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Lens or Camera for Surf Pics


I have a Canon SL1 with a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS that I'm using to take pictures and video of my son surfing.  I'm finding pictures and video of surfing hard to take in general even with a monopod (lots of waiting followed by 3 seconds of action that's easy to miss).  I've happy with the results so far but ready to take the next step.  The reach of the zoom isn't quite long enough so I'm doing a lot of cropping. and the pictures themselves aren't as sharp as I'd like.  I'm really happy with my 55-250 STM for general use, but need a lens or camera for this application.


I posted a similar question about a year ago that lead me to the 70-300 and wondering about other options.  My budget is a bit more than last year and could go up to around $1,000.  There was mention of the Sigma 150-400 or 150-600 as lens options as well as the Canon ultra zoom SX60 or SX70.


What's the current thinking on options?  Am I trying to get too much out of an SL1 with these lenses?  If so, are the SX60 or SX70 good options for taking these pics (which one?) or should I be looking at a new camera body in addition to a new lens which would of course really jack up the budget.  It not, what would be a good lens options to take it to the next level?  


Not doing this for professional pics, but would like something that gives good social media and smaller print pictures (up to 8x10). 


Thanks for help with all my questions.


@Waddizzle wrote:

@wchettel wrote:

@Waddizzle wrote:

@ebiggs1 wrote:

You posted a screen shot and failed to realize there might be an update.  That is what I meant by users and readers.

It does update.  Adobe crippled it when they went to the subscription model.  I guess they restored stuff.

Mr. Waddizzle,


You are wrong again!


Adobe Photoshop Elements is NOT a subscription model software and never has been! You pay a one-time fee to purchase the software and you can use it forever with NO additional fees or charges. There are many PSE users that are still using versions of PSE that are 10 or more years old. You can even use multiple versions on your PC or Mac if you choose to. Upgrades do not overwrite previously installed versions.

Calm down, pal.  I never said PSE was a subscription model.  If you want to say I am wrong.  Fine.  I was wrong.  Happy?

Mr. Waddizzle,


I'm not your pal. This is your statement in your reply in this thread dated 10-15-2020 04:43 PM.


"They removed lens correction from the ACR that comes with PSE when they moved to the subscription model. It is a waste of money as far as photography goes. Adobe Camera Raw is severely crippled in PSE."

in Davie, FL


I have been using the trial versions of photo editors this past week.

Photoshop Elements is $99.99 to purchase 

Photoshop and Lightroom is $9.99/month (some other packages available too).


For sharpening, I like the freeware, I use + 2 sharpening usually and it looks good.


I have to try Canon's photo editor -- I think it is one of the few I have yet to try!

All the best,

Annie you need to be careful with the free editors and some of the pay to play editors when doing sharpening.  All they do is darken the edges of objects. Poor at best ad best if little is used.  Adobe's unsharp mask is the best.

Keep in mind sharpening an image is not the same thing as adjusting the focus. Sharpening is about making the in-focus areas of your image look sharper. A blurry image will always be blurry.  No amount  of, or how much, sharpening, even unsharp mask, you try will fix OOF images.  However, the good news is PSE includes unsharp mask.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Thank you, ebiggs!

I did not know that and really appreciate the info!

I am thinking of DXO PhotoLab or Photoshop Elements. I really like DXO but pricey. DXO PhotoLabs also has the unsharp mask but I have not tried it yet.

I don't need it/use it as much -- my images tend to be sharper than my newbie days but sometimes I use it for face sharpening when I shot a portrait in landscape mode 😮
I never really liked the way the sharpening tool results turned out though -- and now i understand why!

Thank you, again! And I hope your day is a good one,

Annie I don't like DXO or any of their stuff so I really don't know how well their unsharp mask works.  In PS you need to use it on layers.  Make the unsharp mask is a smart object.  I do not know if DXO has that ability. I don't know if the latest PSE has smart objects either. When you use smart objects you can always go back and adjust or readjust your work. If you apply it, or any sharpening, it is permanent and not reversible otherwise.


Miss Annie you have a wonderful rest of your day and go make some beautiful photos! Smiley Happy

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Walter, readers vs users!

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

@wchettel wrote:

@Waddizzle wrote



There are free apps that can do everything PSE can.  The only advantage PSE had over them was the lens correction and other features of ACR.  Look at the Icon Area.  All that it can do is convert RAW files.  It has been stripped bare.

This is simply NOT TRUE! This is a screen clip from my PSE 2020.


I guess it's back.  Your screenshot of PSE 2020 is very different from screenshot of PSE 2018, when it was taken out.

"The right mouse button is your friend."

I was afraid you were going to say GIMP.  I've used it before to do simple things (not photo retouching, more clip art edits)  but it can be challenging,  I saw that DPP4 only works with Canion bodies and lenses.  If I have a Canon body and a Sigma lens will I still get value out of it?

"I saw that DPP4 only works with Canion bodies and lenses."


It won't lens correct with off brand lenses. The rest should work OK. Although I have and play with DPP4, I am not a DPP4 expert as I use LR and PS.


"I was afraid you were going to say GIMP... but it can be challenging, "


I agree.  It is a some what convoluted program, useful only as a last resort, IMHO, as always.

You should check out Darktable.  Another open source software so it has some of the peculiar quirks as Gimp but DT is usable for basic editing. Actually a pretty decent effort and a reasonable choice. If you don't want to pay for programs like PSE or PS/LR, it seems that is the lot of these "freeware" post editors.  They don't have to conform to any standards like PSE or PS/LR does.


A nice thing about buying PSE, learning it is, it is an easy jump to the best of all post editors Photoshop later on.


EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!


"pictures themselves aren't as sharp as I'd like. " I am a proud and happy SL1 user -- I used to have issue with sharpness too. Have you increased sharpness within the menu settings? I can also forget to change my style out of Landscape when I am going to photograph people/action so the images of people can look soft (but not just for that reason).


I am wondering too if a monopod is stable enough vs a tripod (as others have mentioned too).


Can you post some images that are not sharp so I/we can offer some suggestions/thoughts based on that?


I don't believe you need to upgrade yet; I have stayed with my SL1 for 6 years or so now.  I really needed patience and time to really learn the camera,  the lens I use with it (a prime), and capitalize on their capabilities.  I suggest experimenting with settings and also be creative in where / how you take photos (like try laying down, taking in the morning, taking in the evening....)


If you really want to try something different vs exploring improving with your current lens, then I suggest demo'ing or renting. Camera stores generally will let you step outside to take some photos and you can review the images at home.


Happy shooting! I always wanted to try surfing... I hope you enjoy watching your son!

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