What is the best digital camera for photographing fast moving objects? (sports, children, animals)

Started Apr 9, 2013 | Questions
Shop cameras & lenses ▾
manhattanboy
New MemberPosts: 10Gear list
Like?
Re: My suggestion
In reply to Lin Evans, Apr 12, 2013

Lin Evans wrote:

I would take a long look at the Nikon D7000. I have the D7000 and also the Nikon 1V1. The 1V is a dandy little camera, but only 10 megapixel and it gets "very hot" very quickly in hot weather.

The D7000 is an incredible value right now. It has a great 16 megapixel sensor, one of the best dynamic range cameras around, certainly for the money. It has excellent autofocus and is feature rich. It lets you have two SD cards which can be used in a variety of ways.

I also have Olympus E3, Canon EOS 1D, 1DS, D30, 10D, 40D, etc., but my pick for what you want to do is the Nikon D7000.

Best regards,

Lin

I second the post above (it's 100% correct!!) but add the caveat that you need to spend the money on a good lens that is reviewed to have a fast autofocus and, if you can afford it, a low aperture.  The fast autofocus will allow you to reel off shots with the D7000 and the low aperture will allow you to go out to 1000th's of a second in frame exposure to freeze your moving target.

 manhattanboy's gear list:manhattanboy's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Jimmy jang Boo
Senior MemberPosts: 1,472Gear list
Like?
Re: Capturing the FULL REVIEW QUOTE **doesn't prove anything to the contrary.**
In reply to Jeadm, Apr 12, 2013

Jeadm wrote:

Well if you're going to capture the review and quote it here to nullify your lack of personal experience and ownership of the A57, make sure you capture the entire gist of it so it can be taken in proper context.

Here's is the next paragraph, after what you neglected to quote.  The entirety of the text on autofocus speed can be found here-Source:  http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-alpha-slt-a57/10

QUOTE:

"We don't want to be too harsh though. As you can see in the sample above, for everyday use - and in comparison to its DSLR peers

Those DSLR peers would be entry level DSLRs with entry level performance.

- the A57's AF is more than capable.

For what?  Shooting fast moving action? DPR already addressed that question in the succinct portion I previously quoted.  The rest of the quote does not negate what they previously stated.

We would simply  .......caution.......

Caution being the operative word.

that while it has a frame rate that nearly matches a pro DSLR like the Canon EOS-1D X,

So the frame rate is comparable to the a high end pro Camera. BUT...

other factors

This where the comparison with 1DX ends. Hence the caution.

like advanced predictive tracking, customizeable AF modes and not least, the ability to view the live scene (versus the image you've just captured) while shooting are just as important for those who photograph fact action for a living."

In other words... a fast frame rate is not enough for capturing fast moving action.  That's why DPR stated " Fast-moving subjects, are much more of a challenge" and "...anything more demanding than a leisurely cycling pace along a straight line, the A57 can struggle to accurately predict subject position at relatively close range."

Now I want you to think about this.  They say they don't want to be too harsh, but yet they proceed to be.  And how do they do that?  By making a odd backhanded comparison to a Professional DSLR (link to body only LOL) that costs over 13X the price of the A57.  By anybody's standards that's quite a leap.

And a moot point as the comparison only goes as far as the frame rate. So what? There are cameras with faster frame rates than the 1DX that don't cost anywhere near as much as a 1DX.

And while we're quoting the review, lets go to the final paragraph of "The Final Word" on the last page:

QUOTE:

"At its core, the A57 is a well put-together compendium of Sony's technology advances since the introduction of the A55 two years ago. This makes it a solid and proven performer for anyone stepping up to a DSLR from a compact camera or ILC, and one that concedes little in terms of either value or performance to its competitors from Canon, Nikon and Pentax. We'd love a touch-sensitive screen and a more sensibly articulated LCD (and the OLED EVF from the A65/77 would be lovely) but the A57 is an excellent camera at a compelling price, and as such it earns our top honor, the Gold Award. "

This has nothing to due with the matter at hand. There are lots of great cameras at the A57 price point and lower.

As someone who has owned several Canon and Sony DSLRs in the past 10 years or so, I can assure you focus speed is quite adequate

Adequate for what?  I've owned a few DSLRs too; but the AF was inadequate and unreliable for shooting fast moving action.

 Jimmy jang Boo's gear list:Jimmy jang Boo's gear list
Ricoh GR Nikon 1 V1 Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 Nikon 1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8 +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Jeadm
Senior MemberPosts: 1,194Gear list
Like?
Re: Capturing the FULL REVIEW QUOTE **doesn't prove anything to the contrary.**
In reply to Jimmy jang Boo, Apr 12, 2013

Jimmy jang Boo wrote:

Those DSLR peers would be entry level DSLRs with entry level performance.

Which would be all DSLRs in the OP's price range, assuming he wants something left over to buy some glass for it.

- the A57's AF is more than capable.

For what?  Shooting fast moving action? DPR already addressed that question in the succinct portion I previously quoted.  The rest of the quote does not negate what they previously stated.

Dismissive.  Only take DPR's word for this cherry picked quote, but not for that.  "More than capable" (above) and "...concedes little in terms of value or performance to it's competitors from Canon, Nikon, and Pentax"

Caution being the operative word.

Every DSLR purchase should be approached cautiously.  It's an expensive tool for most.

that while it has a frame rate that nearly matches a pro DSLR like the Canon EOS-1D X,

So the frame rate is comparable to the a high end pro Camera. BUT...

other factors

This where the comparison with 1DX ends. Hence the caution.

like advanced predictive tracking, customizeable AF modes and not least, the ability to view the live scene (versus the image you've just captured) while shooting are just as important for those who photograph fact action for a living."

In other words... a fast frame rate is not enough for capturing fast moving action.  That's why DPR stated " Fast-moving subjects, are much more of a challenge" and "...anything more demanding than a leisurely cycling pace along a straight line, the A57 can struggle to accurately predict subject position at relatively close range."

Which is pretty much par for the course for most DSLRs at this price point.

Now I want you to think about this.  They say they don't want to be too harsh, but yet they proceed to be.  And how do they do that?  By making a odd backhanded comparison to a Professional DSLR (link to body only LOL) that costs over 13X the price of the A57.  By anybody's standards that's quite a leap.

And a moot point as the comparison only goes as far as the frame rate. So what? There are cameras with faster frame rates than the 1DX that don't cost anywhere near as much as a 1DX.

Agreed, moot.

And while we're quoting the review, lets go to the final paragraph of "The Final Word" on the last page:

QUOTE:

"At its core, the A57 is a well put-together compendium of Sony's technology advances since the introduction of the A55 two years ago. This makes it a solid and proven performer for anyone stepping up to a DSLR from a compact camera or ILC, and one that concedes little in terms of either value or performance to its competitors from Canon, Nikon and Pentax. We'd love a touch-sensitive screen and a more sensibly articulated LCD (and the OLED EVF from the A65/77 would be lovely) but the A57 is an excellent camera at a compelling price, and as such it earns our top honor, the Gold Award. "

This has nothing to due with the matter at hand. There are lots of great cameras at the A57 price point and lower.

Sure it does.  If you consider all these cameras at this price point to be closely comparable (and I might argue that point too if you did, but I won't for the sake of brevity), "The Final Word" is entirely relevant if you're going to use the review as part of the decision making process.

As someone who has owned several Canon and Sony DSLRs in the past 10 years or so, I can assure you focus speed is quite adequate

Adequate for what?  I've owned a few DSLRs too; but the AF was inadequate and unreliable for shooting fast moving action.

Which is why the experience with the model matters, so one can speak with more authority after spending more time using it.  Does the A57 miss focus at times with fast moving action?  Yes, but it also gets it right many times, and the higher fps does make a difference here in giving you more keepers just because of the sheer volume alone (your odds get better).  That said, AF performance with fast moving action is probably very similar to many other DSLRs at this price point (or higher).

 Jeadm's gear list:Jeadm's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Sony a77 II Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM Sony DT 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 SAM +14 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
digitalshooter
Forum ProPosts: 19,604Gear list
Like?
I shoot a Sony and My son shoots a 7D purchased on my recommendation
In reply to Christopher Love, Apr 12, 2013

all I will say next is, get the 7D and a 70-200 2.8 type lens.  You wont be disappointed and you wont miss a shot.

Shooting at night say on a football field or in a gymnasium is a whole different situation than outside in great light, so a fast lens is a necessity.

-- hide signature --

Thanks,
Digitalshooter
PS: all posts are just my opinion!

 digitalshooter's gear list:digitalshooter's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BrewLab
Contributing MemberPosts: 620Gear list
Like?
Re: You mean like this?
In reply to Jimmy jang Boo, Apr 12, 2013

Jimmy jang Boo wrote:

At a casual glance one might be impressed, but really... where's the exif?

Yeah...that would have been helpful. Unfortunately, I don't have many photos downloaded to my work computer, so I had to copy from my facebook albums. Hence the lack of exif. I swear I spend more time on here when I'm at work than I do when I'm home..lol!!

Cheers

 BrewLab's gear list:BrewLab's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 Sony SLT-A57
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
EinsteinsGhost
Forum ProPosts: 11,977Gear list
Like?
Re: You mean like this?
In reply to Jimmy jang Boo, Apr 12, 2013

Jimmy jang Boo wrote:

At a casual glance one might be impressed, but really... where's the exif?

What do you need EXIF for? For that matter, let us see a few samples of action photography from your collection that you believe can't be done with A55 or A57.

 EinsteinsGhost's gear list:EinsteinsGhost's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 Sony SLT-A55 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Sony 135mm F2.8 (T4.5) STF +12 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Biggs23
Biggs23 MOD
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,648Gear list
Like?
Re: You mean like this?
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, Apr 12, 2013

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

Jimmy jang Boo wrote:

At a casual glance one might be impressed, but really... where's the exif?

What do you need EXIF for?

EXIF is always informative and helpful.

For that matter, let us see a few samples of action photography from your collection that you believe can't be done with A55 or A57.

Agreed. If you're comparing similar price range models there is nothing in the realm of fast moving sports that can be accomplished on a Canikon that the a57 couldn't do just as well.

-- hide signature --

Any opinions I express are my own and do not represent DPReview.

 Biggs23's gear list:Biggs23's gear list
Nikon D4 Nikon Df Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
EinsteinsGhost
Forum ProPosts: 11,977Gear list
Like?
Re: You mean like this?
In reply to Biggs23, Apr 12, 2013

Biggs23 wrote:

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

Jimmy jang Boo wrote:

At a casual glance one might be impressed, but really... where's the exif?

What do you need EXIF for?

EXIF is always informative and helpful.

Not always. Anything is useful, if we understand its use.

For that matter, let us see a few samples of action photography from your collection that you believe can't be done with A55 or A57.

Agreed. If you're comparing similar price range models there is nothing in the realm of fast moving sports that can be accomplished on a Canikon that the a57 couldn't do just as well.

 EinsteinsGhost's gear list:EinsteinsGhost's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 Sony SLT-A55 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Sony 135mm F2.8 (T4.5) STF +12 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
headfirst
Contributing MemberPosts: 660Gear list
Like?
Re: I shoot a Sony and My son shoots a 7D purchased on my recommendation
In reply to digitalshooter, Apr 12, 2013

digitalshooter wrote:

all I will say next is, get the 7D and a 70-200 2.8 type lens.

great but it will cost 2x his budget ...

 headfirst's gear list:headfirst's gear list
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Sony SLT-A77 +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BrewLab
Contributing MemberPosts: 620Gear list
Like?
Re: You mean like this?
In reply to Biggs23, Apr 12, 2013

Biggs23 wrote:

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

Jimmy jang Boo wrote:

At a casual glance one might be impressed, but really... where's the exif?

What do you need EXIF for?

EXIF is always informative and helpful.

For that matter, let us see a few samples of action photography from your collection that you believe can't be done with A55 or A57.

Agreed. If you're comparing similar price range models there is nothing in the realm of fast moving sports that can be accomplished on a Canikon that the a57 couldn't do just as well.

-- hide signature --

Any opinions I express are my own and do not represent DPReview.

Completely agree with both of you. I truly enjoy the DPR forums, but I get so tired of folks spouting off about things with no first hand knowledge (talking in general). Recommending lenses without having used them, picking someone's photo apart when their own gallery sits empty, trying to debunk another brand based solely on their own personal bias, etc., etc...if you make a claim, back it up.

I understand that this is mainly a gear forum, but at the end of the day we all own cameras because we love to take photographs (I hope so, at least). In other words...if you want to prove a point on a photography forum, a picture will go a heckuva lot longer way to proving that point than charts and ramblings ever will.

Cheers

 BrewLab's gear list:BrewLab's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 Sony SLT-A57
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Jeadm
Senior MemberPosts: 1,194Gear list
Like?
Re: You mean like this?
In reply to BrewLab, Apr 12, 2013

I usually only recommend or speak of first hand experience with respect to whatever gear is being discussed.  If I speak about something I've heard or seen many good things about, I'll say as much, but at the same time I always try to preface that I am not speaking from personal experience but rather word of mouth and perceived reputation in the community.

Other than intellectual larks such as "this new camera should have x, this one shouldn't have y..."

 Jeadm's gear list:Jeadm's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Sony a77 II Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM Sony DT 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 SAM +14 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
EinsteinsGhost
Forum ProPosts: 11,977Gear list
Like?
Re: You mean like this?
In reply to Jimmy jang Boo, Apr 12, 2013

Jimmy jang Boo wrote:

At a casual glance one might be impressed, but really... where's the exif?

Continuous AF through SLT cameras is very fast and up for pretty much any challenge you can throw at it in the price class. And I am not even talking A65/A77 (impressively fast AF).

Popular Photography on A77:

"Despite the likelihood that most people will pay more attention to the A77's other features, its autofocus is what really stood out the most in our lab tests. It focused in a mere 0.24 sec at the brightest part of the test and remained under 0.3 sec down to EV 8. At EV 2, which is dimmer than most people's living rooms, the A77 focus in 0.51 sec. And at EV -1, the lowest light level for which the AF system is rated, the camera was able to focus in 0.98 sec.

How does that compare? The EOS 7D was able to focus at EV -2, but at all other light levels in our test, it was slower than the Sony. Nikon's D300s was able to focus in 0.93 sec at EV -1, but as with the Canon, Sony's A77 proved faster at all other light levels."

But, I happen to own the SLT-original: A55, and NEX-original: NEX-3. The latter doesn't have the benefit of SLT focusing speed, until I add EA2 adapter into the mix. Then it matches A55 and A57 (uses the same PDAF system), works great for fast moving animals, dogs, or shooting sports, panned or coming directly towards you. And remember, this is without having to sacrifice a shallow DOF.

And they are excellent tools to even develop manual photography skills, so much so that you may not have to rely on AF to keep up with kids who aren't sitting still...

Here, my fast little Chihuweenie, running (away from the camera), and note the relatively shallow DOF:

Sony NEX-3, Minolta 200mm f/2.8 G APO HS (EA2), ISO 200, 1/400s, f/3.2

Sports? No problem:

Sony NEX-3, Minolta 200mm f/2.8 (EA2), ISO 800, f/2.8, 1/640s

Tracking with manual focus? No problem (taken through a fence which affects the contrast in some areas a bit):

Sony NEX-3, Sony 135mm f/2.8 (EA2), ISO 200, f/4.5, 1/500s

 EinsteinsGhost's gear list:EinsteinsGhost's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 Sony SLT-A55 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Sony 135mm F2.8 (T4.5) STF +12 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads