HS Basketball w/GX85 & 42.5/1.7

ac12

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Back from the games.
Kinda disappointed. The two problems that I had were all with the EVF.
  • There was a second or so of the last frame shot that stayed frozen in the EVF, after I shot, even with 'rec view' set to 0. That frozen screen broke my ability to track a player after I shot. I had to wait for the screen to go live again, to continue tracking the player. :( This I think could be fixed in firmware, I hope.
  • More irritating was the behavior of the EVF when shifting player. When I was tracking a player it was OK. But when I quickly shifted from one player to another, like on a pass, the EVF behaved like it needed to refresh too many pixles and the processor could not keep up, and the image was VERY noisy. This made shifting between players quickly more difficult than I would have liked. This was with the EVF refresh rate set to FAST.
The zoom ring of the 12-40 was a bit stiff, for me. I prefer a very light easy to move ring, like on the PLumix 12-60. The zoom ring of the 12-100/4 is the same, so I think Olympus just has a tighter zoom ring design.

Exposure was: ISO = 3200, ss = 1/400, f/2.8.

So the question is, does the EM1-mk2 fix these problems, or not?
As Ian said, it may be a lot easier to stay with the D7200 for sports.
 
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BillW

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To answer the above question, I don't think IS is a deal-breaker, but it does help keep the image steady when you're zoomed in. I have not tested IS/non-IS but maybe I will. My thought is that any IS is going to give you some better images than no IS, even with a high shutter speed, as it will smooth out your own movements.

FWIW, here's my 'routine' for an indoor basketball game:
I shoot in MANUAL mode. In a gym, for basketball, the lighting stays constant and your camera won't get fooled by uniform colors, etc. Normally the home team is in white.
I set my f-stop for what I'm working at.
Next, I dial in my ISO to get at least 1/250 shutter speed.
I take a test shot or two to see where the exposure is at, and adjust ISO and/or shutter speed.
I use a WhiBal key-chain size gray card to set a custom white balance and I'm ready to go.
The custom white balance, in my workflow, is HUGE as gym lights are all over the place and it takes seconds to do that, compared to the time involved color correcting in post.
Using this method cuts downs the amount of post processing and generally all I have to do is crop/frame the images.

I only shoot sports for my own personal use (my daughter plays).
While I am a part-time professional, my paid jobs are portraits, sports leagues, weddings, events, etc., that I've been doing for the past 30 years.

Sitting through a JV & Varsity b-ball game twice a week or so can get lengthy, and shooting the game helps pass the time for me in a more productive way.
 

Pstmstr

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Back from the games.
Kinda disappointed. The two problems that I had were all with the EVF.
  • There was a second or so of the last frame shot that stayed frozen in the EVF, after I shot, even with 'rec view' set to 0. That frozen screen broke my ability to track a player after I shot. I had to wait for the screen to go live again, to continue tracking the player. :( This I think could be fixed in firmware, I hope.
  • More irritating was the behavior of the EVF when shifting player. When I was tracking a player it was OK. But when I quickly shifted from one player to another, like on a pass, the EVF behaved like it needed to refresh too many pixles and the processor could not keep up, and the image was VERY noisy. This made shifting between players quickly more difficult than I would have liked. This was with the EVF refresh rate set to FAST.
The zoom ring of the 12-40 was a bit stiff, for me. I prefer a very light easy to move ring, like on the PLumix 12-60. The zoom ring of the 12-100/4 is the same, so I think Olympus just has a tighter zoom ring design.

Exposure was: ISO = 3200, ss = 1/400, f/2.8.

So the question is, does the EM1-mk2 fix these problems, or not?
As Ian said, it may be a lot easier to stay with the D7200 for sports.
I've faced the same problem with M43 shooting basketball. I've used the 25 1.2 and 45 1.2 but fought the extremely thin DOF with a lot of out of focus shots. Even though the CAF on my EM1 Mk2 isn't bad, I struggle with it shooting BB. I got better results using the 45 1.8 and it's a very light rig which I really like. I think the 12-40 or 40-150 2.8 zooms are going to result in too high an ISO. At 250 shutter speed you're a little to slow to stop a lot of action or at least that's what I've found. I recently purchased a used Nikon D500 with Tamron 24-70 and 70-200 at 2.8. Being a larger sensor and the fast CAF of the D500, I'm anxious to see how it compares this Saturday since both granddaughter and grandson have games. I'd love to stick to M43 because the D500 and 70-200 are pretty hefty but sometimes it just isn't the tool for the job. I'll report back after Saturday and share my results. I'm not too deep into the D500 or lenses that I can't get most of my money back if I'm not happy with the results. Here are a couple of shots from my last outing with the EM1 Mk II.
 

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demiro

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I've faced the same problem with M43 shooting basketball. I've used the 25 1.2 and 45 1.2 but fought the extremely thin DOF with a lot of out of focus shots. Even though the CAF on my EM1 Mk2 isn't bad, I struggle with it shooting BB. I got better results using the 45 1.8 and it's a very light rig which I really like. I think the 12-40 or 40-150 2.8 zooms are going to result in too high an ISO. At 250 shutter speed you're a little to slow to stop a lot of action or at least that's what I've found. I recently purchased a used Nikon D500 with Tamron 24-70 and 70-200 at 2.8. Being a larger sensor and the fast CAF of the D500, I'm anxious to see how it compares this Saturday since both granddaughter and grandson have games. I'd love to stick to M43 because the D500 and 70-200 are pretty hefty but sometimes it just isn't the tool for the job. I'll report back after Saturday and share my results. I'm not too deep into the D500 or lenses that I can't get most of my money back if I'm not happy with the results. Here are a couple of shots from my last outing with the EM1 Mk II.
I am looking forward to your comparison of Nikon/Tamron kit to E-M1 mk2.

I'm curious why you chose the D500 vs going for a full frame body? If I were to (again) buy a DSLR for sports I'd want to maximize low light capabilities to justify the bigger camera and lens.
 

Pstmstr

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The D500 has outstanding autofocus, shoots 10 frames per second, and a huge buffer. I read a lot of different reviews and the general consensus is it's great for sports and not bad at high ISO either. I'll share some findings after this weekend.
 

Jay_M

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Seems like the Oly 75mm f/1.8 might be a pretty good option for this scenario. Does the GX85 have 6K photo mode? I have found that it works very well on my G9 for capturing bursts of fast motion, basically taking a video that you pull 18mp JPEGs from.
 

ac12

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@Pstmstr
The OVF of the D7200 was so much easier to use than the EVF of the EM1-mk1. None of the visual distortion of the EVF and frozen image.

Your D500 + 24-70 should be just fine on the floor or first few rows. In fact IMHO, the 24-70 is an almost perfect zoom range for basketball with a DX camera. But I shoot a lot of game plays, vs. tight shots of individual players. I shot my D7200 + 35/1.8 on the floor. There were a few times when I wished for wider when they were close to me, and a few times where I wished for longer to reach the other side of the court. I've been thinking about an 18-50/2.8 or 16-80, but my photo budget went to building my m4/3 kit, so no lenses for a while.

ISO 3200 should be easy for the D500.
 

Pstmstr

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@Pstmstr
The OVF of the D7200 was so much easier to use than the EVF of the EM1-mk1. None of the visual distortion of the EVF and frozen image.

Your D500 + 24-70 should be just fine on the floor or first few rows. In fact IMHO, the 24-70 is an almost perfect zoom range for basketball with a DX camera. But I shoot a lot of game plays, vs. tight shots of individual players. I shot my D7200 + 35/1.8 on the floor. There were a few times when I wished for wider when they were close to me, and a few times where I wished for longer to reach the other side of the court. I've been thinking about an 18-50/2.8 or 16-80, but my photo budget went to building my m4/3 kit, so no lenses for a while.

ISO 3200 should be easy for the D500.
I'm looking forward to trying it this Saturday. I've got a lot of under the basket shots so my plan is to start with the 70-200 and shoot from the side the first game.
 

jmax

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Hi,
sorry it's an old post, but recently I tested de GX80 at indoor volleyball match, with Leica 45mm f2.8 macro lens.
Similar as yours, I made some test and finally the best configurations was M mode, f2.8, AFS focus. Volleyball is a bit quicker than basketball so minimum speed I used was 1/320, and autoISO was about 3200 ISO.

Result was well fixed movement, but really noisy images. Maybe I missed a faster lens that could shoot at 1600 or 800 ISO because 3200 ISO is really noisy for m4/3. In this kind of photo you have to prioritize the action to the image quality.

Probably a good processing technique can help to get better results for control balance between noise and detail.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

f2.8, 1/320, ISO 3200

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

f2.8, 1/400, ISO 3200

I wonder if it's better results reducing ISO (underexpose capture) and increase exposure in post processing or higher ISO on capture??

Cheers
 

ac12

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On my Olympus, in JPG, I found it better to get the exposure right in the camera. JPG shadow recovery is poor.
I shoot JPG because I shoot sooo much, that I don't want the extra hassle of RAW to JPG conversion. I don't have enough time as it is.​
I used a 14-40/2.8 at ISO 6400, f/2.8, 1/800sec, and on a deep crop the high ISO noise is BAD, for me.
So yes that low light is where the f/1.8 lenses shines, so you can lower the ISO level.

My standard gym kit is a Nikon D7200 + f/1.8 primes 35 + 50. (I don't have the equivalent m4/3 primes).
ISO 3200, 1/800 sec, f/2
Even 1/800 sec is not fast enough for a spike, but that is as fast as I can get, given the lighting conditions and lens.

This is the same kit that I use for basketball.
Although I could use the Olympus 17/1.8 on my EM1.

I don't know about your gym, but the lighting in mine is even enough that I use manual exposure, to avoid exposure problems with different color/brightness of the background.

What I find irritating is, like your pic1 of the spike.
The body is correctly exposed, but the spiker is looking up to the ball, and thus his face is turned up to the light, and gets OVER exposed. Same thing happens on a serve.
 

Pstmstr

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Glad you posted again. My grandson made varsity so season is just starting. I’ve settled on the EM1 II with 45 1.8 and 75 1.8. The D500 and 70-200 2.8 was fine but just too big and bulky. I shoot manual and try to keep shutter speed at least 1/500 if not higher. Just had knee surgery though so won’t be getting down low much for a month or 2.
 

ac12

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Glad you posted again. My grandson made varsity so season is just starting. I’ve settled on the EM1 II with 45 1.8 and 75 1.8. The D500 and 70-200 2.8 was fine but just too big and bulky. I shoot manual and try to keep shutter speed at least 1/500 if not higher. Just had knee surgery though so won’t be getting down low much for a month or 2.
Congrats on your grandson making varsity :thumbup:

For basketball, I generally use the D7200 + 35/1.8.

I sometimes use two cameras at a time:
#1 - Nikon D7200 + 35/1.8, for near court. 35mm is a normal lens for a DX camera.​
#2 - Olympus EM1 + 12-100/4, for the far court.​
I switch cameras when the ball handler crossed the mid-court line.

Yeah, the 70-200/2.8 is bulky. I got the f/4 lens specifically because it was half the weight.
As I've gotten older, the kit weight has become an issue for me.

The 17-50/2.8 is a great gym lens.
Just don't get the Sigma lens. The zoom ring turns in the OPPOSITE direction than a Nikon lens. That totally screwed me up when I shot volleyball. I kept turning the zoom ring in the wrong direction, and losing shots. After 15-20 minutes of that, I gave up on the lens.
We have a Tamron 17-50/2.8 coming, and I hope to check it out.
The Nikon 24-120/4 or Tamron 35-150/2.8-4 are possibilities for gym use. But at f/4 you need a camera with decent high ISO imaging.

I'm too old to kneel down. It takes me way too long to get up. And on the court floor, that can be dangerous.
When I sit, it is on the 1st row of the bleachers. That is as far down as I go.

For offense, I usually shoot from around the corners, standing on the court floor.
I'm slowing down too much to shoot from behind the end line. I can't move fast enough to avoid a collision.​
If I do stand behind the end line, it is at one of the doors, and I make sure that the door can open, so I can pull an escape if I have to.​
For defense, I usually shoot on the sideline at mid-court to the top of the key, sitting on the 1st row of the bleachers.
I also move around a lot, looking for different views.

Exposure in my gym is:
D7200 + 35/1.8: ISO=3200, f/2, 1/800sec. (this is also my volleyball setting)
EM1 + 12-40/2.8: ISO=3200, f/2.8, 1/400sec. If I use the 12-100/4: ISO=6400, f/4, 1/400sec
The zoom ring on both of these lenses are too stiff for me, for any sport where I have to constantly work the zoom ring. I prefer a finger light zoom ring, like on the 70-200/4 (which is my field lens). So I am tempted to go with a prime instead.​
I am curious about the Panasonic 12-32/2.8 and how light the zoom ring is on that lens. The Panasonic 12-60 has a nice light zoom ring. So I am hoping.​
ISO 6400 with a deep crop is BAD. ☹
Heck on the EM1, ISO 6400 is bad enough that I can only crop in a bit. I have to do an A/B test with the EM1-mk1 and the mk2, to see what the mk2 will do.​

One thing that got me was a rule change, vs. when I was in high school.
We only have ONE jump ball, at the start of the game.
So we only have ONE chance to get the jump ball. Miss it, and you have to try again the next game. :eek:
I know which side our player will stand. But what I don't know is, is he a rightie or a leftie? I generally setup for a rightie, and hope he is a rightie.
 
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ac12

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Back from the games.
Kinda disappointed. The two problems that I had were all with the EVF.
  • There was a second or so of the last frame shot that stayed frozen in the EVF, after I shot, even with 'rec view' set to 0. That frozen screen broke my ability to track a player after I shot. I had to wait for the screen to go live again, to continue tracking the player. :( This I think could be fixed in firmware, I hope.
  • More irritating was the behavior of the EVF when shifting player. When I was tracking a player it was OK. But when I quickly shifted from one player to another, like on a pass, the EVF behaved like it needed to refresh too many pixles and the processor could not keep up, and the image was VERY noisy. This made shifting between players quickly more difficult than I would have liked. This was with the EVF refresh rate set to FAST.
The zoom ring of the 12-40 was a bit stiff, for me. I prefer a very light easy to move ring, like on the PLumix 12-60. The zoom ring of the 12-100/4 is the same, so I think Olympus just has a tighter zoom ring design.

Exposure was: ISO = 3200, ss = 1/400, f/2.8.

So the question is, does the EM1-mk2 fix these problems, or not?
As Ian said, it may be a lot easier to stay with the D7200 for sports.
Update:
I got an EM1-mk2, and both problems above with the EVF in the mk1 are fixed in the mk2 :)
And the mk2 is better at ISO 6400.

This is not saying that the mk1 is bad, just that the mk1 is not as good for fast sports as the mk2.
 

ac12

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The school got a couple Tamron lenses, for use on APS-C/DX cameras:
The 17-50/2.8 is MUCH better than the Sigma lens.
The zoom ring turns in the same direction as the Nikon Zoom, and it is much easier to turn.​
The model of the lens that the school got, does not have IS/VR, but shooting basketball from the court floor, it isn't needed.​
The 35-150/2.8-4 turned out to be a neat lens.
I can shoot both the near and far court with it :)
The f/4 requires the ISO be pushed to 6400, rather than 3200 with the f/2.8 lens. Most modern dSLRs will do 6400 decently.​
The lens is an extending zoom so requires more effort to turn the zoom ring.​
I have started using the EM1-mk2 + 12-40/2.8 more than my D7200 + 35/1.8.
I shoot with the e-shutter, and with the C-Low frame rate set to 10fps. 18fps gives me too many pics to sort through.
I sometimes use the 12-100/4, for the extra reach across the court, to the bench. But the slower speed, requires the exposure to be adjusted when I switch to/from this lens. Not really a problem, but I have to remember to do it :confused: So I usually alternate the 12-40 and the 12-100 each quarter.
I was surprised, the EVF makes it easier to see in the somewhat dim gym lighting. Now the OVF of my D7200 looks dim, even with a f/1.8 prime.

As with @BillW above, the auto white balance of my EM1 did not match the D7200, nor what I visually saw in the gym. So I had to do a custom white balance, for the gym lighting. RTFM. It wasn't hard, I just had to figure out how to do it, and practice a few times.
 
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ac12

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I'll be curious to hear how the E-M1 + 12-40 works for you.

I am tempted to buy a G9 and 35-100/2.8, but I really don't think the difference vs my GX85 + 42.5/1.7 will begin to justify the cost. If shooting at f/2.8 was a slam dunk, pardon the pun, for HS basketball gyms I would probably go for it. But I don't think it is. Kind of bumping up against format limitations at that point I think.
I just realized that I did not answer your question.

I upgraded my sports camera to the EM1-mk2.
The EVF on the mk2 works tons better than the mk1. The EVF of the mk2 is quite usable for basketball, whereas the mk1 was not, at least for the way I shoot.​
I also use the e-shutter, so that I can shoot at 10fps (or up to 19fps). The e-shutter on the mk1 was limited to ISO 3200, for some unknown reason.​
The 12-40/2.8 works fine.
I would have preferred a f/2 lens, but ain't goina happen.​
The zoom ring is stiffer than I would like, and that makes it harder to QUICKLY change zoom setting, but I am adapting.​
My major beef with Olympus that all the pro lenses that I have (12-40 and 12-100), have STIFF zoom rings. It is like they are over-dampened with grease.​
The 12-40 is great for the near court.​
But the 12-40 is not long enough to shoot tight in the far court.​
For that I use the 12-100/4, but I loose a stop.​
If I had one, the Panasonic 35-100/2.8 would be a good far court lens, on a 2nd camera. Maybe one day.​
If I shot from the bleachers, the Panasonic 35-100/2.8 or Olympus 40-150/2.8 would be my lens of choice.​
My exposure is: ISO 3200, 1/400 sec, f/2.8.
IQ is just fine, for me.
 
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