© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010
Fall sports started a couple of weeks ago and I have been busy Friday nights ever since. For many of us that means high school football. This is a time of year that I both look forward to and dread. The weather is finally cooling off and the days are becoming shorter. Unfortunately that means that the sun sets earlier and with game times starting around 7pm I am forced to deal with awful stadium lights (hence the phrase Friday Night Lights). This used to mean that I had to break out the flash-bracket-battery-pack-monopod contraption in order to stop action and get a decent exposure. Not anymore. I recently acquired a Canon EOS 7D which I have blogged about here and there. With fast lenses (f2.8 or better) and lower noise higher ISOs, football has become fun to shoot again.
UPDATED (see below):I will admit that I was once a Nikon shooter. When I made the switch to digital there were very few options for professional, high speed camera bodies intended for the working photojournalist. I looked at what canon had to offer and was not impressed so I chose to go with Nikon. After a couple of years with unsatisfactory results with a couple of D2H’s and then a couple of D200’s, including the almost constant problems, manufacturing defects and piss poor customer service, I switched to Canon. I have been pretty happy with the cameras I have purchased and the customer service. I really like Canon pro service. I haven’t had to use it very often but am impressed with their attention to detail and understanding of the needs of working professionals.
However, I am getting to the point where I feel that what Canon has to offer will not fit my needs as a photojournalist. I have several of their EOS 1D series bodies, none of which produce a file over ISO1600 with noise levels anywhere near what Nikon can currently offer. The Nikon D3s which will be capable of shooting at an ISO equivalent of 102,400 – in near darkness. As I have mentioned before, I do use ISO 3200 with pretty consistent results but this is where my options stop. The cameras I own do not offer anything above ISO 3200. There are certain circumstances where having the liberty to boost my ISO above 3200 is almost a necessity.