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Without spending a fortune, what camera and lens can I buy for horse show photos?

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  • #61
    Well, here's some reasons why you shouldn't get a Sony Alpha DSLR....

    1. Only the high-end models have battery grips. The low-end ones use grip straps and only use a single battery.

    2. Even if you get a low-end model, you still have to spend a lot of money on the lenses, and there is not a strong market for used lenses due to the low market share of the Sony Alpha cameras. Canon and Nikon both have huge market share and you can find cheap lenses on Craigslist every day as well as a huge number of third-party lenses from Sigma and Tamron.

    3. You can't get support outside of a Sony store for the most part and they will not be able to do much for you there as they focus on TVs, phones, and computers. Nikon has a huge support network through Nikon dealers and you can use them to send in your camera for repair or to get advice from pro reps. Canon has a bit of a different game going but you can still get great support from their network.

    4. Sony may kill their DSLR brand in the next two years. Their cameras are not selling and Sony profits have been pretty bad these past few years, which is making them get out of several markets where they once had dominance. Canon and Nikon both have a long history of doing what they do and they aren't going anywhere, even though their profits rise and fall with the economy.

    5. Accessories. Canon and Nikon have tons of third-party accessories available and Sony does not.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
      I am a little leery of getting a non Nikon/Cannon... but the Sony Alpha gets the most unreal positive ratings for sports/action photography and apparently can take a burst that is much much much faster than on an DSLR (as a benefit of being a DSLT).
      Detailed review here:
      http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonyslta65

      Looks fine for what you want, and will definitely be a huge improvement over what you have now. I'm not convinced that the translucent-mirror design is really a vast improvement over a DSLR but also haven't tried it myself. One thought about the electronic viewfinder - the mirror doesn't have to flip, but if you don't have a live view of your subject through the viewfinder between shots it may be hard to keep the horse properly framed as it canters by you and over the jump. Not sure how fast something would have to be moving for this to be a concern, though. The previous version had a bad rep for overheating, so recommend checking that's all fixed before buying one. Less choice of lenses compared to Canon/Nikon, but since your last camera was a PnS I don't think that would be an issue for you. The kit lens is slow and short, so you would need something different for horse shows. I didn't read the whole review, but saw in the conclusion that high-ISO images have lots of noise - might be a concern if you will be shooting mainly in dim indoor arenas. I would only buy it from someplace that takes returns in case I didn't like it, and probably only if it were substantially cheaper than the $1000 it is currently listed for. Good luck in your adventure!

      Random afterthought recommendation for you. I think this would be a better choice for you than the Sony:
      http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pana...umix-dmc-fz200

      Both this cam and its predecessor FZ150 are cheaper; integrated Leica super-zoom 24x 2.8 lens; 12fps burst rate; bigger sensor than a standard point-and-shoot; smaller and lighter so more practical for most folks; shoots RAW and has all the usual SLR-type modes so there is plenty of room for growth if you decide you do want to learn more. When you outgrow this camera, it will definitely be time to move to a DSLR.
      Last edited by visorvet; Nov. 18, 2012, 01:34 PM.

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      • #63
        The A65 is currently on sale from Sony for around $700.
        Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by visorvet View Post
          Unless you plan to shoot exclusively with a tripod, you will definitely want the IS (especially at the tele end) because that lens is heavy.
          The 70-200 f4 isn't that heavy and can certainly be shot handheld (even without IS). I've shot with the 300 f4 (both Canon and Nikon) handheld with no problems. Right now I'm using an old Nikon 80-200 f2.8 (no VR) handheld on a D200 and a D4 (when my friend is so kind and lets me borrow it ).

          If I were the OP, I'd look for a used D200 or D300/D300S. They are still very useful cameras. The 80-200, though lacking VR, is a nice lens for a decent price. Nikon is also releasing a 70-200 f4 VR. Should be nice, and obviously cheaper than its 2.8 brother.

          Some of my horsie examples:

          D300S with 300 f4, handheld: http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/bcorcoran/5159188250/
          http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/bcorcoran/5219150887/

          D200 with 80-200 f2.8, handheld:
          http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/bcorcoran/7654337858/
          http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/bcorcoran/7181211215/
          http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/bcorcoran/6036701503/
          Last edited by harvestmoon; Nov. 18, 2012, 01:16 PM.
          "No, not anything goes, I said no rules!"

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by harvestmoon View Post
            The 70-200 f4 isn't that heavy and can certainly be shot handheld (even without IS). I've shot with the 300 f4 (both Canon and Nikon) handheld with no problems. Right now I'm using an old Nikon 80-200 f2.8 (no VR) handheld on a D200 and a D4 (when my friend is so kind and lets me borrow it ).

            If I were the OP, I'd look for a used D200 or D300/D300S. They are still very useful cameras. The 80-200, though lacking VR, is a nice lens for a decent price. Nikon is also releasing a 70-200 f4 VR. Should be nice, and obviously cheaper than its 2.8 brother.
            Yes, I own the f/4 IS and consider it a very practical choice and a great option for handheld work. My comment that you quoted above was in reference to the f/2.8 for the person trying to choose between the IS versus non-IS versions. In general I think IS is almost always worth the extra expense except for those that shoot exclusively with a tripod. If I were a pro I would definitely choose the f/2.8 IS over the f/4 IS, but for me the smaller lighter cheaper lens was a better fit.

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            • #66
              Oh my apologies! My reading comprehension needs fixing.
              "No, not anything goes, I said no rules!"

              Comment


              • #67
                This has been a great thread! I have a slightly off topic question - my 12 year old would like a better camera to capture the action photos in a ring and today I found a Nikon P7100. I love my child, but she is 12, and I would rather not ruin her fun by giving her a camera that I would constantly be freaking out over. Would this be a good, middle step for her? Sorry if this is a total highjack, but this think tank was too good to pass up!
                Sayeth Traum:
                I hate it when I injury myself trying to do something unspecified

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by MorganJunkie View Post
                  This has been a great thread! I have a slightly off topic question - my 12 year old would like a better camera to capture the action photos in a ring and today I found a Nikon P7100. I love my child, but she is 12, and I would rather not ruin her fun by giving her a camera that I would constantly be freaking out over. Would this be a good, middle step for her? Sorry if this is a total highjack, but this think tank was too good to pass up!
                  While I am definitely more knowledgeable about the DSLR's than the point and shoots, I don't see any reason why this wouldn't be a good starter point and shoot for your DD.

                  It's also on Super Special Thanksgiving Sale from B & H for $350.

                  Link:
                  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...REG&q=1&A=cart
                  It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by cswoodlandfairy View Post
                    Okay so trying not to hijack the thread either but I do have a question. I have a Nikon D3000. Not the best on the block but suitable for an amature. I have the standard 35mm lens along with the 55-200mm lens. While at an indoor show a year ago I noticed the professional photographer, who also had a nikon, was obviously getting great shots. He told me that the reason was the lens and that it had a low fstop to let in more like...somewhere in the 2.8 or lower he said. He told me the lens specifically but its nearly $1,200 and way out of my price range.

                    I noticed you said you like you 85mm f/1.8 lens. Would this catch action in the indoor?

                    See my previous replies to RugBug for some tips on this. I think with a D3000 you are going to be challenged to take action shots in low light. Jumping shots in low light really require a pro set up or pretty in depth knowledge of how to push your camera settings.

                    I do not consider the 85mm f/1.8 to be an action lens at all. I use it for portraits 99% of the time. (see long previous post about Aperture for all the why's to this).
                    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by RugBug View Post
                      I'll give the 55-250 another shot (teehee) but I will continue to watch ebay for a 70-200 f/2.8. (maybe if I get a USM rather than the IS, I could afford one.)

                      If you are going to get the f/2.8, you will definitely want the IS unless you are shooting on a tripod or a monopod (at this point though, I still really don't think you need this lens. Focus on exposure and camera settings - I just don't think you will see the changes that you are looking for in your images by upgrading the lens. You can get the shots that you want with the set up that you have. Once you get to that point if you are still unhappy with the actual image quality, then upgrade the glass. JMHO).


                      Sorry for 3 replies in a row... can't figure out how to do the multi quote with the new forum updates!
                      It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by potteryshop View Post
                        two sticks, awesome explanations for an confusing topic.

                        Thank you! Guess my photography degree finally came in handy for something!
                        It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by two sticks View Post
                          If you are going to get the f/2.8, you will definitely want the IS unless you are shooting on a tripod or a monopod (at this point though, I still really don't think you need this lens. Focus on exposure and camera settings - I just don't think you will see the changes that you are looking for in your images by upgrading the lens. You can get the shots that you want with the set up that you have. Once you get to that point if you are still unhappy with the actual image quality, then upgrade the glass. JMHO).


                          Sorry for 3 replies in a row... can't figure out how to do the multi quote with the new forum updates!
                          Am I insane/weird (it's very possible)? I guess I just don't see why you need a tripod/monopod when shooting without IS/VR. I guess it might get a little 'meh' when you're shooting in low light, but even then I've never had too much trouble.

                          But I *am* probably a weirdo, or something.

                          And, sorry, don't mean to be a buttinsky in this thread!
                          "No, not anything goes, I said no rules!"

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by harvestmoon View Post
                            Am I insane/weird (it's very possible)? I guess I just don't see why you need a tripod/monopod when shooting without IS/VR. I guess it might get a little 'meh' when you're shooting in low light, but even then I've never had too much trouble.

                            But I *am* probably a weirdo, or something.

                            And, sorry, don't mean to be a buttinsky in this thread!

                            I typed a whole long response to this and my computer ate it. I'm specifically talking about Canon lenses.

                            The Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8 is twice as heavy as the 70-200 f/4 (51.9 oz vs. 24.1 oz).

                            I don't think you need the IS to shoot hand held with the f/4. I definitely think it is worth it with the f/2.8.

                            This is a heavy lens, and you get lens movement and lens blur at slower shutter speeds. Especially if you are shooting for hours at a horse show or a wedding, that sucker gets HEAVY fast, your arms get tired, and your stability decreases. I have shot with both and I find that the IS is a big help in keeping my images nice and sharp when shooting hand held, especially if I want to shoot at a slower shutter speed. The IS allows you to shoot 3-4 stops slower than the USM lens and still achieve sharpness- especially helpful in low light. (Like trying to shoot in an indoor ring, or on a cloudy, overcast day).

                            The IS also offers faster auto focus, which again can be helpful when shooting fast moving subjects like horses, and slightly higher image quality.

                            In my opinion, if you are going to shell out for the fancy expensive lens, and you have issues with focus already, it is worth it invest in the IS - which is designed to help shooting this lens hand held and shooting fast moving subjects.

                            I would go for the 70-200mm f/4 over the 70-200mm USM (no IS). You can easily shoot that one hand held. If you are looking to save money, and you are mainly shooting action, especially horses, you aren't going to be in that f/2.8-f/4 aperture range in most situations anyway.

                            Again, just my opinion - I've shot with all 3 of these lenses.

                            I really don't have much experience with the Nikon lenses so I can't comment on those.

                            Here is a good article with a side by side comparison of the 70-200 mm f/2.8 IS, non IS, and f/4 - you can really see how much bigger the f/2.8 is than the f/4 (this is where I got the lens weights noted above): http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx
                            It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Fair enough. I do agree that if you're going to spend the money, you might as well get the IS.

                              Though I do shoot action with f/2.8-f/4, or as close to it as possible. Personal preference, I guess. Easier to screw up the focus, but I prefer the results when I get it right.

                              Originally posted by two sticks View Post
                              I typed a whole long response to this and my computer ate it. I'm specifically talking about Canon lenses.

                              The Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8 is twice as heavy as the 70-200 f/4 (51.9 oz vs. 24.1 oz).

                              I don't think you need the IS to shoot hand held with the f/4. I definitely think it is worth it with the f/2.8.

                              This is a heavy lens, and you get lens movement and lens blur at slower shutter speeds. Especially if you are shooting for hours at a horse show or a wedding, that sucker gets HEAVY fast, your arms get tired, and your stability decreases. I have shot with both and I find that the IS is a big help in keeping my images nice and sharp when shooting hand held, especially if I want to shoot at a slower shutter speed. The IS allows you to shoot 3-4 stops slower than the USM lens and still achieve sharpness- especially helpful in low light. (Like trying to shoot in an indoor ring, or on a cloudy, overcast day).

                              The IS also offers faster auto focus, which again can be helpful when shooting fast moving subjects like horses, and slightly higher image quality.

                              In my opinion, if you are going to shell out for the fancy expensive lens, and you have issues with focus already, it is worth it invest in the IS - which is designed to help shooting this lens hand held and shooting fast moving subjects.

                              I would go for the 70-200mm f/4 over the 70-200mm USM (no IS). You can easily shoot that one hand held. If you are looking to save money, and you are mainly shooting action, especially horses, you aren't going to be in that f/2.8-f/4 aperture range in most situations anyway.

                              Again, just my opinion - I've shot with all 3 of these lenses.

                              I really don't have much experience with the Nikon lenses so I can't comment on those.

                              Here is a good article with a side by side comparison of the 70-200 mm f/2.8 IS, non IS, and f/4 - you can really see how much bigger the f/2.8 is than the f/4 (this is where I got the lens weights noted above): http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx
                              "No, not anything goes, I said no rules!"

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                                Especially the notion of buying used, which I was thinking meant eBay and I was *lost*... buying used from a camera shop sounds like an entirely different ball of wax.
                                When buying used OR new, make sure it has a US warranty. (not sure whether the warranty is good on used, but....
                                www.ayliprod.com
                                Equine Photography in the Northeast

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  I love my Nikon D90. It has taken some awesome pictures, both near and far. Listen to the peeps that have pointed out that it is largely about the glass on the end of your camera. You can have the fanciest camera ever, but if you are using a kit lens at 5.6 you aren't going to get the photos you want. Stay way under your budget on the body if you can find the basic features you want, and spend your real money on the right lens for the job you want to do. I'm looking for a lens for birding right now, talk about $$$$$ gasp! But it will be a very worthwhile investment.
                                  If you love me let me go....

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #77
                                    Played around with the Nikon D3200 this weekend and liked it a lot.
                                    ~Veronica
                                    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #78
                                      Originally posted by Crackerdog View Post
                                      OP if you are looking at something for under 1000 check out costco.com. I am a hobby photographer and I just bought a Nikon D3200 with an 18-55mm and 55-200mm lens and assorted accoutrements for under your price. So far I really enjoy using it and have gotten some nice pictures. Next I plan on getting the 70-300mm lens from Amazon.
                                      That's where I was playing around with the camera this weekend. Just got a membership!
                                      ~Veronica
                                      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                      http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        Sara, I just saw your question: "Carol, what Sigma did you have? I love my 28-80 mm and the rest of my gear is all Canon L pro series lenses. I've personally found the Sigma line to be much better than the Tamrons in my experience."

                                        I have no idea which lens it was. Probably 10 years ago - we either sold it or returned/exchanged it. I think we had a Canon D10 and it and the lens HATED each other.

                                        As I said, I know of many pros who are very strong on Sigma - and maybe we just are the oddball - having a bad experience with it and a very good one with Tamron.
                                        www.ayliprod.com
                                        Equine Photography in the Northeast

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                                        • Original Poster

                                          #80
                                          Went to Calumet, spent a long time with very helpful folks there, played with the Sony Alpha and absolutely fell in love with it. So... now I feel more decided about the camera (and lenses) and I know for SURE where I'll be buying when the time comes. They offer free classes and warranties and sell used/new and could NOT have been more helpful without being the least bit pushy or judgmental.

                                          They can order accessories for the Sony (Tamron and other brands make lenses that work with the Sony) and actually they are pretty sure Sony's all-in for cameras as they've been selling off their ancillary businesses and recently bought a ton of IP from another camera company (blanking now on the name!) I raised all the concerns from this thread with the folks there and they didn't think the concern was misplaced but they didn't think it warranted NOT considering the Sony either. I loved how the Sony functioned, felt, and it's screen which is a departure from the Nikon screens. And it really, really is faster in the burst.

                                          Calumet has the Nikon too, but when I tried that side by side with the Sony I preferred the Sony.
                                          ~Veronica
                                          "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                          http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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