Sports video questions

SVQuant

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So after a long hiatus from shooting, I was really excited that there will be a high school lacrosse season and was planning on using that as an for getting a E-M1.3. However, the team has asked me to be their official videographer. Something new for me to try. Having not done this before, I am hoping that I can pick up some good advice before I go out to shoot my first game on on Wednesday.

This is a fairly good high school varsity team (they have won their local division 3 out the last 4 years), so fast action is expected. The games start at 6pm and the 2nd half is typically played in the lights. Sun will be setting behind me on the home field bleachers, so that should not be an issue, but would love to get thoughts on how to position when the team is away.

Here are some of the questions I trying to answer:
  1. M43 or should I get a video camera?
  2. Will my current gear suffice or do I need to get something different (gear list is in my signature)?
  3. I presume that I will be shooting from top of the bleachers. Any thoughts?
  4. Etiquette for away games. I have typically just shot stills and do it from the sidelines. Should I be doing something different?
As always, looking to this awesome community for help and guidance
 

ivanbae07

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So after a long hiatus from shooting, I was really excited that there will be a high school lacrosse season and was planning on using that as an for getting a E-M1.3. However, the team has asked me to be their official videographer. Something new for me to try. Having not done this before, I am hoping that I can pick up some good advice before I go out to shoot my first game on on Wednesday.

This is a fairly good high school varsity team (they have won their local division 3 out the last 4 years), so fast action is expected. The games start at 6pm and the 2nd half is typically played in the lights. Sun will be setting behind me on the home field bleachers, so that should not be an issue, but would love to get thoughts on how to position when the team is away.

Here are some of the questions I trying to answer:
  1. M43 or should I get a video camera?
  2. Will my current gear suffice or do I need to get something different (gear list is in my signature)?
  3. I presume that I will be shooting from top of the bleachers. Any thoughts?
  4. Etiquette for away games. I have typically just shot stills and do it from the sidelines. Should I be doing something different?
As always, looking to this awesome community for help and guidance
1. actually, m43 cameras quite capable to make a grade A movie. 75% of my paid video work was shoot with m43 cameras and never with olympus. normally gh5, twice with g85, and just once with gh4, gh5s, and that black magic camera.

2. i dunno about em10 and em1, but i do have pen f. and frankly, the video quality is quite ok, only for fun project(s). for something like professional or paid work, i would never ever think to use it. but you could still test it by yourself though. like, shoot something and then look, is it good? then edit and grade it, is it still acceptable enough?
for the lens, i never really using any af feature of any lenses for my video work, and i really despise the focus by wire and non linear focus lens for my video work. so, i can't give any comment for your m43 lenses. the only native m43 lens i quite like (have use it for work, extensively) is panasonic 10-25mm f1.7.

3 and 4. i've never did something like that, but had been a camera operator for some match (futsal, volleyball, and badminton). and for that, i always pick the undisturbed place at the tribune and the most align with the centre of the field or net. and for these work, i used the standard tv camera from my employer.

if you need a better continuous af, then i think em1mk3 is quite good. it has video raw capture, om log (or whatever the name of olympus's log profile). just be ready for handling it while you filming something. oh, and also be sure to check whether it has appropriate time limit or not for your kind of work.
 

BDR-529

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Here are some of the questions I trying to answer:
  1. M43 or should I get a video camera?
  2. Will my current gear suffice or do I need to get something different (gear list is in my signature)?
  3. I presume that I will be shooting from top of the bleachers. Any thoughts?
  4. Etiquette for away games. I have typically just shot stills and do it from the sidelines. Should I be doing something different?
1) If you are talking about inexpensive "video cameras" not > $1700€ pro camcorders, then the answer is no. Even M4/3 has larger sensor and better low light performance than consumer video cameras which were essentially killed by hybrid ILC:s. If low light video quality becomes an issue, then the only way to go is FF.

I don't know how good lights fields have but you might discover that even f/2.8 is not fast enough. Luckily video still looks good when individual frames are useless. You might have to switch to 20/f1.7 for the second half, though.

2) I had to check that Lacrosse is played on 100m*55m field which is practically identical to soccer so I could recommend Panny-Leica 12-60 which is just enough to cover even distant corners but not any sort of closeups. Oly 12-40 is definitely the lens you will be using and constant f/2.8 will be a great help when shooting under artificial light.

One question is of course for whom are you shooting the video? If it's only for the coach, they usually want to see the whole field at the same time because their main interest is who is where going in what direction at any given moment. 12-40 is perfect for this.

Players, parents and so on will be more interested in seeing their personal achievements which of course calls for closeups and as said even 12-60 will not cut it. 40-150 would be perfect for zooming in when someone is about to score but problem is that 40mm is not wide enough when game is moving on the side where you area located. You'll end up panning and tilting camera violently and still capture only half of players nearby. O40-150 would be perfect if you can locate high ground some 20-30m away.

3) Just try to get as high as possible (not talking about chemical substanses here) and in the center. Even a couple of meters above the ground level will make a huge difference. Note that these ****** aluminium mobile bleachers will transfer every step and foot tapping directly to your camera. These sharps impacts are something that IBIS can't handle. Have something very, very soft attached on/under each tripod leg.

Make sure that you are not very close to field beacuse the last thing you want is having to tilt the camera up and down when players come close. Viewers will get a headache soon. You should be far enough to cover even closest events by zooming out (if using O12-40), without having to tilt the camera. Also just pan left and right as slowly as possible and handle distance by turning the zoom ring. Slowly.

4) Don't know local legislation in the US. I'm the videographer for my kids soccer teams but where I live junior soccer league games are public sports events played on town/county owned fields land so there's no restrictions on sharing videos on Youtube and the other team is usually more than happy to view the video for free. I suppose you could ask the coach/GM of the local team. If they don't have a videographer of their own, sharing your video might be seen as a free service.
 
Last edited:

ac12

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So after a long hiatus from shooting, I was really excited that there will be a high school lacrosse season and was planning on using that as an for getting a E-M1.3. However, the team has asked me to be their official videographer. Something new for me to try. Having not done this before, I am hoping that I can pick up some good advice before I go out to shoot my first game on on Wednesday.

This is a fairly good high school varsity team (they have won their local division 3 out the last 4 years), so fast action is expected. The games start at 6pm and the 2nd half is typically played in the lights. Sun will be setting behind me on the home field bleachers, so that should not be an issue, but would love to get thoughts on how to position when the team is away.

Here are some of the questions I trying to answer:
  1. M43 or should I get a video camera?
  2. Will my current gear suffice or do I need to get something different (gear list is in my signature)?
  3. I presume that I will be shooting from top of the bleachers. Any thoughts?
  4. Etiquette for away games. I have typically just shot stills and do it from the sidelines. Should I be doing something different?
As always, looking to this awesome community for help and guidance

Sorry, I just noticed you are in the SF bay area.

What HS are you shooting for?

I'm in the mid-SF peninsula.
This past year, I shot for the Athletic Dept of Carlmont High School.
I shot ALL the sports except girls golf and diving.

I do not shoot video, so I don't know how still exposure vs. video exposure is, similar or different.
Shooting at night is difficult.
On the Carlmont field, at night, my basic still exposure on my Nikon D7200 is ISO 6400, 1/800 sec, f/4 (wide open). Inside the 15yard line, it goes down by a stop. In the corners, it goes down another stop. Luckily lacrosse rarely goes into the corners, unlike football where the runs are often into the corners.
Lighting can differ from school to school. Example Sequoia's football field is about 1 to 1-1/2 stops slower than Carlmont's field. I don't plan to go there again, if I can help it.
Auto exposure is easier when you are shooting down onto the field (from the bleachers), than across the field (from the sidelines).

I shot the 40-150R at a football game, results stunk. The lens was too slow for the night game.
I would use a 40-150/2.8, for the reach and the large aperture.
I have a cross field shot, from the top of the home bleachers to the far sideline, that I did with my EM1-mk2 + 40-150/2.8. Exposure was ISO 1600, 1/200 sec, f/2.8. So bump the ss up to 1/800 (2 stops), then bump the ISO up 2 stops to 6400. So, on the far sideline, exposure would be ISO 6400, 1/800 sec, f/2.8.
The center of the field is about a stop brighter, which matches up with my exposure for the D7200.
You need the fast lens.

When you are at away games:
#1, Don't shoot towards the sun. The late afternoon/setting sun can be a problem. The sun's glare off the astro-turf can be pretty bad.
#2, If the sun is not an issue, as on E/W oriented fields, I would try to get up on the home bleachers, so you are shooting towards your bench.

#3. Contact the school to find out what video shooting facilities they may have.
#3a. Some schools have a video platform at the top of the home bleachers. Which conveniently positions you to look towards the visitors/your bench. Get there early and set up on it.
#3b. Some schools shoot video from inside the announcers hut. See if you can get in and shoot from there.
#3c. If you have to shoot from the top row of the bleachers, get there EARLY, so you can setup, before all the students and parents come. This is especially important if you are shooting on the home bleachers, as it could get CROWDED. And expect that people may jump up and block your vision. If you want to avoid the crowd, you would have to shoot from the visitor's bleachers. And as was said, the Aluminum bleachers vibrate and shake when the kids are jumping around. A tripod on a crowded bleacher may be a safety hazard.

Use a tripod with a video head. They are much better to use to shoot video, as the panning is smoother than a standard 3-way pan head.

gud luk
Maybe I will see you at a game next year.
 

SVQuant

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Sorry, I just noticed you are in the SF bay area.

What HS are you shooting for?

I'm in the mid-SF peninsula.
This past year, I shot for the Athletic Dept of Carlmont High School.
I shot ALL the sports except girls golf and diving.

I do not shoot video, so I don't know how still exposure vs. video exposure is, similar or different.
Shooting at night is difficult.
On the Carlmont field, at night, my basic still exposure on my Nikon D7200 is ISO 6400, 1/800 sec, f/4 (wide open). Inside the 15yard line, it goes down by a stop. In the corners, it goes down another stop. Luckily lacrosse rarely goes into the corners, unlike football where the runs are often into the corners.
Lighting can differ from school to school. Example Sequoia's football field is about 1 to 1-1/2 stops slower than Carlmont's field. I don't plan to go there again, if I can help it.
Auto exposure is easier when you are shooting down onto the field (from the bleachers), than across the field (from the sidelines).

I shot the 40-150R at a football game, results stunk. The lens was too slow for the night game.
I would use a 40-150/2.8, for the reach and the large aperture.
I have a cross field shot, from the top of the home bleachers to the far sideline, that I did with my EM1-mk2 + 40-150/2.8. Exposure was ISO 1600, 1/200 sec, f/2.8. So bump the ss up to 1/800 (2 stops), then bump the ISO up 2 stops to 6400. So, on the far sideline, exposure would be ISO 6400, 1/800 sec, f/2.8.
The center of the field is about a stop brighter, which matches up with my exposure for the D7200.
You need the fast lens.

When you are at away games:
#1, Don't shoot towards the sun. The late afternoon/setting sun can be a problem. The sun's glare off the astro-turf can be pretty bad.
#2, If the sun is not an issue, as on E/W oriented fields, I would try to get up on the home bleachers, so you are shooting towards your bench.

#3. Contact the school to find out what video shooting facilities they may have.
#3a. Some schools have a video platform at the top of the home bleachers. Which conveniently positions you to look towards the visitors/your bench. Get there early and set up on it.
#3b. Some schools shoot video from inside the announcers hut. See if you can get in and shoot from there.
#3c. If you have to shoot from the top row of the bleachers, get there EARLY, so you can setup, before all the students and parents come. This is especially important if you are shooting on the home bleachers, as it could get CROWDED. And expect that people may jump up and block your vision. If you want to avoid the crowd, you would have to shoot from the visitor's bleachers. And as was said, the Aluminum bleachers vibrate and shake when the kids are jumping around. A tripod on a crowded bleacher may be a safety hazard.

Use a tripod with a video head. They are much better to use to shoot video, as the panning is smoother than a standard 3-way pan head.

gud luk
Maybe I will see you at a game next year.
Hi Neighbor! Thanks for all the insights.

My son is at Paly and I have been to the Carlmont field a few times (though we did not play you this year). I ended up getting a tower and video camera from the football team, and shot home games with those. For away games, I shot stills a couple of time, but our coach told me that he has a reciprocal arrangement with other mid-peninsula schools and they share the footage.

We had a few folks shooting stills for us this year (Sony/Nikon). I was thinking of picking up the E-M1.3, but life hasn't been cooperating. Maybe next year for away and club games.

Will definitely ping you if we are at Carlmont next year.

Have a great 4th.
 

Replytoken

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If is was me, and I did shoot college football for two seasons, I would pass on the video if that was possible. I have been wanting to delve into video for a number of years, but have held off due to the involvement and skill sets needed as I have not had the time. That desire built up again this past year and I tried to learn as much as I could to be somewhat proficient. Still, it seems to require a different approach than stills, and I have not yet figured out how to not have a video look like a stills shot, let alone master the technical end of things. It feels a bit like getting out of a car and into the cockpit of a plane. I may have some basic understanding, but that does not mean that I know what I am doing and am proficient. Perhaps I am more risk averse than most folks, but I would hate to be asked to take on an assignment and then not be able to deliver a product I was proud of. If you do take this on this assignment, I do wish you the best.

--Ken

P.S. I recently picked up a Sony ZV-1 as I wanted a small pocketable camera that also offered decent video. It only has a 1" sensor, but its AF system dances circles around my E-M1 MK II and D500. I am still in awe as to how much technology Sony can pack into such a small body. I am now starting to understand why so many shooters rave about their AF systems in their Alpha bodies.
 

ac12

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If is was me, and I did shoot college football for two seasons, I would pass on the video if that was possible. I have been wanting to delve into video for a number of years, but have held off due to the involvement and skill sets needed as I have not had the time. That desire built up again this past year and I tried to learn as much as I could to be somewhat proficient. Still, it seems to require a different approach than stills, and I have not yet figured out how to not have a video look like a stills shot, let alone master the technical end of things. It feels a bit like getting out of a car and into the cockpit of a plane. I may have some basic understanding, but that does not mean that I know what I am doing and am proficient. Perhaps I am more risk averse than most folks, but I would hate to be asked to take on an assignment and then not be able to deliver a product I was proud of. If you do take this on this assignment, I do wish you the best.

--Ken

P.S. I recently picked up a Sony ZV-1 as I wanted a small pocketable camera that also offered decent video. It only has a 1" sensor, but its AF system dances circles around my E-M1 MK II and D500. I am still in awe as to how much technology Sony can pack into such a small body. I am now starting to understand why so many shooters rave about their AF systems in their Alpha bodies.

I know what you mean.
I shot 35mm slide, my father shot Super-8 movies. You could tell when I had the movie camera; panning and zooming were too fast. And I tended to shoot in short burst. Like you said, video requires a very different mindset.
 

ac12

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Hi Neighbor! Thanks for all the insights.

My son is at Paly and I have been to the Carlmont field a few times (though we did not play you this year). I ended up getting a tower and video camera from the football team, and shot home games with those. For away games, I shot stills a couple of time, but our coach told me that he has a reciprocal arrangement with other mid-peninsula schools and they share the footage.

We had a few folks shooting stills for us this year (Sony/Nikon). I was thinking of picking up the E-M1.3, but life hasn't been cooperating. Maybe next year for away and club games.

Will definitely ping you if we are at Carlmont next year.

Have a great 4th.

Our football team has both a tower and lift mounted cameras, but they only come out for football. The tower is portable, and I've seen it taken to away games.
I did not see anyone shooting video at the boys varsity lacrosse games.
The school did install a fixed camera for some internet feed, but I don't know where it goes to, and I've not seen the output from it.

Carlmont has two handicap platforms at the top of the home bleachers.
That is where most video are shot from.

Well you have till Feb of next year, before the lacrosse season starts up again, to get your new camera :biggrin:
I have my doubts but maybe Olympus will release one of the 50-230 range lenses by then. A 50-200/2.8 would be a NICE lens for night field games. At Carlmont, that would let you shoot at ISO 3200, 1/800 sec, f/2.8.

Having not been to the Paly field, what is the light level/exposure there at night?

What other sports does your son play?
 

Replytoken

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I know what you mean.
I shot 35mm slide, my father shot Super-8 movies. You could tell when I had the movie camera; panning and zooming were too fast. And I tended to shoot in short burst. Like you said, video requires a very different mindset.
If you were fluent in both stills and video, it would be hard enough with two dedicated cameras, since you would have to commit to shooting with one or the other (unless you have a camera that allows extraction of a lower resolution still shot from the video). But I am nowhere near fluent so I suspect that I would be having my head buried in the menus double checking that I was set up properly. And then there is the whole question about stabilization. It seems that the more I learn about video, the less I really know, hence my caution to the OP. Then again, some people can pick up a camera or phone with no fear and shoot to their heart's content.

--Ken
 

ac12

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If you were fluent in both stills and video, it would be hard enough with two dedicated cameras, since you would have to commit to shooting with one or the other (unless you have a camera that allows extraction of a lower resolution still shot from the video). But I am nowhere near fluent so I suspect that I would be having my head buried in the menus double checking that I was set up properly. And then there is the whole question about stabilization. It seems that the more I learn about video, the less I really know, hence my caution to the OP. Then again, some people can pick up a camera or phone with no fear and shoot to their heart's content.

--Ken

I've thought that the people shooting video have an easier time shooting stills, than a stills photog shooting video.
 

Replytoken

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I've thought that the people shooting video have an easier time shooting stills, than a stills photog shooting video.
It (video) always looks so easy until you try it. I tend to like shooting with longer lenses, especially for sports, and video really lives in the normal to wide angle range. I suspect that you are correct in that a video shooter only needs to capture "one frame" with stills. If they have a good eye and sense of timing, then that does seem easier than trying to find "the story" in a clip.

--Ken
 

demiro

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@SVQuant it's really important to understand the expectations. At my kid's school video generally means full field or court view from a stationary camera. Very little to do once you figure out the set up. They'd also shoot more close-up footage at a game or two per sport. Really just clips tp share on social media or school web site or to play at end-of-year festivities.
 

ac12

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@SVQuant it's really important to understand the expectations. At my kid's school video generally means full field or court view from a stationary camera. Very little to do once you figure out the set up. They'd also shoot more close-up footage at a game or two per sport. Really just clips tp share on social media or school web site or to play at end-of-year festivities.

he he. Like the iPads and GoPro cameras setup at the baseline of the volleyball and basketball courts. Set and forget, till they have to move it to the other side of the court.
To actually track a play, would mean the parent isn't watching his/her kid.​
This past year, the school installed and used fixed cameras to broadcast some games and meets via the internet. This was driven in part by the restricted spectator rules for covid, where at first there were NO spectators, then later only family could attend, no friends and classmates.
Then the parents shooting THEIR kid. Never mind anyone else in the team.
I used to wonder about the parent shooting a 70-200 in the gym, until I figured out he was shooting just HIS daughter.​

Whereas the football video guys are following the plays, including the opposition, not individual players.
Here the coach is using it to help plan strategy for the game, and for post game improvements for the team.
 

SVQuant

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@SVQuant it's really important to understand the expectations. At my kid's school video generally means full field or court view from a stationary camera. Very little to do once you figure out the set up. They'd also shoot more close-up footage at a game or two per sport. Really just clips tp share on social media or school web site or to play at end-of-year festivities.
Very true. The ask here was to create game film which the coaches can use to review with the players. So I was following plays, starting with zoomed-in views at face-off and zooming out to cover a wider view as the offensive sets formed.

As @ac12, this means that I can't follow my kid. Thankfully, he played goalie this year, so I know where he is most of the time )
 

demiro

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I don’t know if I’d want to go at it with your kit @SVQuant given that it requires active participation on your part. I’m not saying it won’t work, but I have my doubts about AF.

I think I’d be looking at one of the Sony RX10 models if I had to perform this task. I’m not sure which one without some research, but Sony always got video right, and those cameras are very well regarded in general. Just not cheap.
 

dornblaser

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Your gear, particularly the Olympus lenses, will be fine for video. The Olympus bodies only shoot for 29 minutes so you will have to stop and restart your video. Be sure to get a good video head for your tripod.
 

John M Flores

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Very true. The ask here was to create game film which the coaches can use to review with the players. So I was following plays, starting with zoomed-in views at face-off and zooming out to cover a wider view as the offensive sets formed.

As @ac12, this means that I can't follow my kid. Thankfully, he played goalie this year, so I know where he is most of the time )
Do you have a second camera? You can put one on a tripod and capture a wide shot and then put the second (with a longer lens) on a monopod and follow the action a little more closely.
 
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