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EOS Rebel T7 Sports Event Shooting Tips

danimal59
Contributor

Good Afternoon,

I recently purchased a T7 and I am still learning how to use it. I have to shoot a semi-pro football game this Saturday. I have been researching and so far I understand that Sport Mode, AI Servo and continuous shooting are some options for me to explore. I was wondering if others may have some tips and suggestions for me? 

Thanks!

Dan

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

wq9nsc
Authority
Authority

What lens are you using with your camera?  For sports, I would rank photographer location, lens, and camera as the descending order of importance.  And the lens (along with light level) determines to a great extent where you need to be and the type of images/plays/action that you can capture.

For sports, I always capture images in RAW format to allow for the best chance of extracting/recovering images under difficult lighting conditions.  The free Canon DPP software that you can download as a Canon owner will do an excellent job of converting RAW to JPG and contains a good suite of basic editing tools.

Instead of one of the "automatic" modes, I use manual mode for sports setting the aperture and shutter speed to fixed selections with the ISO set to auto.  In general, for football action you would like 1/1000 or better shutter speed but 1/800 works quite well and 1/640 is on the ragged edge for motion blur and is best avoided if light and available lens aperture allow.

Generally, the aperture setting for most action sports will need to be wide open (smallest f number your lens supports) but for better lighting you may be able to close it down slightly.  For daylight, I will drop down to between f3.2 and f4 with my fast glass.

Set focus to servo mode and try to anticipate the action to give the camera a fighting chance to grab focus in time.  The 1DX series bodies I use have incredible AF capabilities but the photographer and camera make up their own team so you have to work with your camera to extract its winning performance.

Get to the venue early to get your position and check out your gear.  Set the lens wide open and shutter speed to 1/1000 and see where the exposure calculation sets your ISO.  If that forces the ISO too high, then you will have to consider dropping shutter speed.  How high is too high depends upon your camera body and I am not familiar with the T7 sensor so you will have to decide the limit in terms of noise/sharpness reduction as to how high is an acceptable ISO for your use.  You can do a lot of noise reduction in post including some third party add-ons but motion blur due to action being too fast for shutter speed is there forever so if I have to compromise I do so with a bias towards faster shutter speed.

Again, if your lens doesn't have great reach or if it is a zoom lens that has variable aperture that closes down at the telephoto end, then keep that in mind when trying to shoot action that is far away.

With good placement, you don't need a long telephoto for good action shots and the first two were captured with a 1DX II body and EF 70-200 f2.8 set at around 100mm.  But there are times when more reach is needed, the third shot was with a 1DX III and EF 400 f2.8 prime that brings moderate distance up very close!

Even with the 16 fps sustained burst speed of the DSLR bodies I use, I still rely upon timing and probably 95% of what I capture during a game is with single shots even though the camera remains in high speed burst mode.  Fast action requires concentration and timing on your part to get great images, relying upon a sustained burst will often result in a lot of garbage images with nothing really good.

And remember that the sidelines markers mark the field of official play but a lot of football plays end up several yards beyond the sideline markers.  Situational awareness is critical to avoid injury to the players and yourself.  Resist the urge to look at images you just captured unless there is a play stoppage or it may be the last image your soon to be mangled camera ever captures.

Rodger

AQ9I9143.jpgAQ9I4189-1.jpgAS0I9932.jpg

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

View solution in original post

Rodger,

Thank you for your detailed and thoughtful response. I am using a Canon EF 55-300 mm lens. Also, thank you for sharing your photos with me- they are awesome! The first time I shot I was able to get some good running shots of the ball carriers. However, one of my goals is to get some ‘catches’ this time.

Thank you again for responding to my post.

Dan

View solution in original post

7 REPLIES 7

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Greetings,

We have a resident sports photographer and "Friday Night Lights" expert.  @wq9nsc (Rodger).  I've alerted him to your post.  He's online and should reply shortly.😀

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10

~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8 ~CarePaks Are Worth It

Thanks Rick! 😀

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Thank you!

wq9nsc
Authority
Authority

What lens are you using with your camera?  For sports, I would rank photographer location, lens, and camera as the descending order of importance.  And the lens (along with light level) determines to a great extent where you need to be and the type of images/plays/action that you can capture.

For sports, I always capture images in RAW format to allow for the best chance of extracting/recovering images under difficult lighting conditions.  The free Canon DPP software that you can download as a Canon owner will do an excellent job of converting RAW to JPG and contains a good suite of basic editing tools.

Instead of one of the "automatic" modes, I use manual mode for sports setting the aperture and shutter speed to fixed selections with the ISO set to auto.  In general, for football action you would like 1/1000 or better shutter speed but 1/800 works quite well and 1/640 is on the ragged edge for motion blur and is best avoided if light and available lens aperture allow.

Generally, the aperture setting for most action sports will need to be wide open (smallest f number your lens supports) but for better lighting you may be able to close it down slightly.  For daylight, I will drop down to between f3.2 and f4 with my fast glass.

Set focus to servo mode and try to anticipate the action to give the camera a fighting chance to grab focus in time.  The 1DX series bodies I use have incredible AF capabilities but the photographer and camera make up their own team so you have to work with your camera to extract its winning performance.

Get to the venue early to get your position and check out your gear.  Set the lens wide open and shutter speed to 1/1000 and see where the exposure calculation sets your ISO.  If that forces the ISO too high, then you will have to consider dropping shutter speed.  How high is too high depends upon your camera body and I am not familiar with the T7 sensor so you will have to decide the limit in terms of noise/sharpness reduction as to how high is an acceptable ISO for your use.  You can do a lot of noise reduction in post including some third party add-ons but motion blur due to action being too fast for shutter speed is there forever so if I have to compromise I do so with a bias towards faster shutter speed.

Again, if your lens doesn't have great reach or if it is a zoom lens that has variable aperture that closes down at the telephoto end, then keep that in mind when trying to shoot action that is far away.

With good placement, you don't need a long telephoto for good action shots and the first two were captured with a 1DX II body and EF 70-200 f2.8 set at around 100mm.  But there are times when more reach is needed, the third shot was with a 1DX III and EF 400 f2.8 prime that brings moderate distance up very close!

Even with the 16 fps sustained burst speed of the DSLR bodies I use, I still rely upon timing and probably 95% of what I capture during a game is with single shots even though the camera remains in high speed burst mode.  Fast action requires concentration and timing on your part to get great images, relying upon a sustained burst will often result in a lot of garbage images with nothing really good.

And remember that the sidelines markers mark the field of official play but a lot of football plays end up several yards beyond the sideline markers.  Situational awareness is critical to avoid injury to the players and yourself.  Resist the urge to look at images you just captured unless there is a play stoppage or it may be the last image your soon to be mangled camera ever captures.

Rodger

AQ9I9143.jpgAQ9I4189-1.jpgAS0I9932.jpg

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Rodger,

Thank you for your detailed and thoughtful response. I am using a Canon EF 55-300 mm lens. Also, thank you for sharing your photos with me- they are awesome! The first time I shot I was able to get some good running shots of the ball carriers. However, one of my goals is to get some ‘catches’ this time.

Thank you again for responding to my post.

Dan

You are welcome Dan and I look forward to seeing some of your game photos!

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

@Dan,

We look forward to seeing the post game pics.  

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10

~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8 ~CarePaks Are Worth It
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