A medium zoom is usually considered to be a range of focal lengths running anywhere from 24mm at the wide end to about 135mm at its longest telephoto.
This is a handy optic for many indoor sports, such as cheerleading, basketball, volleyball, and wrestling. The biggest problem with such lenses is that most of the affordable ones (at least for DSLRs) are too expensive for the typical amateur user. More and more point-and-shoot digital cameras are offering this range of focal lengths at reasonably fast maximum apertures, but be sure to check what the maximum aperture is at the extreme end of the lens. Telephoto lengths usually have smaller maximum apertures than wide angle ones.
Still, the action in these sports frequently takes place at a distance where an accessory flash can be effective, so that can compensate for smaller lens openings. Be careful though, some sports (such as volleyball) don't permit the use of flash because it distracts the players.
Medium range zooms are also handy second camera optics. Rack them out wide and shoot from the hip when action comes your way. They're also good for shots of athletes on the sidelines and from behind the bench for pictures of coaches coaching.
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Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.