COTA ARX 2019 – It’s time to stock up on batteries, memory, and patience

If you ever want to quickly find the limits of your photography hardware, bring whatever you have to a sport-based event with lots of moving subjects, and get your index finger well-mated to the shutter button. While having the knowledge of what how to capture the shot, it takes a whole lot of what with to improve your keep rate. To capture silky-smooth panning shots of subjects in motion, a camera body with a high frame-rate buffer paired with a SD card with a quick write speed will help ensure a higher-keep rate and reduced “cool-down” period between bursts. A long lens with built-in stabilization will compensate for hand-shake when dragging the shutter at sub 1/60 and possibly forgo the need for aggressive post-process cropping. A battery-grip for your camera body of choice will ensure a more stable shooting platform and alleviate worries of premature battery exhaustion. Finally, having dual memory slots on the camera body will delay having to card-swap in the heat of action. My typical keep-rate for event photography is approximately 10% – for this sporting event, my keep-rate was roughly halved to 5%, possibly lower.

A few takeaways from shooting the ARX event:

  • The sport finder view mode only works with mechanical shutter. Of course, this detail is only relevant on the Fujifilm X-T3 and similar models.
  • Electronic shutter will allow for very quick frame speeds can suffer from line-by-line sensor-read distortion. This phenomenon manifests itself with moving subjects due to sensor data being read line-by-line from one side of the sensor to another.
  • Varying angles of a scene is key. This is where having media credentials pays-off and grants a photographer the widest access to different areas of the track/arena.
  • Bring more batteries and memory.

ARX was kind enough to allow public access to the pit-area of the track, so no credentials were required to view the team area and get up close.

Series was shot with Fujifilm X-T3, 16-55 f/2.8, 50-140 f/2.8, 1.4x teleconverter

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