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Registered: ‎02-12-2017
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New member needs help

I am new to the forum and asking for help. Our granddaughter plays basketball and I would like to photograph her. I kayak and would like to photograph birds. Is the EOS 760D the camera for me? Other? What lens or lenses? How can I protect my equipment form damage from saltwater? Thank you.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,560
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: New member needs help

Canon sells a fairly robust waterproof camera, PowerShot D30. As for lenses, what is your budget? Lenses can be costly.

The best lens to use to photograph indoor basketball is probably one of Canon's 70-200mm lenses, which assumes that you will be at, or near, court side.. There are other choices, but without knowing your relative location, any advice is pure speculation.

For photographing birds, especially birds in flight, the longer the focal length, the better. A super telephoto zoom lens with a maximum focal length of at least 400-600mm seems to be fairly popular. Beware of using focal length extenders, because there is often a price to pay for the benefit they afford.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,969
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: New member needs help

My wife has taken her T6s (North American version of 760D) out in her kayak with no problems. She keeps it in a sealed waterproof pouch until it is needed, but we are in calm, inland lakes.

 

I would recommend you consider an 80D. It is weather sealed and faster all around for sports and BIF. Use a rain cover when shooting, keep a towel nearby and b careful. Saltwater is nasty.

 

I just started photographing my grandson on the basketball court and concur with the recommendaton of the 70-200mm lens.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X, Rebel T5i, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472
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Posts: 4,560
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: New member needs help

I would emphatically agree with the choice of the 80D.  The 80D is a Best Buy, IMHO.  I bought one for a relative, and he loves how it connects to his iPhone,  He can transfer photos, and remotely control the camera.  He's had it for a few months and has just now begun to discover the advanced auto-focus and video capabilities.  The 80D is an honest to goodness family camera.    

 

Water can be an especially nasty experience for a camera, and salt water is most particularly nasty.  I still recommend the inexpensive D30 in a small boat, in which you cannot or should not stand up.  Just because a camera body is declared to be "weather sealed" does not mean that it is "weather-proof."  In most cases, "weather sealed" means somewhat dust and water resistant, and only then for a short period of time, usually just long enough to wipe off drops of water if it gets splashed.  

 

Photographing birds reminds me of fishing.  It takes just as much luck as it does skill.  In my book, consistent luck is more properly known as skill.  Birding takes practice, and like fishing, requires some knowledge of the habits of your "prey".  You should figure on needing a fairly robust tripod for birding.  It ain't easy.  Like fishing, it takes patience and perseverance.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,533
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: New member needs help

"Is the EOS 760D the camera for me?"

 

No, it's not.  I agree the 80D is a better choice.  They 7D Mk II is even a better choice than the 80D.

 

"What lens or lenses?" "... granddaughter plays basketbal ..."

 

I also agree with the idea of the  EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens.  However, depending on where you shot from, the most important part of shooting a granddaughter's basketball game, the  EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens may be too long.  In that case add the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens.  You will need a more 'normal' lens anyway.  Not gonna be cheap but she does this just once! Right?

 

"... would like to photograph birds."

 

You want the EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens.  If you consider price, this is the best 400mm lens made. Period. Also, it will be much easier to protect at the ocean.

 

"How can I protect my equipment form damage from saltwater?"

 

You probably can't !  I did say it wasn't gonna be cheap so you were warned.  Salt water is a death sentence.  But there are precautions you can take to lessen the danger.  Remember even the sea mist is bad.  Not just the water and time will take its toll.  Sand is also bad for cameras.  Key advice is, use common sense.

 

I have found myself in the enviable position, depending upon your opinion, of doing several shoots at the ocean.  I use large zip lock bags.

First all your lenses will need protective filters.  No debate, this is a requirement.  Cut a hole in the freezer zip lock bag and tape the filter in place.

Trace the filter with a permanent marker and cut out the hole so it's a bit smaller than the diameter of the filter. Then put the filter inside the bag and push the hole in the bag down over the filter so that the bag has to stretch a bit to fit around the filter. Use a strip of electrical tape to secure it.

 

Normally I offer people a secondary choice of lenses.  But the part about shooting in a salt water environment limits what is a good alternative.  I see none as the third world lenses are not very weather sealed.  And, I stress all your lenses will require a protective filter on them.  Not debatable!

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
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Posts: 2,890
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: New member needs help

Action photography such as basketball, and if by "birds" you really mean "birds in flight" then the 80D or 7D II would be better options.

 

The 7D II is a semi-pro category camera optimized for action photography but I should caution you that it's a somewhat "technical" camera.  If you opt for that choice (and it would be *the* ideal choice) you would need to take the time to go through the manual and really learn to use it before you would start to get the benefits of it.

 

The 80D is a mid-level advanced / pro-sumer category camera (not entry level, but also not pro nor semi-pro).  It's not quite as technical of an instrument as the 7D II.

 

But that's just the camera and the sort of photography you're asking about also relies heavily on lens selection.

 

The difficulty with basketball is that it's typical indoor and in poor lighting (and you generally cannot use flash).  This means you want a lens that can gather a lot of light.  In other words, imagine if the diameter of the lens is physically larger so that more light can pass thorugh the lens when you take a shot (meaning you don't have to leave the shutter open as long and can take faster "action" shots.)    

 

The indicator that you look for is the focal ratio.  This is simply the focal length of the lens, divide by it's wides possible diameter of clear aperture.  So if you had a lens that has a 100mm long focal length but it's aperture opens up to a 25mm wide aperture then that lens is an "f/4" lens because 100 ÷ 25 = 4.    Now imagine that instead of having a 25mm diameter opening in the lens, that the lens was so large that it had a 50mm diameter opening... that would be an f/2 lens because 100 ÷ 50 = 2 (we call that an f/2 lens).  So you can see how the larger diameter opening causes the focal ratio value to be smaller.  When you're trying to gather light in a hurry... the lower the focal ratio value... the better.

 

One other piece of info... when the diameter of a circle increases by 1.4x then the area of that circle is doubled.  (technically the real value is the square root of 2 ... an irrational number 1.41421... but we simply round that to 1.4 in photography because anything past the the 1.4 isn't enough of a difference to substantially change your exposure in any noticeable way.

 

So f/2.8 literally collects DOUBLE the light of an f/4 lens.  An f/4 lens collects double the light of an f/5.6 lens.  That means an f/2.8 lens collects QUADRUPLE the light of an f/5.6 lens and that makes a very noticeable difference.

 

The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is probably the preferred lens for the indoor shooting because the f/2.8 focal ratio is low and it can provide that focal ratio at any zoom length.

 

A typical inexpensive zoom such as a 70-300mm is a "variable focal ratio" f/4-5.6 which means it can provide f/4 only at the 70mm end, and as you zoom in the focal ratio increases and by the time you reach 200mm it is already at f/5.6.  So while the focal length range may be nice, the ability to collect light isn't so nice (and if you don't have the light you have to use slower exposures or crank up the ISO and you end up with "noisy" shots and/or shots with a lot of motion-blur.

 

That covers the indoor action sports.  For outdoors things get a little easier.  It isn't that the birds in flight require fast shutter speeds... you're outdoors.   There's a LOT more light.  Using an f/5.6 focal ratio really isn't a problem.

 

Birders tend to prefer lenses that can zoom up to about 600mm.  Both Sigma and Tamron make a 150-600mm zoom lens that makes birders very happy (Sigma actually makes two... one costs noticeably more but is slightly higher performing.)  These are f/5-6.3 variable focal ratio lenses.  So while the focal ratio doesn't sound as nice, it's no longer the factor we're worried about becuase we usually have an abundance of light when shooting outdoors.    Canon does not make a lens that directly matches to these... their closest is the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6L IS II USM.  On a Canon EOS 7D Mk II camera, that lens can be paired with a Canon EF 1.4x Extender which brings it up to 140-560mm (so it's pretty close.) 

 

Both the 80D and the 7D Mk II are "weather sealed" camera bodies... meaning Canon put o-rings on all dials and they put gaskets on buttons and body seams.  The 7D has a little bit better weather-sealing treatment than the 80D.   Weather sealing means the camera is designed to keep out dust or water if that water is things like rain or splashes.  These cameras are NOT water-proof (they must NOT be submerged underwater.)    Also, while these cameras happen to be weather sealed, most lenses are NOT weather-sealed.  Canon makes several of their "L" series lenses that have weather sealing.  The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is weather sealed.  Also Canon's 100-400mm f/4-5.6L IS II USM is weather sealed.  You can generally tell if the lens is weather sealed because it will have a silicone gasket that creates a seal when the lens is attached to the camera body (most lenses don't have that.)  

 

If you have weather-sealed gear and it gets wet, make sure you still towel dry the gear before removing the lens, etc.  You don't want any drips entering the camera when you remove the lens.

 

I would get a waterproof "dry bag".  LowePro (a major brand in camera bags) makes a "DryZone" series of bags that are all waterproof.  If you decide to roll the kayak and the camera is in the bag, it'll be fine.

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,560
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: New member needs help

Amidst all of the warnings, cautions, and suggestions on how to protect your camera and lens from water, one basic layer of protection has been overlooked.  You will need a protective filter on any lens that would be exposed to harsh conditions.  

 

If you are new to DSLRs, I still say the simplest and safest solution to protect your DSLR is use a PowerShot D30 waterproof camera.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,890
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: New member needs help


Waddizzle wrote:

Amidst all of the warnings, cautions, and suggestions on how to protect your camera and lens from water, one basic layer of protection has been overlooked.  You will need a protective filter on any lens that would be exposed to harsh conditions.  

 

If you are new to DSLRs, I still say the simplest and safest solution to protect your DSLR is use a PowerShot D30 waterproof camera.


The major caveat with the PowerShot D30 is that you can swap lenses.  It's a waterproof point & shoot.  The built-in lens has a 35mm equivalent focal length of only 140mm.  An APS-C DSLR with a 600mm lens has a 35mm equivalent of 960mm.  Since the use case for the desired camera was to do some bird photography from the kayak, the 140mm focal length on the D30 would be like using an 88mm lens on an 80D or 7D II.  

 

I think you're right on the waterproofing being a nice feature -- but I suspect the focal length limitation would be inadequate for bird photography.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,560
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: New member needs help


TCampbell wrote:

Waddizzle wrote:

Amidst all of the warnings, cautions, and suggestions on how to protect your camera and lens from water, one basic layer of protection has been overlooked.  You will need a protective filter on any lens that would be exposed to harsh conditions.  

 

If you are new to DSLRs, I still say the simplest and safest solution to protect your DSLR is use a PowerShot D30 waterproof camera.


The major caveat with the PowerShot D30 is that you can swap lenses.  It's a waterproof point & shoot.  The built-in lens has a 35mm equivalent focal length of only 140mm.  An APS-C DSLR with a 600mm lens has a 35mm equivalent of 960mm.  Since the use case for the desired camera was to do some bird photography from the kayak, the 140mm focal length on the D30 would be like using an 88mm lens on an 80D or 7D II.  

 

I think you're right on the waterproofing being a nice feature -- but I suspect the focal length limitation would be inadequate for bird photography.

 


If my remarks came across as using the D30 for birding, then that was unintentional.  I think the best solution is the 80D and the D30.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,533
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: New member needs help

"Birders tend to prefer lenses that can zoom up to about 600mm.  Both Sigma and Tamron make a 150-600mm zoom lens that makes birders very happy (Sigma actually makes two... one costs noticeably more but is slightly higher performing.)"

 

Normally I would agree with this but the OP mentioned "salt water'.  If the BIF are the ones that habitat that area, the big zooms are going to be a hand full.  Difficult to protect.  The 400 f5.6L prime is a way better choice in that case.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
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