Why You Shouldn’t Use a dSLR to Shoot a Soccer Game

Canon T2i dSLR

I love my Canon T2i dSLR. The quality of the photos are stunning. 18 megapixels. Focusing has 9 imaging points. It takes 3.7 frames/second with rapid shooting. The manual functions make taking pictures in all types of lighting a breeze and lets you get creative too.

I have a zoom lens attached to my camera in the picture in this post. I often use it to take action photos of my kids on the soccer field.

At today’s soccer game, I didn’t have my video camera and instead of going back to my office to pick it up, thought I’d try my dSLR to shoot fast-action video today.

Here’s what’s great about using the video capabilities on my dSLR:

  • It shoots high-definition video that has incredible, stunning moving images.
  • It can shoot video until the memory card is full; about 12 minutes of continuous video, which is huge. (I have a 16 Gigabyte, class 6 memory card.)
  • It has a built-in microphone to pick up all the ambient sound a/k/a noise

Here’s why a great dSLR should NOT be used to shoot your kids at a soccer game:

  • It does not have instant “On” like your regular dedicated video camera has.
  • It does not autofocus as you move the camera from one image to another. Each time you want to move the camera to a different point, you must press the shutter half-way to re-focus.
  • Since a dSLR has a mirror that normally must be lifted up and out of the way to take the photo, this creates a delay when you request a ‘live’ view from your digital viewfinder. The mirror must be lifted up, and you can view your live action in the digital viewfinder screen. Viewing through the optical viewfinder is not available with a live view.
  • The live view image shuts off automatically after 15 seconds if the record button isn’t pressed. This is annoying especially since I do not tape the entire soccer game. Rather, I tape segments when my daughter is involved in the action. There are times when I’m watching other players with the ball, waiting for my daughter to get the ball. The camera kept shutting off the live view. Then I’d have to re-press the live function, have a delay to activate, and then we’d be good to go.
  • The auto exposure function is not as good as on a normal video camera. Then you have to manually set the exposure. The problem with that is that the sun moves and clouds pass by, changing the exposure during play. That explains why sometimes you’ll have great exposure, then it’ll get dark, then it’ll get really light. With most good video cameras, this doesn’t happen since their auto exposure adjusts automatically to most lighting situations.

My daughter loves to watch and re-watch how she performed at the end of each game, and having these videos are perfect for her. It’s a great learning opportunity for her to see what she did well, and what needs to be improved. In addition, I get to create short clips of her performance during each game and often get creative with slow-motion, fast-motion and crazy color effects. She really likes that.

Want to shoot video of fast moving action events?

My recommendation is to stick with your regular video camera for now. In the near future I am sure that dSLR’s will be able to do everything that video cameras do, but even better.

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4 Responses to Why You Shouldn’t Use a dSLR to Shoot a Soccer Game

  • I have a Canon SLR film camera. I like to use my zoom lens when shooting candid portraits. One of the nice features of Canon cameras is the interchangeability of lens. Has this feature been carried over to the digital cameras? For example, is it possible to use a zoom lens off a Canon film camera on your Canon T2i dSLR?

  • Richard, the great thing about the canon dSLR line of cameras is that all of the lenses are interchangeable with film line.

  • Jamie Dahl says:

    Richard: Yes if they are EF mount. Example I use an EF 300mm F/2.8 non-IS w/ a 1991 date code on both my 40D and my 1D mark III. It works just fine. Some EF lenses have the ULD coating to help soak up the excess photons etc..that would otherwise get bounced around inside the body of a digital camera..

    To Mr Lawyer, I’d love to see some of the video you did manage to shoot :D..

  • If my memory serves me correctly, I believe I shot this video w/ my dSLR:

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