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NEX-7 and my son's football practice under the lights.

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by SRHEdD, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    One of the prerequisites of my cameras is that they can handle our local football league games. In between seasons, our boys have a skills season of NFL Flag. tonight was the first practice, so I thought I'd give the NEX-7 and 18-200 a try. Not loving the EVF, it looks too contrasty. AF doesn't want to lock in on a single subject in the field. A group is no problem, but isolating one player is tough. Here is a un-retouched .jpg, I believe it will be at 200mm, ISO6400, S mode at 1/250, looked like f/5.6 or 6.3 most of the time. Center-weighted metering. DRO is off. This is the untouched file. It is okay, I guess. Missing my DSLR right now...

    test.
     
  2. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    The NEX zooms are really quite unremarkable at the moment. I am seriously thinking of getting a FD 300mm f/4 L just for the times I need tele reach. Mechanical zone focusing used to be the way people did it, and it's not as hard to learn as people seem to think, especially with peaking. It's just pro photogs have all got the budgets to get blazing fast 400 to 1200mm AF lenses and we are left to drool over them. But for the ordinary shooter, there's really not much point investing thousands in that direction (imo).
     
  3. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    The GOOD thing is that I can crop this out of the 24MP/9.5MB file. This is down to 95dpi to email to the grandparents...

    test2.
     
  4. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Looks pretty good to me Steve... yeah OK it's not going to wow the sports pros, but hey the action is frozen so the shutter/ISO combo works and the grain's not bad, there's no noticeable camera shake so the IS is assisting well enough... and without flash! All this at a night session with just one stadium light source (only one shadow) too! A lighting system that produces 4 shadows would be a much brighter environment that may be what's needed to nudge the 18-200 to produce more eye catching sports shots.

    A fast MF tele prime could be the best (cheapest) way to up the sports potential on a NEX under those pretty demanding conditions... low light and high shutter speeds is as demanding as it gets.
     
  5. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Maybe pick up a fast 135 MF and zone focus it?
     
  6. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    Yeah, IQ is okay, AF is an issue though. Next practice I'll try the NEX-6 instead, maybe the 50 1.8OSS too.
     
  7. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    yep, you did not bad considering it's pretty much a nightmare scenario you dealt with... I'd think NEX AF is downright useless in that case. The further away from the action you are, the easier it becomes to MF. My husband picked up the 5N with a CZ 135/3.5 last fall for the 1st time in his life, and without even me expaining he did get some sharp shots of our daughter and I playing on the lake. Peaking was on and he pretty much figured the rest by himself...
     
  8. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    It is great that I have their practices to test everything. Most of the actual games are during the day, but as they get older, the game times for the older teams move later and later. Last season, I was getting these with an OM-D:

    615831_4411528538665_2053934760_o.

    664993_4411545739095_246381552_o.
     
  9. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve

    Funny that you mentioned that... I'd pre-focused on that orange cone and waited for him to come to the cone to shoot. No matter how electronic things get, our old habits die hard.
     
  10. lowbone

    lowbone TalkEmount Regular

    99
    Oct 21, 2012
    The amazing thing to me is how good the photo looks at ISO 6400. Even the crop looks good. The thing that doesn't amaze me is the trouble you had acquiring focus with the 18-200 which is a very slow lens and combined with a NEX body does not win any focusing speed contests. This a a situation where the NEX was clearly not the camera of choice. As the kids get older, run faster and get on teams that do not allow sideline photography this becomes a bigger problem particularly in poorly lit fields and gymnasiums. Zone systems and longer lenses might help a little bit but the action you are trying to freeze on a photograph does not always happen in a particular zone and shooting wide open with shallow depth of field in low light pretty much guarantees allot of out of focus photos. If you want to preserve your sons athletic endeavors with good quality I would recommend a DSLR with a long fast AF lens. You can rent one for special games. The NEX, as good as it is in most situations will clearly struggle in this one.
     
  11. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Please don't repeat I wrote that, but the OM-D shots are great (that would ruin my E-M5 hater reputation, lol). I got those with a 5.6 zoom in a dimly lit arena with the GX-1

    3490e70107f8a3cc7f66dad50162c3b2_ac6.

    5cd2808ee3437850906adf0f48a50635_108.

    The camera had no issue whatsoever locking on. Sure, the ISO performance is not quite on par with NEX (I'm sure it is between NEX and E-M5). Action is really not NEX's strong suit, we have to live with that...
     
  12. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    I know football well enough to know where the play is going, where to pre-focus if necessary, and where the shots are the parents love. I'm also on the board of directors, so I have field access during games (gets me 30-40 feet closer). The true action shots are appreciated, but it is when I lay on the ground, put the ball in the center and get all the hands and helmets before the snap that the parents go nuts for (that type of photo anyway). The sensor on the OM-D, and the NEX (no doubt) can handle the cropping if I pull back on the zoom for quicker, more accurate, focusing, and shoot and entire area of a specific play, then crop individuals in action. That is my son in the gold SV helmet, and that is a fairly substantial crop. Once games start, I'm sure I'll still get those in daylight, and probably better IQ-wise. It will indeed be the focusing that makes or breaks my NEX romance. If this was ISO6400 at 1/250 and 5.6, daylight at ISO800 should yield enough DOF to help as well. 1/250 is still a little slow, I'd prefer 1/500, just depends on the weather that day. the NEX WOULD likely allow better results in daylight by going to ISO1600 if necessary. ISO noise doesn't much hurt the overall effect of sports action photos (IMHO).