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Old May 20, 2009, 10:38 AM   #1
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Default Need a a good value camera for FORMULA 1 ???

Hi, i need a camera that will be capable fo giving me good quality shots when i go to see formula 1 in the summer. Need good zoom and the ability to catch motion pictures.
I am a student so need a good value camera that won't break the bank!
The tickets already did that! But of course need a good one to record such an event!
Advice would be most useful
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Old May 21, 2009, 2:24 PM   #2
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Krosey-

Because the purchase price seems to be the issue, take a look at the Kodak Z-1012 IS.
Here in the USA, the list price on that camera has just been reduced to $(US) 199.95.

Sarah Joyce
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Old May 22, 2009, 1:10 AM   #3
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You need to be realistic about the kind of shots you are going to get.

Formula 1 is VERY fast. In fact unless you have been to a Formula 1 race it's almost impossible to imagine until you see it.

Now for the bad news: Unless you have access to the press areas AND some very expensive equipment AND a lot of skill you are not going to get great shots of the cars as they go past.

Depending on the track you may find it very difficult to get any shots of the cars except in the distance and every shot will likely have a big fence in the way.

That's not to say that there aren't still lots of great photo opportunities; the crowds, the girls (or boys), the atmosphere, the cars as background with crowds/people as foreground interest, the airshow, etc, etc. A formula 1 day is a great place to take pictures, just don't go in there with a plan to take fantastic photos of cars in motion.
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Old May 22, 2009, 5:02 AM   #4
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yeah its my first time at f1 and we're on the first corner [copse] which should be flat out so im not expecting great shots. I'm pretty good at taking pictures but havent got the money to invest properly haha. Thanks for the advice about not focusing on the cars, will look for a more compact camera from now on to take photos of the general atmosphere, although I am hoping I'll get a snap of a slow moving ferarri :P
The Kodak Z-1012 IS seems good for the price, better than the one I was looking at thanks
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Old May 22, 2009, 9:01 AM   #5
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Peripatetic gave you some very good advice. Really excellent photos take some very expensive camera equipment and proper positioning. Perhaps you could eventually gain access to the pit area, through a friend, where the photo taking would be less fast and furious. Good Luck.

Sarah Joyce
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krosey13 View Post
yeah its my first time at f1 and we're on the first corner [copse] which should be flat out so im not expecting great shots. I'm pretty good at taking pictures but havent got the money to invest properly haha. Thanks for the advice about not focusing on the cars, will look for a more compact camera from now on to take photos of the general atmosphere, although I am hoping I'll get a snap of a slow moving ferarri :P
The Kodak Z-1012 IS seems good for the price, better than the one I was looking at thanks
Much depends on your actual seating location. The cars are slowest between where the driver turns into the corner and the apex of the corner (where the car is closest to the inside edge of the corner). If you're on the outside turn and are past the apex you can shoot back to that area and be able to stop action with shutter speeds in the range of 1/500-1/1000 sec. as the cars will have little angular motion with respect to your position. In general use whatever ISO allows you to keep the shutter speed at or above 1/500. As the cars are slowest in the area I've described they will also be closest together and that is where the drivers will be positioning their cars for a pass. If you can pre-focus and pre-set the exposure by pointing the camera at a track-side object at the same distance and lit the same as the car will be when it comes into your frame and half-pressing the shutter to lock those settings. Then press the shutter all the way when the desire car comes into the frame. This will reduce the shutter lag. Anticipation will still be require, that is completely pressing the shutter just before the car gets to the right place.

If you can't be in a location such as I've described and the cars a passing across your position you will have to pan. Start tracking the car well before it gets to the desired position, trip the shutter just before it arrives at the desired postion while continuing the tracking and follow through the motion as the shutter fires and after.

Don't use the LCD screen for framing/shooting unless you have to hold the camera above your head. Otherwise the EVF will allow a much more natural tracking of the action and more stable camera handling.

The Z1012, because of its zoom range is also effective for people shots within the crowd, W/A to show the mass, telephoto to isolate individuals. Sarah's suggestion about the pits/paddocks is excellent whether you can access physically or just visually. There's interesting action there as well. F1 races don't generally have the pit tire change/refueling action that US NASCAR/Indy car events do but you could get interesting action there if a problem occurs.

At an event such as that I'd expect to shoot between 300 and 600 shots. You will need at least a 4GB SDHC memory card or 2 ea. 2GB SD cards. Set your jpg compression to fine. You will need at least 2 fully charge KLIC8000 (or equal) rechargeables fully charged at the beginning or your KLIC8000 and at least (I'd have 2) non-rechargeable CR-V3s.

Read the manual and practice the settings before you go. Download the extended manual from Kodak's web site and do the same with that manual.

Have fun.

A. C.

Last edited by ac.smith; May 22, 2009 at 11:43 AM.
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Old May 22, 2009, 1:17 PM   #7
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^^^Good advise for general motorsports^^^

But comparing general motorsports to F1 is like comparing a kindergarten sack race to the 100m Olympics final. Same principles but an order of magnitude more difficult to achieve.

AC has clearly never watched F1 at Silverstone. :-) If you are lucky you might be able to get onto one of the bridges for a few shots before the stewards chase you away.

Without a press pass you can't get near the pits. Without a press pass you can't get near the track without some very big fences protecting you in case of a crash. From the stands at Copse you would need about an 800-1000mm equivalent focal length to fill the frame with the car. Even if you had a 1000mm lens prefocussing on the corner and shooting at 5fps you will usually not get ANY of the car in the frame. 5fps is not nearly fast enough, even when panning with a telephoto lens.

The view from the stands at Copse is not scenic, in fact it's pretty ugly from a photographic point of view. From a racing point of view though it's very nice, you can see 2 full corners and bits of the rest of the track.

You can walk up to the fences and try for some shots there. Trying to get a panning shot with an F1 car from 10m away from the track - with pro-level SLR gear and a lot of experience you might get 1 shot in 50 or 100 bursts that you are happy with. With a P&S camera 1 in 1000 if you are lucky? Seriously you could fill up 3-4 SD cards and get nothing. That doesn't mean you shouldn't have a crack at it however. You might get lucky and get a once-in-a-lifetime shot which you could sell and make tons of cash from.

Just have realistic expectations is all I'm saying. And look out for the thousands of photo opportunities that don't involve pointing your camera at the F1 cars as they go past you faster than you ever believed possible. Your best bet for shots of the cars (and girls) is at the stands.

P.S. Don't forget your earplugs and your sunscreen :-)

Last edited by peripatetic; May 22, 2009 at 1:29 PM.
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Old May 22, 2009, 4:49 PM   #8
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thanks for the advice on the sweeping, ill try and find another view because the first corner will be hard it is a flat out corner in silverstone i doubt ill get a good picture but a blurry image will be enough to remember the day
my crisis camera wise is finally over however, turns out my dad will lend me his its alot better than I could ever afford so there is little point in me buying one.
Will deffinately look into the battery and memory card situation i don't think i'd have thought about that otherwise so thanks! Dont want to risk not being able to take enough photos! now thats a crisis! deffo want to capture the atmosphere and the special events rather than a camera full of blurry shots
Thanks again very helpful!!!
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Old May 22, 2009, 8:15 PM   #9
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"AC has clearly never watched F1 at Silverstone. :-) If you are lucky you might be able to get onto one of the bridges for a few shots before the stewards chase you away."

You are absolutely right, I've never been to Silverstone nor any race at any level in England and I do agree that shooting from the press positions very close to the track require both pro skills and equipment.

On the other hand I don't think the OP wants to go to Silverstone and not have any pictures of Formula 1's. He's not trying to create salable pictures but rather create mementoes for himself. I think if your as knowledgeable as you portray yourselves to be you should give him the specifics with that objective in mind taking into account his equipment.

My racing and racing photography were 35 years ago but I currently shoot airshows for my own satisfaction with equipment not unlike the OPs. I fill the frame with aircraft flying 200-400 mph. The advantage of airshows is that the pros don't really have any better a shooting position than I do.

Earplugs, sunscreen, and hat are equally valid for races and airshows.

A. C.

Last edited by ac.smith; May 22, 2009 at 8:19 PM.
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Old May 26, 2009, 9:45 AM   #10
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I haven't been to Silverstone so can't offer advice there, however I go every year to the Australian GP and there are usually some general admision areas that offer a chance at good pictures, even with a rubbish camera! I got some great shots a few years ago of the underside of a Williams car!

In general tho, try and get a few test shots in of any support races so that you can begin to understand positioning.. then when it comes to F1 remember that if the car is about to pass you, it's too late to take the pic. Your best bet is to hope for a safety car (helped me get some great shots this year) or a Ferrari running out of fuel!
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