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  1. #1
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    Default family camera suggestion - good for action shots

    I'm looking to purchase a $250-$350 digital camera that will be good for taking action shots - I know nothing about cameras. I need to take multiple fast action shots in a row... i.e. soccer, hockey, surfing shots. i would like to be able to take a bunch of shots in a row, and I'm hoping to find a camera that can handle a bunch of quick shots one after the other.
    I was thinking of the Canon Powershot S5is. Can anyone suggest anything different/better? or, give opinions on the Canon. I also liked the ability to take video with the Canon as well.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: family camera suggestion - good for action shots

    The Canon S5 IS is a good quick shooter, and the zoom will be helpful for sports as well. If you're just looking for quickness in a similar camera, the Kodak Z812 is probably a touch faster, though I don't like the images from it as much as I do those from the Canon (the Canon can be a little slow in continuous shooting, but this is pretty typical). The Panasonic FZ18 is another similar camera with a nice long zoom and slightly better continuous speed.

    If continuous shooting is your primary interest, the cameras listed above do well for their class of cameras, but a bigger camera (what's called a digital SLR, like the Canon Rebel XT, Nikon D40, etc.) offers some pretty significant improvements in this area. All of these fall beyond your stated budget, however.

    All of the first group of cameras offer video modes, but a note on this: don't expect it to replace you video camera. They're good for shooting short clips, but no digital camer offers performance or easy of use that matches a true video camera.

    dr

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    Default Re: family camera suggestion - good for action shots

    Thanks Dave! when you say.. "slightly better continuous speed" (for the Panasonic) is it more like nano seconds and something that I would not even notice - or, is it something that will allow me to quickly take a couple of shots per second as my kids ride a wave, or say go for a layup in basketball? The most important thing to me is to have the ability to take shots quickly and be able to zoom in on the kids (whether they are surfing out on the water, or playing roller hockey at the indoor rink).
    My camera now (small Sony Cybershot 3x Optical zoom) is slow and I have to time the shot and then I have to wait a couple seconds before I can get the next shot off - very annoying since I miss a lot of good shots. It's also lousy indoors)
    If YOU had to choose between the Canon S5 IS and the Panasonic FZ18 which would you choose?

    Another question is... If I want to go a little cheaper, are there any camera's in the $150-$200 range that would come close to what I'm looking for? Or do you think I'm in the right ballpark (SLR is too expensive for me)
    It is nice to have a small camera that you can slip into your pocket BUT if there is a big benefit to moving up to the Canon S5 or the Panasonic FZ18 then thats the way I want to go.

    Thanks for all your help!! Merry Christmas!

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    Default Re: family camera suggestion - good for action shots

    You will certainly get a noticeable benefit in terms of image quality, and a pretty significant speed gain in moving up from most point and shoots to the S5 or the FZ18.

    Most consumer digital cameras have some kind of continuous shooting mode (even down to the lowliest point-and-shoots anymore) that allows multiple frames per second, but often these modes have certain limitations that make them less functional than they sound. They always lock down the flash for starters, and most won't let you shoot at the camera's full resolution. There's also a problem with tracking a moving subject, as the screen (which you're using to see what you're shooting, as most smaller cameras have done away with viewfinders) blacks out during shooting.

    All of that said, if you really can't go up to an SLR (which is certainly understandable), you may not get a lot of improvement in terms of shot-to-shot speed over a good point-and-shoot. Thus, it depends on lot on how those two factors - good image quality and better zoom, versus speed - weigh against each other in your mind.

    The S5 IS is perhaps the best camera in that class all around, and it feels slightly faster than most point-and-shoots to me in some very limited experience with one, but as I've never done side by side testing I can't say if this is real or all in my head. Also, I rarely shoot sports, so this isn't shot to shot speed isn't something that I look for.

    If you can, I would recommend that you go somewhere with a wide selection of cameras and do a little hands on testing with the S5 IS versus some point-and-shoots (in particular, I'd look at the Canon A series, though it's slow on the flash recharge, some of the newer Sonys, though like yours they don't take great indoor photos, and the Fuji F50fd). Just know that outside of continuous shooting mode, there aren't many (if any) non-SLRs on the market that can shoot multiple frames per second.

    Hope this helps,
    dr

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    Default Re: family camera suggestion - good for action shots

    Another thought that just occurred to me is the Panasonic TZ3. It's a compact camera with a 10x zoom, and without flash it can shoot at right around one frame per second - pretty good numbers.

    dr

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    Default Re: family camera suggestion - good for action shots

    Thanks David! I'm going to go with the Canon S5is. Appreciate all your input and knowledge!... you've been great help.... MERRY CHRISTMAS to you !!

 

 

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