Camera for Motorsport

Soldato
Joined
16 Jul 2009
Posts
5,653
Hi folks,

Looking for a little advice, its a few years since I've had any decent DSLR camera gear but after borrowing a friends Sony A77 and Sigma 100-300 to use at a couple of motorsport events I've got the bug again!

I didn't really get on with the EVF on the Sony however so I'm ideally looking at Canon/Nikon or Pentax but I'm not sure what body / lens would be the best combo for motorsport.

I'm probably looking at used and on the Nikon front the best buys would seem to be either a D7000 or a D300 / D300S but I wondered which would be better suited to motorsport, particularly weathersealing and focus speed?

Are there equivalent Canon bodies I should look at?

Also which telephoto lens would be reccomended? The Sigma 100-300 was a good lens but I'm aware that for a Nikon/Canon I'd need to buy lenses with VR built in which the Sigma doesn't...
 
Soldato
Joined
4 Dec 2002
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14,519
Location
North Lincolnshire
D300s or the 7D with new firmware would be good enough for motorsport. VR/OS isn't a massive plus as you'll probably be using a monopod anyway and a high shutter speed, unless panning to blur backgrounds. Sigma 120-300 F2.8 is a cracking lens, especially since they updated it. Also works insanely well with the teleconverters they do. Its a pricey lens though!

For canon, you could either go for the sigma 120-300 or try the 100-400L out instead. Not as fast but pretty good quality.
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
16 Jul 2009
Posts
5,653
Thanks again mate, will take a look. Based on cost I suspect I might head down the D300 route though although CF cards are a pain when I already have loads of SD cards!
 
Associate
Joined
3 Jun 2003
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1,767
Location
Gibraltar
Camera for motorsport, any SLR with 8fps and good autofocus.

The real issues are

- a lens for motorsport.
- good access

Depending on the access you have you might need a 600mm, 500mm, or 400mm lens.

Most professionals will secure good access to the event, and attend with 2 bodies. One with a long zoom (400mm plus), and a shorter lens, maybe a zoom these days such as a 70-200mm f/2.8

And more important than VF/IS, get a monopod for the long lens.

If you go to a circuit without any special access and a 300mm zoom you will most likely produce semi-decent shots and nothing special.
 
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Soldato
OP
Joined
16 Jul 2009
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5,653
I'm lucky enough that my local track is Knockhill which has decent positions for shots even on the crowd side of the fence.
The 300mm was a good length but I do feel there might be better lens options on say Nikon for focal length above 300mm.
I've also noticed that for other shooting there are a good range of affordable primes on Nikon which are my preference for everyday shooting.
 
Soldato
Joined
19 Oct 2002
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6,990
Location
Gloucester UK
I use a 4 fps 1Ds2 for motorsport and have little issue (I also have a 7D). As said the tracks you attend will determine your lens requirements, also the style you go for. If you're using slow shutter speeds for panning, IS on a lens isn't going to be very useful.
 
Soldato
Joined
12 Jul 2007
Posts
6,855
Location
Norfolk.
A lot of the newer Canon IS/Sigma OS lens have a built-in "Panning" option in their image stabilisers (mode 2 on both makes of lens) to cope with panning shots.

I'm in exactly the same boat but had to go cheaper so went with a 600D with a 18-250mm Sigma but TBH it's too slow at higher focal lengths so I'm looking at coming down to a 2 lens option instead, a 18-125mm and a 120-400mm or similar combination.
 
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