Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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I don't have a lot of extra money but I am able to trade for this camera or pay $200. Would this camera be adequate for taken pics of my kids on the soccer/baseball/track fields? I really want a camera and can't afford the big money cameras. Do you think this would camera would work?

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I have a point and shoot camera just didn't want to waste money on a camera that – Jarrod Skillman May 28 '13 at 2:07
It all depends on what type of quality you want. And also be aware that the D70 only accepts Compact Flash cards, although they are easy to find, and not very expensive (about the same as SD for the same capacity, although the CF cards usually have faster read/write speed) – damned truths May 28 '13 at 4:51

It'll be great for daytime outdoor sporting events.

It won't be as good for night-time or indoor sporting events. The reason for this is that for sports you ideally want fast shutter speed of 1/500s or better in order to freeze the motion. Indoors, or under lights, you won't get that with that zoom lens.

Flash doesn't help at sporting events because the distance is too far, and image stabilisation doesn't help because it won't do anything for motion blur caused by the players moving.

If you find you have to shoot something like that indoors or at night, then you're mostly out of luck, I'm afraid, unless you want to spend significantly more. You may get some success with a 105mm f/2.8 or something but it won't zoom, and other than that you'll be up for $$$$ to get a fast enough tele or zoom.

That said, your chosen lens will be better than any compact camera would be at an indoor or night sporting event - even a "superzoom" or "bridge" camera.

In other words, it's the best you can get without spending many times as much - which may not be worth it. What you have will be great during the day, and you will get good shots with it.

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well said. Was about to post pretty much the same when I read your answer. Owning a D70s myself, I can vouch for it as being a reliable, robust, and easy to handle camera that delivers very good quality (of course the lens you mount has a big influence on this, and most 70-300s aren't stellar, but you'd not get anything better out of that lens on a higher spec camera). – jwenting May 28 '13 at 13:06

Would this camera be adequate for taken pics of my kids on the soccer/baseball/track fields?

Yes, absolutely. When it was first released it was the only (Nikon) camera digital available to a great many people (certainly enthusiasts and amateurs doing exactly the things you want to do.)

Do you think this would camera would work?

Oh yes, I still carry mine as a backup and it works fine. When it was new it was around the $1,000 mark IIRC and that does reflect in the construction, compared to the entry level cameras now it's a hardy little beast. Photographers were snapping them up like hot cakes.

There are also a number of features on the D70 which aren't present on the newer entry level cameras which make it worth having. One of the biggest plus points for me is the autofocus motor which allows you to use older lenses like the 70-300mm (which can be obtained more cheaply because the newer entry level cameras need lenses with AF motors.)

Coming from a point and shoot by the time any limitations of the D70 start to be an issue you'll be in a much better position to decide if you can / want to splash out on an upgrade and there will be an extensive market of second hand cameras available to upgrade to, and if not you've still got a perfectly reasonable DSLR.

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Yes, it will work, and should be significantly better than a point and shoot. The 70-300mm lens is not a great lens, but if you are shooting at a fast shutter speed in sunny conditions, it should be fast enough to capture sports. The 70-300mm isn't going to be very successful when the light is poor, or for indoor sports. I think for $200 that's not bad value if everything is in good condition - the D70 is a good camera. Better options would be several times the price I would think.

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I'd go so far as to say better options would be a waste of money for someone without experience, as they'll be unlikely to get the most even out of a roughly 10 year old entry level DSLR with a low end lens (nothing against any of that, we were all in that position at some point). – jwenting May 28 '13 at 13:08

I would expect so. I have a D40 that I use to photograph dimly and/or randomly lit concerts, and while I have to put forth some effort, I get some good shots. The D70 could be considered a step up, and if you're shooting outdoors, I think you will be fine.

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I say you push the ISO up to 3200, open up that aperture to five six, or however wide it can go, and slow the shutter down to, maybe, 1/10. Okay maybe not 3200. But somewhere up there. I dunno. Experiment. Then go black and white. But that might be better for the 70mm.

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