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post #1 of 4 Old 11-14-2018, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Help with videoing Sports (football)

Hi All,

I am an enthusiast photographer who doesn't know much about video. My son plays high school football. I have been taking pictures all year, but want some video to use to make a year end video for the team that will include video and the pics I have taken. I just ordered and received a Sony AX53. I would love any tips people have for recording football, or sports in general. The remaining games will be night games under the lights, so that is a big difference from daylight.

Best mode for night football – I have done some reading. I guess generally for sports, I would want to be in 60fps mode? This would mean manually setting the SS to 1/120, and letting the Auto take over for the rest, right?


When in full Auto, I am guessing that the cam is smart enough to try it’s best to keep the SS at 2x the fps rate?


4K – I know nothing about video editing. The only software I have is Adobe Premiere ELEMENTS. My desktop computer is not the most robust. My daughter is actually decent with video editing, having used Sony Vegas years ago. She no longer has access to it though, and has never worked with 4K. Given all this, I would think that for this football footage, I should probably stick to 1080p, given all that I have said?


Still shots – I saw a video where someone posted some pretty good stills from their AX53. If I’m using the camera as mostly a video camera, but want a still now and then, what is the best way to do that? Do I have to flip the camera to stills mode? Can I capture a still while recording?
Thanks for any tips anyone can provide.
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-18-2018, 02:50 AM
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I suggest you get a monopod for your filming. It helps with not only minimizing arm and wrist fatigue for sustained shooting from a stationary spot but also better stabilizing your shots especially at the longer focal lengths (the AX53 zooms up to 540mm in the Standard Steadyshot mode and up to 1080mm in HD in Active Steadyshot mode). Video monopods with pan/tilt head with small foldable legs at the bottom work best but still photography monopods with a plain, pointed bottom are harder to hold still but still better than nothing.

On the camera I agree the 1080/60p you plan to shoot at is appropriate for the type of subject and conditions you mention. What I am not sure of is if the lighting in the field would be enough to allow you to shoot at the preferred (and technically correct) shutter speed of 1/100th or 1/125th for that framerate. You will have to try to see if the exposure level is enough otherwise you will have to lower the shutter speed to 1/60th which will still be OK under most circumstances. If that is still not enough I suggest you switch the recording mode to 4K/24p or 30p and set the shutter speed at 1/30th. This will help you have the best image quality out of this camera out of limited lighting situations but you will have to see if the tradeoff in some blurring and trailing of the subjects is acceptable to you.

This camera is great in low light. The noise at the higher gains is noticeable but very fine-grained. And the chroma (color speck) noise is relatively low. I have pushed it to the max many times under very dimmed lighting, 4K/25p with shutter at 1/25th, medium zoom (to not ramp down the aperture too far) and maximum gain with good results. Since my low light subjects often only had small to moderate movements I basically have an extra stop or so of light in my shoots with the low shutter speeds but as your subjects would have more, and faster movements you may not have such option.
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-20-2018, 11:16 PM
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When I shoot sports (using Sony CX900’s) I use 60p and 1/60 shutter speed. I’ve found that the normal “rule” of 1/120 isn’t necessary. 1/60 looks more natural to me. And it’s better for lower light situations.
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-24-2018, 04:37 PM
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The AX53 has a small sensor, which means it will struggle in low light, even more so if you are forcing a high shutter speed 1/120. The only reason you'd need such a high shutter speed if if you want to slow down the action so you can see detail (like analyzing the quarterback's motion). If you're looking to make a team psych video, then you don't need that kind of detail.

Personally, I would take the camera to the field at night (ie, a realistic scenario) and film some moving people at different shutter speeds and frame rates. Try 30fps @ 1/30, 30fps@ 1/60, and 60fps @ 1/120. Then look at them on your computer to see which ones look best to you. Either way, since you are shooting in the US, keep your shutter speed a multiple of 1/60 so you don't end up with horrible interference on the outdoor lights.
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