surf photography from the beach

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by cpimp, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. cpimp

    cpimp TPF Noob!

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    I have a point and shoot sony digital camera (dsc-p72), but it just doesn't cut it for shooting me and my buddies surfing. The zoom is only 3x.

    I was gonna sell it and get a better digital with a 10x zoom or so, but my buddy suggested I get an older film SLR with a big lens.

    I want to shoot surfers from the beach (I guess it'd be about 100 yards or so). Would getting an older SLR be good for that, and how big of a lens would I need?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Chase

    Chase I am now benign! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Part of this really depends on what you are hoping to achieve. If you are looking for nice close up shots of the person filling the frame, you are probably looking at at least a 200-300mm (or more) lens with a film SLR. Also, being that it is fast moving, you would ideally have a relatively high-end lens that is fast (f2.8) and has a fast focusing system. None of this is going to be too cheap.

    A 10X digital may not be a bad solution considering the prices have come down quite a bit. The downfalls are going to be less quality (which may or may not be a huge issue) and the shutter lag that most standard digitals exhibit. Shutter lag can be a HUGE issue when you see that perfect shot, hit the button, and then sit and wait for the shot to be taken....meanwhile the perfect shot just isn't as perfect anymore.

    A film SLR or digital SLR would probably be your best bet, but you need to decide if you want to put out that kind of money for the components that would be best for the job. Hope this helps some!
     
  3. SLOShooter

    SLOShooter TPF Noob!

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    Chase offers good advice and as he mentioned it's not going to be cheap. Your major expense is going to be getting a long, fast, lens. I'd try finding a water proof case for you point and shoot or buying disposable water proof cameras. I've taken surf shots with the disposable before that turned out pretty good. Just stuff it down the back of your suit and wait for your freinds to get a good one.
     
  4. DIRT

    DIRT TPF Noob!

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    Awesome... another surfer on the forums. yeah you will need some big glass depending on where you shoot. i have shot at point mugu with a 210mm and been fine but it is super shallow and not a far peak. get a fast lens. i have a cheapo 500mm f8 pheonix lens for my 10d, have to have good light or just under expose and bring it up in photoshop.

    where do you surf mainly?
     
  5. cpimp

    cpimp TPF Noob!

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    Hey, thanks for all the help... I really appreciate the info. The cheap water cam might be a good solution as water shots are pretty awesome. I was browsing around ebay... I really dont know if that would be a good place to buy camera stuff or not, but if it is I was finding auctions for an older SLR and a bigger lens that were under 200 bucks. I've taken about 6000 pictures with my point and shoot in the past 2 years... It sounds like it'd be a good idea to get a new digital with a 10x zoom, but how does a 10x zoom compare with a 300mm lens?

    And for DIRT... I surf Hollywood beach in Ventura, Rincon, and County Line throughout the school year, and during the summer and breaks I surf blacks, windansea, south mission beach, OB, and pretty much all of San Diego. Have a good one!
     
  6. lazarus219

    lazarus219 TPF Noob!

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    Somethnig like the S5500 would be fine, 10x zoom fast focusing and no shutter lag (if you half press) all you need then is a tripod
     
  7. Bimmie

    Bimmie TPF Noob!

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    Maybe the nikon coolpix 8100 will do as well (or could be slightly different name, I can't really recall) I shot some nice footie pictures with that one.
     
  8. cpimp

    cpimp TPF Noob!

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    I've been spending a bit of time researching this camera and it looks awesome, but it seems like it is an older model. I am just not sure about buying a camera put out 2 years ago (guessing that it was put out a year or two ago)??
     
  9. lizheaemma

    lizheaemma TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    fuji s5100/s5500 both same camera diffrent number in different country's was only released last october if I am not mistaken, might you be thinking of the s5000? S5100/5500 has the same body with a bunch of upgrades! When I was looking for a 10x I looked at a bunch and ended up going with the fuji because it wasn't junked up wiht alot of usless functions, it was fast compared to some of the others, good movie quality (that was just a bonus for me, wasn't looking for it) and it's great on batteries (really great) I get well over 600 images on 4mp fine no problem, with rechargable batteries.
     
  10. mrsid99

    mrsid99 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    What's the shutter lag like since that's the big killer with this type of shot?
     
  11. doxx

    doxx TPF Noob!

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    if you want a decent point-and-shoot, take a look
    at the Pansonic Lumix FZ-20... 5MP with a f2.8 (reasonably
    fast) 12x zoom - the best part: it's a Leica lens. can't beat
    that for less than 500 bucks...
     
  12. lizheaemma

    lizheaemma TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    They claim it's [size=-1] 0.05 sec prefocuses but

    well here are some of it's stats
    [/size] Fujifilm FinePix S5100 Timings Operation Time
    (secs)
    Notes Shutdown 3.9 - 7
    First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time. A little slow, but not too bad.​
    Play to Record, first shot 3.7
    Time until first shot is captured. A little slow.​
    Record to play 2.9 / 1.6
    First time is that required to display a large/fine file immediately after capture, second time is that needed to display a large/fine file that has already been processed and stored on the memory card. About average for this class of camera.​
    Shutter lag, Full Autofocus 0.83/0.79 First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. About average, not bad for a long-zoom digicam. Shutter lag, Continuous Autofocus 0.98 As is usually the case, continuous AF doesn't help at all with static subjects, and actually slows shutter response somewhat. (Rather slow.) Shutter lag, Manual Focus 0.57 On the slow side for manual focus. Shutter lag, Prefocus 0.055
    Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button.​
    Cycle Time, max/min resolution 1.94 /
    1.82

    First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. No buffer to fill/clear, all shots are this fast. Not blindingly fast, but not too bad, either. Cycle Time, "Top 3" mode 0.29
    (3.45 fps) Shoots a burst of 3 images at the same rate in large/fine mode or "TV" mode. Times are averages. Buffer clears in 4.9 seconds for large/fine images, 3.4 seconds for lowest resolution. Very fast. Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution 0.81 / 0.67
    (1.23 / 1.49 fps) First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. Times are averages. Shoots up to 40 images in either resolution and clears the buffer in about a second. Fairly fast, particularly considering that it can shoot more or less indefinitely at this rate.
    [size=-1]
    [/size]
     

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