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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Considering my setup for sports photography ...
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02/16/2021 12:26:52 PM · #1
Greeting DPC people. I'm hoping for some insight of a possible 2-camera-body setup for sports. I recently was hired (yay me) to shoot a kid whom I had done a senior session with - but this time at his basketball game. Of course, I shot other subjects as well.

I used a sigma 50-100 1.8 which was incredibly awesome (on the D500 which has a crop-sensor) and heavier than I had predicted. The images were great and it was a very nice middle-ground lens - wasn't a wide but also didn't cut it for shots on the other side of the court.

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But since I enjoyed shooting the game, I started wondering if this could be a niche for me - My social circle has parents who have kids at the age where they are willing to pay for someone to shoot them sometimes so I figured I could add it to my repertoire.

So do I get another D500 (crop sensor) and just shoot a close lens and a far lens, or go another route like a mirrorless? I'm pretty clueless about the new cameras so my initial thought is to shy away from it - but on the other hand, maybe there are benefits to getting into the different genre and have 2 completely different camera bodies.

Any thoughts/ opinions welcome.
02/16/2021 12:55:34 PM · #2
I would look very seriously at mirrorless for that application. The latest generation of cameras, specifically from Sony and Canon, have AF tracking performance that is simply astounding. Hell of an investment to make though, that is the downside.
03/02/2021 12:24:34 PM · #3
it really depends on how much money you want to spend and whether it is important to make that money back.

making the money back is simply a matter of focusing more on the business of photography than actually taking pictures. this means putting together the sales collateral, the website, etc. and putting the word out that you are available to shoot. you also need to come up with reasonable rates that reflect the value of what you are offering. there a plenty of parents out there with great gear that shoot every event their kid is at and then give all the other parents great photos for free. believe me, it's really hard to compete with free.

however, if you can do something the other parents can't do, then you have an opportunity. this is especially true if you have great post-processing skills and can make posters, collages, books, etc.

as to the gear, that is really a matter of what it takes to get the job done. two bodies are great for sports, allowing you to shoot both ends of a court or field without having to change lenses. all the same, it's not as important as having an understand of the sport you are shooting. if you know what you are looking, you can use your long lens to get that stuff and then switch to another lens for other stuff. if you are shooting a single kid, you don't need 500 pics. even if you are shooting for a handful of parents, you don't have to overshoot in order to get the handful that you need to present.

in my experience, it's better to push the gear you have as far as it will go until you honestly know what's holding you back. is it low-light? then you need either faster glass or a sensor that handles higher ISO. is it focusing? maybe you need a body with better auto-focus. is it more you than the camera? maybe you might just need more practice.

this can be fun, rewarding, and lucrative - but, it does take a lot of work.

good luck!
03/08/2021 06:41:20 AM · #4
My $0.02 USD is that your D500 is a great body. It's a proven workhorse and a plus to that is that you're comfortable with it as well. I'd suggest your next money be spent towards glass. I'd also echo Skip in that identifying a glaring need is your best guide to that choice. Unless of course, you're merely looking for our approval to go ahead and buy those two lenses you know you want. In that case, DO IT!!! LOL!
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