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Wife needs camera for work.

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    Wife needs camera for work.

    My wife was lucky to fall into a part time job during this COVID dilemma. She photographs the horse races at our local track as the assistant to the lead photographer. She uses the leads equipment now but next season she will be lead and most likely need her own camera. I know jack crap about cameras other than she will need a DSLR (I did a small information search) but I wouldn’t know what model, features or lens to go with. Obviously I would figure something That does good action shots and is easy to use. This is her first time as a photographer and so far she enjoys it and has even sold 3 photos already but she has no idea what she’s doing. Looking for some recommendations for entry/semi professional level camera and what lens would be most useful. Hopefully looking in the $500-$1000 range as it’s just a good paying part time job right now. Any help would be appreciated guys thanks.

    I'd strongly recommend a Sony A7ii or A7iii if this is going to be a longer term professional gig.

    Otherwise Canon has the market pretty well cornered for mid-range DSLR's. Mirrorless is the new big thing but for horse racing a crop sensor DSLR would work great. I recommend for that price range a Canon Rebel T7 or used 80D or 90D if you can swing it. Glass for horse racing would be a telephoto or wide range zoom so I'd look into a Canon 70-200mm EF 2.8L USM. You can get that same lens in an IS format that has an image stabilizer for a little more money but for the high shutter speeds that you would use for horse racing an image stabilizer wouldn't be needed. The "crop sensor" or APS-C size sensor gives you a little bit of built in magnification (about 40%) so you can get away with a lower magnification lens for the longer shots.

    Canon Rebel T7
    Canon 70-200mm EF 2.8L USM


      Thank you very much. Great information to go on now at least. 👍


        nikon has such huge range of used and old lens to pick from so massive selection to pick from. but all comes down to what she need in your budget. also your budget leave hard to get good camera and lens combo too.


          I happen to have a Canon T7, so I can give you a few example pictures to see if it will work for ya. Of course I have NO IDEA what I'm doing, so do take that into account. Someone with some more skill and experience will probably get better pictures than my beginner eye can pull off.

          So something similar to horse racing, how about a little Sprint Car racing....

          Lens was a 75-300 F/4-5.6 III which came with the two lens kit I bought at. Taken on automatic "Sports" mode, which decided a 1/1250th second shutter, F/5 aperture, ISO 640. Honestly for car racing that shutter was probably a bit too fast, makes them looked parked, but that should be just right for horses.

          So I tried something a little different at a local Tractor Pull...

          Went to "Shutter Priority" mode, set the shutter to 1/250th and let the camera figure out the rest. F/7.1 and ISO 100 on the same lens for the record. I think the tire blur helps a little.

          Now these are with a rather inexpensive lens. A more expensive one with a lower F value will bring in more light and give sharper images.

          For example, I also have a 50mm F/1.8 lens. Sometimes called the "Nifty Fifty" it lets in a ton of light, and is surprisingly affordable. But as a fixed lens (no zoom, you have to physically move closer or farther away to frame the shot) it's not the best for action shots. But the difference in sharpness is noticeable...

          My Nephew's wife and son (one of twins).
          Last edited by Fubarius; 08-26-2020, 07:36 PM.


            If you’re starting with nothing I recommend a DX Nikon DSLR, like the 3xxxx series. I’d suggest a kit ($700-900 probably) that has the basic lens and the 55-300 zoom because you’ll need it. Anything more than 300mm is sadly much more expensive, anything less isn’t enough for a horse track. Don’t get the one with the dumb swivel screen on it. You’ll never use it.

            I would also seriously suggest using whatever her boss uses if it’s not full frame because that’s the best sort of learning situation possible. Full frame more than doubles (Triples? Octuples?) the price on everything though so, IMHO, totally not worth it.

            Sony is getting the best reviews these days but unless I lived in Japan I’d avoid the stuff. Quality is one thing but no modern SLR is bad even slightly. Being the only guy in town with a weird brand nobody you know has ever held in their hands before pretty much sucks. It’s much more valuable to a new photographer to be able to learn techniques than it is to have a better camera...especially in 2020 when all cameras are awesome. Nikon lenses from the Korean War era still fits the newest thing they sell. Being able to borrow or rent lenses you can use is also invaluable.


              She is currently using her bosses Canon so she will probably be comfortable with a Rebel T7, she is against the flip screen already so no need for that. The job is only going to be seasonal since we get snow up her in Pennsylvania so I can’t see spending $3000 on the camera her boss has. I don’t see her getting into professional photography or other jobs anytime soon so not looking for anything too involved and currently scanning eBay .


                If she's shooting fast moving horses a 7D would be a good bet. That coupled with a used 70-200 F4L would do the job nicely.
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                  Originally posted by Caplucky73 View Post
                  She is currently using her bosses Canon so she will probably be comfortable with a Rebel T7, she is against the flip screen already so no need for that. The job is only going to be seasonal since we get snow up her in Pennsylvania so I can’t see spending $3000 on the camera her boss has. I don’t see her getting into professional photography or other jobs anytime soon so not looking for anything too involved and currently scanning eBay .
                  TRY KEH CAMERA world lagerest used camera dealer. way safer then ebay


                    I know at least I have both the EBay guarantee and PayPal protection if it comes not as described. Also I would guess most photographers keep their gear in decent care and shape as they are somewhat fragile. The few I’m watching seem to know what they have and are upgrading to the next level.


                      If there is a local camera shop near you I would stop by and see what they have in the used / refurbished selection and what is most common in your area. With whatever you get, the lens matters 10x more than the camera. An L-series lens on a lower end camera will take better pictures than a crap lens on the most expensive camera (after accounting for sensor differences.) B&H has a good write-up on lens on their website. They are located in NYC, so is pretty close (relatively speaking) to you. I've ordered from them in the past, and have a co-worker who does quite a bit of photography and he shops there all the time.

                      Originally posted by SignOfZeta View Post
                      Nikon lenses from the Korean War era still fits the newest thing they sell. Being able to borrow or rent lenses you can use is also invaluable.
                      I don't think Canon's mounts have changed either, other than the variations mentioned in the article linked above. I have lenses from the mid-90's that fit my 40D, and I'm pretty sure my parents old lenses fit it as well.
                      cellophane's feedback


                        Canon's mounts have changed but not much and especially if you're looking at a Canon DSLR vs a mirrorless. The DSLR platforms have used the EF mount for ages and the crop sensor cameras use EF-S which is the same flange but the lens optics just project a smaller picture on the sensor for the APS-C crop sensor size. You can still use EF mount lenses on EF-S cameras but not the other way around if that makes any sense.

                        Buying off of Ebay has always been great for me. I would trust a listing for a used camera only after looking through high res photos and seeing gear that is well taken care of. Personally I prefer to buy new or new-open box type deals on Ebay. You can generally save $100-$200 off of a new camera body or lens kit that way.

                        personally run a Rebel SL2 with the 18-55 f/4 kit lens it comes with and also a Canon prime 40mm f/2.8 which works great for portraits. For telephoto I would get one of the 70-200mm L series like mentioned before. That lens is an absolute tank and has been around forever so finding one used for a good deal should be a snap. The SL2 shares most of the same features and parts with the Rebel T7 (I use a T7 for work video shoots) and between the two I don't think you would miss out on much with the SL2 except the faster flaps per second (camera for shots per second) which could be a deal breaker depending on how shooting horses goes. For action shots you really want a fast shutter flap rate and set the camera to burst shooting to just capture a bunch of images to sort through later. The best shots are the random ones you didn't expect to be good. If flaps per second on a budget is the goal then it's hard to beat the T7 although if you (your wife) can swing the cost of a 90D it jumps from 7fps to 11fps which could be a big difference in photo quality.

                        At the end of the day though if this is just a seasonal job and won't be a hobby definitely best to stay towards the budget end which would mean an SL2 with a budget tele lens. Found a good article with lots of lens options here:

                        *edit* Nikon fanbois always bring up the F mount being able to use lenses from the stone age. While that is true, why would you want to? For art photos maybe that is cool to get the vintage glass feel but for this situation not only is modern glass better, the Canon is a better value and tbh most places I've done marketing and photography for just expect Canon if you're shooting pictures for money. For some reason people just equate a Canon with a big white L series lens to professional photography and treat you as a professional just based on that.


                          Sorry, I forgot to mention that Canons are just as good as Nikon. Apple is as good as Google. Ford is as crap as Chevy, etc. Whatever disclaimer it takes to not make fanboys not feel dissed. My point still stands, practicality outranks everything. Things that are the “best” at anything are only that until something new beats it next month. It’s the photographer that matters. None of the majors are making bad gear, however Nikon and Canon are the two you want to be messing with. Forget even said Nikon, sorry! Just pretend I said Canon and only Canon. Canon rules, screw Nikon and their art photographers, please just get the point which is that as long as you are dealing with a certain level of quality and feature set, that this is good enough. Whatever the feature is that they are using to push the current model, it’s dumb and you don’t need it, buy last year’s model and save $150.


                          • gabe
                            gabe commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Good to hear you're not still petty and passive aggressive

                          Still? Do we know each other?


                            Caplucky73 if you go KEH you at least get 90 day warranty. and will lead in right way and not sell you what you do not need in your budget to bad not near me since i have spare camera i could loan you and you could used