Canon 40D - will it work for me?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by dianehamm, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. dianehamm

    dianehamm TPF Noob!

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    Hi! I started shooting pics of barrel racers for fun w/my little canon S5 IS. Have gotten lots of great shots (In good light) & am now being requested at rodeos, so I need to upgrade to better equip. When I shoot on a very overcast day or a covered arena, telephoto across the arena ( probably abt 70') I'm getting a lot of noise in my pics. Also after sunset with my maximum ISO of 800, my shutter speed is too slow to freeze the action.

    I need to find a camera & lens that can handle low light telephoto action shots without the noise. Have been looking into the canon 40D - Does anyone have first hand experience with this camera shooting under similar conditions? Or are there any rodeo photographers reading this that could recommend another camera & lens that would do the job without breaking the bank - Until I start making some money at this I can't justify spending over say $800-$1200.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    The 40D might be a good camera for this, although, there are other cameras with better noise performance (low noise at high ISO) but probably not in your budget. You might be able to find a used 5D for a reasonable price.

    That being said, the lens will likely matter just as much or more than the camera. You will likely want/need a telephoto lens, but you will also want/need a 'fast' lens (large maximum aperture). Fast telephoto lenses are very expensive.

    Even with a great camera and a fast lens...it might still be a challenge to get greats shots in an indoor rodeo arena....the typical lighting is pretty terrible.

    There are a couple photographers on this site, who do this sort of thing. I don't think they visit every day, you might want to search them out and send them a message.
     
  3. bazooka

    bazooka No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've had mine for a month or so and so far I really like it. The menu's are very intuitive and it feels good. I've shot some stuff in low light and it handles high ISO well, although I don't really have anything to compare it to. The lens will make a big impact on your situation.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I'd go for a "fast" telephoto prime lens, specifically the Canon 85mm f/1.8 EF lens. It's the right length for shooting indoor events at the 70 foot range with a 1.6x Canon body like a 40D. It's not too long, or too tight on angle of view, so it will work for a horse and rider from about 45 feet out to 100 feet or more,and it will allow you to capture fast-moving action even under bad light levels. The lens makes high-quality images that can be cropped. A lens like the 85/1.8 allows a lot of light into the camera, allowing you to shoot at high shutter speeds indoors....you can set the aperture to f/1.8 under the most dire circumstances, or f/2 or f/2.2 for a tiny bit of depth of field "cushion" to allow for slight focusing errors, and then crop in at the computer to make shots that have the right framing.

    Zoom lenses at f/2.8 are expensive. I know the 85/1.8 might 'seem' expensive, but it is, I think, one of the best values in the entire Canon lineup, as a high-speed, fast-focusing, light, compact lens that is ideal for night/indoor events. A used one from KEH.com would be a good way to save some money and still be able to afford the right tool for the job.
     
  5. JE Kay

    JE Kay TPF Noob!

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    40D will work great for this, I know... I do it myself.

    You will need, and I say must have fast glass. Fine either a Sigma or Canon 70 - 200 2.8 that's what I use mainly. As someone has already mentioned the 85 1.8 is great as long as you have good access. It's excellent for those 'low light' situations.

    The 40D can handle shooting this stuff for sure, that I know, just make sure not to scrimp on the glass you'll kick yourself. ;)
     
  6. dianehamm

    dianehamm TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it! Thanks to your input, I have no question as to lens, obviously a fast lens is a MUST. However, since doing more research and comparing reviews & sample shots at various ISO between the canon 40d and nikon d90, I am leaning toward the d90...
     
  7. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    Can you afford the Canon 7D?
     
  8. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    Th 40D is a great body and it should serve you quite well.
     
  9. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    I used my 40D for outside rodeo events many times over, but move that roping indoors, and things get different fast. Some of those arenas are dungeons. I would get a 7D or 5D classic or 5DII. A used 1DmkIII would be ideal.
     

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