Go Back  R/C Tech Forums > General Forums > Painting, Designs, Graphics and Photography > R/C Photography
Best camera for action shots in 500 to 600 dollar range? >

Best camera for action shots in 500 to 600 dollar range?

Best camera for action shots in 500 to 600 dollar range?

Old 12-30-2011, 07:11 PM
  #1  
Tech Apprentice
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 73
Default Best camera for action shots in 500 to 600 dollar range?

What's the best camera for taking RC action shots in the 500 to 600 dollar range??
Pinionizer is offline  
Old 01-01-2012, 02:23 PM
  #2  
Tech Rookie
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 2
Default

get yourself a 2nd hand d70 with a 50mm prime or 85mm depending on how far away you want to ne or maybe lumix gf1/gf2 with 14-45mm lens. High iso is what you need for movement.
IanObrien1974 is offline  
Old 01-01-2012, 06:56 PM
  #3  
Tech Rookie
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 15
Default

In addition to the D70, a D3100 would certainly do a great job along with a 50/1.8 AF-S. I bet Canon has some offerings, too, though I'm a Nikon guy.

I'll argue that just as important as the camera is having knowledge of photography and how the camera works. Having the right gear is important, but you need to know how to use it to create great results.
danwolfgang is offline  
Old 01-02-2012, 05:34 AM
  #4  
Tech Regular
iTrader: (41)
 
RObErT_RaTh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 302
Trader Rating: 41 (100%+)
Default

Originally Posted by Pinionizer View Post
What's the best camera for taking RC action shots in the 500 to 600 dollar range??
In that price range you're really looking at entry level DSLR's. If you know anyone that has a Canon or Nikon etc (and lenses) then I'd be inclined to get the same brand as them, borrow their lenses to start with Even consider buying second hand to save money on the camera body, leaving more cash for a better lens. I bought a 2nd hand Canon 1000D + 18-55 IS lens + 55-250 IS lens for under $400 posted, all in mint working condition.

The 50mm f1.8 lenses are great but for action RC shots you are seriously limited with the zoom and you'll be wishing you had more range as you won't be able to crop and keep a good resolution. The canon 75-300 is 55-250 IS are both good kit lenses that would get the job done for now. With a Canon 1000D set to shoot JPEGs only you can get 3 fps constant with a Class 10 SDHC card and you can keep shooting for like 500 shots. It doesn't fill up the buffer and spend time saving images while you miss great shots, it just keeps on trucking.
RObErT_RaTh is offline  
Old 01-02-2012, 12:36 PM
  #5  
Tech Master
iTrader: (16)
 
gene1219's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Wheaton
Posts: 1,875
Trader Rating: 16 (100%+)
Default

Originally Posted by RObErT_RaTh View Post
In that price range you're really looking at entry level DSLR's. If you know anyone that has a Canon or Nikon etc (and lenses) then I'd be inclined to get the same brand as them, borrow their lenses to start with Even consider buying second hand to save money on the camera body, leaving more cash for a better lens. I bought a 2nd hand Canon 1000D + 18-55 IS lens + 55-250 IS lens for under $400 posted, all in mint working condition.

The 50mm f1.8 lenses are great but for action RC shots you are seriously limited with the zoom and you'll be wishing you had more range as you won't be able to crop and keep a good resolution. The canon 75-300 is 55-250 IS are both good kit lenses that would get the job done for now. With a Canon 1000D set to shoot JPEGs only you can get 3 fps constant with a Class 10 SDHC card and you can keep shooting for like 500 shots. It doesn't fill up the buffer and spend time saving images while you miss great shots, it just keeps on trucking.
I shoot with a 50mm lens and if you're doing any to fill the frame, it's flat out scary because you're so close to the action. Save the 50mm for static shots.



to the OP, Buy the best possible glass you can afford then a mediocre body will suffice as your skill and comprehension of using the camera improves. One of the best things to do instead of worrying about the best gear is to; SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT and then shoot some more images. The best gear doesn't make the best photo, it's the eye of the person taking the image that really makes it a photograph instead of snapshot. I personally rather see a less than tack sharp image that expresses something unique. I've shot blurred images that conjure up some serious thought as to what is going on and really makes people look at the image. I've also shot wicked awesome images that people would flip right past.
gene1219 is offline  
Old 01-12-2012, 11:08 PM
  #6  
Tech Addict
iTrader: (5)
 
MaplestreetRC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 553
Trader Rating: 5 (100%+)
Default

Originally Posted by Pinionizer View Post
What's the best camera for taking RC action shots in the 500 to 600 dollar range??
Couple of basic questions and then I can give you a more informed answer.

When you say 'action shots' are you talking about just general bashing, crawling, flying or racing?

If it is racing, do the tracks you go to run during the day or at night?

If you are shooting during the day, whether it is bashing, racing, flying or crawling, any entry level DSLR will give you good results, even with a kit lens. Nikon and Canon both have DSLR's in your price range that are perfectly capable of taking great shots without buying expensive glass. (The 50mm 1.8 lens for both brands is a staple in every pro photographers bag and they only cost around $100, but we'll get to that later) There is a great deal of internet debate about Canon vs. Nikon but in reality, they are equal in almost every way and the pros and cons of either brand will only be evident to the most experienced photographer. The best thing to do is to look up models that are in your range, then go to a local camera shop and if they have what you are looking for, hold it in your hand. You can have the best camera in the world but if it's uncomfortable in your hands there isn't much point.

If indeed you are shooting in daylight, follow these tips:

Be brave, shoot in MANUAL or one of the priority modes (shutter speed or aperture). Even if you go with a top end Point and Shoot, you can still choose M. Its not as difficult or intimidating as it seems. You can spend a half hour reading on the internet and your owners manual and get a general grasp on ISO, aperture and shutter speed. This will allow you to craft your shots, let me give you an example;

If you are shooting a RC car in broad daylight and you use AUTO mode, the camera is going to use the highest shutter speed it can get away with. (Probably in the range of 1/2000th of a second). While that will give you sharp captures, your picture will have no life because everything will be frozen in mid air. If you shoot in manual and use a smaller aperture (a higher number) you can lower your shutter speed to around 700 (that's 1/700th of a second) you will get a sharp shot of the car body, but the tires that are spinning at a high speed will have a little blur to them and BAM, your photo just came to life.

Here's an example.

In this photo I was being lazy and shooting in Aperture priority mode because I was doing too many things at once. The camera selected 1/5000th of a second and so even though this car was going really fast, it's now frozen to the ground and might as well have just been sitting there motionless when I took the photo.

New Years Eve 2011 (14 of 37) by maplestreet7, on Flickr

Now compare that to this photo where I was shooting in full manual mode. I used a slower shutter speed, panned with the subject and look at the motion I got out of the slash's tires. The body of the car is the only sharp thing in this photo and it completely brings it to life!


IMG_0058 by maplestreet7, on Flickr

I shot both of those photos with inexpensive lenses. Like I said, once you learn what you are doing you dont need expensive glass, but you'll sure want it!

If you are planning to shoot at night, things get a lot more complicated. Even on a very well lit track your camera is going to struggle to keep up with the speed of RC's. You want to use your fastest glass (glass that has the widest maximum aperture, hence you want the lowest number you can afford. 1.8 max aperture will be wide open and let in alot of light, 4.0 max aperture means the lens lets in less light and will struggle as the light grows dimmer) On most kit lenses this will be 3.5 or higher. Your onboard flash will only help on close objects, and not a whole lot then. As you zoom in that number will go even higher, that is the range that you see on lenses when you see 3.5-5.6. When you zoom all the way in on a kit lens, your maximum aperature is 5.6 and even if you top out your ISO, you will get very noisy and blurry images. That's where buying a fast prime lense (prime= a fixed lens, no zoom) comes in. If you go out to a night race with the 50mm 1.8, no, you wont be able to zoom in, but you will have a much better chance at success.

I will stop boring you now because I could go on all night, I'm actually putting together a youtube video on this topic because I shoot a lot at my local track and more than a few of my comerades there have asked for advice.

So the moral of the story is, buy what is comfortable and what you can afford and like the other poster said, take your kit lens and go SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT and then shoot some more. You will learn as you go and you will learn the limitations of your kit lens, which will help you make a more informed decision when the time comes that you want to invest in some more expensive glass.

Here's a list of models in your price range, any of them will work well. http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?o...ce&Startat=381

This website is fantastic as well. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...80&srtclk=sort

Dont be afraid of the refurbished models from those sites, both B&H and Adorama are fantastic companies that will stand behind anything they sell.


Good luck!

Last edited by MaplestreetRC; 01-13-2012 at 06:21 PM.
MaplestreetRC is offline  
Old 01-18-2012, 06:51 AM
  #7  
Tech Master
iTrader: (5)
 
Rubbins_Racin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Florence, AZ
Posts: 1,708
Trader Rating: 5 (100%+)
Default

Originally Posted by MaplestreetRC View Post
Couple of basic questions and then I can give you a more informed answer.

When you say 'action shots' are you talking about just general bashing, crawling, flying or racing?

If it is racing, do the tracks you go to run during the day or at night?

If you are shooting during the day, whether it is bashing, racing, flying or crawling, any entry level DSLR will give you good results, even with a kit lens. Nikon and Canon both have DSLR's in your price range that are perfectly capable of taking great shots without buying expensive glass. (The 50mm 1.8 lens for both brands is a staple in every pro photographers bag and they only cost around $100, but we'll get to that later) There is a great deal of internet debate about Canon vs. Nikon but in reality, they are equal in almost every way and the pros and cons of either brand will only be evident to the most experienced photographer. The best thing to do is to look up models that are in your range, then go to a local camera shop and if they have what you are looking for, hold it in your hand. You can have the best camera in the world but if it's uncomfortable in your hands there isn't much point.

If indeed you are shooting in daylight, follow these tips:

Be brave, shoot in MANUAL or one of the priority modes (shutter speed or aperture). Even if you go with a top end Point and Shoot, you can still choose M. Its not as difficult or intimidating as it seems. You can spend a half hour reading on the internet and your owners manual and get a general grasp on ISO, aperture and shutter speed. This will allow you to craft your shots, let me give you an example;

If you are shooting a RC car in broad daylight and you use AUTO mode, the camera is going to use the highest shutter speed it can get away with. (Probably in the range of 1/2000th of a second). While that will give you sharp captures, your picture will have no life because everything will be frozen in mid air. If you shoot in manual and use a smaller aperture (a higher number) you can lower your shutter speed to around 700 (that's 1/700th of a second) you will get a sharp shot of the car body, but the tires that are spinning at a high speed will have a little blur to them and BAM, your photo just came to life.

Here's an example.

In this photo I was being lazy and shooting in Aperture priority mode because I was doing too many things at once. The camera selected 1/5000th of a second and so even though this car was going really fast, it's now frozen to the ground and might as well have just been sitting there motionless when I took the photo.

New Years Eve 2011 (14 of 37) by maplestreet7, on Flickr

Now compare that to this photo where I was shooting in full manual mode. I used a slower shutter speed, panned with the subject and look at the motion I got out of the slash's tires. The body of the car is the only sharp thing in this photo and it completely brings it to life!


IMG_0058 by maplestreet7, on Flickr

I shot both of those photos with inexpensive lenses. Like I said, once you learn what you are doing you dont need expensive glass, but you'll sure want it!

If you are planning to shoot at night, things get a lot more complicated. Even on a very well lit track your camera is going to struggle to keep up with the speed of RC's. You want to use your fastest glass (glass that has the widest maximum aperture, hence you want the lowest number you can afford. 1.8 max aperture will be wide open and let in alot of light, 4.0 max aperture means the lens lets in less light and will struggle as the light grows dimmer) On most kit lenses this will be 3.5 or higher. Your onboard flash will only help on close objects, and not a whole lot then. As you zoom in that number will go even higher, that is the range that you see on lenses when you see 3.5-5.6. When you zoom all the way in on a kit lens, your maximum aperature is 5.6 and even if you top out your ISO, you will get very noisy and blurry images. That's where buying a fast prime lense (prime= a fixed lens, no zoom) comes in. If you go out to a night race with the 50mm 1.8, no, you wont be able to zoom in, but you will have a much better chance at success.

I will stop boring you now because I could go on all night, I'm actually putting together a youtube video on this topic because I shoot a lot at my local track and more than a few of my comerades there have asked for advice.

So the moral of the story is, buy what is comfortable and what you can afford and like the other poster said, take your kit lens and go SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT and then shoot some more. You will learn as you go and you will learn the limitations of your kit lens, which will help you make a more informed decision when the time comes that you want to invest in some more expensive glass.

Here's a list of models in your price range, any of them will work well. http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?o...ce&Startat=381

This website is fantastic as well. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...80&srtclk=sort

Dont be afraid of the refurbished models from those sites, both B&H and Adorama are fantastic companies that will stand behind anything they sell.


Good luck!
Wow Bert I didnt realize this was your area and that you are a human encyclopedia for photog.... I might see if you can help me dial in my camera with me. Let me know what your thoughts are.
Rubbins_Racin is offline  
Old 01-24-2012, 12:41 PM
  #8  
Tech Addict
iTrader: (5)
 
MaplestreetRC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 553
Trader Rating: 5 (100%+)
Default

Originally Posted by Rubbins_Racin View Post
Wow Bert I didnt realize this was your area and that you are a human encyclopedia for photog.... I might see if you can help me dial in my camera with me. Let me know what your thoughts are.
Haha thanks Dave. Yes been a photog for 4 years professionally and about 25 years before that. Always happy to answer any questions or give advice. Hit me up anytime.
MaplestreetRC is offline  
Old 01-24-2012, 01:16 PM
  #9  
Tech Elite
iTrader: (115)
 
nf_ekt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: 22 Acacia Avenue
Posts: 4,653
Trader Rating: 115 (100%+)
Default

Nice to see someone talk about photo techniques without all the pro-jargon, good job making it simple.
nf_ekt is offline  
Old 02-12-2012, 06:19 AM
  #10  
Tech Elite
iTrader: (96)
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Mass.
Posts: 3,470
Trader Rating: 96 (100%+)
Default

Originally Posted by IanObrien1974 View Post
get yourself a 2nd hand d70 with a 50mm prime or 85mm depending on how far away you want to ne or maybe lumix gf1/gf2 with 14-45mm lens. High iso is what you need for movement.
ISO pertains to light, not movement.

If he's shooting indoors, high iso is needed but not a necessity, but with a couple f1.4-f1.8 primes, the lens should be fast enough.

And, a D70 is an antiquated camera. 6mp if i"m not mistaken, and the frame rate is not that high.

Pick up a good used D300, and an 85 f1.4 or f1.8 lens and you'll be fine. I shoot with a Nikon D300s and a 60mm F2.8 lens, bump up the iso to 1000 and I get some pretty good shots indoors.
K.Copeland is offline  
Old 05-21-2012, 12:52 PM
  #11  
Tech Elite
iTrader: (61)
 
orcadigital's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 2,186
Trader Rating: 61 (100%+)
Default

Originally Posted by K.Copeland View Post
ISO pertains to light, not movement.

If he's shooting indoors, high iso is needed but not a necessity, but with a couple f1.4-f1.8 primes, the lens should be fast enough.

And, a D70 is an antiquated camera. 6mp if i"m not mistaken, and the frame rate is not that high.

Pick up a good used D300, and an 85 f1.4 or f1.8 lens and you'll be fine. I shoot with a Nikon D300s and a 60mm F2.8 lens, bump up the iso to 1000 and I get some pretty good shots indoors.
I think with the OP's budget, getting a lesser body and spending more on a good lens is what everyone is suggesting. I shoot with an antiquated D200 and am perfectly content with it. My bad pictures are because of me, not the lack of camera technology. One advantage to Nikon is the backwards compatability of lenses. Depending on how far the OP plans on going with photography, I would suggest either a D40 or D70 as an entry level decent DSLR, or something higher end, D200, D300 if you plan on going farther with it and being able to use more of the older lenses features.

As awesome as prime lenses are, starting with a basic body and a couple kit lenses will get anyone out there and flying. Learn the controls, learn to pan, learn what settings do what. Then you can start upgrading as you find where your specific lacks are. Me personally, a 60mm lens would not ever get used as I almost always need more focal length. a 200mm+ prime lens is as much as my 1:1 car though, so it is not happening anytime soon.
orcadigital is offline  
Old 01-16-2013, 03:52 AM
  #12  
Tech Apprentice
 
RCDAD34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Easton, PA
Posts: 78
Default

I shoot with Olympus Professionally (insert joke here).
I have used their f2.0 and f2.8 lenses with great results on my E3's.
Megapixel count isn't nearly as important as it was when you went from 1 to 2, etc.
Now, on my camera's it's poor high iso because of the sensor, but I still can shoot night time HS football with decent results.
High ISO, Nikon can't be beat. I just chose a system at the time that was inexpensive and then upgraded to the better glass and then bodies.

Olympus makes micro 4/3'ds cameras as does Panasonic, which are slightly bigger then point and shoot, but allow interchangable lenses, along with great iso performance in a package smaller than a typical DSLR.

Burst mode, the number of shots per second. I used to believe that this was key to action/sports photography. It isn't. I learned a lot from a local photographer who used to shoot for the NFL, Wheaties boxes, etc.
He said being in the right position and timing the shot is key.

Some cameras now can do so many shots per second it's like a video camera. Most call it spray and pray. In the range you are looking at, pick up a nice fast zoom lens (demo/used) and either a new entry level body or a used body.

Under lights, if flash isn't allowed you will have white balance issues. I ask if flash is allowed before each race. If drivers don't mind, great. If they do, I don't use it.

I agree with above about using manual mode. Start off with shutter priority, or if you get a camera with them, change it to the sports mode and see what settings it comes up with. This will give you somewhat of an idea of what your settings should be in manual mode.

I started off with one camera, one lens and one flash.
Now I have over $12,000 in gear lol, but I do it as a side job.

Welcome to the world of photography!!!
RCDAD34 is offline  
Old 06-21-2014, 08:53 PM
  #13  
Tech Initiate
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 43
Trader Rating: 1 (100%+)
Default

I just bought a Nikon D3200 and love it. It was $529 with a 18-55mm and 55-200mm kit, I'm not a huge photographer but it seemed to me like it was a better camera (plus two lenses) than the closest Cannon comparable.
mk3design is offline  
Old 06-24-2014, 01:10 PM
  #14  
Tech Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

Originally Posted by mk3design View Post
I just bought a Nikon D3200 and love it. It was $529 with a 18-55mm and 55-200mm kit, I'm not a huge photographer but it seemed to me like it was a better camera (plus two lenses) than the closest Cannon comparable.
Outside of a used D90, this is probably your best bet if you want something new.
mtbiker731 is offline  
Old 06-24-2014, 02:46 PM
  #15  
Tech Adept
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 124
Trader Rating: 4 (100%+)
Default

First and foremost, the lens is the most important piece of gear for shooting anything, including fast moving vehicles like RC racing.

I am a pro and have purchased a lot of my gear used simply because a lens that is 15 yrs old will take the same quality pictures that it did 15 yrs ago. Assuming it wasn't dropped, etc...

If this is something you're doing as a hobby here is exactly what I would recommend:

Nikon (I'm a nikon guy) A used D90 ($275 +/-) or even D60 ($150 +/-) and a used 80-200 2.8 ($500 +/-)

Canon: A used Rebel XTI ($150 +/-) and a used 70-200 f4 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/2013-Canon-E...item3a929eb492)

I realize they are a little over your budget but below that you will be using kit lenses.

The lens is crucial because it dictates how much light comes into the camera. Kit lenses have a maximum aperture of f5.6 which is drastically less that f2.8 or even f4.

This means you would have to crank the iso or slow the shutter to the point where the images would be blurry indoors.

I wouldn't recommend a 50 prime or 85 prime as the only lens because I don't think they have enough reach even on a smaller indoor track IMO.

If you were going the kit route due to funds I would probably start with something like this:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/top...s,xti#12409324

This way you can always add a better lens later and make due with a kit lens that has the reach for now.

Good luck!
louie8269 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.