Nothing is impossible
sports photography and the
Olympus C-8080WZ with TCON-14D

In the net there are many people discussing the slow focusing and short tele range making it nearly impossible to take sport and action shots with the Olympus C-8080WZ. I myself took the camera and my TCON-14D and got some amazing good results I think.

Lets do some considerations before we go out shooting:

In preface forget about the fact that every shot is a masterpiece in this field of shooting. Try and error rules! 
You have to take many shots to get out some winners. This is all the same wich ever camera you use.

What we really need is a camera that has extremly good "responsivness" between our shutter release and the actual picture taking process. 

Thats why I put the camera in manual exposure mode M

The light is simple messurable in previous. This saves some milliseconds it takes the camera to measure the light after shutter release. Also in postprocessing its not a problem to adjust for example +- 2/3 f-stops. 

I used a exposure time of 1/1250s and adjusted the ISO setting accordingly to get at least this very short exposure time. 

On the C-8080WZ I mounted a CLA-8 and the TCON-14D. The aperture I set manually to 4.5 thats only a little more open than the optimal aperture of 5.0 and delivers great sharpness and contrast. But I would not hesitate to use this combo even wide open (f3.5) if light conditions get worse.

These settings in my case leeded to a ISO settings of about 200. A Setting that is still very good managable concerning sensor noise in the post processing.

As autofocus mode I choosed "spot autofocus" and for shooting mode "hi sequential". But I often switched to manual focus mode just some moments before pressing the shutter release button. Let me describe this procedure in more detail. If the situation becomes critical to take a picture I press the manual focus button on the C-8080WZ wich immediatly (without any delay) switches to manual focus mode and the current focus distance is used. This makes the camera immediatly responding when I shortly later push the shutter release button.

As saving mode I choosed the quick HQ Jpeg mode, more than enough for this sort of shooting! On a 1GB Card you can save more than 500 pictures with this setting. The quality with HQ-Mode is still very good! 
See also my Article - Olympus C-8080 SHQ HQ that's the question...

Configured this way the Oly IMHO is a very responsive camera, for my "feeling" there is nearly zero delay between shutter release and the real picture taking process!

With this type of camera for sure there even is no mirror that has to be moved away before the picture could be taken! 

As a result the picture can immediatly be taken without any remarkable delay.

Very good conditions for sport and action photography! I don't think that even the fastest DSLR cameras are much faster here! Yes DSLRs are capable of taking more pictures and also the pictures/second rate is better than the C8080s 5 Frames in 3 seconds. But the delay for the first picture is really comparable if you use my settings! 

 

full ball control

Olympus C-8080WZ with TCON-04D; Mode M 1/1250s f4.5; 200 ISO
Autofocus following mode but immetiadtly before shutter release switched to manual mode, 
resulting in nearly zero shutter delay. 


 

JoJo Manfreds new ball control technic

Olympus C-8080WZ with TCON-04D; Mode M 1/1250s f4.5; 200 ISO 


 

Felix and his pursuers

Olympus C-8080WZ with TCON-04D; Mode M 1/1250s f4.5; 200 ISO 


 

Heinzi in air fight

Olympus C-8080WZ with TCON-04D; Mode M 1/1250s f4.5; 200 ISO
as you can see the camera has focused at the background 
but though its a good shot I think 

 

All above pictures were taken during a BOL youth soccer match between SpVgg Landshut and 1. FC Kötzting in april 2006 in Landshut.

Due to a upcoming discussion in the Olympus Talk group I also want to show a shot of mine taken indoors under really terrible light conditions (the caretaker saved energy and switched on only about 50% of the available lamps) in december 2005 (same team). I annoy till now that I didn't take the TCON-14D with me and therefore only could take the shot from a far distance. So I had to crop havy. The C8080 really worked hard at its limit under these circumstances.

 

Heinzis Goal - a wonderful shot into the upper left corner

Olympus C-8080WZ; Mode M 1/125s f3.5; 400 ISO; havy cropped
freehand taken under really terrible light conditions but I got the moment
and this shot brought the team the indoors championship this year! 

 

Just my 2 cents concerning Sports shooting with the C-8080WZ.

 

Conclusion:

The pictures clear show that the C8080WZ is capable of shooting very good sport and action shots. The only thing to be considered is to configure the camera to a very responsive setting and than its yours to get the right moment! 

Optical the TCON-14D fully shows its qualities and gives us a very good lens with 200mm focal length and it is very good usable even wide open at f3.5.

Sports shooting with the C-8080WZ is clearly not impossible and brought much fun to me.

Hans-Joachim Weber

(c) April 2006  

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