Equipment upgrade for low-light moving subjects

Started Feb 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Russell Fulks
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Equipment upgrade for low-light moving subjects
Feb 7, 2013

Hello all,

I've been reading these forums for years and find the advice here invaluable. So I've come to the experts looking for some help.

I am trying to figure out what equipment to upgrade / replace to get better low-light action shots.

I am a hobbyist taking pictures of the kids with typical cases including:

Indoor volleyball and basketball leagues

Inside the house, with only 1 or 2 60W bulbs on

Outside in the completely canopied parks

Softball, baseball, football, and soccer action shots

I am currently shooting with a Nikon D70, a Tamron 28-200 AF (non-DX) lense, and a Nikkor 50mm 1.8D lense. The Tamron sees most duty as I love the extra reach on the DX for sports.

The setup is great at a lot of things, but I am increasingly frustrated by the lack of low-light performance including grain / motion blur when shooting in most of my situations. I simply cannot capture crisp fast motion in a gym sitting in the stands, even at ISO 1600. And when I go that high the grain is unbearable.

So, what should I do with a max budget of $3k?

Buy a 70-200 f2.8 lense for the D70? Only problem is that the D70 still maxes out at ISO1600, and then because of the DX reach I end up having to change lenses for the wide angle shots.

Upgrade to a newer Nikon FX body with better ISO performance and get the 70-200 f2.8 lense? I lose the extra "reach" of a DX and don't really love any of the Nikon bodies right now except for the D4 which I can't afford.

Upgrade to a different manufacturer and fast lense? Anything else out there with good ISO 6400 performance and 6+fps shooting?

My ideal would be a body with great ISO 6400 performance, a 16-24MP chip with a DX mode so that I can get the "reach" of a DX cam and the wide angle of an FX cam, with 6-8fps shooting speed and lightning fast autofocus.  Pair that with a 70-200 or 70-300 f2.8 lense all for around $3k used.  Does such a beast exist in any manufacturer?

Thanks for any help!

 Russell Fulks's gear list:Russell Fulks's gear list
Nikon D70 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Tamron AF 28-200mm F/3.8-5.6 XR Di Aspherical (IF) Macro
Nikon D4 Nikon D70
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