Taking Volleyball Photos | Sporting Event Photography with the Canon M5 and M50

Taking Volleyball Photos | Sporting Event Photography with the Canon M5 and M50
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Had an opportunity recently to take some photos
at a sporting event. In this case volleyball. I can’t think of a time where I’ve taken photos
of any type of sports. So we’re going to look at the photos and see
the photography side of it. This was a high school event, so in that situation
I’ve gonna blur the players in the photos. Really the main focus is the photography and
how I was taking photos. I did bring quite a bit of gear for this photo
outing. I had the M5, one of the M50s, the 50mm f1.8
STM, and I also borrowed a 75-300mm f/4-5.6 EF lens. So with the EF lens, that’s a good thing. It’s a full-frame lens and also I had the
Viltrox speed booster along with that. Plus, the standard OEM adapter. So with the speed booster you have that benefit
of getting more light to the sensor. In action situations it seemed like a good
chance to try that out and see how it worked. I was mixing and matching the gear quite a
bit so that I could get a good feel for how each camera worked, how each lens worked. First let’s talk about settings. With the M5 it has those two custom modes. I set one of those up for action situations
beforehand. Trying to think of a way to make it work decently
well. I went with auto ISO. That’s a good way to at least have one setting
where you don’t have to mess around with it. Because when you do move around with a telephoto
lens you’re going to get different exposures. I did adjust those settings while I was taking
photos at the game. Looking at the M5 my final settings were 1/400th
of a second f/2.8. So with the Viltrox speed booster and the
telephoto lens at its widest 75, you’re going to get 2.8, which is nice. Depending on which zoom level you’re at, the
aperture will change on a variable lens like that. I had it at -1/3rd exposure compensation. Because when using auto ISO that does adjust
things. I probably should have gone even lower, but
it worked okay. I was trying to use the smooth zone autofocus. The larger block, the larger area of focus,
but it wasn’t working well at all with that telephoto lens. It was just way too slow. I do think I had the M5 set incorrectly, so
I was just really focusing single point without servo, but it worked okay actually. I think in a lot of situations, which we’ll
get to, I was just focusing on things I could manage with this setup instead of like super
fast action. I did shoot RAW photos with both cameras. I really wasn’t hitting the cameras too hard
with a lot of frames, so it really wasn’t a big issue. I was using the low-speed continuous also
on both cameras. Worked just fine! With both adapters, where I was sitting, it
worked just fine with the amount of range I could get. I could get very close to the players, see
their faces and get some emotion in the photos. That did work nicely. With either adapter I didn’t have an issue
with range and 70-300 (actually 75…). Using touch and drag autofocus, especially
with a long telephoto lens that changes the weight balance of the camera… It was not easy to do so I was using it kind
of between taking groups of photos instead of changing it a lot as I was looking at the
viewfinder. I was sitting near the center of the court. It gave me a good view of both sides. Trying to get photos of the net-play, or whatever
you want to call it was challenging where I was sitting. Of course with official games like this if
you do want to take photos outside around the court you’re gonna want to talk to whatever
organization is running the event so you can get access to that. Of course, media passes and things like that
are probably what you will need to make it happen. Let’s go over the challenges I had taking
action photos. The main thing probably was the lens itself,
that telephoto lens 75-300… Slower apertures, but focus itself was not
quick and the front where you can manual focus that actually moves when the camera is autofocusing
so it’s just not a fast system to use for action photography. You definitely want to look at higher-end
lenses, so if you use like a 70-200 or just something that is designed for this purpose
definitely have a better time with it. I mean, it worked decently well considering
the cameras, the adapters, the lens itself… And I did use the 50 a little bit here and
there. It just didn’t have enough reach for where
I was sitting to get anything super interesting. All that said, the 75-300 worked decent enough
that I’m happy with the photos that I got from it. It was challenging, but I took quite a few
photos. Definitely a large amount. At least enough that I have some that I’m
happy with. Considering the camera, considering the lens
I was trying to focus on situations where the players were not moving a lot. They’re standing, waiting for the ball to
start coming in play again. That’s a good opportunity to take photos. They’re taking a little break. They have a good facial expression, but also
not moving around. Opportunities like that where they’re really
not running around, really moving around a lot in an action pose of some type… that’s
what I tried to focus on. Another difficult situation is with groups
of people. Trying to take photos of the entire team. Of some of the bench people… Also, any situation where there’s just a lot
of people in the photos. Try to take quite a frames because you’re
going to have some person with a weird facial expression or two people… It’s just going to be a numbers game at that
point to get a photo that you’re happy with where everyone has a decent look on their
face. Using a lot telephoto lens has tunnel effect
to it. Where you’re trying to do action photography,
you’re losing where you are in the frame… where you’re trying to focus. So I do zoom in and zoom out sometimes just
to get and idea of where I actually am taking photos. That does help a little bit. Getting people with a smiling face is surprisingly
challenging in this situation with sports. Because that whole idea of “game face” is
really a thing where people are very focused on what they’re doing. They don’t have like a genuine happy look
on their face, but they’re very focused. With focus accuracy, focus speed I really
didn’t notice any difference between the Viltrox and the standard OEM adapter. I was preferring the Viltrox because it gave
me lower ISOs for a given situation. Worked decent enough that I was using the
telephoto plus the Viltrox plus the M5 most of the time. So in your editing software of choice, especially
with the M5, the M50… You’re gonna want to add some noise reduction
to your photos. I was hitting maybe 2500 with the Viltrox
and also around 4000… 6400…. up there depending on where I was
taking the photos. I did use auto ISO so I could have potentially
dealt with things better using manual, but just wanted to make it a little easier just
so I could focus on taking the photos and trying to deal with the slow autofocus. It was a good experience with taking photos
in an action situation. Trying out gear, learning which settings works
best. Worked out nicely. I’m decently happy with the photos, and I
hope you enjoyed this video. If you did, please consider subscribing. Helps me out a lot. Likes and shares help out a lot as well. Thanks again! Scott from Photography Banzai

3 thoughts on “Taking Volleyball Photos | Sporting Event Photography with the Canon M5 and M50

  1. I have a similar setup as yours, what do you think of the 75-300mm paired with viltrox speedbooster image quality?

    I noticed my photos are a bit soft when paired with the speedbooster, i think the fact that the 75-300mm lens itself is not the sharpest with an APSC to begin with also plays a factor here.

    Thinking of trading it in for a efs 55-250mm IS STM instead, thoughts?

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