A Camera For Action Shots And Wildlife?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by DogGoneGood, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. DogGoneGood

    DogGoneGood TPF Noob!

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    So I've spent the morning using the search feature on here, and while I have come across a lot of valuable information that compare and contrast the camera's I'm going to talk about in a second, I didn't find too much talk in regards to action or wildlife shots.

    I'm currently using a Fuji S6000. It's been good to me, and was my first "big" camera, that I bought a few years ago. It introduced me to manual settings. :mrgreen:

    I'm ready for a DSLR and have done a lot of research over the past few months on what would be a good fit for me. Overall, I want clarity. The camera I have now just has so much grain to its photo's, but that also goes with it being an older model with only 6 megapixels.

    The biggest thing however is I want a camera that going to work well for action shots, mainly of my dogs that are very fast moving when outside playing, and of fast moving wildlife such as birds. I want a camera capable of producing clear images.

    I originally had my eye on the Canon XSi. I still do, sort of, mainly because of the price. I am pretty limited on how much I can spend, and the camera I get will be one I'll using for quite a while with just the kit lense, before I'll be able to purchase any new lenses for it.

    However, I've also been looking at the Nikon D5000, though it's a bit more pricer from the place I am purchasing it (I'm purchasing it somewhere where I can pay monthly payments).

    I've looked at the D90, drooled until my keyboard nearly shorted out, and then came to the conclusion that I couldn't afford it no matter how much I wished. :lmao:

    I also looked at the XTi, but it's considerably more than the XSi, but from most reviews, it seems to not be all that more impressive.

    So here's the question, for those of you familiar with the Nikon D5000 and the Canon XSi:

    Is there any good comparison between the two, or are they are two totally different playing fields?

    I've read about a motor being in the lenses, for the auto-focus... does the XSi contain this? What about the D5000? I've read that the lenses are cheaper if you don't have to get one with a motor built into the lense.

    Lastly, would you recommend an XSi for fast moving shots? Playing dogs, flying birds, ect.

    While my S6000 used to be "so big and awesomeness" to me years ago, I'm now feeling completely closed in with it since I've really gotten into learning photography, and ready to break out into something with way more options. Not to mention the grainy and blurry action shots have me wanting to throw it against a wall. :lol:
     
  2. Rosshole

    Rosshole TPF Noob!

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    I use a D5000... It doesn't have the internal focus motor, but shares the same image sensor as the D90. Don't get hung up on the lenses, there are plenty of options for those that have the motor built into them.

    As far as direct comparison to the XSi, I have none, sorry.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't think there is too much of a difference between the XSi, the XTi and the D500. They are all 'entry level' DSLR cameras...and all are pretty good.

    A more important factor for the type of photography you are talking about, will be the lens. The kit lenses will probably be adequate, but they do have their limitations, especially when it comes to the maximum aperture and that will make it harder to shoot action shots when the light isn't great. Of course, lenses that are better for action shots, are typically going to be more expensive. There are some exceptions however.

    As far as AF motors in the lenses....here's the deal.
    Back beyond the early 80s, both Canon & Nikon's SLR cameras were manual focus only. Then they went to Auto focus in the late 80s. Canon put the AF motor into their new lenses and had to change the lens mount. So older cameras and lenses were no longer compatible with the newer gear. Nikon, on the other hand, put the AF motor into the new cameras but kept the same mount so that people could keep and use their older lenses. This was all well and good until Nikon finally decided to take the AF motor out of the camera on their lower level DSLR models...but they also put AF motors into some of their newer lenses.
    So as long as you have one of the lenses with an AF motor, there is no issue. You can still use the lenses without AF motors...you just won't be able to auto focus, obviously. Some of those lenses might be cheaper, but not necessarily.
     
  4. GFreg

    GFreg TPF Noob!

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    Honestly, you wont find a camera that's GREAT for action that is in your price range. When I talk about a great body for action shots I am basically referring to one that can handle a higher amount of frames per second. This isnt really going to help most people too much. Like Big Mike said, the most helpful thing would be the lenses that you invest in.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    First, thank you for using the search feature. It just seems few people bother to make the effort. :thumbup:

    To shoot wildlife you're going to need a lens with some reach (telephoto). Basically a lens that costs as much, if not more, than your camera.

    Look at the Nikon AF-S 70-300 mm f/4-5.6G VR. It's a bit short for birds and I suspect may still be a lens you'll have to save up for even getting one used ($590, new). Better yet would be the Sigma APO 150-500 mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM, it's even more expensive but doable if you persue a used copy. It's $1000 new.

    For birds you can alway use the tactic of setting up a blind to entice them to get closer to you to minimize the amount of reach you need.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  6. DogGoneGood

    DogGoneGood TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys, very informative answers!

    From lots of research, it seems like the Canon XSi will likely be the best decision for me, and is probably the one I am going to purchase.

    I have been looking at lenses, and I'm going to try to pick up a cheaper 70mm-300mm telephoto lens to start me off. I found one by Tamron on Adorama for about $160. This will at least get me started.

    I definitely plan on investing in some better lenses in the future, and will be purchasing them one by one as the funds become available.
     

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