Get Better Sports Photos With the Right Camera

Aug 01, 2012

Get Better Sports Photos With the Right Camera

Action shots put your camera—and your photography skills—to the test. Capturing fast action requires carefully chosen equipment, plenty of practice, and sometimes a little luck. Here are some tips for getting better results, whether you’re a rookie photographer or a seasoned pro.

Your phone’s camera might be fine for casual shots of friends, but ever try using it to capture your son’s game-winning goal? That red blur at the edge of the shot may or may not be him. Whether you choose a powerful-yet-simple SMART camera or the sophisticated NX series, Samsung cameras make it easy to capture all the excitement of sporting events.

Match Your Camera to Your Skills and Needs

You won’t get great sports photos if your camera is too complicated for your current abilities—or if it can’t produce the level of detail you want. Choose the right type of camera by considering how close you want to get and how detailed you want your images to be.

  • • Clear close-ups. Any modern camera can get you closer to the action. But the ability to zoom in doesn’t mean much if it results in blurry motion shots. Samsung’s capable but simple WB150F SMART camera has an 18x optical zoom that can get you much closer to the action without sacrificing image quality. It’s perfect if you’re sitting rinkside and want to catch the smile on your ice-skating daughter’s face for your Facebook page.

  • • Power zoom. The WB850F SMART camera is even more powerful, taking you from the cheap seats to the heart of the action. The camera is easy to use, but its 21x optical zoom and 16.2-megapixel CMOS sensor bring intimate details dramatically close. Now you can capture that fall-away jumper at the opposite end of the court.

  • • Pinpoint accuracy. For the highest level of quality, the NX camera system uses interchangeable lenses, letting you choose the level of closeness you want. A 50-200mm telephoto lens, for example, lets you choose from a wide range of focal lengths for the highest-quality close-up shots. Capture not just the action, but also the nuances of emotion on your favorite player’s face. The NX system also provides the fastest shutter speeds, enabling you to take rapid-fire shots and capture even the hardest slap shot.

  • • Video options. Sometimes a still photo doesn’t tell the full story. Many of today’s best still cameras also offer a high-quality video option. The Samsung WB850F and NX cameras record Full HD video, while the WB150F shoots 720p HD. And now you don’t have to choose between video and still shots. The Dual Capture feature of the WB850F lets you snap 10-megapixel still pictures even while recording Full HD video, so you don’t have to sacrifice your scrapbook memories when you’re shooting live action.

Elevate Your Game

As with any sport, the perfect equipment won’t turn you into a star performer overnight. Here are three fundamental tips to help you step up your game.

  • • Location matters. If you’re not an expert, it’s difficult to capture the essence of an event from afar. The better you can see what you’re shooting with the naked eye, the more control you’ll have over the composition of your shots. That’s true even if you have a powerful zoom like the WB850F’s or an advanced telephoto lens. So make sure you’re as close to the action as you can be (short of walking onto the field, of course).

  • • Know the game. When you can anticipate who’s getting the ball next, you’ll have a much better chance of zeroing in on a key moment. If you don’t know the teams or the rules of the game, you may have a hard time staying a step ahead of the action. Familiarise yourself with the sport and, if possible, the players.

  • • Practice, practice, practice. As with free throws or a topspin backhand, there’s no substitute for repetition. Don’t worry about the quality of every shot: Samsung cameras have plenty of storage space. Wi-Fi capabilities and the Auto Backup feature enable the WB150F and WB850F to automatically store copies of your shots to a hard drive or to the cloud. The NX20 also has Wi-Fi for easy backup of your best shots, wherever you are.

After you’ve chosen the right equipment and started taking lots of action shots, you might find yourself discouraged by your initial results. That’s the point at which many would-be sports photographers throw in the towel. But if you’re patient with yourself and keep practicing, you’ll soon be turning split seconds into lasting memories.