Need help with camera decision

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by pinkstonm, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. pinkstonm

    pinkstonm TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am a novice photographer but would like to start taking digital pictures.


    My son plays college lacrosse and I wanted to start taking some nice action shots of him playing. I have been to all the stores and was actually looking the the following cameras:
    Canon PowerShot S5 IS
    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18
    Sony DSC-H9


    I like the Panasonic because of it 18x zoom but am looking for some help from the pros. Help me decide on one of these or let me know if there is something I should be looking at instead. I would like to stay in the price range of these cameras.
    Thanks
     
  2. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Welcome to the forum.

    First off, shooting sports is one of the most demanding things to ask of your camera. You need fast shutter speeds to freeze the fast moving action and to get the fast shutter speeds, it helps to have a large maximum aperture. You also need a long focal length because you have to be off of the field.

    I'm not sure about the lenses that are built into the camera that you mention...but I'd guess that their maximum aperture (especially at the long end of the zoom) isn't very big. Also, you will usually find that the greater the zoom range, the lower the image quality.

    Do they play their Lacrosse games in the daylight or under the lights in the evening? This makes a big difference because those lights don't really give you all that much light and getting fast shutter speeds is very hard.

    There is something you can do, to get faster shutter speeds...and that is to turn up the ISO setting. However, the higher you go, the more noise you will get. That is part of those cameras you listed...they are not great at high ISO settings....mostly because they have rather small image sensors.

    Another thing that should be considered is the shutter lag...how fast does the camera snap the photo after you press the button. I've found most 'digi-cams' to be painfully slow but the newer ones are better.

    Basically, what I'm getting at is that any of those cameras isn't ideal for shooting sports. Of course, the idea set up for shooting sports would cost you a couple grand for the camera and several thousand for the lens.

    You could try to find a happy medium or you could try to make the most out of a lesser camera.

    My suggestion would be to look into an entry level DSLR camera. These cameras have much larger sensors that the digi-cams, so they have much better high-ISO performance. They also have a faster shutter lag. Most importantly, they use interchangeable lenses...so you are not limited to the lens that comes with the camera. You can buy a lens that is more suited to shooting sports. Of course, a DSLR camera is more expensive and the lenses range from $70 to $7000.

    I know that said that you wanted to stay in that price range....and in good shooting conditions, those cameras might be adequate. But all too often people buy somthing like that, only to find that they are limited by it...and end up buying something better later.
     
  3. Fliphishermon

    Fliphishermon TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Correct me if I'm wrong, somebody, but don't the Powershots (5 IS) have a very limited number of lens options. Like one or two??
     
  4. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The lens on that camera is built in...so there aren't really any options. Just like practically every other 'digi-cam'.

    You can buy adapters/filter to go onto the lens...but that's not nearly the same as interchangeable lenses.
     
  5. Lucas_L

    Lucas_L TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    not to mention 4AA batteries is a huge downfall. With the screen size, AF, and flash you will be lucky to get 35-50 pictures on a set of 4AA batteries.

    The Sony is probably my favorite advanced point and shoot camera. However, i always suggest spending a couple extra bucks and picking up a good DSLR entry-level package. The sony runs about 400-450. Amazon has a super good internet buy on the Nikon D40 right now; $525 for the D40 kit(body, lens[18-55mm], software, manual, battery+charger, and USB cable), 2gb SD card, and a case. Thats a great buy. For $100 more, i think you will be a lot more satisfied with the picture quality, and camera options/capabilities. Plus, you always have the option of buy lenses for a DSLR.
     
  6. Jestev

    Jestev TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Not true at all. I used to use the Canon Powershot S1 IS for everything with 4AA's and I could take 200+ on one set of rechargeables. I never had an issue because I would always carry two sets of batteries.
     
  7. Lucas_L

    Lucas_L TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    really? thats odd. I work at best buy and have had a trial of all of the cameras. I never got more than 50-60. So we tell people 50 to be on the safe side. Not to mention within a year or two people come back complaining because the battery terminals have gone awry, which drains the battery without the camera even being on.


    Not to mention the S1 has a much smaller screen, a crappier auto-focus, uses many smaller/more economical parts. The new processor, larger screen, extra features of the S5 drains batts like they are going out of style.
     
  8. Jestev

    Jestev TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Interesting. I did a little search about the S5 and I kept finding articles citing that it could get an average of 450 shots in between charges. Of course, the authors could have been using better batteries than you guys were, but I'd be surprised if it made a 400 shot difference.
     
  9. Lucas_L

    Lucas_L TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    haha 4AAs for 450 pictures!!! haha that must be some kind of spin article. DSLRs would might be able to hit that, but not only are they LI, they have way way way way more batt life than even a standard P&S camera.
     
  10. Jestev

    Jestev TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It appears that all the reviews were using rechargeable NiMH batteries, which is exactly what I, and anyone else who seriously uses their P&S, use.

    Just a few of the articles citing 450 shots:
    http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/powershot_s5-review/
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/CanonS5is/
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/S5IS/S5ISA.HTM

    There are many more articles citing the great battery life of the S5.

    Saying that you get 35-50 shots on one set of AA batteries is simply bologna.
     
  11. Lucas_L

    Lucas_L TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    i read those already. :lol:
     
  12. Jestev

    Jestev TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    So are you trying to say that these articles are "spin articles?" DPreview.com is a, if not the, premiere digital photography review site.
     

Share This Page