What is the best camera/lens for subjects moving towards or away from you?

Started Aug 31, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Alan Sh
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What is the best camera/lens for subjects moving towards or away from you?
Aug 31, 2010

I currently have a Canon 50D and various lenses (detailed below). It has taken me a while, but I can now get satisfactory images for most of the time. The area where I am having trouble is on images where the subject is moving either towards or away from me – for example, motorcycles.

What happens is that the subject appears to be slightly out of focus. It looks like the camera has not detected the movement – or enough movement. It’s not me, because some parts of the shot are in focus – but not where I am expecting it.

I am using AI servo mode, have the shutter set to 1000th of a second and set the ISO to 800 (although I’ve also tried auto). I am using the centre point only for focussing. And I’ve set the shutter to do high speed multi shot (not sure what that is called). The lens is a Sigma 80-400 OS with the OS either set to mode 1 or mode 2. I am hand holding it. I am only saving JPEG, not Raw.

So, I have one or two questions:

1. Is the lens partly to blame for this? When I use my 18-135, I get better pictures, but obviously, the images are further away. The Sigma does seem to occasionally delay the shutter opening – which may (in my opinion) be because it has lost focus for a split second (and it’s bokeh is not very good)

2. Is the 50D the right camera for what I am trying to do? Would I be better off with a (gasp) Nikon? What is the best camera for capturing moving subjects?

Your opinions are invited. I can upload some pictures but they are big.

[Edit] - from other reviews, it may be the lens. "Slow AF", "Not a sports lens" etc.

In which case, what can you recommend?

Alan

 Alan Sh's gear list:Alan Sh's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM +3 more
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