Which body for sports.....?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Triggertrevor, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. Triggertrevor

    Triggertrevor Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 30, 2013
    Hi all I'd like your views if possible on my next camera body.

    I currently own a pan G5 but would like to upgrade to.........? This is were you can help.

    At the moment I shoot quite a bit of sports (kids football) and would like a body that has better focus and fps rate than the G5.

    I don't think I have the cash for a omd em1 but should be able to stretch to say a Em5 or a gh3.

    Advise would be great.

    Cheers kev.
  2. Halaking

    Halaking Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 17, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I don't think em5 or gh3 make much difference on focus speed than your g5, even the em1 with the new 12-40mm lens just gets little faster than em5, but the em5 has 9 fps (focus on the 1st shot)
  3. Triggertrevor

    Triggertrevor Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 30, 2013
    So do you think I'm wasting money buying a new body.

    Should it be my technique I should be working on.

    Cheers kev
  4. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    What are you shooting, and what is your current technique?

  5. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Base on another thread of yours, it sounds like the football they are playing, is what we call soccer? There isn't a vast difference between shooting the two of them, except the play is more continuous with soccer. Here's the thing: µ4/3 is very good with single point, one shot AF. Continuous AF, with tracking, not so much and the lag in electronic viewfinders doesn't help. The camera isn't going to give you much help. You're going to have to be able anticipate the action and keep the AF sensor area on your subject.

    There's a reason I kept my D7000 and 70-300 zoom which would give me the help I would desperately need to shoot any version of football.
  6. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    E-M1 + 50-200 with tracking does pretty well. I've had good success shooting lacrosse.
  7. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    This is heresy here but...If you need high speed focus, hard to beat the Nikon One system. You can get the J1 refurbs with 10-30 and 30-110 for $310 now. I just picked up a J1 a few weeks ago.

    Parents dog running full speed @10FPS.
    mayarun2. heracy
  8. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I'm getting so tired of reading that m43 can't shoot action sports. That may have been true once upon a time, but it's not true now. Panasonic, in particular, has continued to push the limits of what CDAF can do. The GH3 and G6, and presumably the GX7, are significantly better at C-AF than the G5 and EM-5. In fact, better than a number of DSLRs. The EM-1 with it's on-sensor PDAF may be better, but it's not clear whether that improvement applies to m43 lenses, or only 4/3 lenses. Current Panasonic m43 AF systems are very capable of shooting sports. I've shot formula one racing with a GH2, and the GH3 is significantly better than the GH2.



    There's also a thread here showing lots of sports / action shots taken with m43 cameras. I'll see if I can find it, and if so I'll update this post.

    edit here it is: https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=50588
  9. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I can't speak to the Nikon 1 system, but I agree that if you really want to shoot football/soccer you will do better with a non-m4/3s option (I can't speak for E-M1, but OP said that was too expensive). I was pretty happy with results from a Canon 40D + 55-250IS, which can be had in the US for <$400 used. Just to be clear, and to avoid tar and feathers, you surely can get great action shots with m4/3s. You can find shots on this site that prove that. I've even taken a few myself. But what I'm talking about is using the best tool for the job, which will get you the highest percentage of shots in good focus.
  10. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I'd say my GH3 is pretty much equal, in terms of AF, to my 50D for shooting sports. The 100-300 AF isn't quite as fast as my 70-200 2.8, but it's at least as good as the 70-300 zoom I had.

    While I might agree with the idea of "the best tool for the job," Canon's xxD cameras really don't fit that description. A Canon 7D, or a 1D Mk IV, are certainly superior to the GH3, but mid-range consumer DSLRs not so much.
  11. No says it can't be done.. but I have yet to see a micro 4/3rds camera that I would consider the "best tool for the job" when it comes to tracking fast moving subjects. You can certainly shoot sports with it.. heck if you maintain a deep DOF such as the samples posted here, you don't even really need to worry about focus.

    E-M5's tracking is not really useful for soccer in my experience. But I certainly can make it work to an extent.

    1) Set EVF refresh rate to high
    2) Set the rear touch screen to move focus point but not trigger. Allows me to change focus point quickly
    3) Set focus point to its smallest size.
    4) Set to high speed continuous.
    5) In body IS if off. On lens IS is on. I use both 35-100 f/2.8 and the 100-300mm The 35-100mm f/2.8 is noticeably faster.
    6) I DO NOT use continuous or tracking. I use single focus and "pump" it. the E-M5 may not be capable for tracking but it is extremely fast in obtaining focus on a single area. I will establish focus ahead of the action and leverage the E-M5's fast single focus ability.

    It works but misses still occur frequently and I work to expect them. The camera's AF isn't intelligent enough to avoid chasing after subjects that momentarily step in front of line of sight nor capable of occasionally locking on the background behind the subject. Its system doesn't provide information of absolute distance of subject coupled and the subjects position differential a moment later. Without this information, it doesn't have the type of predictive AF you would find in DSLRs. Mind you, I am coming from a (albeit very obsolete) Canon 1dMarkII which has excellent AF capabilities designed specifically for this type of subject manner. Shooting sports with the 1dmarkII versus the much newer E-M5 is like night and day. Fortunately, I don't shoot sports that often and the OMD E-M5 suites my needs elsewhere. I personally, would consider a used Canon 1DmarkII (or whatever improved version) and appropriate optics if sports was my main obsession.

    No doubt, mirrorless is improving. With the E-M1, it certainly seems like its closing the gap in AF performance. The direction they took with the implementation of PDAF on sensor should be a clear indicator that CDAF has a weakness in terms of predictive/tracking AF. Bodies that rely only on contrast will obviously won't be huge improvements but rather incremental. In the case of the E-M5, they doubled the sampling rate and improved its processing power... in the end it is still contrast based AF with all its disadvantages. Furthermore, if more FPS is required, the E-M5 certainly can deliver with a caveat that its only on a single focus 1st frame basis.

    As such, I'm not convinced that the E-M5 would be leaps and bounds better in AF than the G5. I'm sure you can find ways to 'work it" as I have with the E-m5.
    • Like Like x 4
  12. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    At this time I am not sure it is the body that limits the ability of m43 to successfully shoot sports. It is the lack of good fast lenses in the proper focal length. And yes I am aware that you can get a good shot under ideal conditions every once in a while out of every lens. That hardly means that lens is good at it. Seems like m43 is currently aimed at tourist shooters and not sports shooters. And yes there will be parrots in here parroting back false or misleading information. I can't say what they are called as apparently it is illegal on this forum.
  13. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    Actually, if you look at the focus of the grass, you can see the camera is tracking the dog perfectly in my post, and the nose stays sharp. That's the drawback of the J series though, the small sensor and the lens I was using means wide DOF. But if its compact and fast, nothing beats the One, sorry to offend the M43 people that think there is no other camera, but as stated, M4 is not the tool for the job here, not yet. You can shoot sports with an iphone, just like you can ride a bike from coast to coast.

    /my apologies to anyone left in tears because I said a camera other than a M43 is the perfect camera.
  14. If you search the threads, you'll find that AF tracking has been a known and accepted disadvantage of M43 system around here. In fact, many here specifically keep a DSLR system around for situations like this.

    I have yet to see anyone around here that claim that Micro 4/3rds is a perfect camera... If that were the case, you wouldn't see numerous threads discussing things they would like to see improve as well as numerous threads that hold high hopes that the newest announcement (in this case the E-M1) will hold the solution to some of the current system's shortcoming.

    In fact my post specifically states I would not recommend micro 4/3rds for sports photography. Furthermore, the results you post with the NIkon J are similar to mine with the E-M5 if I shoot with a large DOF. Its nothing special our out of the ordinary for most ILC cameras. Heck, I can produce similar results with a manual focus lens if that were the measure. The real test of a system's ability to track is with a shallow DOF to indicate its accuracy. As I said, the real disadvantage is in contrast detection AF.

    Let's try not to instigate on false pretense.
  15. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    Really? Please post up those results of manually focusing tracking an animal moving at around 20mph at 10fps. Again, look at the focus on the grass and how it's moving in.
  16. cs2012

    cs2012 Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 27, 2012
    You may love your Panasonic cameras but that should not blind you to reality. Imaging Resource has test results for CAF
    EM5 Continuous AF 0.158 second
    EP5 Continuous AF 0.144 second
    G6 Continuous AF 0.209 second
    GH3 Continuous AF 0.209 second

    Regarding the EM1, DPR has this to say about PDAF with m43 lenses
    If anyone wants to shoot action with m43, EM1 is the clear first choice and that's the advice you should be giving the OP. Since he cannot upgrade to EM1, the EM5 or EP5 are the next best choice.

  17. Sorry, those are terrible examples... Its easy with that DOF. Who is shedding "tears" now?

    I would still choose a DSLR system of choice brand over either system for sports... (excluding the Em1 as I have no experience with it)
  18. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013

    Gotcha, can't post examples of your awesome manual focusing speed. No worries. How about you talk about your experience with the Nikon One System?
    You've no doubt owned one. My experience (not just holding in a store, owning) with the J1 and V1, as well as a GX1, GF3, E-PL1 an G5, as well as several Nikon DSLRs says it is the fastest system for locking and maintaining focus. A recent test by a German magazine concurs.

    Is the one system the best system for sports, probably not, but if size matters, it certainly is better than any M43 camera.
  19. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    From what I've seen, the GH3 is quite a bit better than the G5 on tracking AF. Reviews also indicate that the OM-D E-M1 is as well. I don't think that the E-M5 would get the OP much benefit, whereas those other two bodies would, with the E-M1 also offering the benefit of working well with 4/3 lenses, especially the well regarded 50-200mm SWD

    But none of these are anywhere near as good as, say, a Nikon D7100
  20. Triggertrevor

    Triggertrevor Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 30, 2013
    Don't go mentioning the D7100 Doug as I ws thinking of selling up my m43 gear to buy that body along witha 70-200 2.8.

    But I really want to stay with m43 that's why I'm doing extra research so I buy the right body.

    Cheers kev
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