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Old Aug 14, 2013, 8:44 PM   #1
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Default Best options to film/take professional shots of basketball/hockey actions (>3500$)

Hi guys,

We want to start a compagny that does hockey/basketball player profiles with professional action photos and high quality games footages.

We are new to the photography/flming world but we re patient and wiling to take filming and photography classes.

We re looking for either a dslr that take good pics and great videos or buy 2 units : a camcorder for the vids and a camera for the pics with our budget of 3500$. After looking on couple of forums, here are our options as of right now :

Gh3 with a 12-35mm and good 70-200mm 2.8 ( 1800 + 1200-2000$ lenses)

Or a combo of A77 (12 fps intrigue us) with a 12mm-35 and a 70-200mm 2.8 (1000$ + 1200$) and a camcorder around 1200-1400$ (G30 used or G20 or tm900)

The videos are going to be for team scouting purpose ( wide view) and player profile ( on player zooms).

We ll film for about 75% of the time, 10% team and player non moving profiles pics and 15% actions players pictures.

Everything is going to be on a website beside maybe the scouting games tapes are going to be on dvds.

What are you guys suggesting ?

Is there better options than the gh3 and a77 for good ISO shot/video under 2000$ ?

P.s. Sorry for my poor english !
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Old Aug 15, 2013, 8:05 AM   #2
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This is not an easy ask. You want professional quality results but I don't think you appreciate the cost involved. So, let's get down to what you NEED instead of what you want.
What level of hockey/basketball are you talking about here?
Is your photography going to be a business or are you just part of the league / team and want to have a website (nothing wrong with just wanting a website)
Where are you located - what country?

What is the business relationship? Do you have a contract with leagues? Or are you hoping to make money after the business starts up.

We have to get down to what level of quality is NEEDED and work from there. Professionals taking still photos of those sports use Nikon D4 or Canon 1dX cameras and usually 2 or 3 bodies - one with 24-70, one with 70-200 and one with 300mm 2.8 lenses. Significantly more money than your budget allows. And that is just for still images. Video is still primarily done with dedicated video equipment.

The quesitons about your business relationship are important as well so please provide that information. Sports shooting is not the easiest type of photography. And while you can get decent shots fairly quickly, "professional quality" is something completely different. Especially if you have to compete with other professionals for work.
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Old Aug 15, 2013, 8:51 AM   #3
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What he said.

Sports photography is one of the toughest types of photography you can do, and you want to do it indoors which makes it even tougher. If you miss a shot, you can't ask the players to stage it again. You do the best you can with what you brought, and it sounds to me like you don't want to bring very much. Some of it is luck, but mostly it's skill and experience, and that takes years. And even if you have a flair for it, lots of good photographers go broke.

If you're serious, start with outdoor sports.
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Old Aug 15, 2013, 9:23 AM   #4
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OP - let me clarify something. If you are trying to sell your photos/video that will be very difficult to do and be profitable. If it is your goal to run a profitable business doing this, I suggest a different business model as sports photography/videography is a non-starter business model anymore.

If, however, you are somehow affiliated with the team/league and are just running a website and the photos/video are just for content and are not driving revenue that's different.

So, to tie in TCAVs post and mine - why is basketball and hockey your subject?
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Old Aug 16, 2013, 11:58 AM   #5
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Thanks guys for the advices !

We did distribute 450 survey directly in the stand of 4 diffrent tournament in canada. The results were 85% positive as far as parents wiling to spend 40-75$ to get good actions pics and clips with a profile of their kids on a website. I am affiliate with coaches and scouts and we want to offer camps, private on and of the ice training and detailed analysis of their strengh and weekness by a real scouts. People here spend a fortune every year and for those who thinks their kids as a chance to be pro ... they ll spend wathever for trainings and visibility. Of course nothing is sign and their s no money garanteed at this point but ... I ll give it a try for sure !

I ll probably rent an equimpent and try in a tournament before spending 3-4000$.

A use 5d mkiii might be a good idea to start with ... What do u guys think ?

Thanks again !
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Old Aug 16, 2013, 2:24 PM   #6
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I think that, considering that you're starting from scratch, a 'Full Frame' system is a needless expense and will be more cumbersome that useful.

Your primary objective is to GET SOME EXPEREINCE! Start small and get familiar with what YOU need to do before you work on what the gear needs to do. The weak link in your plan is you. You're starting from scratch, thinking you can do this. You're wrong. Give yourself some time to make some mistakes and to learn from them. Shoot as much of any sport as you can: Pro, Minors, College, High School, Anything! Keep a log of what you did, what camera settings you used, go over your photos with a fine tooth comb, and find out what you could have done better.

Maybe in a year or two, you'll be able to get enough quality photos to do what you want, and maybe then somebody will pay you for what you produced. And if you're lucky, someone that is already good at sports photography doesn't jump in and steal your market away from you.

This is going to be tough, even if you knew what you were doing.

I suggest that you might want to partner with someone that already knows how to shoot indoor sports, instead of beating your head against the wall, spending a lot of time, effort , and money, while you try to get good.

You've got a good plan; I just doubt your ability to pull it off on your own.
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Old Aug 16, 2013, 6:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
I think that, considering that you're starting from scratch, a 'Full Frame' system is a needless expense and will be more cumbersome that useful.

Your primary objective is to GET SOME EXPEREINCE! Start small and get familiar with what YOU need to do before you work on what the gear needs to do. The weak link in your plan is you. You're starting from scratch, thinking you can do this. You're wrong. Give yourself some time to make some mistakes and to learn from them. Shoot as much of any sport as you can: Pro, Minors, College, High School, Anything! Keep a log of what you did, what camera settings you used, go over your photos with a fine tooth comb, and find out what you could have done better.

Maybe in a year or two, you'll be able to get enough quality photos to do what you want, and maybe then somebody will pay you for what you produced. And if you're lucky, someone that is already good at sports photography doesn't jump in and steal your market away from you.

This is going to be tough, even if you knew what you were doing.

I suggest that you might want to partner with someone that already knows how to shoot indoor sports, instead of beating your head against the wall, spending a lot of time, effort , and money, while you try to get good.

You've got a good plan; I just doubt your ability to pull it off on your own.
Thanks a lot for the wise advices !
I know i might realize quickly that its going to be really hard at first. Not worth spending too much money before becoming better at it.

For a sports shooting beginner, which camera and lenses u suggest to start experiencing with ?

Thanks again guys !
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Old Aug 17, 2013, 11:32 AM   #8
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I'd suggest you start with outdoor sports, if possible. Any current dSLR with a good OEM 70-300 lens would be a good starting point. As for the dSLR, the bottom of the product line won't work as well for sports/action shooting, so I suggest you go up a notch or two. That would be either the Canon T4i, T5i, or 60D, the Nikon D5200 or D7100, or the Sony A65.

You should keep in mind that every camera manufacturer makes a cheap 7X-300 lens that's typically part of a bundle. This lens, whoever makes it, is slow to focus and not very good optically. I recommend the next step up, which would be the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM ($649), the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR ($587) or the Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G ($998).

If you can't do outdoor as much as you'd like, a good indoor sports/action lens would be the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM ($1,299), the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G AF-S VR II ($2,397), or the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G ($1,998).
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