Shooting team sports with a GX85

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Skeeterbytes Forum Pro • Posts: 11,076
Re: Shooting team sports with a GX85

Ben2e wrote:

Sure, I'm shooting kids soccer (mine) with a 14-140 so I've got plenty of length. I normally don't sprint around chasing the action. Things move quickly enough I'm happy catching the action when I get the chance but if I've got to wait 1/4sec (give or take) then I do miss things. I had first posted this in the Panasonic forum as I figured it may be due to a setting I may have wrong but I'm happy hearing what others do to get a better hit rate.

The only Panny camera I own is the GM5, which isn't much of a sports machine so I won't try to recommend specific settings for yours. Generally, based on my Oly experience with soccer and other sports:

Use a small center pattern (e.g., 3x3) or single dot.

Experiment with shutter release priority to see whether it's the holdup (I keep it off, but that can delay shutter release at inopportune times).

Experiment with Single and Continuous to see which is faster with the camera-lens combo. I always used S-AF on my E-series cameras and switched to C-AF with the E-M1 and Pro teles because the accuracy and speed were finally there.

S-AF means constantly reframing and refocusing as the action unfolds then picking your time to shoot. Prefocus either with shutter half-press or back-button focus (harder to do).

On sunny days shoot with the sun behind you to best illuminate the players and help the focusing system.

Shoot wide open unless the lens is soft, wide. It's important to separate players from the background and keep shutter speed high. Try to shoot at or above 1/1000 and use auto-ISO so it can float as needed. Cap ISO where noise becomes too great, hopefully 3200 or 6400.

If you kids are young, you can perhaps squeeze a year or two from the 14-140, but plan on something longer and faster as they and the field grow. A full pitch is HUGE and 300mm hardly gives enough reach from endline to endline.

Happy experimenting!

Rick

p.s. They grow fast!

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