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Pikal
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Camera buying advice


I received a question from a friend, and I don't have any advice for him given he wants to shoot 4K video as well as pictures:

"I want to get a digital camera, but I don’t know much about them. So many different options, mirrorless etc, I want something with a zoom lens for Bob’s sports that also has the ability to record 4k video. Can I get something nice under 1k?"

He wants to shoot soccer outside and basketball inside. If the sweet spot means cost is higher that is ok, it is what it is. I imagine he is best served buying used. Thank you for any thoughts!




Mar 24, 2023 at 06:18 PM
schlotz
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Camera buying advice


For soccer its more than just the camera. Long reach glass is also needed.


Mar 26, 2023 at 06:21 AM
dugaut
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Camera buying advice


"Can I get something nice under 1k?"

Considering the glass he'll need I think the budget is not reasonable. Even used. He'll need fast glass inside ($$) and long glass outside ($$.)



Mar 26, 2023 at 07:24 AM
Pikal
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Camera buying advice


schlotz wrote:
For soccer its more than just the camera. Long reach glass is also needed.


Do you have thoughts on how long, is 200 enough or should we ideally look for longer?



Mar 26, 2023 at 07:44 AM
Pikal
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Camera buying advice


dugaut wrote:
"Can I get something nice under 1k?"

Considering the glass he'll need I think the budget is not reasonable. Even used. He'll need fast glass inside ($$) and long glass outside ($$.)


Thank you for the input!

Yes I broke it to him his budget is too low. I suggested he use his iphone for video which would allow him to buy older equipment. He has accepted he needs more budget and is now half drooling over the X-T5, knowing little about it but it does "Look cool". I suggested a used X-T4 would probably do him very nicely.

I have never photographed sports so I really don't know what is needed for either, but a fast normal prime for basketball and a longer zoom for soccer maybe? Or maybe a 24-70 (or similar) for indoors?




Mar 26, 2023 at 08:13 AM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Camera buying advice


Yeah, it will be tough with that budget. A 70-200mm f2.8 is kinda standard for sports. Maybe a 200mm f2.8 could work, but near court/field might be a little tight. With a high-enough resolution camera (or APS-C), 200mm is a good starting point and would able to get away with some cropping for the field sports, but 300-400mm would be better. With the higher ISO capabilities today, f4 can even work but 2.8 or faster is better.


Mar 26, 2023 at 03:25 PM
schlotz
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Camera buying advice


On a full size soccer field the 70-200 is far too short. Extensive cropping will really effect the IQ. Best to limit captures to those that will fill the frame with action. There are two factors that enter into the equation with soccer. 1st is reach, and 2nd is fast glass. The combination of both gets into some serious $$$. Why fast? If the game is at night, most local schools and some colleges have poorly light fields. F/4 lenses won't cut it. The use of f/2.8 glass helps provide enough shutter speed. If you are going to cover a match effectively you'll need a 2 body rig. One with a 400mm f/2.8 and the other with the 70-200 f/2.8.

Edited on Mar 27, 2023 at 06:34 AM · View previous versions



Mar 27, 2023 at 06:19 AM
Llewtwo
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Camera buying advice


Folks are gently telling you/him that his budget is too low. A 70-200 f2.8 is a good starting point for a lense and that will run around $1000 plus or minus used. A crop sensor body used will run $500-1000 or so. That will work for soccer but soccer is a big field and most prefer to have a 300 or 400. In daylight some of the makers have longer lenses at larger (numerically) apertures. In basketball you can use a 70-200 but most want something wider for under the basket. Buying used a more realistic budget is going to be $2000 to $3000 and there will be some compromises made even in that range.


Mar 27, 2023 at 06:21 AM
Pikal
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Camera buying advice


filmjuicer wrote:
Yeah, it will be tough with that budget. A 70-200mm f2.8 is kinda standard for sports. Maybe a 200mm f2.8 could work, but near court/field might be a little tight. With a high-enough resolution camera (or APS-C), 200mm is a good starting point and would able to get away with some cropping for the field sports, but 300-400mm would be better. With the higher ISO capabilities today, f4 can even work but 2.8 or faster is better.


---------------------------------------------

schlotz wrote:
On a full size soccer field the 70-200 is far too short. Extensive cropping will really effect the IQ. Best to limit captures to those that will fill the frame with action. There are two factors that enter into the equation with soccer. 1st is reach, and 2nd is fast glass. The combination of both gets into some serious $$$. Why fast? If the game is at night, most local schools and some colleges have poorly light fields. F/4 lenses won't cut it. The use of f/2.8 glass helps provide enough shutter speed. If you are going to cover a
...Show more

---------------------------------------------

Llewtwo wrote:
Folks are gently telling you/him that his budget is too low. A 70-200 f2.8 is a good starting point for a lense and that will run around $1000 plus or minus used. A crop sensor body used will run $500-1000 or so. That will work for soccer but soccer is a big field and most prefer to have a 300 or 400. In daylight some of the makers have longer lenses at larger (numerically) apertures. In basketball you can use a 70-200 but most want something wider for under the basket. Buying used a more realistic budget is going to
...Show more

I have broken it to him that his arbitrary budget is too low for what he wants to do. He is OK with that. He isn't even an amateur photographer at this point, he has, for example, no idea what an aperture is. I am going to give him a little coaching and he is open to a $3000 budget. He has developed a thing for the X-T5 (cyber window shopping), which seems like a good place for him to start. I appreciate the advice about focal lengths, I have got it now about the wide end on a basketball court and the long end on a soccer field. You have helped me help him make better choices!

Thank you all very much



Mar 27, 2023 at 07:01 AM
dugaut
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Camera buying advice


All good advice before my post.

A lot is going to depend on what his goals/expectations/priorities/audiences will be. Indoors the 70-200 f/2.8 is the defacto standard. 200mm is enough on the smaller indoor venues, although I use 300mm plenty indoors, but the cost will go up significantly for an f/2.8. I don't know if he is shooting high school or college, but most high school venues will require f/2.8. It's deceptive how dark it is (to the camera) inside.

Outdoors the fields are much larger, and I use up to 600 which is a little unorthodox, 400mm is more the standard. The 400 f/2.8 lens is exotic for most folks, and I've seen some use the 150-600 lens effectively which can be bought for under 2k used. There's more light outside and you can get away with the smaller maximum aperture but will lose on the bokeh front.

An older well-used 400 f/2.8 will cost 3k-4k and weigh close to 12 lbs. I started my exotics with the Canon version 1 and it is a beast and unwieldly even on a monopod. I now own the current Sony 400 and 600 lenses which are much lighter, but you can literally buy a nice car for that price. Seriously.



Mar 27, 2023 at 07:07 AM
 


Search in Used Dept. 

Llewtwo
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Camera buying advice


I am not familiar with the Fuji line up but have never seen anyone shooting Fuji for sports near me. I would marry into one of the main camera lines and even then I would limit it to Canon or Nikon. If you are on a budget there is a much bigger market for good used gear in those two lines. If you go another brand you have narrowed your opportunity to buy or rent different pieces as well as limited your market for used lenses. If he is in this for the long haul he should marry into one of the two major lines. Some will recommend Sony and I would add it in here if I was only going to buy new. The used market for Sony gear is pretty tight.



Mar 27, 2023 at 11:55 AM
JRobertson
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Camera buying advice


Tell him to take the money and hire a sports photographer and a videographer.


Mar 28, 2023 at 06:50 AM
henry albert
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Camera buying advice


The guy is jumping into the deep end of the pool before he learns to swim.


Mar 28, 2023 at 07:57 AM
osv2
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Camera buying advice


Pikal wrote:
He has developed a thing for the X-T5 (cyber window shopping), which seems like a good place for him to start.


that is not a good choice for sports, because it does not have a stacked sensor, which gives much better af.

the problem is that you haven't told us if the soccer games are at night? nor if it's kids soccer, that's played on a smaller field.

for that $3k budget, a used sony a9 is by far the best choice for sports, with something like a tamron 50-400 for the day games.






Mar 28, 2023 at 08:43 AM
Pikal
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Camera buying advice


dugaut wrote:
All good advice before my post.

A lot is going to depend on what his goals/expectations/priorities/audiences will be. Indoors the 70-200 f/2.8 is the defacto standard. 200mm is enough on the smaller indoor venues, although I use 300mm plenty indoors, but the cost will go up significantly for an f/2.8. I don't know if he is shooting high school or college, but most high school venues will require f/2.8. It's deceptive how dark it is (to the camera) inside.

Outdoors the fields are much larger, and I use up to 600 which is a little unorthodox, 400mm is more the standard. The
...Show more

Thank you for the very detailed response. He is a dad who wants to take pictures of his son's sports. He was at a basketball game and a woman had a Canon 5D III with a 70-200 (I got that from the EXIF), he was impressed and wants to give it a go himself. I think he would rather enjoy other aspects with his family too. So his expectations are somewhat low and his audience is mostly his family. The most important thing is obviously the brain behind the camera, but I would like not to lead him down the wrong path when he is getting started.

Again thank you, I appreciate your guidance!!!





Mar 28, 2023 at 01:21 PM
Pikal
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Camera buying advice


Llewtwo wrote:
I am not familiar with the Fuji line up but have never seen anyone shooting Fuji for sports near me. I would marry into one of the main camera lines and even then I would limit it to Canon or Nikon. If you are on a budget there is a much bigger market for good used gear in those two lines. If you go another brand you have narrowed your opportunity to buy or rent different pieces as well as limited your market for used lenses. If he is in this for the long haul he should marry into one
...Show more

---------------------------------------------

osv2 wrote:
that is not a good choice for sports, because it does not have a stacked sensor, which gives much better af.

the problem is that you haven't told us if the soccer games are at night? nor if it's kids soccer, that's played on a smaller field.

for that $3k budget, a used sony a9 is by far the best choice for sports, with something like a tamron 50-400 for the day games.



The trending thought seems to be Fuji isn't great for sports. I didn't know that and I thank you both for the advice.

He is wanting to take pictures of his son, so a kids soccer field I imagine. Everything you both said sounds sensible to me, I appreciate you helping me not to lead him into disappointment!




Mar 28, 2023 at 01:34 PM
Pikal
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Camera buying advice


henry albert wrote:
The guy is jumping into the deep end of the pool before he learns to swim.


That is true. Some people learn to swim that way, others not so fortunate



Mar 28, 2023 at 01:37 PM
osv2
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Camera buying advice


the worst case scenario is that the kids are over 12 years old, so they might be playing on a big adult-size soccer field... with the young kids you can use a shorter focal length, and stand by the end zone if you have to, for instance used a9 with this lens:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1556769-REG/tamron_afa056s_700_70_180mm_f_2_8_di_iii.html

As the governing body of youth and professional soccer in the United States, US Soccer provides multiple guidelines per age group for measuring the size of a soccer field.

There are three different youth soccer field dimensions recommended across leagues aged U6 through U12.

U6-U8 Soccer Field Sizes
Length: 25-35 yards (23-32 meters)
Width: 15-25 yards (14-23 meters)

U9-U10 Soccer Field Sizes
Length: 55-65 yards (50-59.4 meters)
Width: 35-45 yards (32-41 meters)

U11-U12 Soccer Field Sizes
Length: 70-80 yards (64-73 meters)
Width: 45-55 yards (41-50 meters)



Mar 28, 2023 at 03:21 PM
JRobertson
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Camera buying advice


Pikal wrote:
Thank you for the very detailed response. He is a dad who wants to take pictures of his son's sports. He was at a basketball game and a woman had a Canon 5D III with a 70-200 (I got that from the EXIF), he was impressed and wants to give it a go himself. I think he would rather enjoy other aspects with his family too. So his expectations are somewhat low and his audience is mostly his family. The most important thing is obviously the brain behind the camera, but I would like not to lead him down the
...Show more

Photographing your kids sports games means you're missing your kids sports games. It's difficult to watch and take photos, it's usually one or the other. I'd ask him why he's set on not wanting to watch his kids play and make memories, for a photo or two? Doesn't seem like a great trade off to me, personally.



Mar 28, 2023 at 04:06 PM
lacuna
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Camera buying advice


EDIT: didn’t see the 4K video requirement. Sigh. All below is just for stills.
============••••••••=============

So here’s an idea for a $3k budget shooting kids sports.

One lens (or three), two bodies:
Soccer
- used Nikon 70-200 f2.8 ($1000)
- used Nikon D500 (70-200 turns into 105-300, long enough for kids, $1000, and yeah, there’s no free lunch with DX [low light]. But it’s a soccer dad, ok? He’ll love it.)

Basketball
- used full-frame Nikon, like a D700+handgrip = 9 fps. Don’t know much about more up to date models, but D3/D3s are not expensive either. ($400 to ?)
-the same 70-200 as above
- $600 leftover; could add 35/28mm whatever for wide angles, and could add a 50mm or 85mm 1.8 too.

Another idea:

Three lenses, one body:
Soccer (daytime!)
- used Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II (~$1600)
- used Canon 1dx (first version, $1000, 12fps)

Basketball
- Same body as above
- $400 left over; used Canon 85mm f1.8 or 100mm f2 ($300, helpful to have a fast lens for indoor esp with older cameras) and forgo the wide angle (or stretch the budget a couple hundo ex: used 28mm f1.8 = $300)

The biggest challenge for this guy will be the learning curve. These modern DSLR/mirrorless cameras are complex.



Apr 06, 2023 at 09:36 AM







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