So, mirrorless can't do action, huh?
Last night I took my trusty (so far) Fuji X-T1 out for a little game of hockey. A friend of mine plays, so I got a little practice shooting action and he got some free photos. Some thoughts on using the X-T1 for action:
ISO was generally either 3200 or 4000.
Shot in jpeg (sharp +2, NR -2), processed in LR and Nik Silver Efex Pro. No further sharpening was applied in LR, but 'structure' was added in Nik.
CH mode utilized at all times.
High Performance Mode on.
-2/3 EV dialed in, mainly so I could get a higher shutter speed and not go higher on ISO; pulled up shadows later.
Lenses used: 18-55 f2.8-4, 55-200 f3.5-4.8
Some thoughts on the venue: incredibly dark. They only use half lighting, presumably to save money, so the lighting on the ice is incredibly uneven, and way too dark. These guys pay for the privilege of playing, but the arena still can't give them full lighting for games. Too bad.
How did the camera perform?
Great! As good as I could ever expect a mirrorless to at this point. focus acquisition was quite quick, and once you start firing that 8fps, the camera held focus very well. I took a total of about 1300 shots in 60 minutes. And I wasn't even using the camera for quite a lot of the game, as I mainly just shot my friend, who was only on the ice about 40 minutes total.
Of those 1300 shots, I only had around 50-60 oof shots. Keep in mind that some of this can be attributed to photographer error as well, so I call that pretty killer.
The EVF did quite well, though if there's a place where the limitations of an evf are made known, it's shooting action. While the refresh rate was certainly high enough to follow the action, it's no ovf, plain and simple. Often I would find myself sliding behind the action just a bit because the view in the evf, while great, was certainly not seamless.
This is something I expected, and I can't say I'm disappointed with it in any way at all. It is far beyond any mirrorless I've used in the past, period.
The 8fps burst rate is incredibly fast. The fastest dslr I've used was 7fps, I believe, so this is beyond that.
I did not take the camera off 'Focus Priority' the entire shoot, so I can't really do a comparison as to whether 'Release Priority' would have been significantly worse for the number of in-focus shots. I'd be willing to bet that it would be a significant increase in duds.
The only issue with doing Focus Priority, I found, was that it can take the camera that split second longer to acquire that first focus, so sometimes you press the button all the way to fire, and it doesn't start the burst right off.
But once the burst starts, as long as you keep your subject in the center or near the center of the frame, it seems to keep the focus incredibly well. So I would say some level of anticipation is in order to get the best out of the camera, at least when utilizing Focus Priority.
The last thing I'll make note of is the heat issue (or rather non-issue) as complained about by some with the X-T1. Consider the fact that I was in a cool ice hockey arena when I say this, but the camera never got anything other than slightly warm, if even that.
The lenses focused generally fast and accurately. I didn't really notice if one was faster than the other, but that doesn't mean a difference doesn't exist. Both are quite sharp, and both were obviously used at their widest available apertures at all times.
Thanks for reading/looking. Please feel free to comment or ask questions.