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Recommendations for a budding photographer

by Julie Gwennap
(Johnston, Iowa )

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 70D

Hi Bruce, Our daughter is 18 yrs old and plans to attend a local college to earn a photography degree. We have a Cannon EOS 70D. (Bought it to take action pictures of our kids playing baseball, football and cheerleading.)

She has been taking pictures of her boyfriend's junior hockey team this year, with some really awesome results. Her photog interest lies in action sports and cars (Mustangs), not in still portraits like senior pics or weddings.

She seems to really like the results from the 70D, but she is not very big. 5 feet tall and hovers around 100 pounds. The 70D weighs a ton, especially when she adds a long lens. First, is there a "better" camera (that might be lighter) for her to use in action photography? Second, do you have any recommendations for how we can help her lighten her load but not affect the stability of her photos?

Thank you so much for any thoughts you'd like to share. We are thrilled that she is interested in pursing a photography degree, but worried the weight of her current camera could, over time, cause her neck and back pain/injury.

Julie Gwennap

Hi Julie.

Thanks for your question about the Canon EOS 70D. Since you found my site (likely you Googled a phrase using "70D" or "best Canon camera") you know how much I like the 70D. It is a very good camera for capturing sports and action.

It has quick accurate focusing and can shoot as fast as 7 frames per second. The Canon EOS 70D weighs only about 1.1 pounds.

The only way to go lighter with a DSLR is to buy a Canon SL1 or one of the Canon Rebel "t" series cameras but that only saves you about 2 or 3 ounces. The SL1 can only shoot at 4 frames per second.

There are a few point-and-shoot cameras (NON-DSLRs) that have high frame rates but you lose out on fast focusing. Point and shoot cameras also have smaller sensors (lessor quality images) have more shutter lag, a delay when you first press the shutter button.

Two Ways to Handle the Heaviness of the Canon 70D

LENS CHOICE. The APS-C sensor on the 70D is smaller than the full frame Canons like the 5D Mark III, 6D, and 1Dx Canon camera bodies. That means you can use EF-S lenses. I am not sure what long lens she is using but the EF-S lenses are smaller and lighter than the EF lenses.

As an example, the Canon EF-S 55-250 is relatively light, VERY affordable, and good (not professional) quality.

USE A MONOPOD. The easiest way to support any DSLR and a long lens is to use a monopod. The best way is to use a lens that has a lens collar that circles the circumference of the lens and attached to the monopod. Just visit any pro sporting event and you'll see every one of the professionals is using a Monopod. They support your camera/lens combination and give you the flexibility to quickly aim your camera in any direction.

If she truly is committed to eventually shooting sports and action as a professional, there is no way getting around the fact that she'll need long heavy lenses that are powerful enough to fill her camera frame and fast enough to shoot with high shutter speeds in less than ideal lighting situations.

I am talking about 400mm and 500mm lenses, f/2.8 or f/4.0 which are big and heavy and expensive.

Feel free to get back to me with any other questions. Good Luck!


p.s. If this was helpful, please share.

70D As a Sports Camera

Canon 70D Review

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Bruce Lovelace is the publisher of Canon Camera Geek. Read more about him on the About Page. He also publishes how to articles and camera gear reviews at the Photography Tips website.

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