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Shootout Olympus EM1 Mark II Versus Nikon D500 - Shooting Ice Hockey

Discussion in 'Reviews, Tests, & Shootouts' started by gryphon1911, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    02-04-2017_D500_CBJ_DSC_1943.jpg
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    Hockey is arguably one of the hardest sports to photography because of the speed and unpredictability of the action.

    I've always wanted to be able to photograph the Columbus Blue Jackets. As luck would have it, Midwest Photo Exchange offered a photo workshop to shoot the Blue Jackets.

    Before we get into the gear stuff, let me just take a minute to throw out some kudos to the following:

    Midwest Photo crew Matt and Ken
    Great hosts and supported the learning, being there to help with gear and shooting questions whenever someone needed it. MPEX Website

    Tim Neumann of Soft Light Studios
    The main presenter and educator for this workshop. He made sure that everyone was brought along on the journey. We had some attendees that had very little photographic experience all the way through to professionals. Tim was able to cover the basics of making the shooting experience a success for all involved.

    Kyle Robertson, Columbus Dispatch Photographer
    Kyle shared his expertise and experience shooting assignments and games at Nationwide Arena as well as other sporting events. Kyle's Twitter Feed

    Joshua, Columbus Blue Jackets Liason
    Joshua was there for us throughout the event. A great host, he also took us on an arena tour.

    Gear For The Night
    Nikon D500 / Tamron 70-200/2.8 VC
    Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II / Olympus 40-150/2.8 PRO / MC-14 TC

    Now let's get down to it. You know you want to know all about it.

    I'll help you out so you don't need to read through a lot of "junk". I could pine on and on about all kinds of technical stuff.

    Bottom line - I preferred shooting with the Nikon D500 over the EM1 Mk II. The Nikon/Tamron combo just focused faster, stayed on target (I can't find an out of focus shot that was not my fault or was through the safety net). The higher ISO was cleaner on the D500.


    The Olympus may be suffering because I am still learning it's newer features and auto focus methods.
    Still more testing to determine that. Might also have been the lower light conditions gave the AF some issues.

    Pub Match Images With the EM1 Mark II

    02-04-2017_EM1mk2_CBJ_P2040135.jpg
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    1/1000, f/2.8, ISO 1600 @ 150mm

    02-04-2017_EM1mk2_CBJ_P2040167.jpg
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    1/1000, f/3.2, ISO 1600 @ 150mm

    02-04-2017_EM1mk2_CBJ_P2040253.jpg
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    1/1000, f/3.5, ISO 1600 @ 150mm

    02-04-2017_EM1mk2_CBJ_P2040295.jpg
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    1/1000, f/3.2, ISO 6400 @ 150mm

    02-04-2017_EM1mk2_CBJ_P2040328.jpg
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    1/500, f/2.8, ISO 2500 @ 150mm

    Pub Match with Nikon D500

    02-04-2017_D500_CBJ_DSC_1814.jpg
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    1/1000, f/3.5, ISO 2000 @ 200mm

    02-04-2017_D500_CBJ_DSC_1816.jpg
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    1/1000, f/3.5, ISO 1600 @ 200mm

    02-04-2017_D500_CBJ_DSC_1909.jpg
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    1/1000, f/3.5, ISO 1600 @ 175mm

    Battery Life

    Each camera took about 1000 images over the course of the day, shooting 2 full hockey games. A pub match early in the day as well as the Blue Jackets v Devils game at the end of the day.

    Nikon battery was at 57%
    Olympus battery was at 46%

    Not bad, considering older mirrorless cameras, I probably would have gone through 2 or 3 batteries. This includes any image review I did on the LCD.

    Weight

    I've never been one that was concerned about camera weight. To be honest, while I noticed that the Nikon/Tamron combo were larger and heavier, handling between the 2 never really was improved or hampered by the weight or lack there of in either.

    When in use, both cameras were supported by a Black Rapid strap.

    CBJ versus NJ Devils - Olympus EM1 Mark II
    02-04-2017_EM1mk2_CBJ_P2040432.jpg
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    1/640, f/4, ISO 1600 @ 155mm(MC-14)

    02-04-2017_EM1mk2_CBJ_P2040693.jpg
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    1/1000, f/2.8, ISO 1600 @ 150mm

    02-04-2017_EM1mk2_CBJ_P2040741.jpg
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    1/800, f/2.8, ISO 1000 @ 150mm

    02-04-2017_EM1mk2_CBJ_P2040854.jpg
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    1/800, f/4, ISO 2500 @ 210mm (MC-14)

    02-04-2017_EM1mk2_CBJ_P2040868.jpg
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    1/800, f/4, ISO 2500 @ 210mm (MC-14)


    Nikon D500
    02-04-2017_D500_CBJ_DSC_1928.jpg
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    1/1000, f/3.5, ISO 1250 @ 200mm

    02-04-2017_D500_CBJ_DSC_1966.jpg
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    1/1250, f/3.5, ISO 1100 @ 165mm

    02-04-2017_D500_CBJ_DSC_2123.jpg
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    1/1000, f/3.5, ISO 1000 @ 200mm


    02-04-2017_D500_CBJ_DSC_2511.jpg
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    1/1000, f/2.8, ISO 900 @ 200mm

    02-04-2017_D500_CBJ_DSC_2531.jpg
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    1/1000, f/3.2, ISO 1250, @ 200mm

    IBIS vs VC
    Shutter speeds for the night were between 1/500 and 1/1000 when shooting action, so the IBIS/VC was never really used. There were some shots that were more portrait-like, so the shutter speeds went down some and we can see there that the Olympus EM1.2 IBIS works very well.

    End of the day, there were times when I was wanting some longer reach on the D500, so I tried using the 1.3x crop within the D500. It worked rather well, provided you remember to keep the subject within the box boundary within the viewfinder. Even without the in camera crop, the full DX files were great to use and could be cropped into a lot without losing IQ.

    The Olympus high fps modes seemed like they would be a great asset. I used the 15fps mechanical as well as the 60fps e-shutter. Had some decent success there. Tried AF in both single point and 3x3 box. Also decent results there. While initial AF acquisition is much improved over the EM1.1, it still was not close to the D500. There were some initial frames that were out of focus and at times some frames in the middle of the burst would be slightly out of focus.

    Again, as I said when we started off, shooting hockey is probably one of the most difficult action sports to shoot. It may just be that this was a little too much for the EM1.2.

    The confidence was just not as high with the Olympus kit as it was with the Nikon.

    Shooting Conditions
    We were able to pretty much shoot where ever we wanted to during the pub match. We had access to the camera deck next to the broadcast video cameras as well as down in the put to shoot through the special ports in the glass.

    During the NHL game, we were up in a special suite that was a little bit further back and more toward one corner. A little but further away than earlier in the day, but a great vantage point to shoot from.
     
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  2. dirtdevil

    dirtdevil Mu-43 Top Veteran

    710
    Apr 9, 2017
    For those about to rock *bang* Fire! We sa-lu-te you!!! Wah-oooOOOooo Oh oh ohhhhh
    (not relevant to photography, but being from Montreal I need to express my solidarity to hockey).

    Did you have to chance to ask the people there what kind of gear the official photographers use for when they are in the corners of the ice? You know those people that shoot through the hole of the window in the corner at ice level.

    I would think they have a traditional 70-200mm lens but when I read news articles I can see in the pictures that they used a longer focal length because it's more zoomed in than your pictures, maybe a 100-400?
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  3. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    This was during a workshop, so we did get a chance to talk with the official photographers and the Columbus Dispatch sports photographer that shoot their every game. They both shoot Canon 1DX Mark II, dual cameras with the 24-70 and 70-200 from the boards. They do shoot longer lenses from the same areas that the TV cameras shoot from, which is their secondary shooter. The shooters down on the boards are the ones that control the flash units in the ceiling.

    Thanks for the Jackets shout out. Most other fans HATE the cannon. lol
     
  4. dirtdevil

    dirtdevil Mu-43 Top Veteran

    710
    Apr 9, 2017
    When Montreal lost 0-10 (November 5 2016), at the 6th or the 7th goal, the french commentator of the tv sports channel said it he couldn't stand the cannon anymore lol.

    The shooters down on the boards are the ones that control the flash units in the ceiling.

    Wait, what flash units are you talking about? They can activate a flash for their photos? When does the flash occur though, I never noticed that. Not during gameplay I guess?
     
  5. I’d be interested to know why you were comparing using the TC1.4 especially with 40-150 providing 80-300 reach at 2.8 or 4 equivalent and the Tamron 70-200 providing, what, 90ish to 280ish at 2.8ish.

    My understanding and with a limited experience with the TC1.4 with any compatible lens is that performance will lag... just as it would have with a Nikon or canon TC.

    Just curious is all.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    No, they fire them off during play. You really can't see them in videos or on TV, but you can from the area stands. I can't remember the total number they have, but they are there. We got to shoot from the floor during the amateur game, but had to shoot from our suite only during the NHL match, so I got to see them fire off.
     
  7. dirtdevil

    dirtdevil Mu-43 Top Veteran

    710
    Apr 9, 2017
    Oh interesting, I had absolutely no idea flashes occurred (I've been to a couple of games at the Bell Centre here but didn't notice them).
     
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