of two, whereas a factor of 10 or 20 is
    > required.
    >

    If you really don't want to get a DSLR, then a Fuji S6000 is probably
    your best bet of the fixed lens ultrazoom bridge cameras, and depending
    on your definition of "good action shots" might suit you. Any DSLR with
    appropriate lens will do a far better job though. Small sensor
    cameras haven't really improved for this kind of application over the
    last couple of years, manufacturers seem to be chasing megapixels rather
    than improving low light quality.
    --
    Alex Monro
    Exeter, UK
    Running on Linux (Kubuntu 7.1)
     
    Alex Monro, May 17, 2008
    #2
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  3. David J Taylor

    Matt Ion Guest

    Alex Monro wrote:
    > David J Taylor wrote:
    >
    >> Joe wrote:
    >>> which can take good action shots under low-light conditions such as
    >>> inside a basketball or volleyball arena.
    >>>
    >>> I've asked this question in 2000 & 2004 and ALL answers came back
    >>> "Get a DSLR" -- with the cheapest offering going to the Canon EOS
    >>> Rebel!
    >>> Are there any subcompact/consumer/prosumer cameras that can do the
    >>> trick now?
    >>>
    >>> Thx in advance.

    >> If a job needed a large-sensor camera (e.g. DSLR) in 2002 and 2004, it
    >> still needs a large-sensor camera in 2008. In fact the, large sensor
    >> cameras have go even better with products like Nikon's D3, but they
    >> are
    >> not cheap. Small-sensor cameras (i.e. compacts), have neither the
    >> large sensors (to capture more photons) nor, usually, the large
    >> aperture lenses
    >> required. Although small-sensor cameras gave improved a little, it is
    >> probably by less than a factor of two, whereas a factor of 10 or 20 is
    >> required.
    >>

    > If you really don't want to get a DSLR, then a Fuji S6000 is probably
    > your best bet of the fixed lens ultrazoom bridge cameras, and depending
    > on your definition of "good action shots" might suit you. Any DSLR with
    > appropriate lens will do a far better job though. Small sensor
    > cameras haven't really improved for this kind of application over the
    > last couple of years, manufacturers seem to be chasing megapixels rather
    > than improving low light quality.


    "Low light quality" HAS improved over the last few years, but as David
    notes, there are some laws of physics that you can't get around, and one
    is that a smaller sensor (and its corresponding smaller pixels) simply
    can't collect as much light as a larger one. As much as sensor
    technology and noise profile will improve in compacts, it will improve
    equally (if not more) in DSLRs, and they will still have significantly
    better noise characteristics simply for the fact of having a larger sensor.
     
    Matt Ion, May 17, 2008
    #3
  4. David J Taylor

    Robert Coe Guest

    On Sat, 17 May 2008 07:41:58 -0700, Matt Ion <> wrote:
    : Alex Monro wrote:
    : > David J Taylor wrote:
    : >
    : >> Joe wrote:
    : >>> which can take good action shots under low-light conditions such as
    : >>> inside a basketball or volleyball arena.
    : >>>
    : >>> I've asked this question in 2000 & 2004 and ALL answers came back
    : >>> "Get a DSLR" -- with the cheapest offering going to the Canon EOS
    : >>> Rebel!
    : >>> Are there any subcompact/consumer/prosumer cameras that can do the
    : >>> trick now?
    : >>>
    : >>> Thx in advance.
    : >> If a job needed a large-sensor camera (e.g. DSLR) in 2002 and 2004, it
    : >> still needs a large-sensor camera in 2008. In fact the, large sensor
    : >> cameras have go even better with products like Nikon's D3, but they
    : >> are
    : >> not cheap. Small-sensor cameras (i.e. compacts), have neither the
    : >> large sensors (to capture more photons) nor, usually, the large
    : >> aperture lenses
    : >> required. Although small-sensor cameras gave improved a little, it is
    : >> probably by less than a factor of two, whereas a factor of 10 or 20 is
    : >> required.
    : >>
    : > If you really don't want to get a DSLR, then a Fuji S6000 is probably
    : > your best bet of the fixed lens ultrazoom bridge cameras, and depending
    : > on your definition of "good action shots" might suit you. Any DSLR with
    : > appropriate lens will do a far better job though. Small sensor
    : > cameras haven't really improved for this kind of application over the
    : > last couple of years, manufacturers seem to be chasing megapixels rather
    : > than improving low light quality.
    :
    : "Low light quality" HAS improved over the last few years, but as David
    : notes, there are some laws of physics that you can't get around, and one
    : is that a smaller sensor (and its corresponding smaller pixels) simply
    : can't collect as much light as a larger one. As much as sensor
    : technology and noise profile will improve in compacts, it will improve
    : equally (if not more) in DSLRs, and they will still have significantly
    : better noise characteristics simply for the fact of having a larger sensor.

    Even a larger sensor may not do the job if the circuitry that reads it is
    slow. My first digital was a Canon Powershot G-5. It had a very respectable
    f/2.0 lens, but its response was so slow that it was almost useless for
    capturing moving subjects. (In my case the moving subjects were grandchildren,
    but the camera would have been equally useless for sports photography.)

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, May 17, 2008
    #4
  5. David J Taylor

    Matt Ion Guest

    Robert Coe wrote:
    > On Sat, 17 May 2008 07:41:58 -0700, Matt Ion <> wrote:
    > : Alex Monro wrote:
    > : > David J Taylor wrote:
    > : >
    > : >> Joe wrote:
    > : >>> which can take good action shots under low-light conditions such as
    > : >>> inside a basketball or volleyball arena.
    > : >>>
    > : >>> I've asked this question in 2000 & 2004 and ALL answers came back
    > : >>> "Get a DSLR" -- with the cheapest offering going to the Canon EOS
    > : >>> Rebel!
    > : >>> Are there any subcompact/consumer/prosumer cameras that can do the
    > : >>> trick now?
    > : >>>
    > : >>> Thx in advance.
    > : >> If a job needed a large-sensor camera (e.g. DSLR) in 2002 and 2004, it
    > : >> still needs a large-sensor camera in 2008. In fact the, large sensor
    > : >> cameras have go even better with products like Nikon's D3, but they
    > : >> are
    > : >> not cheap. Small-sensor cameras (i.e. compacts), have neither the
    > : >> large sensors (to capture more photons) nor, usually, the large
    > : >> aperture lenses
    > : >> required. Although small-sensor cameras gave improved a little, it is
    > : >> probably by less than a factor of two, whereas a factor of 10 or 20 is
    > : >> required.
    > : >>
    > : > If you really don't want to get a DSLR, then a Fuji S6000 is probably
    > : > your best bet of the fixed lens ultrazoom bridge cameras, and depending
    > : > on your definition of "good action shots" might suit you. Any DSLR with
    > : > appropriate lens will do a far better job though. Small sensor
    > : > cameras haven't really improved for this kind of application over the
    > : > last couple of years, manufacturers seem to be chasing megapixels rather
    > : > than improving low light quality.
    > :
    > : "Low light quality" HAS improved over the last few years, but as David
    > : notes, there are some laws of physics that you can't get around, and one
    > : is that a smaller sensor (and its corresponding smaller pixels) simply
    > : can't collect as much light as a larger one. As much as sensor
    > : technology and noise profile will improve in compacts, it will improve
    > : equally (if not more) in DSLRs, and they will still have significantly
    > : better noise characteristics simply for the fact of having a larger sensor.
    >
    > Even a larger sensor may not do the job if the circuitry that reads it is
    > slow. My first digital was a Canon Powershot G-5. It had a very respectable
    > f/2.0 lens, but its response was so slow that it was almost useless for
    > capturing moving subjects. (In my case the moving subjects were grandchildren,
    > but the camera would have been equally useless for sports photography.)


    Yeah, shutter lag is the other factor that severely limits a compact's
    (even a "prosumer" type's) usefulness for shooting sports of almost any
    kind (except maybe golf... or poker, which is apparently a "sport" these
    days).
     
    Matt Ion, May 17, 2008
    #5
  6. bugbear wrote:
    []
    > Anyone else think that 6-8 megapixels is "enough" (*) ?
    >
    > BugBear
    >
    > (*) from some value of "enough"


    Yes - I bought a 6MP DSLR when denser sensors were available. I expect
    some people think that's daft!

    David
     
    David J Taylor, May 19, 2008
    #6
  7. David J Taylor

    Dudley Hanks Guest


    > Anyone else think that 6-8 megapixels is "enough" (*) ?


    It depends on what the final print / image will be used for. If you are
    shooting sports shots for the community newspaper's sports section, or if
    you are going to put them up on a website, or if you just want to put
    together a slide show to show on your tv, 6 to 8 megs is more than enough.

    With the end image in the websites needing only a 100 pixels or so on each
    dimension and a printed size of 2 x3 or 3 x4 in the newspapers, just about
    anything will give good results at that size.

    But, if your sights are to be set higher than that, it might be a bit small.

    Take Care,
    Dudley
     
    Dudley Hanks, May 19, 2008
    #7
  8. In message <>, bugbear
    <bugbear@trim_papermule.co.uk_trim> writes

    >Anyone else think that 6-8 megapixels is "enough" (*) ?


    Depends what you want to do with the images.

    I earn a living taking pictures. I'll qualify that -- I survey
    equipment installations and write reports for the customer who have lost
    track of what they installed in a particular site five or ten years ago.
    Sometimes I need to get into very badly-placed cabinets to read serial
    numbers and other important little labels on the backs of equipment. I
    can't shut the equipment down or otherwise interfere with it as it's
    running 24/7. So what do I do?

    I get out my Canon A640 camera with its 10Mp sensor, fold out the LCD
    screen, poke the camera into the back of the cabinet at arms's length
    and point it at the labels I need to get the information from. I take a
    few pictures at highest resolution with/without the builtin flash and a
    bright LED lamp I carry in my toolkit. After that I use the digital
    "zoom" feature in review mode to rummage around in the 10Mp image to get
    the serial numbers I need to complete my report. If they didn't come out
    clearly enough I try again. I'm tempted to get a cheap 12Mp P&S camera
    as it might do a better job than my A640 for this task.

    Many of this newsgroup's posters believe that digital photography
    hardware requirements should be driven by the need for absolute picture
    quality and the physical prints produced from such images. Noise in a
    small sensor camera is not important for the majority of people, just
    the "pixel-peepers". As for printing images, I think the last time I
    printed a picture I took onto paper it was to test an A3 colour laser
    printer I was installing at a customer site about a year ago. The rest
    of the time I look at pictures on a 22" CRT monitor which gives me an
    effective image size of 16"x12" landscape.

    6-8Mp is enough resolution for "art" photographers who can (and do)
    spend thousands on 35mm-style SLRs and lenses (large-format digital
    camera backs are another matter, of course), who will never need to zoom
    or crop their pictures to fix badly-framed images. For the rest of us
    the more pixels the better because Grandma doesn't use a camera very
    often and her eyes aren't as good as they used to be.
    --
    To reply, my gmail address is nojay1 Robert Sneddon
     
    Robert Sneddon, May 20, 2008
    #8
  9. In message <>, bugbear
    <bugbear@trim_papermule.co.uk_trim> writes
    >Robert Sneddon wrote:
    >> The rest
    >> of the time I look at pictures on a 22" CRT monitor which gives me an
    >> effective image size of 16"x12" landscape.

    >
    >But the monitor (unless it's very unusual) is only
    >75-ish DPI, not the 300 dpi that would be typical
    >for a 16"x12" print.


    Yes, but it's how I view pictures almost exclusively these days. I
    shoot at max resolution with the 10Mp camera I use because it's really
    not worth shooting at lower resolution. When I view the pictures on a
    decent-sized screen I can, if I want, actively "zoom" in on detail which
    would require using a loupe to observe in a print (assuming the detail
    was in fact present in the print).

    It's likely in the future I'll be using larger higher-resolution
    screens than the one in front of me right now. My next monitor will
    probably be a 30" display, 2560x1600 (4Mp) but I know that manufacturers
    are working on new-technology displays for the home, 4800x3000 (14.4Mp)
    and more. Displaying a 6Mpixel image on such a screen because that's the
    maximum size my camera can shoot now is not going to look so good (I'm
    seeing the same thing with my early 1Mp camera pics and this display).
    >
    >That's far fewer pixels!
    >
    >But that'snot important point.
    >
    >Your other use for pixels is excellent, but
    >(I'm guessing) unusual.


    I'm effectively cropping out a small part of the image to be able to
    read the numbers etc. off the labels. When I'm shooting pictures around
    town or on holiday I do try and frame stuff as well as I can, but I'm no
    expert. Extra pixels mean I can crop afterwards to balance a given
    picture and still have the resolution for a descent-sized image.

    >
    >My point is not that pixels aren't needed,
    >but that the drive for quantity of pixels
    >has a consequential negative effect on other
    >useful features such as dynamic range and
    >light sensitivity.


    Only the top few percent of camera users find these factors to be
    important. Camera manufacturers will supply that need at a cost premium.
    The rest of us happy snappers find the high-resolution P&S cameras do a
    really good job, they don't cost the earth and they don't fill up our
    luggage when we go on holiday. A friend has just bought his wife a
    low-end DSLR starter kit (Canon 450D kit plus Tamron 70-300mmm) for her
    hobby of aircraft photography. As he points out when she flies it will
    have to travel in her carry-on luggage since she'll want to take
    pictures at airports, and that will leave her with virtually no room for
    anything else in the case because of the DSLR's bulk.
    >
    >These features are just as useable for "non artistic"
    >purpose as the unusual use you've found for pixel quantity.


    Non-artistic photography is more easily accommodated with P&S cameras
    than with DSLRs for all sorts of reasons. The P&Ses have other
    advantages, such as movie mode -- I am somewhat interested in the
    Samsung NV24 in this regard given its capability to record 1280x720
    movies in h.264 at about 1Mb/second. Again I wouldn't be expecting to
    produce cinematic epics but sometimes a movie is better than stills (I
    shot some movies on the Japanese shinkansen last year, for example). As
    far as I know, DSLRs don't have a movie mode (or at least they aren't
    common).
    --
    To reply, my gmail address is nojay1 Robert Sneddon
     
    Robert Sneddon, May 20, 2008
    #9
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