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OT: Camera...

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by Kelvin, Jul 9, 2001.

  1. Kelvin

    Kelvin Regular Member

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    Ok... one last thing I need to know from all of you.
    of course it's OT: do I ever write anything relevant to the forum? well ok sometimes :p
    I'm posting this here, because I assume since most people in this part of the forum are adults, you might know something about this.
    Sorry boys and girls.

    I just thought of this when I hit the sack and quickly logged on to post this before I forgot.

    Does anyone know of a high quality camera that I could purchase in order to take excellent photos of badminton players while playing?
    I'm thinking that the professional SLR type cameras would be needed as they have fast shutter speeds able to take serval pics a second.
    Yes that means while I'm travelling around I'm going to snap pics of all of you that I have met, and am going to meet along the way, and post you all up on my website. :p

    So I would at least like to get shots of you guys in action as well.
    Right now I'm thinking about a Canon SLR camera.
    Yeah like the one in the commercial with Andre Agassi.
    Similar to the EOS Rebel.
    Not sure... maybe some of you can help me out with this one.
    I figure since I'm gonna take pics of all your funny faces, I might as well try to get the best possible picture quality possible from them. ;)
     
  2. Quantum

    Quantum Regular Member

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    Do you want a regular 35mm camera or a digital one?
     
  3. Kelvin

    Kelvin Regular Member

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    I'm open to both options, because I would like to take up photography soon.
    Sports and nature stuff :)
     
  4. Quantum

    Quantum Regular Member

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    Well it depends no how much you want to spend too. 35mm less expensive, digital more expensive.
     
  5. pa player

    pa player Guest

    i don't think 35mm would do it....and you can't compare 35mm with digital....digital cameras aren't for serious photography...they're more for home use....taking fun pictures....

    i recently took pictures with a 35mm camera at a tournament adn they turned out great....could even see the shuttle in flight in most of them...only drawback is that if there's a match going on you obviously can't go in the court and take pics...so you end up with really small figures in the pictures which if taken by a zoom lens (as you mentioned the Canon EOS) they'll be much better....

    my bet it go with the Canon EOS or something similiar (SLR cameras) from Nikon or Minolta....
     
  6. Quantum

    Quantum Regular Member

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    Yes, the Canon EOS is a great camera. I have one myself.
     
  7. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    It depends on your requirements. SLR...
    Pro quality photos?
    Not sure if autofocus is fast enough to keep up with a badminton player's movement assuming you are trying to get an image filling up the whole frame.
    Motordrive? even 5fps will result in much wasted film because it doesn't catch the exact moment you want. You may find prefocussing on a spot and pressing the shutter button using your timing more successful.
    Sitting far away? Then you may need a telephoto lens with a large f-stop - f4.0 would almost be a minimum. These don't come cheap.
    The camera doesn't have to have a particularly high shutter speed, 1/250th to 1/500th will do for most strokes.
    Film; ASA 400 would be quite difficult. Try pushing(pulling?) ASA 400 slide 1 to 2 stops - certainly possible. Haven't tried myself
     
  8. Quantum

    Quantum Regular Member

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    A smaller fstop creates a larger field of view correct? And reduces exposure time?
     
  9. Brett

    Brett Regular Member

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    To take decent shots of fast moving indoor sports, you will need an SLR and will need to spend some pretty hefty sums to get it.

    As for the film vs. digital debate, you have many more choices and at lower price ranges using film, as of this time. There is one digital camera, the Olympus E100RS, which is designed for sports photography and has a burst shooting mode with 15fps, but it's a bit long in the tooth now and only has about 1.5 megapixels resolution (which will only print out decently to about 5"x7" but would be ok for e-mail photos). It costs about US $1500-2000. Other digital SLRs run in the $2000 to $8,000 range, but have much higher resolutions (should be able to print photo quality prints at 11"x14" or 11"x17"). The main problem with shooting sports with digitals is that most take too long to autofocus and to process the images onto the media cards; in two or three years this should change as digital cameras are evolving very rapidly. For most other applications, amateur (and a lot of professionals too) are finding that digital cameras are as good as film cameras in most ways plus it's much easier, faster and cheaper to learn photography using digital. If you are interested in learning more about digital photography, check out www.dpreview.com - it's the BC of digital photography websites.

    As for film SLRs, you should do as Cheung says and get a camera that features a good, fast lens. I would stick with either Canon or Nikon, as you will have the best possible lens selection. I think that Olympus also made a slightly lower priced SLR a few years back aimed at the sports-oriented photographer that you might want to investigate. I have had pretty reasonable results shooting an NBA game with my older, modestly priced SLR with 800 speed film; there have been substantial improvements in film in the past five years, so ISO 400 now is as good as ISO 100 from a few years ago, and the higher speed films are no longer grainy.

    There should be plenty of resources out there on sports photography to help you make a choice. Once you narrow down your selections to a short list, try to handle some of these cameras in person. If you have a good camera store locally, you may want to forgo possible savings buying from an online store and buy from someone who knows the equipment and will teach you how to use it. Try to buy someplace with a 30 day no-restocking fee return policy; there's nothing like trying a camera in person to see if you like the way it works. Check out www.photo.net also - they have thousands of posts on every sort of photography (not organized very well though) and you should be able to find information and opinions on both cameras as well as on dealers.

    PS

    If you decide to buy from an American mail order camera store, beware. Nothing has changed in the last 30 years and most of the NY based stores that have traditionally had bad reputations are still run by con-artists who will lie to you and defraud you. B&H Photo and Adorama are trustworthy, though. Good luck.
     
  10. Kelvin

    Kelvin Regular Member

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    SLRs in Canada aren't all that expensive.
    Especially for the Canon EOS Elan, which seems to pretty much be cream of the crop for Canon, and also the telephoto lens, not sure if I'll need the flash, but after everything is added up it seems that the price would come to maybe $1400, which honestly isn't bad at all.
    It's better than buying a digital camera, because I want the highest clarity with the photo's I'm taking, and you guys are right, it seems that the SLR is the way to go.

    I'm not looking for the same type of camera that those tabloid people use, cause I wouldn't have any use for it, but it seems since I will be taking up photography.. the SLR would be a very good choice, as I will learn to take better photos, and learn the ins and outs of the camera itself.

    I was thinking since Marshall got to go to the WC this year... I might be able to spare some time for the next one... this would be an awesome chance to put the camera to use, and since you mentioned those larger photo print sizes Brett... hehehe... Anyone want a nice close up of Camilla? or their favorite player? :)

    There is digital SLR cameras now? I'll do some more info hunting later about this....

    What do you guys think about the SLR cameras using the APS?
    would this be the way to go... offering convenience, and the same features as SLR?

    Price never really concerns me except for those $8000 cameras you're talking about :lol:
    As I said... I will be taking up photography, so it'll be beneficial for me to purchase an SLR of some sort.
    I definitely don't want to buy another regular camera, because they weren't meant for taking pictures of badminton believe me :lol: I've tried.

    Hey thanks for all your help Cheung and Brett, I really appreciate all the info, and suggestions.
    I'll make sure I get some blown up posters of you guys in your jump smashes for you! :p
    Of course I'll keep a copy for myself :) and send one to Kwun, to put you guys in the BC alumni section :lol:
     
  11. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    small f/stop means larger aperture. larger aperture, more light comes in, and that leads to shorter exposure.
     
  12. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    what Brett said. :)


    glad to see another shutterbug here. and thanks for the compliment Brett,
    IMHO though, BC is not quite up-to-par with dpreview....

    anyway, a couple of years ago i did experiment with taking badminton
    action photos. so i am going to share what i learned with you guys.

    here are my suggestions, and following that, the explanations if you are
    interested in the details.

    - get a SLR. you will be shooting in extreme conditions (see below)
    where you need all the controls you can have, a point-and-shoot will not do
    the job if you want decent results.

    - no flash. compare the results of the flashed pics (day 1) and non-flashed
    ones. you will understand why flash is bad. all the results are so cold and
    unevenly lit. not natural at all.

    - get a fast lens. in other words, don't get zooms (unless if you are really rich), get a say, 50mm/1.8. those are quite cheap. i use a 50/1.8 and a 24/2.8.

    - use manual focus. you are not chasing birds. there are only so many places players can go, so set the focus, sit there and wait till they go there. you can sometimes even use a tripod and just set the camera there.

    - multiple exposure. pretty useless IMHO. badminton is too fast.. :p

    anyway, here are the reasonings...

    the biggest issues with taking badminton photo are lighting and speed.

    we can pretty much safely assume that you will be taking with indoor
    lighting, and most of the time, it will be quite decently lit, but i
    can guarantee you will not be using any aperture higher than f/8. in fact,
    you will be very lucky if you are using f/8. i was on f/2.8 or even f/1.8
    most of the time.

    zoom lens usually comes in the range of 3.5-5.6. that's too slow for most shots. i imagine you will be right next to the field so you can get away with small (24-85mm), cheap (US$100-$300) and fast (f1.8-2.8) fix focal lenses.

    for shutter speed, depending on what shots you are taking, you will need at
    least 1/250, if not more. i have had ok luck on slower shots with 1/125. but
    that probably stretching it.

    the combination of low lighting and high shutter speed almost
    automatically means that you need some fast films. i was using ISO400. the grain isn't bad at all, unless if you are going for big blow ups, i don't think you will need anything else..


    the photos i took are <a href="http://www.badmintoncentral.com/badminton-central/images/cmu/index.shtml">here</a>, enjoy!!
     
  13. Kelvin

    Kelvin Regular Member

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    Wow interesting experienced insight.
    Thanks Kwun!
    I'll take some pics of you to put up on the your site too! :p

    I do have one concern...
    About the flash.
    Would that not be an arbitrary decision, based on the fact that not all facilities are lit equally?
    Well for example, the private clubs in Calgary are lit wonderfully for on court visibility.
    But the rest of the surrounding areas are dark, so as not to distract the players during their games.
    Would I not need a flash in these sorts of instances? or would it be better to take the photos without flashes overall?
    I tried the regular aps point and shoot cameras with autofocus for taking badminton pics, and even basketball, but they turned out to be utter crap, except for standing group photos.

    Thanks again to all of you shutter bugs for you help.
    I intend to really enjoy this new hobby of mine. :)
    BTW some really good photos there Kwun, thanks!
    The results compared to what I was able to take with regular 35mm were so amazingly drastic!
    Color saturation alone makes those over priced aps cameras look like a kiddy toy.
    And I can see all the detail even in mid stroke!
    With aps it looked soooo blurry, it wasn't even funny.
    I've made up my mind... SLR is the way to go, with a decent zoom lens.
    I'll wait and see what you guys write about the flash before I decide to buy one, if it's not necessary for badminton that is... I'm wondering if it'll be necessary for the scenic shots at all; like birds?
     
  14. Brett

    Brett Regular Member

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    You won't need a flash. My NBA photos were shot in a dark colliseum (seating areas at least) with a brightly lit court and I did not use flash; it wouldn't have done much good in the nose bleed section seats I had anyway 150 feet from court.

    Kwun's photos were shot with (I'm guessing) a 50mm f1.8 or so lens, which might typically cost US $100-200 for a standard quality lens. 50mm lenses give approximately normal non-magnified or 1x views, and are usually pretty fast lenses (f2.0 down to f1.3) that will let you shoot in low light. As you can see, without standing practically on the sidelines to take the photos, the players in Kwun's photos are somewhat distant. You probably figured this out, but to fill the picture frame with the player, you will need to get a higher magnification lens, probably something in the vacinity of at least a 200mm, if not a 300 or 400mm lens. As lens magnification increases, it becomes increasingly difficult and expensive to produce fast lenses that will work well in low light. Those giant sized silver lenses that you see pro sports photographers using at sporting events run in the thousands of dollars, but you should be able to find something workable that is more reasonable (and looks less like an anti-tank weapon).

    So Kwun, which player are you in the photos? I imagine that you are not shown in the photos that are attributed to you, but surely you are in the other group of pictures?
     
  15. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    Brett, you're right. i was using a 50/1.8 and a 24/2.8. both are pretty cheap, i think the Nikon 50/1.8 cost less than US$100 when i got it!

    as i was able to go right next to the court side, i didn't need a big long lens. and heck, i can't afford one anyways. :)


    the lighting turned out to be not bad. with ISO400, i don't always need to go all the way down to f/1.8. it was around f/2 most of the time.

    it was a fun exercise, actually.

    i wonder if i can call myself a journalist for Badminton Central, and then ask for a press pass to one of the big tournament, and then shoot a few photos? that will be very very cool..
     
  16. Brett

    Brett Regular Member

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    You should qualify as a journalist. You would probably have to join some sort of international journalism association to get a press card, but really think that is a good idea. You have a reasonable reader base here, that's for sure.

    Hey, on this topic, Kwun, do you know what the "subscription base" would be for BC? Do you have any sort of visitors counter? I'm curious to see how many hits BC gets a week or month. Any way of tracking how many different visitors there are?
     
  17. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    Brett, thanks, i will look into that.

    did you take your NBA photos with a press pass? if so, how did you get yours?

    the unique number of visitors to BC every month is in term of 10,000s. it is quite seasonal, depending on whether there are big events going on...
     
  18. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    photos of me? no thanks. :)


    flash is not an alternative to real ambient lighting. flash are weak and localized. and also it is a harsh point source of light. pros in studios use big diffusers, those big umbrellas, and many flashes at the same time. but i doubt that would be an option.

    the difference is very apparent if you compare the pics.

    and please, don't scare the birds with a flash, ok? :)
     
  19. Brett

    Brett Regular Member

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    Press pass? You'd be laughing if you saw the photos. If I remember correctly, I tried setting shutter priority to 1/1000 and then 1/500 to freeze the motion, but the camera wouldn't let me use that fast of a shutterspeed in that lighting, so I just turned the camera to Program and let it do all the decision making. They turned out ok lightwise, but some photos are a bit blurry because I didn't have a tripod and was shooting at the full 210mm of my zoom lens. The Kodak 800 MAX film did a real nice job - the game photos were better and less grainy than photos from the prior roll of drugstore brand ISO 200 film I had shoved in the camera, some of which were outdoor photos from weeks earlier and the rest from the game (useless). The ISO 800 photos show the players faces, names and numbers.

    I went to the game free, via the generosity of the team owner, who gave the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters 30 pairs of tickets and a luxury coach for travel to the game. My ten-year old Little Brother and I went and I brought my old Yashica autofocus SLR, which I have never fully learned to use, even though it is probably the world's most straightforward AF SLR.
     
  20. Kelvin

    Kelvin Regular Member

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    Hmm... interesting.
    I'll keep the photo type in mind.
    I wont go scaring now animals away.
    Actually if I had purchased an SLR earlier for sport & recreational, along with animal photography purposes; I would have had a much better collection of photos from the African Lion Safari!!!
    Geez, there was a white tiger fighting with a regular yellow one, and my aps, just didn't do the photo justice!!!
    It was hard to take some photos because the zoom only went up to 90mm....
    How come you guys didn't bring up this photo topic earlier?? :p
    Ok, Ok, I know I should have, and that way maybe we'd all be snapping some awesome pics from the last few major tournaments.
    BTW... does anyone know if Cheung was able to snap any photos at court side during the Japan open?
    Or what about Marshall?
    Did he snap any photos?
    I imagine that would suck up a lot of bandwidth as mentioned in another topic about images or something...
    but I wouldn't mind picture sharing with you guys.
    Kind of like collector cards.
    You know Kwun, that would be a great way of making some money for BC as well.
    :lol:
    I'm sure cooler would pay a few $$$ for pics of you.
    Or maybe sell some to creative to give to the big chested girl... jk

    I'll let you guys know when I get some nice quality badminton pics.
    I wont release my travel journal until I'm finished, but I will send Kwun the parts for any tourney's that I might be fortunate enough to attend along the way.
     

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