need for sports events, portraits, fast action, easy to operate, 11 by 14 or 13 by 17. price range upto $1000.
Canon 350D excellent camera or if you prefer Nikon go for the D50
Both are under Â£500 so with the money you save buy a good lens.
I’d either go for the Canon 350D or the Nikon D50/D70s.
The Canon is a great cam if you want a somewhat more point & shoot like dSLR. It performs quite nice and gives very good out-of-the cam results. The build quality is somewhat moderate.
The Nikon D50 is somewhat identical to the Canon 350D, although there are some differences. The D50’s build quality is better than the Canon’s. The out-of-the camera results aren’t that good (Nikon presumes that all dSLR users want more control over their workflow and therefor make use of photo editing software). The Nikon has a lower resolution (2mpx difference, not a big issue) but way better noise elimination, esp at higher ISO levels. The D50 beats even the D70s here!
Then there’s the D70s. This cam is pretty much identical to the D50. The main difference is the sensor (sharper than the D50 but also noisier at higher ISO), 2 command dials instead of 1 and no aiding lines in the viewfinder. Oh yeah… there’s a DoF preview button the D70 too.
If you want to spend some time in Photoshop (or some other nice editing program) the results you can get with the Nikon cams is usually superior to that of the Canon cam. However, if you don’t want to do this (or you don’t have the time), the Canon might be the better choice. I prefer the Nikons (I own a D70 btw).
For what lenses are concerned… I think you at least need a nice tele lens. Something like a 75~300mm (105~450mm on these cams) with a 2.8 constant aperture would really be nice ;). You may want to look for a good second hand to meet your needs without paying too much.
You will need a good flashgun go for the Canon speedlite 580EX as for the Nikon speedlite SB-800. 2 of the best flashguns for those 2 cameras imo
A good flashgun will make all the difference in the quality of your photos.
If you are going to edit your pictures in an editing software you can not go wrong wth Adobe photoshop CS2, it is very expensive but worth every penny. Alternatively Adobe photoshop elements 4.0 is also a good choice and is over Â£400 cheaper about Â£65