They say the best camera is the one you have with you, but for sports photographers used to shooting with top-end DSLRs and absurdly huge lenses, such an adage may be scoffed at.
In that case, Joel Marklund and Marcel Laemmerhirt deserve some credit. The two pro sports shooters recently held their nerve when the folks at DigitalRev challenged them to take some awesome shots not with a Nikon D5, or even a Canon EOS-1D X Mk II, but instead with a $39 VTech Kidizoom action cam. With 0.3 megapixels. And no burst mode.
“I’d say it’s a little different to what I’m used to working with,” Joel, evidently master of the understatement, says before the challenge begins.
DigitalRev then marches the two brave fellas off to a skatepark to see how they get on without their day-to-day kit, using instead a child’s camera with a lens that’s apparently around 60 mm, though no one seems quite sure.
“We’re not trying to stitch them up, we’ve given them quality stuff,” DigitalRev’s witty presenter, Kai Wong, says to camera as Joel and Marcel set about trying to get the money shot. Or at least one worth a few cents.
At first it seems as if the VTech has almost no shutter lag, though it later emerges that what initially appears on the display isn’t the actual picture that’s been shot. In fact, it has about a half second delay, which must feel like an eternity for a sports photographer. The confusing system prompts Joel to comment: “This camera is made to screw up your mind.”
But, as the images above show, the pair came through the challenge with flying colors, their undeniable skills enabling them to deal comfortably with the limitations of the very basic camera they’d been handed. As Kai puts it: “Gear is good, we love gear, gear makes things easier. But it’s nothing if there isn’t the ability of the photographer first.”