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Old 11-13-2012, 10:31 AM   #1
npmommie
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Gymnastics parents, question.......:)

I know there are a lot of you here, so I figured to ask here.
what kind of camera do you use at competitions and do you get good shots with it?

I am debating a new camera because our competition year is about to start and I am determined to get lots of good stills this year.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
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You might try asking this in the DIS photo forum. Though the responses there will be varied. I am guessing flash is a no no. Keeping that in mind, IMO a point n shoot just does not have the low light capabilities or depending where you sit, the zoom reach that you will need. You may need to go the DSLR route.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shutterbug View Post
You might try asking this in the DIS photo forum. Though the responses there will be varied. I am guessing flash is a no no. Keeping that in mind, IMO a point n shoot just does not have the low light capabilities or depending where you sit, the zoom reach that you will need. You may need to go the DSLR route.
Yes I have been talking about this on the photo board. and I got some great suggestions. involving dslr. I have one, but its old and apparently not good for sports, so I am not sure I want to invest in a pricey lense for a camera that can't hold up to what I want it to do. so my dilemma is a new camera but what kind.

so I figured I would ask people who take pics of what I want to take pics of and see what they use. (since everyone might not look at the photo board)
because yes, its indoors and no flash allowed. and sometimes the light is bright sometimes not so much
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:29 AM   #4
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I answered you over there, and I'll add more here.

First, "good pictures" is very subjective. You might have lots of people tell you they get good pics but when you look at them, they might not seem good to your tastes, or the tastes of others, though they're fine for them. Many times when you see sports shots, especially those indoors, they are blurry, or out of focus, etc..

Sports are notoriously one of the most difficult things to shoot in photography, especially those that are indoors. Why? Because of the movement/fast action, the distance, often low light, etc. The photographer and the camera need to be able to capture the action in a fraction of a second to get a decent shot.

Note I said the photographer as well as the camera because more often than not, it takes knowledge to get there; the camera alone won't do it by itself.

Think about what you see professional photographers using at sports events - dSLRs with big, honkin fast lenses that are in the $5000 range. And even then, it's not always enough. One year at a summer tournament I was taking pictures beside one of those photographers who had a big, honkin zoom, using my older dSLR and a relatively slow lens. (Hadn't aquired a fast tele for sports at that point yet.) Well guess what? Most of my pictures came out better than the ones he took. How? Well, lots of reasons. But the most important one being practice and attention to detail on my part. In most of his pictures, either appendages (like tops or heads or limbs) or equipment (like bats, gloves, hats) were "amputated", i.e. cut off, and views of the players were generally unflattering. Mine, OTOH, included all appendages and equipment in shots, and were generally flattering to the players, simply because I knew them and I knew their routines, and I'd been photographing them at that point for years already, etc. The other guy was clearly rushed.

My point being that equipment alone does not make great shots, photographers do. Now I know someone will come along and say that equipment is indeed important, and of course, it is. Ideally, you have a good photographer and good equipment - no surprise the two together will yield the best shots.

You also ideally have to know how exposure works, and to that end, reading Understanding Exposure will go a long way.

So you need to get a decent dSLR with modern specs and a fast lens or two. Obviously, this isn't done cheaply. Fast lenses can be quite expensive. (The fast tele I have costs about $1300+ but I got it used for about half that. I have bought many lenses used and have had great luck.) An advantage with beginning or learning with slow lenses helps you understand what you need in a fast lens (i.e. it's part of the learning process), but it's not absolutely necessary. You'll also need a tripod as well, which keeps the camera still to eliminate shake as a factor in blurry shots.

This is just scratching the surface, really. There are so many factors that need to be considered when getting into this. I'd probably google sports photography or photographing gymnastics or low light sports and see what recommendations come up. It's a lot to digest, and you need to ask yourself what you're comfortable doing and how much you want to spend, etc. HTH. I will PM you the name of a poster who went though this not too long ago who may be able to help you more.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:54 AM   #5
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Thank you Pea!

great info!
I don't know what I want to do, since really I wont use a dslr much aside from sports. but then again my kids are in sports all year.
I like the sony nex that havoc suggested on my photo board thread.

I might take my dslr to practice tonight and do some shots to play around with it. I don't need sports illustrated level pics, just clear pics. LOL
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by npmommie View Post
Thank you Pea!

great info!
I don't know what I want to do, since really I wont use a dslr much aside from sports. but then again my kids are in sports all year.
I like the sony nex that havoc suggested on my photo board thread.

I might take my dslr to practice tonight and do some shots to play around with it. I don't need sports illustrated level pics, just clear pics. LOL
So you already have a dSLR? If so you might just need to get a better lens and learn some techniques for low light photography.

If you look at the NEX you should also consider the Olympus OMD mirrorless.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pea-n-Me View Post
So you already have a dSLR? If so you might just need to get a better lens and learn some techniques for low light photography.

If you look at the NEX you should also consider the Olympus OMD mirrorless.
yes, i have a dslr. its old though. the Pentax K100d super.
I don't have a good fast lense though. so I was debating spending the money on a good lense for this camera, or just starting over with something else.
I will look at the Olympus OMD, thanks!
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:12 PM   #8
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Also be aware that you don't necessarily need a fast lens. I have a P&S that takes decent sports pictures. I just had to learn how to use it and set it manually and not use the presets.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:24 PM   #9
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You can check out: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/. All about photography.

If you already have a DSLR, check the local photo store and see if you can rent a fast lens for a weekend. I can't afford the fast lens I want ($2K+), so a couple times a season, I'll rent it. (<$50/weekend).
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:27 PM   #10
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Taking pics of gymnastics and events inside a gym is notoriously difficult. The lighting makes it tough to use a fast shutter speed to get the "instant" you want. A good camera helps but it really is all about the lens.

My son is into martial arts and competes all the time. Sparring is difficult to get good clear pic because they are moving so often. For big comps I tend to rent lenses. You need a lens that has as big an aperture as possible. I usually rent a telephoto lens with an aperture of 2.8. This allows the light in so I can capture fast pics. Unfortunately, I can't afford to buy one outright, so I spend about $100 to rent one. Open lens, fast shutter, high speed.

Oh, I use www.borrowlenses.com They are great and easy to use
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by npmommie View Post
yes, i have a dslr. its old though. the Pentax K100d super.
I don't have a good fast lense though. so I was debating spending the money on a good lense for this camera, or just starting over with something else.
I will look at the Olympus OMD, thanks!
OK, that's easier! I see others have already mentioned it but I'd also suggest renting a fast lens, too, and seeing how it goes. Pentax is great in that you can use many old lenses on the camera, and some of those can be found fairly cheaply. You'd have to manual focus, but it would be worth a try. Let me know if you want the names of some Pentax experts here, for questions.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:23 PM   #12
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Hey girl, clean out your PMs!
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:34 PM   #13
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LOL pm's cleaned out!

I like the idea of renting a lense i am going to look into that!
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:00 PM   #14
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College recruiting ?

I need help/advice from anyone who has delt with their daughter being recruited. My daughter was invited to visit a school recently on an "official" visit. It is out of state....in fact kinda far from our home in Texas. We would have to pay out of state tuition, if she was to go there. It is a D2 school, so I KNOW there is not a "full ride" option. The coach wants her. She wanto to attend there. On our visit, the coach basically said she WANTED our daughter, and the ball was in our court......we needed to let her know if we were interested. She IMPLIED she had no money next year. We went home to discuss. My daughter sent a thank you email, and said that she was excited and would like to compete for this team. The coach emailed back, that they really wanted her......but let them know when she was ready to commit. How to we tell this coach that we can't commit to full out of state tuition? We need SOME type of help. Sadly, we make too much for free aide......but just enough to not have extra $$$$ laying around. How do we say: we need something to off-set the out of state tuition. Has anyone ever heard of athletes getting in state tuiton? Any advice would be great.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txgym View Post
I need help/advice from anyone who has delt with their daughter being recruited. My daughter was invited to visit a school recently on an "official" visit. It is out of state....in fact kinda far from our home in Texas. We would have to pay out of state tuition, if she was to go there. It is a D2 school, so I KNOW there is not a "full ride" option. The coach wants her. She wanto to attend there. On our visit, the coach basically said she WANTED our daughter, and the ball was in our court......we needed to let her know if we were interested. She IMPLIED she had no money next year. We went home to discuss. My daughter sent a thank you email, and said that she was excited and would like to compete for this team. The coach emailed back, that they really wanted her......but let them know when she was ready to commit. How to we tell this coach that we can't commit to full out of state tuition? We need SOME type of help. Sadly, we make too much for free aide......but just enough to not have extra $$$$ laying around. How do we say: we need something to off-set the out of state tuition. Has anyone ever heard of athletes getting in state tuiton? Any advice would be great.
Wow congrats to your daughter, sorry I don't have any advice.. but maybe she could try sending out a CD to other collages and see if they have any money to help her with tuiton.
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