It’s that pre-season time already. The Olympics might be about to start, but that’s not the only sporting event of the year, despite the amount of coverage it gets. For the new season, Dartford FC are in a higher league, Blue Square Premier, so it will be a challenging season. I invested in a 1DMk3 camera body. Its designed to be used for this sort of sport, fast shutter speed, ease of handling, but it is a 1.3x crop rather than a 1.6x crop factor of the 50D which means, effectively, that I lose focal length on my lens but gain on image quality.
I’ve been to a couple of the pre-season games and already I am impressed with this camera. Granted, its heavy, or at least heavier than the 50D, and somewhat bigger, but since I’m not carrying it around too much, its not much of a disadvantage.
There are a number of custom settings available on the 1D series, which can aid the sports photographer, and I am still getting used to trying them, finding which ones work for me, and taking advice from those who have been down the road before me.
One shot from the first outing, the Thamesmead goalie being beaten by a Dartford goal.
A shot that is only now possible with the 1×3 crop factor, before the focal length would have been too long.
The faster shutter speed burst and faster auto focus enables a better chance of capturing action.
Of course, the 50D is now pressed into service behind the goal with a remote trigger. The higher pixel count (15mp, opposed to the 8mp of my 20D, and 10mp of the 1D) helps when cropping to the action.
This is a thumbnail taken from a wider image.
Even in the shade, the 1D picks up and captures the action.
Where the 50D might have faltered, the 1D seems to be quick off the mark.
First time at an evening kick-off. Bright sunlight to start, lowering to rapidly put the pitch in shade. By the second half, the light faded rapidly, and upping the ISO on the 1D helped to keep the exposure at an acceptable level.
Even as the light levels dropped further and the floodlights were needed, it was still possible to capture action with the 1D. Compare the one above with one from the 50D.
Granted this was rescued from an under exposed image, but the noise on the 50D has always troubled me. One of the disadvantages of putting so many pixels on a small-ish sensor chip.
I am looking forward to the coming season. Now its time to enjoy the Olympic spectacle for a while.