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Want to upgrade to dslr to take horse racing action photos, need recommendations

ilzho
Super Contributor

Hello:

 

For years I have had my Powershot G10 to take general pictures and it has worked well.

 

I am a huge fan of horse racing and I'm lucky to have a track, very close by. 

 

I want to be able to 'freeze' a horse and jockey racing among other types of photos.

My G10 cannot take these kind of pictures 'well'.

 

I am not looking to become a professional as I am not an expert at all, but I would love to have some proper equipment to take realitive good photos of horses racing/Equine. Yes this takes a lot of knowledge and practice/experience. All of which I do not have enough of.

 

I am looking to stay in the Canon family and would like some recommendations on a good DSLR camera and some lenses.

My budget is about $1500.

 

Any help and guidance is apprecaited.

 

Thank you,

David

79 REPLIES 79

Nice series of shots.

 

A number of factors lay behind successful AF tracking, not the least of which are focal length, distance to your subject, relative depth of field, and especially how large your subject is in the viewfinder.  Of course, the skill of the photographer plays the biggest role.

 

If I said, that the 6D isn't up to the challenge, then I overspoke.  They are exceptions to everything.  I still don't think the 6D is very good at AF Servo tracking, though, which does not mean it is impossible for it to do.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

TTMartin
Respected Contributor

@ilzho wrote:

Hello:

 

For years I have had my Powershot G10 to take general pictures and it has worked well.

 

I am a huge fan of horse racing and I'm lucky to have a track, very close by. 

 

I want to be able to 'freeze' a horse and jockey racing among other types of photos.

My G10 cannot take these kind of pictures 'well'.

 

I am not looking to become a professional as I am not an expert at all, but I would love to have some proper equipment to take realitive good photos of horses racing/Equine. Yes this takes a lot of knowledge and practice/experience. All of which I do not have enough of.

 

I am looking to stay in the Canon family and would like some recommendations on a good DSLR camera and some lenses.

My budget is about $1500.

 

Any help and guidance is apprecaited.

 

Thank you,

David


Just be aware that horse tracks often have a designated pro photographer, and have restrictions about the type of camera or size of lens you can bring in and use. Check on what restrictions your local track has before going out and spending money on a camera they will kick you out of the track for.

ebiggs1
Forum Elite

"My G10 cannot take these kind of pictures 'well'."

 

This may be because fo the settings you choose.  The very most important aspect to any sport type photography is location.  Where you are shooting from is by far more important than anything else.  Next is the settings you select.

I personally dont' shoot horses or horse racing but I have a good friend that does.

He has a 1 series. He uses an ef 200mm f2L, a ef 300mm f2.8L and a ef 17-40mm f4L.  Now this gear is over your budget by a little, so I would recommend you check out the Rebel T6i.  A camera that is going to be capable of almost anything you will ever want to shoot.  The problem is going to be in the lens(s) you will need for truly great photos.

 

If you can find the T6i with a Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens that is a good place to start. It will be at the top of your budget but an outstanding start.  The tele lens can be a zoom, too.  Like the ef 70-200mm f4L IS.  Maybe you could save a but longer to extend the budget? Smiley Happy

 

But remember location is the key.  Choose your spot carefully.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

ScottyP
Respected Contributor

Agree with Ebiggs suggestion of T6i plus 17-55 though I think you would probably want that 70-200 telephoto too for horses unless you could wait until they were close to shoot. 

 

An 80d would be a good choice too, with better autofocus and with autofocus micro adjustment if you need it. 

Scott

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"?

ilzho
Super Contributor

Thanks everyone for the advice.

I have lots to think about.

 

I might up my budget a little bit in order to get a great lens.

Just wanted to get everyone's advice and not buy something I would regret later.

 

My local track said they do not have many restrictions on the camera equipment used;just don't interfere with the track photographer or the guests. The dirt track is 90' wide and as stated before I can get along the railing, just on the spectator side. That's as close as I can get to the horses racing.

 

I still need to practice, practice, practice, learn and hope for the best.

"Thanks everyone for the advice.

I have lots to think about.

 

I might up my budget a little bit in order to get a great lens.

Just wanted to get everyone's advice and not buy something I would regret later."

 

You got a variety of opinions, but one opinion ran true through all of them.  The EF 70-200mm f/4L lens.  I recommend you shape your camera budget aroiund getting a Canon 70-200 "L" for shooting at the track.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

ilzho
Super Contributor

I agree.

 

In looking at reviews online and utube videos about the canon ef 70-200mm f/4L USM, I think I will fit that into my budget.......

I'm not looking into becoming a professional, but with practice, this lens can get me what I'm looking for. Now for the body, I'm on the fence...


@ilzho wrote:

I agree.

 

In looking at reviews online and utube videos about the canon ef 70-200mm f/4L USM, I think I will fit that into my budget.......

I'm not looking into becoming a professional, but with practice, this lens can get me what I'm looking for. Now for the body, I'm on the fence...


My advice would to stay away from any Rebel, T#, camera.  The T6i camera is supposed to be pretty good, though.  I couldn't say.  I say stick to a Canon ##D model number, like the 70D or the brand new 80D.  I think the currently discounted, asking price for the 70D lens kit in the Canon Online Refurbished Store is a steal, though.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

ilzho
Super Contributor

I can get the following as I have a slight discount (length of service award) at one small retailers who has some cameras.

These are the prices with my discount. I can only get one.

 

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 20.2MP Digital Camera Kit (Body Only)

$1099

 

Canon EOS 80D DSLR Camera

$1178

 

Canon EOS 6D 20.2MP DSLR Camera (Body Only)

$1019

 

Canon EOS 70D 20.2MP DSLR Camera With EF-S 18-55mm Image Stabilized STM Lens

$699

 

Canon EOS 70D 20.2 MP DSLR Camera (Body Only)

$619

 

 

Go for the 7D Mark II, if you can swing it, but you would still need a lens, which would mean a compromise lens choice to stay within your budget..  The 70D lens kit, and the 70-200mm f/4L will get you up to speed the fastest, which is my first choice.. 

 

I love the 6D for stills.  For the asking price of the 80D for just the body(?), I'd go for the 7D Mark II, or even the full frame 6D, instead.  Just make sure that you get full Canon warranties at those prices.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."