Today’s questions is from Joanna who asks:
Table of Contents
Which camera / lens should I get to photograph my kids sport? I have two young kids 8yrs and 10yrs and they do gymnastics and soccer. I currently use my iPhone or My Nikon point & shoot that is about 5 years old. Both cameras give me blurry photos.
Will a DSLR will give me better results? Which camera and lens would you suggest for my kids sport?
In today’s episode: Which camera and lens combo for kids sports
- Cheap Budget
- Crop sensor camera Nikon, Canon, Sony or Pentax
- 70 – 200 ( Nikon & Canon )
- IS v non IS
- Mono pod ( Manfrotto monopod )
Yes! you are right. The digital SLR will give you far superior photos than what a mobile phone or even a point-and-shoot camera that’s five or so years old.
Reason being that the technology has advanced but also the focusing on these two cameras is not as good, especially in low light conditions, when you’re indoors photographing gymnastics. You may get better results when you’re outside photographing soccer, so that’s definitely the case.
Cheap DSLR and lens
Now in regards to suggesting camera body and lens, you know, you haven’t mentioned your budget, which is fine, so what I’m gonna do is give you the cheapest entry point here, because I think it’s potentially your first digital SLR.
What I would suggest is getting a camera body either from Nikon, Canon, Sony, or Pentax. They’re all good manufacturers, but getting a camera body that has a crop sensor, meaning that the sensor, when you put the lens to the camera, it magnifies it.
Now, going with Canon, they actually have a crop sensor that magnifies lenses by 1.6, so if I’ve got a 100 mil lens, I attach it to the camera, it’s gonna be 160 mils, which is gonna get you closer to the action. That would be my first thing to do.
I mean, you could go for a camera with the full-frame sensor. They are a bit more expensive. They have better capabilities in lower light but they’re, you know, for what you’re photographing and since you’re only just starting with the digital SLR, the crop sensor could be the cheaper option and better option for you.
Lens choice: 70 – 200 mm
As for lens choice, I think a 70-200 mm is a good choice. It’s a good range because, you know, you can do portraits with it of the kids. You can photograph from a distance with the soccer.
At that age, the pitches are smaller, they’re not full pitches, so, you know, you’re getting quite close to the action. You can zoom in and out as they’re coming towards you or going away.
It also, of course, if you’re doing gymnastics, you know, you’ll be up in the stands, you won’t be as close when you’re at the soccer, so that gives you a little bit more reach.
Now what I would suggest is getting something like a 2.8 lens, now only because, if you get, say, a lens that changes the aperture as you zoom in and out, as the sun goes down or indoors, when you start at, say, the lower end on 70 mils, it’ll allow the most amount of light into the camera.
As you zoom out, it actually starts restricting how much light goes into the camera, so I would suggest you get something that is constant. 2.8 lens, it will help you when you’re indoors and that way when it comes time to photographing and exposing for your photos, it’ll be easier for you to manage.
You can buy lenses that are not by the manufacturer, which are slightly cheaper if you wanna go down that way, if cost is an issue, but my personal choice would be, if you’re buying a particular brand, buy the lens from that manufacturer. But then, you know, that just comes down to how much funds you have to spend with that.
IS v non IS ( Image stabilisation )
Now there are lenses that have image stabilisation or vibration reduction, which basically, what it is, there’s a gyro inside the lens and it detects movement and of course it counteracts if you’re going up or down, it goes the opposite direction. Left or right and, you know, that type of thing. So these lenses cost a bit more and they’re slightly heavier, but, you know, if you’re holding the camera with no other assistance, they can help.
It’s one of those things. If you’re photographing indoors or even outdoors, and you’re there for quite a while, your arms are gonna get tired, so what I would recommend is that you buy yourself a monopod.
A monopod, just like, you know, a tripod but just one leg, hence the word mono. By doing so, you’re gonna save your shoulders especially at gymnastics meet or taking a full game of soccer.
Now by doing so, it means that you don’t have to get a lens that has image stabilisation, which will make the price of buying the lens cheaper, you know, so it’s a bit of a win there.
Yeah, so that’s what I would suggest. Getting a crop-sensor body camera, getting a lens that’s in the 200 millimetre range, preferably something that is in a 2.8 f-stop, which will allow the most amount of light and making sure that it is a consistent 2.8 aperture will help you there, and also getting a monopod, which will mean that you can get the cheaper lens option and not having to get vibration reduction.
Thanks for your question.