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Photography/Camera question for bike races
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I'm getting my wife a DSLR camera since she wants something nicer for taking photos at my bike races, plus some general photography.

My budget is ~$800. I believe DSLR is better for fast moving shots (cycling races) and lens options. I'm thinking about buying the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 after reading the review on the site below. I see it's good for beginners and I can add a telephoto zoom lens. Also it seems to take good videos which is a plus, but not 100% required. The main purpose for this camera is to take photos of bike races. Will the "AF system only has 9 points" be an issue for this purpose? I'd hate to buy the camera only to find out it's not very good at taking that type of photo. Another option is #5 on the list which is Nikon D5600. I'm having a hard time comparing the two cameras to see which is best for my purposes. Experts: What am I missing? Which would suit my needs best? Any other options I should look at? I hope to purchase this weekend, so any feedback would be great!
https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/...-and-compact-cameras
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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I’m not familiar with the Canon, but I own the D5600, and it’s a great camera. You can see some shots I took of a cyclocross race with it here:

https://forum.slowtwitch.com/...s_P6781615/#p6781615

Spot

___________________________________________________
Taco cat spelled backwards is....taco cat.
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [spot] [ In reply to ]
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Look at the Sony APS-C A-Series. Ledgendary auto focus.
Even the A6000 is excellent (I have it).
Plenty of links to deals here including A6000 - you will be well under budget with a lens as well.
https://www.sonyalpharumors.com
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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Many places allow you to rent first. Try that?

Gary Geiger
http://www.geigerphoto.com Professional photographer

TEAM KiWAMi NORTH AMERICA http://www.kiwamitri.com, Rudy Project http://www.rudyprojectusa.com, GU https://guenergy.com/shop/ ; Salming World Ambassador; https://www.shopsalming.com
Last edited by: ggeiger: Feb 9, 19 13:20
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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Perhaps the most important part will be how serious she is about learning to use the system (camera+lens) properly.

Everyone makes good kit nowadays, so teasing out the differences in a given price bracket and for a given use case can be analysis paralysis. Also, because all the kit is so good, do your best to ignore any brand zealots and be as objective as you can in the amount of analysis you do :)

With that out of the way, you might give Sony a nudge for ease and accuracy of AF. Or to put it another way, the Sony's coverage of AF points across the frame is actually a pretty important feature compared to Canon/Nikon.

The 9-pt Canon AF is a far cry short of the AF in their higher-end bodies (and the AF in the $$$ bodies is very good). I think the AF in the lower-end Nikons is a bit better than in the lower-end Canons.

But back to the first point, even if we totally ignore artistic inspiration, bike racing can be fairly difficult to photograph from a technical standpoint...lots of things could contribute to poor images, and if the intended subject (you) is only coming by once a lap (CX/crit) or even worse, once or twice in total (road race/TT), diagnosing technically poor images and making technically strong images is more difficult than you might think!

Good luck and happy to chat more.

edit: I see ggeiger replied while I was composing my post; he's probably the most qualified person on the forum to discuss cycling photography, so yay for that!

Eliot
blog thing - strava thing
Last edited by: renorider: Feb 9, 19 13:16
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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Not much upside to D5600 versus D3500 or even D3300.

Get a D3300 or D3500 and an 18-300 lens and you may have cash to spare on some good online tutorials on taking sports photos.

There's masses of discussions on dpreview.com along lines of "I have entry level camera X should I upgrade to slightly better model Y?" and consensus from skilled photographers is "just learn to shoot better"

Have considered the same as you and in the end went D3300 and several lenses.

David T-D
http://www.tilburydavis.com
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [Gmehje] [ In reply to ]
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Gmehje wrote:
Look at the Sony APS-C A-Series. Ledgendary auto focus.
Even the A6000 is excellent (I have it).
Plenty of links to deals here including A6000 - you will be well under budget with a lens as well.
https://www.sonyalpharumors.com

If I were buying again I'd go this route.

I'm racing 2019 IM Arizona as part of Team Smile Train. Will I implode? Will I finish strong? Donate to find out more!
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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I'd strongly encourage renting something first.

After that, I'd strongly consider the Sony mirrorless stuff. As mentioned above, the A6000 is a great choice and it's "old," relatively speaking. The autofocus is incredible and better than anything else within your budget that's DSLR.

I have had a D7000 and now have a D7200. I rent lenses for races or special events. If I could go back to the beginning I'd have gotten the A6000.

I'm racing 2019 IM Arizona as part of Team Smile Train. Will I implode? Will I finish strong? Donate to find out more!
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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Truthfully, the difference between brands is minimal.......have your wife try each brand in her hands and see which system "feels" better to her....that is the one I would get her. Truthfully, in a DSLR system the lens (speed) is more important so get a "decent" body and the most expensive lens that you can afford/budget. On the Nikon side (I personally prefer Nikon), the DX 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 VRII would be a good starter lens around $650 new.
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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I've done a bit of race photography in the past transitioning in as a pure hobby, and then back out to jsut a hobby when everyone with a digital camera thought they were a pro.

Sony, Nikon and Canon all make great cameras. All will be fine. Indeed i still shoot with Canon 30Ds (I have 3 of them, the last one I got of ebay for $100 including a lens). But the reality is for taking photos of fast moving objects like bikes, it's the lens that makes the difference. Specifically the aperture or 'f number' of it, where lower is better. Simply put the wider it is, the more light goes in and the less exposure time you need, so less likely to blur. The autofocus on the better lenses is a lot faster too.

For sports photography you'll be selecting a single point to be the focus anyway so the 'only 9' is not an issue. Exposure then you'd normally be doing manually so that your photos aren't compromised by one person wearing a white top and the next a black - you manually set it and then just keep checking every few shots that cloud hasn't changed.

The big question is if you are happy to buy second hand or not. A canon 70-200L 2.8 is the 'go to' sports lens for triathlon stuff, running and cycling. Chuck pretty much any body on it and you'll be fine, but that lens is both expensive and heavy, so whilst it's got optical stabilisation built in to stop shake, it does get tiring to hold after a while (hence why I used to use a monopod on the lens. The low range cameras also needed a bit of care as you needed to hold the lens with the camera supported off that, bad things would happen if you held the camera with the weight of the lens pulling off the front of the camera.

So in answer to your question, then I'd get the fastest (ie lowest f number) 70-200 lens you can afford, then whatever body you can with the money you have left over. And one of the many books (ok websites) that teaches her how to shoot in manual mode. She'll get much much better results from that compared to using an auto mode (including sports or action).
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [Duncan74] [ In reply to ]
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I agree with most you said

My fav setup for shooting flying birds and fast sports like bmx
- second hand 40d is under 100$
- sigma 2.8 70-200 EX lens... Very fast focusing, high quality
-fastest compact flash card you can afford (like 122x) with large 64 or 128gb
-second hand Monopod stick
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [lacticturkey] [ In reply to ]
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I tend to go with multiple 2/4GB cards so that should one go rogue then I've not lost the whole days shooting, but to be fair I've only ever had one card die on me and that was out the packet.

I have a 17-40L on the second body, and then my oldest body is there as a spare - the mirror occasionally sticks now, so I just use that for portrait stuff where it doesn't matter. A couple of 580EXII fash and an unbranded IR transmitter for the flash and I'm set.
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [Duncan74] [ In reply to ]
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I have a 5dmk11 now which is nice for portraits, but if it had the 40d (which costs 5% second hand values) shutter button and shutter.... Then it'd be my dream camera. The 40d is twice as fast at 6.5 shots a second instead of 3.

2 cards is smart, not that I have a super fast card it almost never has to buffer, so it's great for shooting continuously... Flying birds, sports, dancers.... And Lightroom is great for fast culling
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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I am late to the show, but +1000 what Duncan74 posted. It is the lens that matters, not the body. Spend the money on the lens (and it is big money), then get the body. Even a basic body is sufficient with most modern cameras.
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [exxxviii] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks everyone for the responses!
It looks like it’s between the
- Sony A600
- Cannon Rebel T7i

For sports photography it sounds like I definitely need a telephoto lens. There are lots of options for the Cannon, but it seems that for the Sony I would need to spend over $1,000 for the lens alone. Spending a lot on the lens makes sense, but that’s out of my budget. Are there other options for less expensive Sony lenses (less than $1200)?
Last edited by: cbr shadow: Feb 10, 19 7:36
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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My whole family uses the Rebel series. My mom originally got one back when my brother and I wrestled/played football. The big draw was the lenses that someone already mentioned. You could put a lens on and take great photos at the edge of a wrestling mat, or she could switch lenses and zoom in on my brother from the top of the stands during a football game. The standard lens has a lot of versatility and you can widen that range by adding more lens over time.

I bought my wife the Rebel T5 when our first child was born and we have used it for everything with just the stock lens. It has taken great photos during my marathon. Same quality as the ones they always want you to buy post race. Additional lenses also make great anniversary/birthday gifts.
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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I’ve owned a Canon SL1 for years, and it’s worked great for me. I already owned a Canon 5D Mark III when I bought it, but I wanted something smaller and lighter to carry during our local 5K running races. Since I’m as slow as molasses nowadays and no longer competitive, I go to our races and take photos out on the course as I run. The SL1 and the kit 18-55mm lens is a nice, light combination for doing that. Over the last five years or so, I’ve taken tens of thousands of photos with it. You can find many, many examples at the 5K race photos posted on this SmugMug page: https://gojim.smugmug.com/Sports
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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Buy the lens, and then get the body to match it. It is nearly impossible to match the value of the Canon lenses at any level. Their pro lenses are north of $1K. But their penultimate-tier lenses at around $600-$800 are a freakin' amazing value for the performance. That is what I would target. Then, pick the body that completes your budget.
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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I guess you opened the questioning pretty wide, but what sort of $ is the budget? And would you consider used - it makes sense for camera gear, I appreciate it's sometimes not desirable for a gift.
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [Duncan74] [ In reply to ]
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Duncan74 wrote:
I guess you opened the questioning pretty wide, but what sort of $ is the budget? And would you consider used - it makes sense for camera gear, I appreciate it's sometimes not desirable for a gift.

Yeah I guess I did open the question up pretty wide - I've spent a lot of time researching in the last 2 days so I'm probably going to order today. It's between the Sony A600 and the Canon Rebel T7i, but I'm pretty sure I'll go with the Canon since the Sony lenses are really expensive compared to Canon options.

I actually bought a 2nd hand DSLR (Nikon 5500) 2 weeks ago but once I got it home there were all types of issues with the camera. It was VERY difficult getting the seller to take it back and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I think I'll go new.
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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The camera focusing system will be huge for you unless you want to shoot at an aperture that gives you depth of field (Usually boring imagery). Having shot sports since 19.., many are right in that the lens is huge, but given what you are looking at, you can't afford and will not utilize many features of the gold standard lenses. Cycling is usually during bright times, so an f2.8 or faster lens, while the ultimate, is not necessary for you. Even some of the teleconverters will suffice for your needs, as it looks like you're not looking at a full frame camera (first step up). Do not discount Nikon either.
Given your situation I would look VERY strongly at E-Bay. As long as you know what you are looking for you can save tons of money by buying that lightly used camera or lens that a dentist needed to upgrade because a new one came out. My last few purchases, and I do it for a LIVING, have been used. Much like a car, silly to buy new at the values one can find if you are knowledgeable.

Gary Geiger
http://www.geigerphoto.com Professional photographer

TEAM KiWAMi NORTH AMERICA http://www.kiwamitri.com, Rudy Project http://www.rudyprojectusa.com, GU https://guenergy.com/shop/ ; Salming World Ambassador; https://www.shopsalming.com
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [cbr shadow] [ In reply to ]
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A DSLR will certainly help her step up her game, but I think the bigger thing to consider is cropped sensor vs. uncropped. The uncropped sensor like Canon 1d, 5d, or 6d is that you will get a pretty awesome and crisp picture in all sorts of light. The beginner models are pretty simple, but they may not elevate your wife's game to a height that far exceeds that of a good cellphone camera. I'd suggest a 6d or a 5d Mark II or III. Those cameras can all be had for under $1000 (mark III might be hard) and there are some pretty affordable lens that will give you some awesome photos. I always thought there wasn't much difference between cropped and uncropped, until I got a full sensor camera and was stunned.

Team Zoot 2019
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [aerobean] [ In reply to ]
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5d mk11 only takes 3 pics a second and slow write speed
6d is also 4 pics per second
5d mk 111 body is at least 1200 dollars second hand for body with no lens and total budget is 800,
Those are often the portrait body's and the 1d is famous for sports... They a shoot anywhere up to 14 shots per second

The 40d is $100 used takes 6 or 7 pics per second and would be well under budget with telelens (upwards from 400) /Monopod/memory/spare battery/grip

On a sunny day 2.8 is a lot indeed, but the glass quality and focus speeds are up to scratch for all conditions. 3.5 might be okay from companies like tamron, but would have to test for distortion, focus and color. There are tele lenses that look good on paper but are barely use able focusing speed, sharpness, quality, color, warping of image

A good question might be what the intention is for the photos... What quality do they need to be? Selling to the athletes via website vs for articles vs for friends to post vs some action shots of spouse etc
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [lacticturkey] [ In reply to ]
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The 60d (that's 2 generations newer than the 40d, is only 200 second hand, sometimes with grip, card, lenses... Up to 5 shots per second... Pretty great value

For second hand stay to cameras that did less than 30,000 shots... Shutters are good for 100k. They have a click counter app to check how many they shot. .. When I checked online there is a lot under 10k clicks, which is nothing
Last edited by: lacticturkey: Feb 11, 19 5:12
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Re: Photography/Camera question for bike races [aerobean] [ In reply to ]
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aerobean wrote:
A DSLR will certainly help her step up her game, but I think the bigger thing to consider is cropped sensor vs. uncropped. The uncropped sensor like Canon 1d, 5d, or 6d is that you will get a pretty awesome and crisp picture in all sorts of light. The beginner models are pretty simple, but they may not elevate your wife's game to a height that far exceeds that of a good cellphone camera. I'd suggest a 6d or a 5d Mark II or III. Those cameras can all be had for under $1000 (mark III might be hard) and there are some pretty affordable lens that will give you some awesome photos. I always thought there wasn't much difference between cropped and uncropped, until I got a full sensor camera and was stunned.

We are starting to get well beyond what I think he want's to do for his wife......some of these DSLR's will also start to get bigger and bulkier to handle. That being said, probably the best bang for your buck right now in my opinion would be used - Nikon D700 (full frame) and Nikon 70-200f/4....but I'm sure this is still well above your budget.

Also, unless you are getting paid for the photos, don't worry too much about how many frames per second the body can shoot. Want to learn how to be the best photographer you can? Shoot single frames and hone your skill of timing. I use to shoot sports semi-professionally back in the day and had many of my photos in many of the cycling mags back when there were actual mags. I rarely if ever shot machine gun style......
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