In search of speed

by Helen Hooker January. 19, 2018 767 views

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Since I took delivery of my new camera a couple of weeks ago I've been looking an opportunity to properly test its ability to track moving subjects accurately. What I needed was a ready supply of subjects who would obligingly keep speeding past my camera. The local birdlife hasn't been cooperative enough so I decided to seek out speed of a mechanical variety instead. Snetterton race circuit provided the source I needed, with a track day taking place today, so I drove up to Norfolk this morning. An eclectic mix of cars continuously sped around the track all day so I was able to try out lots of different settings. As I suspected the camera's bespoke tracking mode isn't very good, although I had the odd success.

I had much more success using a single focus point but with the camera set to continuous focus and I moved that focus point to where I wanted it with my thumb on the touchscreen. The other useful option was to activate all 225 focus points and tell the camera which group of points I wanted it to start with. Having locked onto the lead car the camera then tracked it across the viewfinder pretty well, although I suspect this would work less well with a large field of cars in a race.

Someone's facing the wrong way here! I caught a long chain of 28 shots of this incident and the camera focused precisely for the vast majority of them.

Someone's facing the wrong way here! I caught a long chain of 28 shots of this incident and the camera focused precisely for the vast majority of them.

Normally I would spend some time doing some slow speed panning work to create a sense of speed in my pictures. I did a little of that today, but most of the time I stuck to a shutter speed of around a thousandth of a second. That meant I was unlikely to have any problems with camera shake and any failures were going to largely down to the camera rather than me!

One of my successful slow shutter panning shots from today. This gives a much greater sense of speed but results in a much lower success rate on any camera, mirrorless or otherwise.

One of my successful slow shutter panning shots from today. This gives a much greater sense of speed but results in a much lower success rate on any camera, mirrorless or otherwise.

Some seven hundred frames later I headed home, happy that I'd give my camera a really good test. It achieved a much better success rate than my little GX8 and I think the G9 now matches the abilities of the Canon DSLR I've just sold so I'm happy with my choice. All I need now is for the weather to warm up so I can get out to photograph more motorsport and aviation events and hone my skills!

19 January 2018

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Antonio Gil 3 years ago

Speed all over

3 years ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Antonio Gil 3 years ago

Thanks Antonio

3 years ago Edited
Pete Fitzgetald 3 years ago

great action shots love the subjects.

3 years ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Pete Fitzgetald 3 years ago

Thanks Pete!

3 years ago Edited
Kay Hooker 3 years ago

Helen,  they all look very good to me, but then I know you are a perfectionist!

3 years ago Edited
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