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Monday, 25 July 2016


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I have to laugh when I read reviews that claim a given camera isn't good for sports shooting. For example, it's likely that 80-90 percent of the cameras tested by DPReview have "Not So Good For: Sports Shooting" in their review summaries.

Christopher's first digital camera was the D60. Mine was the Canon S3 IS 6mp superzoom with very coarse electronic viewfinder and very sluggish response (not to mention its 1/2.5" sensor with questionable image quality beyond ISO 400). Results weren't bad at all. One just learned to pay attention and work around the S3's shortcomings.

"...to this day, I find myself randomly half pressing shutter buttons...."

Same here. Doesn't matter much anymore but old habits are hard to mend.

I, too, developed that tic using a mirrorless camera for street photography!

[[This worked except for the fact that to this day, I find myself randomly half pressing shutter buttons (even on my F4S film camera!) to keep cameras "awake."]]

Glad to hear I'm not the only one that does this.

My habit started with our first digital camera, the Canon A80 point and shoot. When I started using high-capacity NiMH batteries for power, I kept the camera awake as much as possible. The batteries lasted so long (and I could easily carry around another set or two) that I made it a habit to half-press the shutter button every few seconds.

Because I do not decouple the AF from the shutter button, turning off any audio feedback about AF attempts/locks with a half-press was key, otherwise the people around me would be unhappy. :)

The habit has stuck with me to this day even when startup/wake-up times are not really an issue with more modern cameras.

While modern day DSLR's turn on/wake up almost instantly, this is still a HUGE issue for mirrorless cameras.

I found that cameras by both Olympus and Fuji had terrible wakeup times compared to DSLR's. The issue is compounded by the lousy battery life; you don't want to keep the battery on all the time because they drain too quickly, yet turning the camera off or letting it frequently go to sleep results in a lot of missed shots.

Obviously this isn't particularly important to folks who do certain types of photography, but for those of us who are trying to nail a specific moment it's a real issue.

FYI, my 30 year old M6 doesn't have this issue!

Just a side mote on the suitability of a camera for sports. I started shooting high school football with a 4x5 and 6 holders. My next step was a Leica M3. Any camera can be used for any task, the photographer just has to figure the workarounds.

I used to shoot sport for a newspaper starting with an Olympus E-1: http://australianimage.com.au/wordpress/index.php/be-a-sport/. I think I got some of the best shots with that camera purely because I had to work harder, given that it was anything but a sports camera. I never chimped, because I usually knew whether I had a shot in the bag or not.


Kinda similar with my Fujifilm X100s start up time vs. wake up time. While not particularly fast at 0.5 sec, I find it faster to turn on than to wake up. So, now I semiconsciously turn it off and on as I anticipate no need / need. I realised just the other day I was doing it without always being fully aware.

Peace & stuff.

I admit I still have the nervous "wake-up" half button press, a condition left over from my D60 days. However, I never shot action mainly doing static macro work and landscapes. I always spent much more time setting up the camera properly for each shooting situation. The low ISO files from that camera weren't bad either. I went to a 1DMKII after that and the difference was very noticeable. With digital photography there are always going to be minor annoyances - get used to it! If the final print is what I want, all is forgiven.

My first of the modern mirrorless cameras was the Fujifilm X-E1. The 'wake up' time was woefully long, but the start up time was pretty slick, much faster than wake up. So I developed the habit of turning the camera off immediately after each shot (when I didn't have the next already planned). I got great battery life from that camera.

The wake up time for the X-T1 I use now is about the same as the start up time, both fast enough not to bother me, but the turn off habit has stuck. Astounding battery life, but I worry about wearing out the switch.

I developed a similar tic more than forty years ago, shooting my F2; except that it involved checking that the film was advanced, and the shutter cocked...

"slow start up and "wake up from sleep" times." Yep, exactly the reason I moved on from my *istD. Street photography on a trip to India was an exercise in frustration. Always the camera was asleep when I needed it *now* & the wakeup & focus time seemed an eternity & in street terms it was an eternity.

I use Olympus m4/3 cameras (E-M10II, E-M10, E-M5) for street stuff and they are pretty good, but there is one thing that really, really annoys me about them. They are slow, much slower than a DSLR, to wake-up from sleep or when you turn them on. In my street photography I sometimes miss shots because the camera is waking up very leisurely. When possible I do my best to anticipate when I might want to take a shot and start the wake-up process, but sometimes things happen very quickly and by the time the camera is finally ready the moment has passed. In most ways they are fast and very responsive, like a DSLR, but in this area it is like a digicam. Even if a DSLR was as slow as they are it would still have an advantage because while you are waiting for the camera to be ready to shoot you could still look through the OVF, do quick framing, adjust zoom if using one, and then shoot as soon as the camera is ready. With the Olympus cameras you can't even do the quick framing and adjust zoom while you are waiting and waiting and waiting for the camera to wake-up.

Since they do not have an OVF they use battery power pretty fast. If you set it to never sleep then the camera is ready all the time, but the battery will run down fast. Also, the sensor and EVF will be on all the time even during the long periods when you are walking around watching for a potential shot. The sensor will probably be heating up and getting noisier.

For example, on my first big trip with the E-M5 in 2012 I spent a month in Nepal and there were a few times when I almost threw my E-M5 against a brick wall when I missed a sudden photo opportunity while the camera took its sweet time waking up. The wakeup I estimate is about 1.5 seconds which for non-street shooters will seem fast or at least fast enough, but sometimes you need to react much more quickly and 1.5 seconds is enough to totally miss a shot.

About 12-14 years ago the slow startup and wakeup time of early DSLRs and digicams was talked about and lamented a lot. These days DLSRs usually wakeup very fast. I recall my Canon 30D and 60D and Sony A700 always woke up sufficiently fast for street. Even my Panasonic G3 wakes up barely fast enough, but the Olympus cameras don't.

Yep. Started with my Nikon 4500 twist-body, and continue to this day. And just to annoy everyone around me, I leave the focus confirmation beep on.

I now have the opposite problem with my Sony cameras. I tend to turn them off all the time without thinking and then I'm surprised I have to turn them on again before taking a shot.

Never have or had that with my Canon or Olympus gear, which is why I'm actually in favor of having the on/off button far away from the shutter button.

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