[Hockey] camera suggestions

Discussion in 'Sports' started by michael_christoff, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. I need a little help here. I am new to photography. I am looking for a camera
    priced around $150-$200. I have no idea where to start. I will be capturing
    images mostly from the IHL, USHL, & (a few NHL games).

    I know i may not get the best camera in stock, I'm just looking for something
    that has decent quality and will capture the image fast enough, because most of
    us know hockey is a fast sport. I was told to look at the following brands:
    Panasonic, Nikon, Kodak, Canon, & Olympus. If you know of something that will be
    good enough to do the job, don't hesitate to contribute you thoughts and opinions..

    Thanks for your help,
  2. Whew. For shooting in the leagues you're talking about, you're going to have to increase the amount you want to spend by at least a factor of 5, and probably more like 10. And that doesn't include the lense(s).

    In a (I assume you mean digital) camera, you'll want a body that shoots at LEAST 4-5 frames a second with a decent autofocus engine. I'm a Nikon guy, so a good used D70 or D70s might be good for about $500. You can then get by with one lens if you get a 70-200 or 80-200 f2.8. You can get a good Nikon 2-ring used for about $700.

    Anything much less than that and you won't get the kind of results it sounds like you want.

  3. I have to second what Dan said. For ice hockey you need fast frame rate, fast auto focus and fast glass - that stuff doesn't come cheap no matter what manufacturer you go with.

    Probably not what you wanted to hear, but that's the reality of the situation.
  4. Well, I must be a magician cause I take better that 70% of my shots with a 3FPS camera and I shoot AHL hockey. A guy shooting with me shoots at 3fps as well.

    That said, I'm not going to tell you you CANNOT shoot with a slower camera, but I will say you need to know what is going on and really work around your camera. 3FPS, without much shutter lag, is plenty for peak action but you'll miss a lot of inbetween shots. sometimes the difference in shots is just the facial expression or exactly where the puck is (in 1/3rd second the puck moves a lot).

    However, for $200 you won't get a thing. You need to drop probably $500-1000 to get decent shots. it's more than frame rate, ISO, lens length and max aperture all play a role. And so does shutter lag on lower priced cameras.

    So despite the fact that I think you can shoot with a slower camera, I don't think you can shoot without at least f/4 glass (preferably 2.8 or faster) and ISO1600.

    Feel free to have a look at some of my stuff shot with cameras too slow, and too old to produce decent images. If I had proper equipment I might be able to take a few decent shots.

  5. Great comments Justin. When the XTi's were my only cameras, I found the fps to be great, until I knew I could get faster for an acceptable investment, and then it became too slow. Funny how those darned marketers work, eh?

    Your comments to me last week were very helpful. I had a brain-fart though, and drove thru what the media billed as the storm of 4 decades to get to the rink to discover I'd left my bag at home and only had the 17-70 4-5.6 on my camera. With the 40D, I was able to get some good lighting of the ice, yet every single one of my shots was out of focus (I think that is a lens issue, though it could be my shakey hands).
  6. Get a used 30D and a 70-200 lens. You can't get a fast enough camera for $200. 30D and a Sigma 70-200 lens should run about $1400. It seems like a steep investment, but it will pay off in the end! Good luck.

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