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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-21-2016

Sports Photography Using Dual Pixel Auto Focus in Live View Mode. Thoughts?

Has anybody tried shooting sports in live view mode with a Canon camera that has the dual pixel auto focusing?

I was wondering how it compares to shooting sports through the viewfinder, i.e speed & accuracy etc.

Thanks.

Reputable Contributor
Posts: 544
Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: Sports Photography Using Dual Pixel Auto Focus in Live View Mode. Thoughts?

[ Edited ]

Live view has its benefits but I cannot imagine using it to shoot fast action sports.  I set up my 1DX and 1DX2 bodies with a single point, sometimes with expansion depending upon the sport, in AF servo and use the viewfinder.  It is extremely responsive and easy to follow the action and most of the time I am shooting handheld (including with a 300MM 2.8 Canon lens).

 

I will infrequently use live view for static subjects but I couldn't imagine being happy with it shooting sports (or dealing with the greatly increased battery drain that would be an issue during lengthy shooting sessions).  One of the reasons I picked up a Canon XF-400 camcorder was because I found it extremely awkward shooting video with my 1DX series bodies compared to the natural balance that these provide looking through the viewfinder in either the landscape or portrait orientation.

 

Another potential issue is the sensor heating that occurs in extended live view operation that can increase the noise floor long before it reaches the point where the sensor itself is in danger from excess heat.  Different camera bodies will manage heat differently and have different responses to changes in sensor noise based upon sensor heating.  Keep this in mind because many times sports are shot in poorly lit venues requiring a higher ISO setting to keep reasonable shutter speed.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M2, 1DX, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-21-2016

Re: Sports Photography Using Dual Pixel Auto Focus in Live View Mode. Thoughts?

Im on a photography budget atm (most of my money goes on family things instead, lol).

 

I currently have a Sigma 17-50 f2.8 lens & a Canon 200D which has the DPAF in live view mode but only 1 cross type AF sensor in the OVF mode (out of only 9). My child does running once a week and i want to start taking some sports photos of her doing that. So i'm faced with a dilema. Do I slowly save up for a better camera that's more capable of doing sports photography, and then save again for a sports lens, or just put a sports lens on the 200D and see what things are like in live view mode. That's why i was wondering if the DPAF in live view mode would be any good for sports because if so i could just buy the sports lens and put it on that.

 

Thoughts?

 

Thanks.

 

 

Reputable Contributor
Posts: 544
Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: Sports Photography Using Dual Pixel Auto Focus in Live View Mode. Thoughts?

I always suggest staying biased towards the best lens that fits your budget; a good lens will continue to be useful if/when you upgrade to newer/more sophisticated bodies but a lesser lens will never be anything but a lesser lens.  The Sigma you have now sounds like a nice fast wide angle but you really need something with more reach unless you plan to run along with her and I doubt if your daughter or the officials would smile upon that Smiley Happy

 

With running I bet you can do a pretty good job of keeping a single AF point on your daughter but that isn't absolutely necessary.  The cross point style AF sensor provides the highest accuracy of the phase detection sensors available on you camera HOWEVER it isn't necessary to activate the cross point sensor (or that spot's cross point capabilities) to achieve excellent focus.  My 1DX and 1DX2 bodies don't have cross point capability with all of their selectable 61 points and which can function in cross or dual cross mode is further limited by the lens so don't discount the functionality of a "standard" AF sensor point.  I shot a lot of soccer and track photos of my daughter with my Canon 1D2 which only had a few cross point sensors in the middle of the AF array and I have some great photos from those years before I upgraded to a 1DX 2.

 

For running (true of any sport) your placement is the key to getting the best photos.  You want to fill as much of the lens image as possible with your subject while keeping in mind speed of approach/departure which impacts how fast your lens has to follow focus.  A panning type shot keeping your daughter's image sharp while further motion blurring everything else is another way to make a runner pop out and create interest.  It takes a little practice to nail this shot and her practice sessions (if they are open to the public) are a great time to practice these and other techniques so that you will be ready for the real events.

 

When my daughter was running track (primarily 100 and 400 meter individual and relay events) I mainly used a 70-200MM 2.8 lens which is very versatile for events like these. She primarily plays soccer now but is taking up cross country next Fall to stay in shape during the soccer off-season so I will have to rethink my setup for those events.

 

But the most important advice is to get plenty of the best shots you can now because these years pass VERY quickly!

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M2, 1DX, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-21-2016

Re: Sports Photography Using Dual Pixel Auto Focus in Live View Mode. Thoughts?

It sounds like you're very proud of your daughter. My daughter's main event is the cross country too.

Thanks so much for your detailed photography advice. It's given me a lot of info to think about. It's appreciated Smiley Happy
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Posts: 8,186
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Sports Photography Using Dual Pixel Auto Focus in Live View Mode. Thoughts?


@Djboshh wrote:

Im on a photography budget atm (most of my money goes on family things instead, lol).

 

I currently have a Sigma 17-50 f2.8 lens & a Canon 200D which has the DPAF in live view mode but only 1 cross type AF sensor in the OVF mode (out of only 9). My child does running once a week and i want to start taking some sports photos of her doing that. So i'm faced with a dilema. Do I slowly save up for a better camera that's more capable of doing sports photography, and then save again for a sports lens, or just put a sports lens on the 200D and see what things are like in live view mode. That's why i was wondering if the DPAF in live view mode would be any good for sports because if so i could just buy the sports lens and put it on that.

 

Thoughts?

 

Thanks.

 

 


Quality lenses can make the biggest improvement in your photos.  The DPAF is not as fast or as accurate as focusing through the viewfinder.  DPAF was initially created for Movie mode, so it would not be good for photographing fast action.

I notice that you have a pretty good Sigma lens.  Your images would be improved with lens correction being applied to the images.  Canon’s free DPP application only corrects Canon lenses, so you would need third party software to apply lens correction.  Bear this in mind for future lens purchases.

 

Are you shooting indoor or outdoor sports?  Day or Night?  It can make a HUGE difference when it comes to lens selection.

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