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R7 upgrading from 80D worth it for sports photos? Or get a 100-400?

ombai
Apprentice

Rocking an ef f2.8 70-200 usm iii is lens on an 80D.

Used to shoot basketball/football/lax/volleyball/soccer. Now it’s mostly outside sports (5-7pm, lights, snow, light rain, etc)

I’ve been asked to shoot some more video, and my intent is to get a better monopod setup for it.

I likely need my camera/lens serviced. I’ve been getting “struggles” with tracking using single dot. It loses focus too easily. I’ve always had problems with prefocusing and the units predictive nature. Meaning if they’re coming at us then cut away on burst, I lose frames.

It also wants to ignore my point and focus on the higher contrasting colors.

I TRY to shoot within 30y but sometimes I reach diagonally across field and crop. Works ok for laptops.

Would the 7D be a good upgrade? Or should I try to get an f4+ 100-400 is? ($1k)

Or body only R7 ($1.3) and ef adapter?

3 REPLIES 3

Greetings,

For sports photography, an R7 is going to outperform any enthusiast DSLR in focus acquisition speed as well as tracking.  This is due primarily to its enhanced AF and software algorithms which are superior to a standard DSLR.  Only a 1 series DSLR could compare here.

The R7 will perform at its best in daylight, but can do well at indoor / outdoor venues in the evening if they have adequate light.  Having a fast lens is the differentiator.  It's key to low light night time sports photography.  The wider aperture allows you to use a fast enough shutter speed to capture the action without having to increase your ISO to the point of graininess.  You'll want to shoot with the fastest lens possible, and be as close as you can to the action.  

I would think an R7 paired with a 70-200 f.2.8 could do fairly well here.  Of course you will need to be courtside or on the sideline near the action to capture the best shots.  You didn't mention budget, but the R62 is another option.  It will shine for basketball and volleyball.  The R7 is going to do a better job for football and soccer since you will be farther away..  A fast lens is going to be what wins for you in both situations. The R7 may be the best way to go due to its versatility.

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.5.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10

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Waddizzle
Legend

“ I likely need my camera/lens serviced. I’ve been getting “struggles” with tracking using single dot. It loses focus too easily. I’ve always had problems with prefocusing and the units predictive nature. Meaning if they’re coming at us then cut away on burst, I lose frames. “

There is a lot to unpack here.  

First and foremost, your images will never be better than the lens you use to capture them.  Given high quality glass, just about any decent camera can capture high quality images.

Secondly, tracking subjects “using a single dot” I take to mean just the center AF point.  This shooting scenario means tracking subjects is solely the responsibility of the photographer.  It is the preferred approach among many professional sports photographers.  But, it takes practice to learn how to do it well consistently.

So, this brings us to the subject line of your post.  Should you upgrade the camera or the lens?  The lens would be a great addition to your arsenal.  But, it will be of limited value when shooting indoors or outdoors at night under stadium lights.

The R7 is significant technological and performance leap ahead of the 80D, which could be nearing the end of its service life with Canon within the next 1-3 years.  Using the R7 probably will not change or improve the issues your currently have in “single dot”  AF mode.  Practice makes perfect.

However, the R7 has much improved subject tracking over the 80D when you use the Zone AF modes.  You might discover an entirely new approach to shooting sports.

I cannot tell you which is better, lens or camera.  It really depends on your future shooting needs.  I do know this.  You cannot go wrong with a midrange R Series body.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

ebiggs1
Legend

"Rocking an ef f2.8 70-200 usm iii is lens on an 80D."

The 80D is a capable camera and the advice about the lens being the key component leads us to a new lens. 200mm isn't really enough FL for outdoor sports. The ef 70-200mm f2.8l is great and goto lens for indoor sports for sure.

Anyway before you buy a new lens do have the 80D serviced because as you say if there are camera problems buying or repairing may make the decision to upgrade for you. Otherwise I would check out one of the super zoom 150-600mm lenses form Sigma and Tamron. "... mostly outside sports (5-7pm, lights, snow, light rain, etc)" The Tamron G2 may have the advantage here if that statement is true. It is better weather sealed than the Sigma C model. The Sigma Sport is a battle tank but twice as expensive and more than twice as heavy. It is what I use personally.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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