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Old 09-20-2012, 12:20 PM   #1
momof1princess
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Need Expert Camera Advice! Do I Buy Photoshop?-11/13/12

hi all

i'm a photo noob. i love to take pictures, but i don't think i'm very good at it. i've got a canon powershot P&S; but, i'll admit, my pantech burst (smartphone) takes better pics.

due to this, i want to get a better camera. you see, DD15 has the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of marching at the Sugar Bowl in NOLA on january 2, 2013; so, of course, i want to make sure i get great pics.

now, i have NO experience with DSLR or SLR cameras, and am not sure i want to mess with one. we're going to be doing a lot of sightseeing on the trip, and i'm told the city can be fairly dangerous in certain places, so i don't really want to lug a camera bag, if i can help it.

can anyone recommend a fairly easy-to-use P&S, or entry-level, smallish SLR (or DSLR?) i'm looking for something as compact as possible, no bunch of lenses to mess with, and, preferably, under $400.00. THANKS!
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:03 PM   #2
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I got a Canon Powershot SX40 at the end of june,Still have a lot to learn, but even o

I got a Canon Powershot SX40 at the end of june. Still have a long way to go and alot to learn as far as photography, but even on "auto" the camera gives you a pretty good picture. I just saw them at BJ's for $349.00. Hope this helps!

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Old 09-20-2012, 01:04 PM   #3
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You would have a lot more options if you were talking about an outdoor, daytime game.
Sports environment with artificial lighting is one of the most demanding categories in sports....as in thousands in DSLr get to get good shots.

Right now, the only point and shoot capable of producing ok (nice for small prints and Facebook) at full zoom during sporting events is the Panasonic FZ200 with its constant aperature f/2.8 zoom lens.

any other point and shoot at full zoom (at 500+mm equivilent) is two f/ stops higher which would mean blurry pictures.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:18 PM   #4
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You might do well to learn a little more about photography before purchasing a new camera. While there is an equipment component to every image, more importantly there is the photographic triangle of aperture, ISO and shutter speed. Those will have more effect on your image than any camera. There is a $16 beginners book called Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson that does a good job of explaining it. Its an easy read of about 160 pages of photographs and large print! You "may" find out you don't need a new camera to get the images you require.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gianna'sPapa View Post
You might do well to learn a little more about photography before purchasing a new camera. While there is an equipment component to every image, more importantly there is the photographic triangle of aperture, ISO and shutter speed. Those will have more effect on your image than any camera. There is a $16 beginners book called Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson that does a good job of explaining it. Its an easy read of about 160 pages of photographs and large print! You "may" find out you don't need a new camera to get the images you require.
hmmm...interesting. i had never considered that i might have a decent camera, i just wasn't maximizing its capabilities. thanks
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Gianna'sPapa View Post
You might do well to learn a little more about photography before purchasing a new camera. While there is an equipment component to every image, more importantly there is the photographic triangle of aperture, ISO and shutter speed. Those will have more effect on your image than any camera. There is a $16 beginners book called Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson that does a good job of explaining it. Its an easy read of about 160 pages of photographs and large print! You "may" find out you don't need a new camera to get the images you require.
Totally agree with this. The photographer's knowledge and experience have a lot more to do with getting consistently good image quality than the camera.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:13 PM   #7
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I agree--don't buy a dslr for this as you'll definitely want a camera that can give you some better zoom capability--you'd have to buy a really good dslr and an expensive long range zoom to get the shots you want. Stick with a high end p/s with a strong zoom--but put it on a tripod. The further you zoom, the more susceptible to camera shake you'll be. I think you'll be ok otherwise though.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:56 PM   #8
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I agree--don't buy a dslr for this as you'll definitely want a camera that can give you some better zoom capability--you'd have to buy a really good dslr and an expensive long range zoom to get the shots you want. Stick with a high end p/s with a strong zoom--but put it on a tripod. The further you zoom, the more susceptible to camera shake you'll be. I think you'll be ok otherwise though.
I have to diagree. You really don't need a high end DSLR or a high end tele zoom for what the OP wants to do. An entry level model with an entry level zoom can shoot daytime football very well and will do a fair job in a well lit stadium at night if you know what you're doing. And you can get into an entry level DSLR setup for less than what some of the high end point and shoots are going for. Not that either kind of camera is by any means a necessity for this.

Since this is sports shooting a tripod only helps a little unless your hands are just really unsteady. It can even be counterproductive and cause you to miss shots if you're not adept with one. Most sports shooters use a monopod if they feel like they need more support or stabilization. But if this is a day game shutter speeds will be more than fast enough to overcome any kind of camera shake.
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:26 PM   #9
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I believe the Sugar Bowl will be played in the Superdome in NewOrleans, LA.
So photographically it will be like night football. At least it should have better lighting than high schools.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:29 PM   #10
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I didn't realize it was at the Superdome. The only bowl game I know anything about is the Cotton Bowl. But professional stadiums have way, way better lighting than any high school night games I've been to. It shouldn't be difficult to get a decent shutter speed there at all. I've not shot at the Superdome, but I have shot in Cowboy Stadium at night with the dome closed. It was easier than outdoor day shooting because the light source was constant and I had no trouble getting a fast enough shutter speed even with my Canon 75-300 elephant. Nothing at all like shooting a night game at a non-professional stadium. I've also done night games at the Rangers ballpark and they're not much different than shooting day either. They light those stadiums up really, really well.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:52 PM   #11
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I agree--don't buy a dslr for this as you'll definitely want a camera that can give you some better zoom capability--you'd have to buy a really good dslr and an expensive long range zoom to get the shots you want. Stick with a high end p/s with a strong zoom--but put it on a tripod. The further you zoom, the more susceptible to camera shake you'll be. I think you'll be ok otherwise though.
I disagree. I am far from a photography expert and I noticed an improvement in the quality of my action shots once I bought a DSLR. The shutter speed is much faster so my action shots are clear and crisp even in bad light.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:04 PM   #12
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I disagree. I am far from a photography expert and I noticed an improvement in the quality of my action shots once I bought a DSLR. The shutter speed is much faster so my action shots are clear and crisp even in bad light.
A DSLR is not technically faster unless you buy a faster lens (with a wider aperture) or it has a broader ISO range. And some of the point and shoots out right now (like the Sony RX100) do perform a good bit better than an entry level DSLR with a kit lens when in auto modes.

DSLR's have thier advantages, but it isn't what it used to be with the under $1000 DSLR's when compared to some current model point and shoots.

Which way you go really comes down to specific needs and wants these days.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:56 AM   #13
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I disagree. I am far from a photography expert and I noticed an improvement in the quality of my action shots once I bought a DSLR. The shutter speed is much faster so my action shots are clear and crisp even in bad light.
As Danielle implies above, the gear doesn't change the 3 basic pillars of exposure: aperture, shutter speed, ISO. Those 3 pieces remain constant no matter what gear you have. Even back in the old days of Civil War photography, those 3 things remained constant (just the sensitivity was way low, hence the need for long exposures).

Today's P&S typically have relatively fast lenses (f/2.8 is not uncommon) and shutter speeds that can match today's entry-mid level dSLRs. ISO settings are usually a little lower, but they still are much higher than even a few years ago. Getting all 3 into a single package, especially on the zoomed in end of the lens may be a different issue, but they're still far better than they were not so long ago (even just a few years).

So, theoretically, if you can find a P&S with a constant aperture throughout the zoom range, you can match a dSLR's performance (for the most part). The only thing that may get in the way is noise at high ISOs, since the larger sensors and higher end processing on dSLRs do give a bit of an advantage there.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:03 AM   #14
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Here is a shot from a Canon S5 (old camera) from a game at Texas Stadium 3 years ago.

Today's point and shoots have better stuff than the Canon S5, so I agree with people that you can get some good shots indoors with a point and shoot, if you have some idea of photography and can use manual.

Relying on AUTO will more than likely result in blurry pictures though.

Good luck!


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Old 09-21-2012, 12:37 PM   #15
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The Panasonic FZ200 is a great choice.
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