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Old 09-18-2013, 07:02 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by someguy View Post
I think you may be on a snipe hunt.
That's what I was thinking too - even spending well into five figures isn't going to get the results his wife wants with today's technology. Well, not at a price normal people can afford.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:35 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by frayne View Post
My Cannon G9 is getting long in the tooth and starting to act up now and then and is working on being my back up. Looking into a new DSLR and either the Cannon t5i or the 60D. I'm pretty much a hobbyist and like reading and researching all the technical stuff before I purchase.

Just curious if anyone has thoughts, suggestions, recommendations, etc.

Thanks in advances for any and all comments.
I went the opposite way (ie. DSLR to compact pro) a couple of years ago. I found portability, and hence availability to take shots, was far more important than speed. Also, image quality and program ability with compact pros, like your G9, is more than sufficient for enthusiast shots.

FWIW, I pack a Canon S90, which has excellent low light capabilities with its F2.0 lens at wide angle 28mm. When it stops working, I will buy either the latest incarnation (S110 I believe) or a ruggedised equivalent for around $350-400 max.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:44 PM   #23
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Thanks a lot for everybody's comments - you pretty much confirmed what I told her

Quote:
Originally Posted by someguy View Post
I think you may be on a snipe hunt. Some of the more advanced bodies will give you a few more stops in terms of higher ISO before unacceptable noise sets in. But a lot of those are full frame, which will reduce your lens' reach since there's no multiplier on effective focal length. A lens that is 200mm effective on your crop-sensor D5200 will be only ~135mm on a full-frame body. If the 85 f/1.8 didn't work wide open, I don't think anything will. When you get into the longer telephoto, the fastest lens I know of it the 200mm f/2 and it weighs 6.5 pounds and costs around $5500. But even that will give you significantly less light than the 85mm@1.8.
85mm@1.8mm almost worked - for some reason the camera on "Sports" setting (which I programmed for DW) would not set F1.8, only going as wide as F2.0. She got few "acceptable" shots at 1/500s 1600 ISO and 1000 ISO.

According to DxoMark tests going to a better body can get me about one and a half stops ( DxOMark - Camera Sensor Ratings D5200 has similar picture quality @1280 ISO as D600 @ 2980 ISO).

For next test I'll try to rent a full frame sensor Nikon or Canon body with 70-200 F2.8 IS lens and see how it performs.

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Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post
It may be more economical to get better lights at the gym
Funny, last night she did talked to the owner of our gym about the lights. They just laughed at her.

What is interesting to me, is that this light level is plenty for taking movies.
Even for iPhone & iPad cameras which are in widespread usage.
DW just started to experiment with movie settings on D5200 - we'll see how it goes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
That's what I was thinking too - even spending well into five figures isn't going to get the results his wife wants with today's technology. Well, not at a price normal people can afford.
I told her to adjust expectations

So far she was able to get few OK shots, but nothing really good.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:44 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Ozstache View Post
I went the opposite way (ie. DSLR to compact pro) a couple of years ago. I found portability, and hence availability to take shots, was far more important than speed. Also, image quality and program ability with compact pros, like your G9, is more than sufficient for enthusiast shots.

FWIW, I pack a Canon S90, which has excellent low light capabilities with its F2.0 lens at wide angle 28mm. When it stops working, I will buy either the latest incarnation (S110 I believe) or a ruggedised equivalent for around $350-400 max.
I use the canon S110 as my workhorse camera. It's excellent. And it fits in a pocket so I can take it everywhere.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:42 AM   #25
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The photos help. To stop action in those circumstances I'd want at least 1/500 second shutter speed and in that light it means running the ISO up to 1600 or 3200 which all but guarantees noise. The newer high end DSLR's like the Nikon D4 are made for that and will get the shots your wife wants but it costs $6k. And lenses are extra.

How bad does she want those photos?
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:04 AM   #26
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Keep in mind the pro bodies don't have modes (e.g., sports) like the consumer models. Also with a FF you'll need a longer lens for the same field of view. The 70-200 2.8 is a much heavier lens, if total weight is an issue.

Video works because it's surely using a much lower shutter speed. You won't notice motion blur in frames (photos) when they're whizzing by at 20-30 fps and there's a lot of motion in the video. Also, the video may be shooting at a lower resolution.

You might want to set whatever cam to JPEG+RAW. That way she can have JPEGs, but you can do post-processing on a select few good images in RAW to adjust for levels and do noise reduction.

And remember, at the same ISO and f/stop, a shorter focal range (mm) gives you more light (which equals higher shutter speed). Consider the old "foot zoom" and using the fast and sharp 50mm 1.8 and either getting a little closer, or cropping.

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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
The photos help. To stop action in those circumstances I'd want at least 1/500 second shutter speed and in that light it means running the ISO up to 1600 or 3200 which all but guarantees noise. The newer high end DSLR's like the Nikon D4 are made for that and will get the shots your wife wants but it costs $6k. And lenses are extra.

How bad does she want those photos?
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:05 AM   #27
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What are the settings and lens on those shots? The DOF (depth of field) looks like a lot more than f/2. Having a shallower DOF would be nice, especially on the shots with all that equipment in the background--having it more blurred would make it compete less for attention with your subject.

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Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Thanks a lot for everybody's comments - you pretty much confirmed what I told her


85mm@1.8mm almost worked - for some reason the camera on "Sports" setting (which I programmed for DW) would not set F1.8, only going as wide as F2.0. She got few "acceptable" shots at 1/500s 1600 ISO and 1000 ISO.

According to DxoMark tests going to a better body can get me about one and a half stops ( DxOMark - Camera Sensor Ratings D5200 has similar picture quality @1280 ISO as D600 @ 2980 ISO).

For next test I'll try to rent a full frame sensor Nikon or Canon body with 70-200 F2.8 IS lens and see how it performs.



Funny, last night she did talked to the owner of our gym about the lights. They just laughed at her.

What is interesting to me, is that this light level is plenty for taking movies.
Even for iPhone & iPad cameras which are in widespread usage.
DW just started to experiment with movie settings on D5200 - we'll see how it goes.




I told her to adjust expectations

So far she was able to get few OK shots, but nothing really good.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:57 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
The photos help. To stop action in those circumstances I'd want at least 1/500 second shutter speed and in that light it means running the ISO up to 1600 or 3200 which all but guarantees noise. The newer high end DSLR's like the Nikon D4 are made for that and will get the shots your wife wants but it costs $6k. And lenses are extra.

How bad does she want those photos?
She wants them $2k badly, but not $6k badly


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Originally Posted by someguy View Post
Keep in mind the pro bodies don't have modes (e.g., sports) like the consumer models. Also with a FF you'll need a longer lens for the same field of view. The 70-200 2.8 is a much heavier lens, if total weight is an issue.
I'm aware of this - I would program few custom modes for her on a pro camera (and if I don't go top of the line, I thought enthusiast full sensor cameras (like Nikon D600 or D800 or Canon 5DMk3 or Canon 6D) did have "modes") )
Weight is not an issue, she is even fine with using a tripod.
And now an excellent (some people say better than Nikon and Canon in some aspects) Tamron 70-200 F2.8 IS lens are available for half the big dogs price:
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 DI VC USD Zoom Lens for Nikon DSLR AFA009N-700
A refurbished D600 and these lens would run $3k total (still above my budget, but DW really wants to have good pictures)

Quote:
You might want to set whatever cam to JPEG+RAW. That way she can have JPEGs, but you can do post-processing on a select few good images in RAW to adjust for levels and do noise reduction.
Yes - that's what I have it on.

Quote:
And remember, at the same ISO and f/stop, a shorter focal range (mm) gives you more light (which equals higher shutter speed).
Are you sure about that? f/stop already have the "built in" focal length, I thought it was a ratio ratio is between the diameter of the aperture in the lens and the focal length of the lens. Easy to check - on uniformly lighted scene the exposure should not not change when you zoom in or out.

Quote:
Consider the old "foot zoom" and using the fast and sharp 50mm 1.8 and either getting a little closer, or cropping.
The 85mm was exactly my attempt to use "foot zoom" (fast and sharp 85mm F1.8) for crops, but they don't look good enough according to DW.
Some brighter glass we could try with this camera would be 50mm F1.4 and 85mm F1.4
One more thought occurred to me - I could also try a manual focus 50mm F1.2, because at this focal length almost all shots would be near the far end of the focus and maybe even DW could be trained to operate the focus ring too

Quote:
Originally Posted by someguy View Post
What are the settings and lens on those shots? The DOF (depth of field) looks like a lot more than f/2. Having a shallower DOF would be nice, especially on the shots with all that equipment in the background--having it more blurred would make it compete less for attention with your subject.
Yeah, I was surprised too about lack of nice bokeh is these shots. The first two are really F2.0 on 85mm lens other two on the F5.6 tele.
But that's probably because the subject (well, my daughter ) is comparatively far away and the distance between my daughter and the equipment is small in relation to distance between the camera and them.

Setting for earlier posted pictures (these were 25% reductions, so they could be posted here):

F2.0 ISO-1000 1/500s 85mm
F2.0 ISO-1100 1/500s 85mm
F5.3 ISO-1600 1/40s 105mm
F5.6 ISO-1600 1/50s 200mm

BTW - are you aware that unless you strip it, these setting are embedded in the JPG files? So in Windows, if you save the photo from the web and later right click on it to get Properties, these will be available on Details tab.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:59 PM   #29
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Maybe you can find a good cheap camera from these oldies:

45 Awesome Classic Camera Commercials | Popular Photography
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:42 PM   #30
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Sailor -- I'm not really a sports shooter but here's what I would recommend:

- work on your positioning. Do whatever you can to get a position as close as possible to the mat. No picture from stands looking down on the competitor is going to be good. Get permission from the organizers if you have to (access > long lens)

- know your daughter's routine and get ready for when she's going to be close to you, facing the right way, and possibly posed/paused in her routine. If she's paused you won't need a superfast shutter speed. I think you'd be better off getting 1 perfect picture than a dozen so-so ones.

- watch the backgrounds. You don't want a bunch of messy stuff there. Also the closer you are to the subject, the easier it is to blur the background. The further the subject is away from the background, the easier it is to blur it.

- If the AF sucks, prefocus. I also like to separate the focus button from the shutter. If you use VR, be aware that it has a settling time.
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:35 PM   #31
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Sailor -- I'm not really a sports shooter but here's what I would recommend:
- work on your positioning. Do whatever you can to get a position as close as possible to the mat. No picture from stands looking down on the competitor is going to be good. Get permission from the organizers if you have to (access > long lens)
I mentioned the same thing to her, but it's not allowed during the competitions.
DW can get some floor level shots during practice (still relatively far away, except for the floor routines, which tend to be closest to the spectators in every gym we have seen, with beam and bars further away and vault so far that it's practically impossible to see anything).

Quote:
- know your daughter's routine and get ready for when she's going to be close to you, facing the right way, and possibly posed/paused in her routine. If she's paused you won't need a superfast shutter speed. I think you'd be better off getting 1 perfect picture than a dozen so-so ones.
I hear you - I approached it from the opposite way.
I have set up the camera for DW to take continuous shots -starts @5FPS, but quickly drops to whatever card allows - about 2fps - this is with JPEG only, as it's too slow for RAW or RAW+JPEG shooting.
She takes 300-400 shots during the competition and picks up best few afterwards. With the shutter life of 100k cycles for this camera it should still last at least 10 years.

Quote:
- watch the backgrounds. You don't want a bunch of messy stuff there. Also the closer you are to the subject, the easier it is to blur the background. The further the subject is away from the background, the easier it is to blur it.
The problem is that these gyms are crowded with people and equipment and no easy way for photographress (<- did I invent a new word? ) to move

Quote:
- If the AF sucks, prefocus. I also like to separate the focus button from the shutter. If you use VR, be aware that it has a settling time.
AF is acceptable with 85mm bright lens, but not so much with tele zoom. Prefocus is a good idea, I do it, but not DW as she uses "Sport" setting on the camera and it's continuously focusing anyway with half pressed shutter release.
I did not know about VR settling time - thanks for the tip. But after looking on the Internet (amazing thing, Internet that is ) I don't think should matter, because as I mentioned, she operates the camera with half pressed shutter release.

Thanks a lot for your comments
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