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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3

    Best mid-level DSLR for indoor sports???

    Hello all, I am looking at replacing my Olympus E-510 and moving up somewhat in an effort to capture better indoor volleyball photos. Even after buying a nice f2.8-3.5 50-200mm lens I'm still finding it difficult to get many good shots. I'm considering the Olympus E-3 or the E-30 to keep the lens I bought but that is not a deal breaker. I'm also considering the Nikon D-80 or 90 as well as the Canon 40D or 50D. (I'd like to spend $800-$1200 if a deal can be found) Which of these (or another) is going to give me the best pics (sensor, AF, fast, good ISO, etc) for indoor (mostly badly-lit) gyms and volleyball clubs? Is a f2.0 lens or faster the only other option to getting a better pic here? Thanks for the help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
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    1,903
    you can probably get a used 40D for $600-700 and a new one for about $800.
    the 50D is 1k+ just for the body.
    the D90 is quite capable of high ISO shots as well and you may want to invest in a 70-200mm F2.8 for indoor sports which would run you quite a bit!
    Canon EOS 7D

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for the reply. If this was your decision....which would you take and why? The Canon 40D or the Nikon D-90? Is Olympus E-30 or E-3 not on par with these two

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
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    1,903
    sorry not too familar with the Oly systems. for indoor sports, you would want a camera with good high ISO capability and a quick AF.
    the 40D is faster and bigger which i like. feels much nicer in my hands and the image quality is superb as well. The D90 is smaller, slower but has a higher MP count, awesome LCD display, video mode and is supposed to have slightly cleaner high ISO images.

    personally i like bigger cameras like the 40/50D, D300 and the A700 because they just feel better in my hands but they tend to cost more. the perfect compromise would be the D90.
    and if you are interested in Sony, you could consider the a700 as well, which is equivalent to the 40D and D300.
    Canon EOS 7D

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,132
    Do you need to capture the entire gym or just a player at a time?

    You need a good sensor (ISO 1600 clean) and a fast lens (f/2.8 or better) with a decent burst rate.
    Nikon D300 | Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR | Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D | SB-600 | Lowepro Voyager C | Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW

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    Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D - Like New (FX compatible)

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    Nikkor AF-S 17-55 f/2.8
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    Tokina AF 11-16 f/2.8
    SB-900 (2)
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Canada
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    1,153
    If you're just doing a couple games you might want to consider renting the 70-200 f2.8 instead of buying it.

    Im not sure the prices for the nikon or sony, but the 40D will easily run you 500$ used, and the 70-200 f2.8 will go over 1,000. You could probably rent it for about 20$ for a day. Do you really plan on doing more then 50 games?

    Alot of people doing sports photography professionally use flashes, not sure how that would work out for you, as the setup would also cost alot. a 40D+70-200 f2.8 should be able to get some pretty good images.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3
    Thanks everyone. I would be purchasing all equipment. My daughter plays travel club and high school volleyball which makes it about a year-round sport. I just got back from BB and they had a Canon 50D and Nikon D90. I kind of liked the feel of the Nikon. The Canon is huge! I don't know if the 40D is any smaller than the 50??? Yes, I'm assuming either way I go I'll be buying a nice f2.8 or faster lens. So that is a given - even if I stay with Olympus as I think I'd sell the f2.8-3.5 that I've got now and move up to the f2.0. Anyone have an opinion of the Olympus E-30? Its sounding like I can't go wrong with most mid-level cameras.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
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    7,147
    Quite honestly, I really like what I've seen of the Olympus kit. I really wouldn't bother with changing systems.

    It's just as hard to get photos of indoor sports with any system. I would just stick with Olympus.

    What problems exactly are you having?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    788
    I still don't know enough about Pentax, but with the new Olympus cameras coming out I have been reading reviews about them a little. I have a Sony and am familiar with that system, and I've read up a LOT on Canon and Nikon. I'll probably get flamed for this, but in general it seems Olympus is about where Sony is for high ISO. Entry cameras are going to produce pretty poor images at ISO 1600, 800 isn't great, and 3200 is useless. Mid-level cameras (A700, E-30) are about a step better. Canon and Nikon are probably going to provide about a step better than Oly/Sony at entry level, and mid-level.

    D90/D300 are probably going to have slightly better high ISO than the 40D/50D. Some say the 40D is slightly better than 50D, but its splitting hairs, and varies between situations. You might find a great deal on a D80 or D200, but they are in Oly/Sony range for high ISO capability.

    Yes, any DSLR on the market will take great photos. The primary differences come in size, build quality, and FPS. For some a smaller camera is better (Rebel or D40) but for many the bigger feel of the mid-level cameras are better.

    The only real differences between brands are the system (lenses, flashes available, etc) and high ISO performance. As someone that is sorta frustrated with the limitations of my Sony in terms of high ISO and available glass, I would lean you towards Canon or Nikon. You have to not just look at the price difference and ergonomics of the body, but also of the glass. Sounds like you need an f/2.8, but might not need IS because your shutter speed will be pretty high anyway. Canon still sells a 70-200 f/2.8 non-IS for a lot cheaper than the current 70-200 f/2.8 from Nikon or Sony. If you were to stay with Olympus, you would probably need to get an even faster telephoto lens. One thing you can get from Olympus that you can't get from the others is an f/2.0 telephoto zoom. That would probably more than compensate for the high-ISO issues (especially with in-body IS) but the lens alone is >$2000.

    Short answer: My vote would be for the D90 or the 40D along with a 70-200 f/2.8. Either one will do the job at hand well, and be great for other uses, but the 40D might be cheaper in the end.
    Jason Hamilton
    Selective Frame

    EOS 5D - Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 35 f/2, EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II, EF 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 (with EOS adapter), 430EX, Canon S90
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