NEX6 for indoor sports?

Started Feb 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
Dennis Forum Pro • Posts: 18,350
Re: NEX6 for indoor sports?

sean lancaster wrote:

Tommygun45 wrote:

These were in a dim arena and it was the first time I had ever used a camera to shoot any kind of action shots, sans airplanes. This was with the 18200 lens and the 5n. I think they came out ok since I was experimenting on the fly and trying to figure out what settings worked and what didn't.

The 55-210 would perform similarly. But shooting at f/8 and only an ISO of 1600 and a shutter speed of 1/500 means that this was a very well lit arena. I have shot the 55-210 at events like indoor tennis when my kids played and school plays and the speed of the lens is just not fast enough for indoor shooting unless the lighting is very, very good. I don't even consider the lens any more unless I am shooting outside.

That was my thought, too ... these are pretty good and especially for trying out new gear, but I'm shooting around 1600 +/- at 1/500s and f/2.8.

A couple other comments on gear that's better for sports versus gear that's not really ideal, but still can get some good shots ... last spring shooting girls softball, I was able to shoot a short burst as one outfielder grabbed a grounder and threw it, then swing over to the 3rd baseman and get a shot of her catching the ball as the runner approached.  This is a fun activity for me ... something I get a little better at each season, so I was pleased with that sequence ... but I could not have gotten the second shot in focus with CDAF.  Another great features is "back button AF" which lets you separate AF from the shutter release ... to focus, you press a separate button (right thumb) ... the sports-oriented D300 has an AF-ON button while the D7000 lets you customize the AEL/AFL button (and the A700 has the option to set the rear button to AF/MF toggle, which can effectively accomplish the same thing).  This setup lets you basically have continuous tracking AF or single AF (or locked focus for shooting multiple shots without refocusing) all without having to change any settings. High end tele zooms will have focus limiters to speed up AF times.  This doesn't make much difference when the lens is hitting focus reliably, but when it fails and has to rack focus down to mfd, it gets you ready for the next shot much more quickly.

So the NEX isn't the best tool for the job, but the question is how good a tool you want/need ... how important it is to you.  Are you content to get some good shots or do you want to be able to more reliably get shots throughout the game ?  Are you content with shots that require a small bit of forethought or do you want to be able to point at something you weren't expecting and nail it almost without thinking ?  I'm not prescribing an answer ... for me, having the gear to shoot this stuff well is just extremely satisfying (I guess I'm the type that prefers to know that I'm the limiting factor, rather than the type that gets a kick out of working around limitations).

- Dennis

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