Monday, August 16, 2021

Photographing Recreational Golf - Sony vs Fujifilm


Sony A77II with Minolta 135mm f/2.8 and Sony A99 with Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8

My coworker called me up (last minute) this past Saturday to ask if I would hop on down to the base golf course and take photos of him and his cronies on the back 9 of their 18. He called during their lunch break on the turn, which just so happened to coincide with my afternoon nap time. He offered to pay me but I never charge fellow soldiers for my photography services, it's an absolute policy of mine not to accept money from soldiers, friends or family.

I slowly made my way out of bed onto the floor one foot at a time and got dressed, with the urgency of a sloth. The next task was to put a camera kit together suitable for shooting amateur golfers. I wanted to travel relatively light, so I opted to leave the hefty Sony G 70-200mm f/2.8 lens (weight 3.3 lbs) in my bag and took only the Minolta 135mm f/2.8 (12.8 ounces) mounted on my Sony A77II, the APS-C sensor giving it a 35mm full frame equivalent of 202.5mm. This made for a perfect, light-weight telephoto lens. I was already carrying one heavy lens on my other body, the Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 (2.1 lbs) so I wanted to keep things as light as possible. Also, I decided to hit the course without my camera bag, only my two bodies on a double shoulder harness and two extra batteries in my pocket.

@sebhustian with his Fujifilm XT-3 and Fujinon 16-80mm f/4 lens (24-120mm full frame equivalent)

I invited my good friend and shooting buddy Sebastion @sebhustian to join me out on the course and he met up with us on the 15th hole, just in time to show off the high frames per second capabilities of his awesome Fujifilm X-T3. I have to say, the X-T3 is an outstanding camera for photographing sports and with it's 20 frames per second burst shooting, it totally outperforms my Sony A99 at 6 FPS and the A77II at 12 FPS.

Gorgeous burst mode from the Fujifilm X-T3 equals super cool gifs!

The Sony A99 is starting to age. Although it takes wonderful, rich images with tons of depth and character, it simply isn't cut out for sports photography / burst shooting. It's not so much the 6 frames per second, that I can deal with, it's the absurdly small buffer. I can only manage about 15 jpg shots before the camera needs to catch up. The A77II on the other hand is much more capable capturing around 50 jpgs. But neither come close to the much newer Fujifilm X-T3 which can store a whopping 187 jpgs before needed to catch up. 

I left my Sony A6500 at home, which would have been my go to sports / burst shooting camera body. But since my main focus in Korea isn't sports (I'm shooting primarily reportage and documentary) my A99 and A77II are just fine.

Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujinon 16-80mm f/4 lens.

Enjoy the photos... the following images were capture with either the Sony A99 or A77II.