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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old April 27th, 2011, 09:21 AM   #1
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Capturing Fast Paced Sports

Hey guys, I'm new here so go easy on me! :P

I have had a T2i for a couple of months now and have started to record HD video with it. Since I don't have a lot of $ to dump into it right off the bat I have been using a Canon FD 70-200mm lens that I picked up for $20. So far it seems to be doing great for me!

I film paintball on the weekends and there are a couple things that I am struggling with. First off, focusing. Players are constantly moving and changing position on the field and it makes it very difficult to keep them in focus. I'm wondering how I can get around this. I thought maybe if I adjust my aperture I could make my Depth of Field large enough so that focusing would be much easier. Shooting video with a paintball mask on complicates all of this even further!

Another thing is the vibration from me adjusting the lens. You can almost always tell when I touch it to focus. It is nearly impossible to keep it still. Any solutions for this? I don't think I can use a follow focus on this FD lens because of how it slides forward and back to zoom.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I'm new to all of this. Below is a link to my YouTube channel with examples of my work. Please be aware that some of the language in the music is quite vulgar.

Thanks!
TJ

YouTube - TMHSproductions's Channel
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Old April 27th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #2
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Re: Capturing Fast Paced Sports

Basically you need to learn to pre-focus and learn to estimate distance, then focus the lens to that distance. Watch where your subjects are going and move yourself so that they're always in the focus zone. Takes practice but works very well. I had quite a bit of success back when I shot manual focus film cameras while taking shots of wakeboarding and wakeskating back when I couldn't afford decent AF telephoto lenses (actually, I still can't afford them!). Making use of fixed objects as focal points so you're ready when the subject arrives works a treat.

As contrast based AF sucks for this kind of work, you'll need to learn to do it the old fashioned way even with modern AF lenses.

Get rid of the push-pull focus lens and find a nice twist focus lens(es) to use, much easier to be smooth. Biggest issue is that still camera zoom lenses are not designed to hold focus throughout the zoom range unlike video lenses.

DoF tables are helpful Depth of Field Table

and practice... lots!
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Old April 27th, 2011, 02:43 PM   #3
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Re: Capturing Fast Paced Sports

Zoom with your feet, Grasshopper.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 01:34 AM   #4
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Re: Capturing Fast Paced Sports

I never believe HDSLR is a good fit for fast pace sports.
Would u consider going non-HDSLR cam?
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Old April 28th, 2011, 08:44 AM   #5
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Re: Capturing Fast Paced Sports

Well I suppose that is an option but I have seen other people produce amazing videos with a HDSLR. I don't see why I can't do the same.

Here is an example: YouTube - ThePBFashion's Channel
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Old April 28th, 2011, 09:28 AM   #6
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Re: Capturing Fast Paced Sports

Oh it's certianly possibly to take great video with a HDSLR, just not as easy... you have to work harder at it.
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Old April 30th, 2011, 01:24 PM   #7
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Re: Capturing Fast Paced Sports

If it's daylight, set your aperture at 12+, set focus to 3 to 5 feet, set iso accordingly and shoot. Everything should stay in focus. For the creative bokeh shots open up the lens and have focus points set/estimated
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Old April 30th, 2011, 11:23 PM   #8
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Re: Capturing Fast Paced Sports

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.J. Bowman View Post
Well I suppose that is an option but I have seen other people produce amazing videos with a HDSLR. I don't see why I can't do the same.

Here is an example: YouTube - ThePBFashion's Channel
The sample is all b-roll. You can't tell what the focus was a few seconds before of after the shot.
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Old May 1st, 2011, 01:40 AM   #9
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Re: Capturing Fast Paced Sports

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Harvey View Post
Oh it's certianly possibly to take great video with a HDSLR, just not as easy... you have to work harder at it.
Or... your project needs to afford the opportunity to be more brutal during editing.

I just returned from Madrid where I shot some bullfighting scenes - handheld with a chest rig with a fast shutter speed and an EF 200/2.8L II lens (no IS) - sometimes with a 2x extender(!) wide open(!!!) There is a lot of trash, but I'm only using some short, intense clips. When I try to stay still on a fixed target, all you notice is the shake. Once I'm tracking motion, it's not noticeable. With 1/400 and faster shutter, microshake doesn't really matter. It's all crisp. With organic shapes (people, bull, dirt), rolling shutter and aliasing aren't noticeable. All that's left is to select the best clips and edit out the places where the focusing is ineffective. (In some cases, going out of focus IS effective.)

Given the shake, focus, bad audio (I'll do it in post, so I rolled with the internal mic), and 12 minute limit, stitching this together end to end would be horrible as a linear document of the event. But when used in short bursts of cinema verite, this footage can be extremely effective.

You can find the right tools for a project or design the project to fit the tools - either can work. Just beware of live stuff where you absolutely can't miss an unexpected event - and you want that event stable and in-focus in the frame.

Frankly, Scarlet will be the camera for live, can't miss stuff. With less rolling shutter, deeper focus, no aliasing, and excellent latitude, I expect it to be THE documentary camera - after it ships, of course!
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Old May 1st, 2011, 08:49 AM   #10
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Re: Capturing Fast Paced Sports

T.J. You could use a wider lens than the 70-200 which will give you more depth of field.

Since you said you are new, maybe it would reassure you that what you are trying to do around the most difficult thing one could try with a DSLR! Shooting a live fast paced event handheld with a telephoto push pull zoom is a recipe for focus and stability issues for anybody.

This is where I put my pro/business owner hat on and say this stuff is not easy :) . It takes the right equipment, (monetary investment) practice and experience.

Maybe try a monopod and alter your shooting style like Jon mentioned to not "capture" the event like a video camera but document like a film camera.
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Old May 1st, 2011, 10:02 PM   #11
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Re: Capturing Fast Paced Sports

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Frankly, Scarlet will be the camera for live, can't miss stuff.
From the demo I saw, Scarlet has only one lens ring, which controls iris and focus separately. So if I'm on the sideline shooting football, for example, and clouds suddenly cover the stadium, I would need to access the menu to set the ring to access the iris, turn the ring to adjust my iris, then go back to the menu to put the ring back to focus mode. By the time all this is accomplished, I would have missed my shot.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 12:30 PM   #12
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Re: Capturing Fast Paced Sports

In that case, the Cinema version with interchangeable lenses would be a better tool. There are lots of film and broadcast lenses that would work on that camera.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 07:31 PM   #13
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Re: Capturing Fast Paced Sports

Thanks a lot for the help everybody. This forum has been a very pleasant experience so far. I really appreciate the input!
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