Need help choosing a Digital SLR - Sports and General photography

Started Nov 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
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DadOfFour
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Need help choosing a Digital SLR - Sports and General photography
Nov 27, 2012

Hello everyone.  First let me say thank you to the countless veteran members here providing advice for us newcomers.  I've been reading many posts this morning trying to put my thoughts together and I think I'm ready to ask some questions.

My wife and I have been getting along with an old Fuji S5000 for over 10 years now.  It's in desperate need of being replaced.  For the past couple years we have talked about getting a new camera, but have always put it off.  With our kids getting older and more into their activities, we have found that the old Fuji just isn't cutting it anymore.  So here are some of the things that I feel are important to us and hopefully we can find something to fit the budget.

Sports photography

-Field hockey, both indoor and outdoor.  Indoor is usually under those large halogen type lights.  Some places are lit up nice and bright and others are gloomy like an ice hockey rink.  Distances vary.  Indoors I can be as close as 10 feet, but 50/50 chance I will be behind plexiglass.  Outside I could be anywhere from 10 to 300 feet.

-Karate... always indoor, very dimly lit studio... looks like halogen lights.  Usually about 10-20 feet away.

-Dance... 98% indoor unless my daughter is in a parade or something simiilar.  Considering cameras aren't allowed in the recitals, this would only be used at practices, rehearsals, and outdoor events if any.  Rehearsals are always under stage lighting conditions... stage is generally bright and seating is dark.

General photography

-Normal everyday family events.  Indoor or outdoor, varied conditions and distances.

Budget - between $1,000 and $1,500.

For me, taking good, quality shots of the kids is most important.  I'm tired of trying to pre-focus on a spot and waiting for the action to hit that spot only to either miss it or the shot still be out of focus.  I took some classes in college many moons ago, but advances in technology have changed things a bit.  I will be going back and taking some classes to re-educate myself on how to use the new camera whereas my wife will want to pick it up, point, and shoot.  I almost think I should buy her a separate camera that will be smaller and lighter where she can just point and shoot.  One last thing I thought would be important to mention is that more than likely, we'll have this camera for at least 5 years before upgrading or replacing again.... heck, we went over 10 with the Fuji so maybe even longer.

Last night I was looking at the Canon cameras, specifically the EOS 7D.  I saw a link with an eBay store that had one with a lens for under $1,300.00, but I'm leery of purchasing something like this on eBay.

Thanks in advance.

-Tony

Canon EOS 7D Nikon Coolpix S500
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