Hey guys, do any of you have experience shooting sports video with a t3i or similar dslr? I am going to be shooting high school football games from a press box and am wondering what to expect, especially with manually focusing while zooming, etc. Any help would be appreciated, especially what settings may work well. Thank you!
I own a T2i and I don't think what you have planned will be very effective. MAYBE if you had 2 or 4 of those cameras with individual operators spread around the field it might work.
First of all HD DSLRs are not great cameras for documenting extended events - as in capture everything that happens over the next hour - that's not what they are designed to do. I would worry about overheating and the SD card running into buffering issues - not to mention every 12 minutes at the minimum you have to start a new clip.
A T3i would be great for a sports team profile, interviews, certainly some shots of the action taken relatively close. From the press box you are going to get a rather boring shot with not a lot of variety (all your shots will be from above and from relatively the same angle) whereas if you are down on the field you can get more interesting shots closer up but not see the overview of the game. A better camera choice would be a camcorder with a long lens and extended zoom, a very stable tripod and some way to feed in the play by play although that can be recorded separately.
Agree with the other poster unless you maybe have a 300mm 2.8 zoom or better, so that you can zoom in without light changing. Then use sports mode to utilize quick shutter speeds to capture those special moments, but if it's a night game, the t3i with it's more noiseful iso of 800+ (especially 1600+) you might be hard pressed for night time great shots with a 2.8. As the other post suggested, if you can get in with a 1.8 or 1.4 or something close up on the field, you may get better results.