Panasonic G7 Shooter’s Report Part I: High-octane excitement at the Indy 500!
posted Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 4:06 PM EDT
Regular readers may already have seen my recent gallery from the Indianapolis 500, an annual motor race that stands alongside the Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans as one of the most famous on the calendar. Now I'm back with my first Panasonic G7 Shooter's Report, along with a second gallery update that takes us through race day itself.
Through the course of the weekend, I shot more than 3,000 images with the Panasonic G7, both as standard still images and using the company's clever 4K Photo mode. Why so many? Well, as action subjects go motor racing has to be one of the coolest, but it's also amongst the hardest to capture well.
Sure, the cars move reasonably predictably which helps when you're trying to track them for a panning shot, but it can be tough to keep up with their absolutely spectacular speed. (Indy 500 racers can come close to a 230 mph average speed across a whole lap, and down the straights they're potentially going even faster.) And unlike some sports where you can freeze your subject and still imply action in other ways, race cars just don't look fast unless there's motion blur.
That leads to a rather delicate balancing act: You want to blur the background and the markings on the tires, but some part of the car itself -- preferably around the driver's helmet -- needs to be pretty sharp. Shooting a race like this instills a lot of respect for the guys who shoot motor racing day in, day out for a living. Doubly so when you have the level of access I did, because there's no excuse not to come away with some really great shots! Shooting vast quantities of images as I did helps to stack the odds in your favor a little. :)
While I certainly had a whole lot of chaff among those 3,000+ photos, thankfully I also managed to get a lot of photos I'm very happy with, including several I plan to frame and put on my office wall. In fact if anything I struggled to cull my photos down to a reasonably manageable 58-shot gallery taking in both race day and Legends Day, on which classic race cars lapped the track and brought history back to life! And I also took the Panasonic G7 for a late-night stroll around downtown Indianapolis to get a sense of its high-ISO capabilities.
You'll find all this and a whole lot more in my first Panasonic G7 Shooter's Report and my updated Panasonic G7 gallery. Got any features you want me to look at, or questions about the Panasonic G7 that you'd like answered? Sound off in the comments below, and I'll do my best to answer in part two, coming soon!