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Chapter 5. Action Photography >  Your Action Arsenal

Your Action Arsenal

You don’t need an expensive camera to take action photos. I once wrote an article for Petersen’s PhotoGraphic Magazine, which I illustrated with sports photos taken with both a $100 point-and-shoot amateur camera and a $2,000 professional SLR. Reproduced in the magazine at a small size, and subjected to halftone screening, it was difficult to tell which photos were taken with which camera.

Any digital camera can do the job, assuming you can work your way around the shutter lag problem described. That’s not to say you won’t need to compensate for other limitations, too. If your camera has a modest zoom range, you might have to limit your photography to action that’s close to the sidelines. Puny electronic flashes have a limited range, so you won’t be taking photos dozens of feet from the camera at night. Some digital cameras offer shutter speeds as fast as 1/16,000th of a second; if yours can slice time into slivers no thinner than 1/250th second, you’ll have to use other techniques to freeze the action (or learn to use blur creatively).


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