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A New Twist on Sports Photography: What if we all just shot video instead?

Rising Star

Take a close look at these four still images. Don't just look at them at the screen size, click on each one so it will enlarge (2500 pixels wide).  These are all still-frame grabs from 4K video shot at 60P (60 frames per second) on the new Sony a7RV using the Sony 400mm f/2.8GM and most with the 1.4X attached. You know the only thing better than shooting at 30 fps? 60FPS!!!

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I truly believe that within the next three years more than 50% of us will be shooting sports this way. The only question I have is whether or not we will even pull stills out of the video in the future. The new "tracking on" feature exclusively in the a7RV is amazing as you get to apply all the new AI function + tracking AF without the need of touch focus on the back screen. The only drawback I see is that the rolling shutter on this camera is noticeable with the quick pans needed to capture both the release as well as the catch. I was shooting the game at 1/640th f/2.8 at 2000 ISO with the 1.4X on and 1000 ISO with it off.     What do you think?


Prime Creator

I would partially agree. The differing point of view I have is the shooters needs. If shooter was working on video and is asked for a still, that how they would work. for still photographer shooting video and pulling out a still because of a big play is also reasonable.

But shooting stills for still is a different game than pulling stills from a video. PMR you're more experienced than I am in both and the field of sports. Wouldn't you say you have a different process, mentality and vision when approaching each method? Thus, composing and tracking your subject differently. This is what I've noticed from the different images and videos over the years.

Prime Creator

I've always wondered the exact same thing: Can frames from Videos replace Stills? I started shooting stills, I am a complete newbie when it comes to video. I always kind of wished I would shoot video so I don't miss the moment or experience. Your frames from video look really sharp! I wonder if the result would be different if shooting from a FX camera?

Key Contributor

Holy crud Patrick - these are awesome! I have been saying for years that this is where we are heading, though personally I still love the challenge of doing it manually. What can I say, I'm an old dog. Happy 2023 buddy!

Prime Creator

Oh man!! YES!!! This is so incredible!