Best MILC for Shooting Figure Skating?

Started Nov 26, 2012 | Questions thread
iancrowe Senior Member • Posts: 1,477
Re: No MILC yet for what you need.

MicheleR wrote:

Thank you so much! I will start looking at used D3s. I can always get her a good lens now, and upgrade to a better lens when the budget allows it That was one of my concerns; I need a great camera body now with the potential to add great lenses later. This info from her post is invaluable!

Hi Michele

I think you are going about it the wrong way. You should invest in the glass and scrimp on the body. No matter how good the body is if the lens isn't up to it your daughter won't get any good pictures. On the other hand if the body only shoots at burst rate of 4 frames a second instead of 8 but has a good lens attached there is still the chance of getting good images.

As far as the lens goes what you want is f/2.8 constant aperture and fast autofocus.  Avoid lenses with image stabilisation (IS on Canon, VR on Nikon, OS on sigma) it adds cost and weight and does no good for action photography. I would suggest something akin to Canon's EF 70-200 f/2.8L USM. There are close equivalents for the Nikon bodies. Once you go above 200mm at the long end prices go trough the roof. Don't be scared to buy secondhand but do so from a dealer who will offer some form of warranty.

As far as bodies go look for good autofocus don't worry about mega pixels and burst rate. It's better to have a few frames that are in focus than lots that aren't. Go with an APS-C sensor rather than full frame. Two reasons firstly the crop factor means you get more reach from your lenses and ice rinks are big an  invariably the good stuff will happen at the other end of the rink (Murphy's law of photography). Secondly they are cheaper than full frame so you can get better autofocus for less. The drawback is that you will see more noise at high ISO but there are techniques to minimise this. In the Canon world I would suggest a used 7D body. You'll have to ask about Nikon.

Don't be too intimidated by the gear listed by Marianne in the post above. I will guarantee she didn't start out with that. Reading her quotes she takes at least $50,000-60,000 of kit with her to each event (2 high end bodies, several high end lenses, a storage server, at least two display stations (PCs) and infrastructure to link it all together). She earns her living by producing large numbers of good quality images to sell at a relatively low price (a CD or DVD full for each competitor for $20). It seems to work for her as she's still around after at least 5 years.


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