a55 as sports shooter camera - first impressions - long post

Started Oct 16, 2010 | Discussions thread
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garykohs
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a55 as sports shooter camera - first impressions - long post
Oct 16, 2010

It's important to know my perspective. I'm coming to the a55 from shooting with a Canon 1DMkIV (and a Canon 7D) and Canon L lenses.

I shot a cross country meet today - my first sports shooting experience with my 1 week old a55. I used a Sony 70-300G for the shoot. 1115 pictures taken in 2 hours and 45 minutes. Most of those were taken in 10 fps mode. I shot raw and jpeg separately.

The temperatures were in the mid 80s here in Houston this afternoon. No overheating problems - my a55 performed flawlessly for the entire shoot and I was relieved by that (due to reports here). I guess I got a good one.

Is the a55 as good a sports camera as a Canon 1D4. Nope. It's not close in terms of the user experience at the helm of the camera. I probably can't adequately explain that to someone who hasn't experienced a 1D or Nikon D3 class camera. On the other hand two weeks ago I shot a meet with my 1D4 and Canon 70-200L IS - 1400 pics - nearly all keepers. But I was completely exhausted after the shoot. I could have easily shot another meet today after 2:45 with my a55 and 70-300G.

What's the shortcoming with the a55? The EVF, to be blunt. It has it's advantages and it does work. For sports shooting it's not fun, it's not elegant, and it's flaky. I was left just hoping that I was getting the pictures that I wanted.

So how are the pictures? Really good! The a55 delivers the goods with the only caveat being that in 10 fps mode the camera is making the decisions. For the most part, they're good decisions. I was getting a 1/500 shutter and I wanted a 1/1,000 shutter. But I'm happy overall with the pictures. [A few exceptions.]

The bottom line is that the a55 is a really good $750 sports camera. You won't be disappointed if that's what you're used to. You'll be thrilled. It's also a good choice if the weight is just as important to you as the money.

If you're willing to spend $1600 you'll be well served by a Canon 7D. If you're willing to spend $5000, and you don't mind carrying this beast, you'll be thrilled by a 1D4.

I've just started PP of the 1115 pictures, but here are some.

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Gary

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