- Poor lighting demands high ISO. On my APS-C cameras (Canon 7D and Sony a6000), this ISO is quite noisy. I watched a video from Tony Northrup this weekend that talks about the "conversions" among all the shooting parameters from one sensor size to another. In particular, he shows that the noise at a specific ISO goes as the 2-dimensional sensor size. So a 35-mm-sized sensor (a.k.a., "Full Frame") is about 1.6*1.6 (4.096) times less noisy than an APS-C sensor. In other words, ISO 6400 on a Canon 5D (or 6D or 1Dx) is equivalent to ISO 1600 on the Canon 7D. I *wish* I could have shot at ISO 1600!
- Autofocus is a bear. I think I covered that pretty well in the Sunday post.
- The Sony a6000 is a competent sports camera, with the right lens.
- My Canon FD 100mm f/2.8 from 1975 is a great lens!
- I love shooting indoor sports. My current pair of APS-C cameras do a good job, but the high-ISO performance is not so great; that is, I would really like to have cleaner pictures at ISO 6400!
- The background at Vaughn sucks. Blurring out the background better would have been nice. That means either a faster/longer lens or a larger sensor.
Is it time for me to consider buying camera with a larger sensor? (I hate using the term "Full Frame", but I guess I have to.)
My two current APS-C cameras are:
- Canon 7D (mark 1) - $1700, 8fps
- Sony a6000 - $600, 10fps
- The kings are:
- Canon 1Dx - $6000, 11fps
- Nikon D4s - $6500, 11fps
- The others are:
- Canon 5D Mark III - $3000, 6fps
- Canon 6D - $1800, 4.5fps
- Nikon D810 - $3000, 5fps
- Nikon D750 - $2000, 6.5fps
- Nikon D610 - $1500, 6fps
- Sony A99 - $2000, 6fps
- Leica M-P - $8000, 3fps
- Sony a7 (any of them) - $1500-$2500, 1fps
For completeness, there are a couple of "outside the box" medium format alternatives:
- Pentax 645Z - $9000, 3fps (sensor size is 44x33 mm, 50% bigger than "full frame")
- Leica S - $25400, 3.5fps; But it can do 24 fps of 4K video. 4K video is an 8MP (3840x2160 pixel) still image. That would work!
- Phase One 645DF+ - $20k?, 2fps
Conclusions/How to shoot ping pong
- Shoot from an elevated position (8-12 feet above floor level) for most of the shots
- Be cognizant of the background as you are shooting. A guy in a red coat wandering by can ruin an otherwise good shot
- The best shots (to my eye) have the ball in there.
- Shots with one competitor facing the camera are good, but try to get a few with the back of the near competitor in there, too.
- If the player is right-handed, you are probably best to shoot from the right side of the table. If the other player is left handed, then you definitely want to be on the right side!
- Crank up the ISO to get a fast shutter speed
- Use the maximum (widest) aperture
- On APS-C, focal lengths between 50 and 100mm seem to be best (75-150mm on full frame). But try the longest focal length you have, too, to get very tight shots from nearby, and/or regular shots from far away.
- Try manual focusing
- Borrow a Canon 1Dx for best results :-)