01-05-2023 01:43 PM - last edited on 01-05-2023 01:51 PM by Danny
Hey I was just getting into sports photography im 16. My highschool gave me full access to courtside and fieldside for all of our games. Ive been looking at the Canon EOS rebel t7 because it's affordable and I've done a ton of research. But whats your thoughts on the camera or how do you think it would perform if I were to get it? Thank you
01-05-2023 02:44 PM - edited 01-05-2023 02:47 PM
The camera isn't as important as the lens you choose is. Is cost a main most concern? The T7 as an inexpensive choice is probably as good as you can get. However, something like the 90D is of course better but at a much higher price point.
I would suggest you select lenses that are in the f2.8 range. The kit type lenses are not a good choice and should be avoided. Again the higher price point of the better lenses. Remember there is always the used market to consider.
One exception to the f2.8 recommendation is one of the 150-600mm super zooms. Very long FL is not going to be cheap if you desire a f2.8 aperture. So the 150-600mm zoom is a logical choice and will do a good job on a typically lighted HS football field. Other good choice are one of the 70-200mm f2.8 zooms. For a more normal general lens the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens is a top choice. Remember there is always the used market to consider here too.
But beyond gear you need to do certain things and settings to be successful. First is learn the sport you are shooting. Knowing what is going on and what is about to happen is paramount. You have been granted the most important thing and that is where you shoot from. Next make sure you use Raw file format. Never jpg, never, ever, never! Get a good post editor like Photoshop. However, if you buy a T7 or any Canon camera you will get the very good DPP4 editor for free. Learn it or PS.
Now camera settings themselves. Of course no one here can give you exact specific settings but I can give you a general starting point. Choose Av mode and set the lens to f2.8 or f4. Set Auto ISO and put upper and lower limits on it. Perhaps 100 to 3200 ISO. Using Av the camera will select the fastest SS it can for proper exposure but keep in mind that editing in Raw gives you way more latitude in adjustments over jpg. WB and picture style, etc., are not relevant as Raw does not use those settings or store them. But the post editor does use them to create the image you see on your monitor. Other than that they are meaningless as you will set all that yourself in the comphy of your computer chair and mocha latte.
01-05-2023 04:14 PM - edited 01-05-2023 04:21 PM
If you can swing a Canon EF-85 f1.8 to go with the T7, it is a fairly versatile focal length for sports, reasonably inexpensive, and most importantly wide aperture low light lens that is a pretty decent focal length for basketball, volleyball, and closer football action. I used to shoot a lot of indoor soccer along with basketball and volleyball at less well illuminated venues and I used that lens at two football fields also. To me, it is one of the best bang for the buck EF series lenses with performance that exceeds its relative price point.
There isn't a single focal length to cover all of any sport so zoom lenses look very attractive but that versatility gets really expensive in a hurry when you need focal length versatility at a wide (i.e. f2.8) aperture.
I shoot a lot of HS sports and I typically use three bodies and lenses which is a lot of weight and a lot more money than weight. But a good strategy for you as you get started is to get a body, and the T7 will work fine, with a fast focusing wide aperture prime lens and set up your sports strategy to get a specific type of photo by placing yourself where you need to be. An EF-85mm f1.8 on a T7 APS C body will provide some good basketball offensive and rebound action when shot low from the corners of the court, good volleyball action from fairly close to the sideline, nice football photos when you position yourself near where the desired action is going to occur, and a lot of good soccer opportunities.
A single camera and prime lens solution isn't going to allow you to cover the action on an entire field of play from one spot BUT it will allow you to get a wide aperture lens at a reasonable price point to capture a lot of high quality images. An 85mm on a T7 is the same effective focal length as the middle of the range of my 70-200 f2.8 on my full frame camera and the 70-200 is my most used lens at all sports events.
These are a pair of boys and girls basketball games I shot not long ago, the focal length and other exposure information is in the details for each image which will give you an idea of the range of focal lengths I used which will also give you a good idea of what types of photos you can easily get in the area around 85mm (which is 136mm equivalent on APS-C bodies) like the T7. And this gym has far better than average lighting, a lot of HS facilities are far less well illuminated.
And repeat to yourself several times what Ernie said about capturing all images in RAW format, it allows you to recover some decent images that would otherwise be unusable if captured in JPG. RAW gives you all available data to work with in extracting the best image possible while if you capture in JPG a lot of the data has already been removed in order to save space and time. Many times you will need to do significant exposure adjustment, white balance correction, and noise reduction and the RAW file gives you the best setup for accomplishing those tasks.
01-06-2023 09:17 AM
Have you considered a mirrorless? DSLRs are on their way out and mirrorless models offer more consistent auto-focus performance regardless of how you're shooting a photo (e.g. using viewfinder vs. live view screen), along with other benefits like being more compact.
01-06-2023 10:37 AM
I have a T7 and have taken photos of baseball, cross country and fishing. Yes, DSLR is going out but after looking at the mirrorless prices, I'm having to stick with my T7. I have used the "common" 75-300mm lens and the 18-55mm lens. A recent purchase is the ??-135mm which has seen limited use thus far. RAW will give more options for editing as needed.
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