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kye

Sports videography

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On 5/5/2019 at 5:32 PM, Mako Sports said:

I'm a big sports guy so this thread is exciting for me. For you i'd recommend something like this but for a 3.2'' GH5 screen - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007POA58G?tag=makspo-20

I shoot lacrosse mainly (High school, college, and pro) as well as pro soccer. I don't work for broadcast so most of my stuff goes direct to web. Instagram and YouTube.

I usually film action tight but not like NFL Films 600mm & 800mm Lens tight. So for me 150mm - 400mm is where I live. 

 

My kit is as follows..

 

A Camera/Daylight rig

Sony PXW Z90 with this I only ever shoot 4K 24 and 1080 @ 120fps 

I purchased the Z90 because I started to get into more documentary stuff. For anyone that shoots sports knows you don't have time to change lenses when going from on field action 300mm to a wide 29mm for a huddle with audio. So i've found having that built in lens to be invaluable. This setup lives on a tripod which is a Libec RH25D Fluid head on the Benro A373T Legs. Also I run a lanc controller so I can control pan, tilt, and zoom with my right hand.

With this setup it takes me less than a minute to get completely setup for a game wheres if I was using a mirrorless body or S35 ILC it would be something like 2 or 3 minutes. Also I get a 29 - 350mm F4 lens in front of a 1 inch sensor with 2 XLR's for when I need game audio. Which is usually a shotgun going into 1 channel and sometimes a wireless lav with either a coach or player mic'ed up into the other channel. 

Pros - Great image quality, a lot easier to use, faster to setup, built in lens, dual XLR's. 

Cons - Terrible in lowlight, autofocus in 120fps  slowmotion switches to contrast instead of phase detect. No audio in slowmotion and 240fps is manual focus only. 

 

 

B Camera/Low light rig

Sony A6300 + Sony 70 - 300 FE + Smallhd 701

I've had this setup for almost 3 years and its been a trooper. I shoot the same frame rates and resolutions as the Z90.

@ 3200 ISO I still get a rather clean image and with Noise Reduction either Magic Bullet Denoiser 3 (Back when I used Premiere) and Now Resolve Studio I can do 6400 ISO. 

With this setup I have better lowlight performance, shallower DOF, and usually better autofocus in 120fps. I don't love manual focusing with the 70-300 but I can do it if need be. I thing I like is the focus hold button which I can use if I see another player or Ref that's about to walk in front of my shot.

This setup I always run on a monopod, also I can use it for photos which is always nice. 

Pros - Good in lowlight, sound in 120fps, focus hold button due to lens, can take photos, 

Cons - The color straight out of camera isn't as nice as the Z90, No 10bit like the Z90, mirrorless camera ergos aren't as nice as a legit video camera. 

 

I have attached some photos and link to my reel to see this equipment in practice. 

 

Finally got around to watching the NFL highlights video and while I appreciate the level of skill of the camera operators, for some reason I enjoyed your reel better.  I have no idea why, but just thought I'd share my impressions.

You inspired me with the slow-motion shots and I shot my last couple of games in 4K50 8-bit as well as a bunch of random shots in 1080p50 10-bit and 1080p100.  The Australian sun has been out in full force the last few weeks (despite it being only weeks from winter here) and those games were around midday so the light was harsh, so I'm curious about if the 10-bit will give me extra latitude in post to really push and pull the grade around.  If the new Speed Warp slow-motion feature works sufficiently well I might be able to get away with 1080p50 10-bit and slowing it down to 25% so that it's simulated 100p where every second frame is AI generated.  

I modified my new monopod and my cheap and cheerful Sun 70-210/3.8 zoom arrived, so in combination with my new hat-compatible microphone setup I'll have an almost entirely new shooting setup this weekend.  

I've also been editing the footage from the Bull Ride event and discovering that I don't know what I'm doing when editing epic-action-with-slow-motion stuff, but I'm learning.  Fun stuff!

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@kye Definitely appreciate it! I'm just a hungry 22 year old kid. Its possibly the hyped of music. Sorta the new age going forward with sports videography vs the traditional NFL films chill slow motion edit. 

Most people that want to work in sports have a degree so I have to work harder to stand out. A lot of pro teams and colleges teams would rather hire someone with a college degree and an average reel than someone with an excellent reel and no degree. 

I've found shooting HLG is fantastic for harsh mid day game lighting. (I try to avoid LOG as much as possible). 

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3 minutes ago, Mako Sports said:

@kye Definitely appreciate it! I'm just a hungry 22 year old kid. Its possibly the hyped of music. Sorta the new age going forward with sports videography vs the traditional NFL films chill slow motion edit. 

Most people that want to work in sports have a degree so I have to work harder to stand out. A lot of pro teams and colleges teams would rather hire someone with a college degree and an average reel than someone with an excellent reel and no degree. 

I've found shooting HLG is fantastic for harsh mid day game lighting. (I try to avoid LOG as much as possible). 

It could be the music, I'm very musically oriented so that's definitely a factor.  I guess the other aspect is that your video had contrast between fast action and slow-motion, whereas the NFL one was all slow-motion.  

I'm not surprised about the degree discrimination - that's a class thing - they want someone who is "one of them" and screw talent or ability.  Hiring incompetent people you went to school with is practically the theme song for the worlds elite.

On the GH5 I only have HLG on the 25p mode (and the 1080p50 10-bit mode IIRC), so the 4k50 and 1080p120 are Cine-D.  I'll have to play around with those profiles to see what latitude they give, and if doing things like reducing contrast will help.  More homework!

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New setup went well today.  I'm not sure I would change anything, at least based on todays shoot.  The worst part about the shoot today was that I forgot to take my hat!

IMG_3794.thumb.JPG.ebec98f94757e694497398de151f1dc6.JPG

The setup consists of:

  • GH5
  • Rode VMP+
  • Sun 70-210 f3.8 lens (sample images to come)
  • cheap ebay monopod (modified with the head removed)

The mic is mounted on the side and forward which pushes the camera back from the monopod allowing easy access to the viewfinder.  It's a cheap ebay flash adapter like below, with the camera QR plate on one end, a cold shoe adapter on the other for the mic, and the monopod in the centre mount:

dual-flash-bracket-tripod-mount-for-1-4-

 

The tripod is modified with the head completely removed and a screw installed in the 'cap' that used to support the head.   It's not quite straight but, oh well, whatever!

IMG_3796.thumb.jpg.351807dcf5fefd354bab604ff8fc1c12.jpg

The screw is actually the screw part from one of these, which I used epoxy glue to hold in place, and the flat part meant for the cold shoe provides a strong connection for the whole thing. 

JJC_grande.jpg?v=1549480516

I still have a niggling want for a lens longer than 200mm, maybe a 100-400 zoom, but there don't seem to be any cheap fully manual ones around.  The players at the other end of the field are pretty small in the frame even at 210mm (420mm equivalent).

 

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So, if I want a remote controlled focus, zoom, pan, tilt, rotate, video recorder, wouldn't I be better off with some kind of camcorder instead of a DSLR?

I currently have a GH5.

I have no clue as to what to look for in camcorders, as I've never followed those devices...

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7 hours ago, buggz said:

So, if I want a remote controlled focus, zoom, pan, tilt, rotate, video recorder, wouldn't I be better off with some kind of camcorder instead of a DSLR?

I currently have a GH5.

I have no clue as to what to look for in camcorders, as I've never followed those devices...

You can get dedicated PTZ cameras from Panasonic, Sony etc but they are pretty expensive.

If you want to use your GH5 then Panasonic do two powered zoom lenses (Lumix Vario PZ and 14-42mm and 45-150mm) so you would be able to control exposure, focus and zoom remotely over wifi from the app if you used those. 

The primary problem with those lenses, aside from the speed, is that they don't cover enough of a range in one unit and the long end is not long enough for a lot of sports.

A better solution would be a Panasonic FZ2000/2500 which has the entire zoom range in one integrated unit and goes out to 480mm equivalent on the long end with additional digital zoom if you need it.

https://www.panasonic.com/uk/consumer/cameras-camcorders/lumix-digital-cameras/bridge-cameras/dmc-fz2000.html

It also has a ton of other features including in built ND, OIS and a paid V-LOG upgrade if you want it.

Again, using the Panasonic app, you will be able to control focus, exposure and zoom over wifi.

The missing piece of the puzzle then would be the tripod head and I would definitely have a look at the Bescor/Hague head for that which has both wired and wireless options for controlling them.

Its not a totally integrated solution as the camera and head controls are separate but its as close as you are going to get without buying a dedicated PTZ camera and certainly a lot cheaper. It also has the advantage of giving you a standalone second camera for use in other projects rather than just being a single use device.

Coincidentally, I walked past a glass windowed studio here the other day where they are using two of the heads to do a live show with.

 

20190526214204.jpg

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7 hours ago, buggz said:

So, if I want a remote controlled focus, zoom, pan, tilt, rotate, video recorder, wouldn't I be better off with some kind of camcorder instead of a DSLR?

I currently have a GH5.

I have no clue as to what to look for in camcorders, as I've never followed those devices...

I personally went the mirrorless route because of the versatility and flexibility it gives me, even though for sports a camcorder is probably more ideal. But I shoot interview, corporate, wedding and commercial video too, so investing into camcorders just didn't make sense for my personal work. I did, however, go the camcorder route for the pro wrestling live streaming company I co founded, because they were only going to be used for sports. 

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I can not imagine trying to shoot sports video with prime lenses or even manual focus zooms.    Easy with still photography (I would much rather a fast manual focus lens on a good low light camera than the latest greatest not so good low light and/or slow lens for stills) but for video?   I think I would need/rather something like a decent AF point and shoot with a long lens for that (and just realise evening sports will suck).     For pro use it would be more.

That said, I have never really tried to video sports (just an old amateur but have had sports shots in a national greyhound racing paper and football shots in a decent size daily newspaper).

Shot with my long dead A7s (may it rest in pieces) and my old Tamron 300 2.8 MF adaptall lens (that has followed me for decades between systems).

DSC07243.jpg

DSC08410.jpg

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I wonder how something like this would go for sports video?    I have never used this thing (have to try and find a tape for free or very cheap to use with it).  It seems to work.   Pity it is so low resolution now.

IMG_3851.JPG

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12 minutes ago, noone said:

I wonder how something like this would go for sports video?   

Probably somewhere between far better than you expected it to be and far worse than you'd like it to be ?

Look at that battery life though and thats with having physical moving parts in it as well !

For any youngsters looking at that camera, no, the control marked "Tracking" has got nothing to do with Auto Focus ;)

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@kye

Ive actually considered picking up the Canon FD 200mm F4. I own an FD 135mm F2.8 and its pretty good, just not long enough for sports. Also the Canon FD 300mm F4 is on my radar. 

2 hours ago, noone said:

I can not imagine trying to shoot sports video with prime lenses or even manual focus zooms.    Easy with still photography (I would much rather a fast manual focus lens on a good low light camera than the latest greatest not so good low light and/or slow lens for stills) but for video?   I think I would need/rather something like a decent AF point and shoot with a long lens for that (and just realise evening sports will suck).     For pro use it would be more.

 

 

If you work on a team of shooters its more doable, like with NFL films they might have a guy manually focusing a 500, 600mm, or 800mm Prime from the sidelines. 

But yes sports videography is alot easier with good autofocus - my latest edit with footage I shot for the ncaa was all autofocus - A6300 + 70 300mm FE a combo ive used since summer 2016

Shooting sports at night with less contrast = focus peaking is almost useless

11 hours ago, buggz said:

So, if I want a remote controlled focus, zoom, pan, tilt, rotate, video recorder, wouldn't I be better off with some kind of camcorder instead of a DSLR?

I currently have a GH5.

I have no clue as to what to look for in camcorders, as I've never followed those devices...

Camcorders make sports a lotttttt easier, you can hookup a lanc controller to just about any camcorder and with that you can get remote rec, zoom, and focus(That's what I had with my Sony Z90), if you get a fancy one there are controllers with custom buttons for things like exposure. 

I still have this one - http://www.libecsales.com/products/remote_controls/ZFC-L.html

When the FS5 comes I believe it should work with my 18 - 105 F4. 

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4 hours ago, noone said:

I can not imagine trying to shoot sports video with prime lenses or even manual focus zooms.    Easy with still photography (I would much rather a fast manual focus lens on a good low light camera than the latest greatest not so good low light and/or slow lens for stills) but for video?   I think I would need/rather something like a decent AF point and shoot with a long lens for that (and just realise evening sports will suck).     For pro use it would be more.

Nice pics!

In a sense, I can't imagine shooting sports with MF either.  I do it, but it's about the situation you're in.  I do it for myself, I only make highlights videos so 'coverage' isn't a thing I have to worry about, and so basically I just try my best and whatever works is great, and shots that I miss are no big deal.

I also kind of have an advantage shooting things so far away (our fields are >100m long) that DoF is pretty deep just because of the distance.

2 hours ago, Mako Sports said:

@kye

Ive actually considered picking up the Canon FD 200mm F4. I own an FD 135mm F2.8 and its pretty good, just not long enough for sports. Also the Canon FD 300mm F4 is on my radar. 

If I was rich I think I'd have a fancy parfocal zoom, but actually I'm doing ok with what I have.  I used the zoom function on the lens far more than I thought I would, even on the first outing, so that's encouraging.

3 hours ago, noone said:

I wonder how something like this would go for sports video?    I have never used this thing (have to try and find a tape for free or very cheap to use with it).  It seems to work.   Pity it is so low resolution now.

IMG_3851.JPG

Considering it's so low res and has such a small sensor, pick up almost any camera, put on an all-in-one zoom on it, then in post make sure you over-sharpen, add contrast until you're clipping shadows and highlights, then export at low bitrate 480p (or 360p) and it'll look just like the real thing!   

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No AF, but what about using a B mount lens on a m4/3 camera. The ENG 2/3" 2x lenses are cheap as heck, and they are All parfocal. You can buy 10,000 Dollar lenses for 200 Dollars. And some of them are 20x. And they have a constant, fast aperture. Well still pretty fast when you consider the doubler. Still under f4.0 The big Box Lenses can go 80x!

The best trick I have found for using long Telephoto lenses for Photography is to use your Video Fluid Head with them. Works amazingly well. I gave up using my Swing Gimbal a long time ago. I can't say a swing gimbal is useless, for certain things I have used it. Nice for just up and down stuff, but..

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