What camera is best for indoor sports photography?


Jul 31, 2010
I am a die-hard 35 mm user who can no longer find a source that still prints 35 mm traditionally - using light-sensitive paper and water-chemical baths. So I guess I need to abandon my $1000+ of 35 mm equipment (accumulated over many years) and go digital. About 50% of my photographs are indoors, espcially in high school gyms and arenas shooting wrestling matches. I do have an autofocus Sigma 28-200 lens for a Minolta Maxxum 5, which I understand may fit on a Sony DSLR body.
I have two concerns - image clarity/quality and indoor sports. From what I can tell, almost all the P&S and DSLRs do a decent job of outdoor shots. However, a friend has a Canon DSLR she moved to from 35mm and I can tell which pictures were taken with which camera. I have yet to see digital prints that match the clarity of a good 35mm SLR.
Does anyone have any suggestions in the <$1000 range that might meet my expectations? Thanks so much in advance for your help!
CM in NC


I suspect the biggest shock you'll get when switching from film to digital is how slow the digital cameras is compared with the instantaneous response of a cocked film camera. Until you get the rhythm of it you'll miss action shots.

Then there's the cycle time between shots -- again nothing like the speed of manual wind, let alone motor drive.

Doubtless, the more you spend the better the performance in those areas.

Another issue is power consumption -- with a film camera I used to change the battery every couple of years but with digital you're best carrying a spare set of rechargeables.

If I were you I would concentrate on models that best address such issues initially and worry less about image quality -- on the best DSLRs the quality can often be better than film, albeit with a different 'feel'.

The other advantages such as instant confirmation of results and the lack of processing time/cost make up for most of the drawbacks. So, sadly, I find myself almost always using my cheap digital compacts in preference to the wonderfully engineered Canon F1n and Leica IIIG cameras I spent a fortune on 25 years ago. One reason I won't spend serious money on a digital camera is that while my Leica has proved a great investment and the Canon probably held its value pretty well, digital cameras are evolving so fast that most are worthless junk within a few years.


Mar 17, 2006
Unlike fihart, I bite the bullet and spend money on new D-SLR, It cost more money for me to get the film develope so I spend that money on Adobe Photoshop. I have Canon gears so my choice is easy; spending more money on new lenses save me.

I do agree with fihart though, D-SLR get obsolete so quickly but belive me, looking at your photo at the end of the day and not waiting to get it process is worth the money.

If your lens is a fast then I would sudgest to stick with it, otherswise, Canon with IS - Image Stabilizer and Nikon VR - Vibration Reduction fast lenses are very good lenses.
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