Models good for sports?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by robert_thommes|1, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. From what I understand the Sony a6000 does decent action shooting. But are there any others that qualify?
  2. If you can settle for the CX/"one-inch" sensor, the Nikon 1 System cameras have very quick AF, ultra-fast framerates (with some features disabled at the highest framerates), and very good IQ up to ISO 400. There's virtually no screen lag when panning, even in dim light - although high ISO noise tends to compromise performance in dim light for action. The choice between eye level EVF and rear LCD make the V1 and V2 more flexible - sometimes it's easier to follow action via the rear screen. (Not sure about the optional EVF for the V3.)
    There are a few downsides.
    The view blacks out between frames while the buffer churns. Tapping the shutter release button halfway restores the viewfinder so you can resume shooting while the previous shots buffer. But it's not a seamless experience comparable to using a dSLR with optical viewfinder. Same problem with other mirrorless models I've tried or owned.
    IQ is better than any teensy sensor digicam, but not in the class of an APS sensor mirrorless model. Hard to say how well it compares to Micro 4:3 cameras due to differences with in-camera raw processing. It seems roughly comparable to some Olympus and Panasonic models up to ISO 400. Beyond that the M43 models surpass the CX sensor. And if you want good in-camera JPEGs the differences are significant. Nikon's are very good up to ISO 400 - beyond that it's better to process the raw files yourself in Lightroom or other software. Olympus seems to favor excessive luminance noise smoothing for its in-camera JPEGs, which looks superficially "better" than Nikon's at high ISOs, but could probably be improved by processing from raw yourself. You can compare IQ easily on dpreview's side-by-side image samples in raw and JPEG modes.
    My only APS sensor mirrorless is a Fuji X-A1. The IQ far surpasses the Nikon V1, but the Fuji is the last camera I'd choose for action. It can barely keep up with snapshots of active kids at play - I tried it a few times this summer. For snaps of kids playing, casual snaps of school sports either in daylight or well lighted gyms, I'd take the V1. The Fuji screen also has noticeable lag when panning in dim light. Not sure how the more current models like the X-E2 and X-T1 handle that sort of thing.
    But the main drawback to the Nikon 1 System is the absence of fast zooms. There are a couple of fast primes but it really needs an f/2.8 or faster midrange and telezoom to be attractive for semi-serious sports photography, such as school gyms for folks who don't want to lug a dSLR and heavy f/2.8 zooms.
    The Nikon 1 System is also limited by the proprietary accessory port/shoe and low power flash units, with no way to take advantage of Nikon's otherwise excellent iTTL/CLS flash system.
    It's pretty much a tarted up P&S on speed and steroids, with lots of potential but lots of limitations. I like it for the quickness and size, but it is limited.
  3. Sports? Canon or Nikon DSLR. Period.
  4. If you want to keep your hair unscorched and forehead unbruised (from banging it on a wall), forget a mirrorless camera for sports and action events (or children). An used Nikon D2h, D2x or D3 can be had for little more than a high-end mirrorless and give you 9 frames a second and nearly instantaneous response and focusing.
  5. Mirrorless AF has not yet matured to the point where it's good enough for serious sports shooting. You want a DSLR for that.
  6. While I do not qquestion the suitability of some DSLRs I am aware that photographers have been taking photos of 'sports' and 'action' for years without DSLRs and personally i used my original bridge camera, Nikon 5700, as an 'exercise in possibility' and I believe that while a 'fast burst DSLR' maybe the answer [ thinking of those shots of a recent football catch ] I believe that if you know your sport you can get good shots with any good camera by matching the camera's capabilities to the particular action it can achieve .... of course if you are a snapshooter you need the modern advances which make this possible. A transfer of skill from the photographer to the camera. Though there is the argument that expected results have changed somewhat.
    A parralel argument is about shutter speed with some suggesting you need well over 1/1000 shutter whereas my shots were taken at less than 1/150 becuase of my desire to shot at 100 ISO irrespectively with a small sensor camera..
  7. The Samsung NX1, at 15 frames per second and in continuous AF, is very likely a contender in this space. More reviews are needed, however, to determine how viable.
  8. If your interest is general action photography I think that DSLR's are still the best choice.For soccer and rugby for example I still use my D800. For general action such as children playing or where you can anticipate where the action will take place, the mirrorless cameras can be fine.

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