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New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-02-2013

What should I upgrade to take better indoor Basketball photos

Currently I use a 50d with a 1st generation 70-200 2.8 IS lens.  My challenge is that using the available  light in the gym leads to action shots that are noisy and muddy. 


I have considered several options.  The 5DIII's much better ISO range is attractive but I am a little worried about losing the reach on my lens by going full frame.  The just announced 70D might be good but it is unclear to me if the ISO range is enough and I am concerned that it features a new sensor with video focused features that I could care less about.  The 7D sounds interesting as well but it seems ripe for replacement and the 5DIII's better ISO and AF seem to also argue against this option.  Better glass is another approach and I had wondered whether the new version of the 70-200 IS lens would help or whether the 85 mm f1.8 was a good approach but I hesitate to use a fixed length lens for such a sporting event.


I would be very interested in advice on these issues and options.  It may be worth noting that price is not a major issue herein.  

Reputable Contributor
Posts: 846
Registered: ‎03-06-2013

Re: What should I upgrade to take better indoor Basketball photos

[ Edited ]

If $ is no problem, getting a 5DMIII would help the most. Better focus, better high ISO (much better), etc. The version I and II of the 70-200 would make NO different in your case. And if you're afraid of losing the reach by moving to full frame, then getting 85mm lens is kind of pointless.

Weekend Travelers Blog | Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,344
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: What should I upgrade to take better indoor Basketball photos

Although I have no experience with a 5D3 I do agree based on everything I've read from trusted members at another forum I belong to. Getting a newer version of an f 2.8 lens still leaves you at f 2.8 so no change in shutter speeds. Unless you can find a faster lens in a length that meets your needs the 5D3 will be your best  upgrade.


"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: What should I upgrade to take better indoor Basketball photos

You need to go full frame. You lose reach but you gain ISO quality faster. The pros shoot sports at ISO 6400 fairly regularly if you watch their seminars and ou can't do that on any Canon crop.

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,816
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: What should I upgrade to take better indoor Basketball photos

"Reach" is a bit of a misunderstanding. The lens "projects" an image circle into the sensor body. It literally is a circle even though the sensor is rectangular. That means the camera only "captures" the part of the image being projected onto the sensor and everything that falls off is lost.

With a "crop frame" body, the image circle being projected is identical to the circle being projected into the full-frame body (all EOS cameras have a 44mm flange to focal-plane distance). The difference is that the sensor is smaller so more of the image "spills" off the side and is lost.

That means... if you just want to crop that center section of a full-frame body you'll get the same "reach" as you got with the crop-frame body because there's no magic that allows a crop-frame body to have more reach.... you're just enlarging the image more to achieve the same size print because the sensor started out smaller.
Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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