Advice on becoming a professional sports videographer

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    • #74311
      Avatardserva
      Participant

      Hello everyone

       

      I am a new poster who is seeking advice on how to become a professional sports videographer. First a little bit about me. I have been shooting sports for a few years now working for two local tv stations in Pennsylvania. I also have my own business and that is where I am looking to improve my status as a videographer. I have confidence in myself to shoot sports. However, to make some money I would definitely shoot other types of videos (in the past I have shot telthons and a small business commercial).

       

      I would label myself not as am ametur but also not as a professional. I definitely am experienced. Sadly, I only own a palm size camcorder (Panasonic HDC-TM90) nice little camera but by no means professional. I scour craigs list and see ads for PROFESSIONAL videographers and most ask if I have my own equipment. I suppose there is no way to become professional without getting new/more gear. I know I can shoot sports from any angle but getting my business recognized/people to trust me is a daunting task. 

       

      I have used more professional cameras like Panasonic P2, Hitachi Z-4000W and JVC GY-HM600. They are all awesome cameras but way to expensive for my taste. I was looking at the Canon A10 and was wondering if in your opinions that was professional enough to get some of these gigs? I would also consider getting a nice shotgun mic and lav mic set. But again I am a relatively poor videographer and cant afford $10,000 of gear. It is a stretch for me to even get a $1500 camera as it would have to be financed. 

       

      I just want to know what pieces of gear (along with makes and model) that you suggest I get started with and what other pieces I can wait to buy. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

    • #210087
      AvatarAviv Vana
      Participant

      I have a friend and fellow cinematographer who recently was a presenter at my online cinematography event (bigleaguecinesummit). He shoots a lot of sports stuff (and used to be a pro athlete).

       

      He uses a Canon 7D and lenses with stabilization. I hope that helps.

    • #210088
      AvatarEddieValiant
      Participant

      You mention you shoot for the local TV stations – do they have cameras or are you using your own?

       

      There are alternatives to buying new. First, look into rentals. If you're near a metropolitan area, there is usually at least one camera store that rents pro level gear. There are also places on the internet that will ship to you. They all have different requirements so investigate them thoroughly. 

       

      Buying used is a great way to save money and get good quality gear. I own several video cameras and DSLRs and all were purchased either from eBay or from other videographers. 

       

      Shooting pro sports will require pro equipment. I would think that most broadcast or cable outlets will provide the equipment unless you're being hired as a contractor. Search the net and see what other pros are using. The Canon A10 camcorder you mentioned isn't in that league; it's a consumer camera and wouldn't cut it for broadcast. You said some of the camera are too expensive for your taste. Taste has nothing to do with it, functionality rules. The Hitachi is the form factor you'd need to shoot pro sports. Watch any NFL game or any major league sport. Shoulder mount cameras is what they use. No one uses DSLRs, it's the wrong form factor.

       

      Take your HDC-TM90 and start shooting every high school sport you can get to. You probably won't need any permission to shoot those, and you can practice and accumulate footage of all those games to prove what you can do. No one will trust you, they'll want to see what you can do.

    • #215024
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      You seem very keen on this product, having posted it twice to old topics – you don’t have a vested interest do you? Seems a bit odd?

    • #215025
      Avatarjpknight
      Member

      No, not at all. I bought the tripod over a year ago and it is just a really good product. I saw this guy with one at a game and people were asking him about it and that’s how I found out about it. If someone would’ve told me about it on here, I would’ve been all over it. After I found out a product like that even existed, I researched them thoroughly. Everyone else sells them for quite a bit more, so to me it was worth mentioning to people in these forums who are interested in filming sports.

    • #215026
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      Ah I see – as you joined and then blasted the same stuff into loads of ancient posts, I mistakenly thought your were a spambot. Sorry.

      I’m not impressed with the website at all! No specs apart from a distant picture and then some broad sentences. No pictures I can find of the pan tilt head, the control for it, or anything to let you assess the worth, especially as the competitors give you close ups of the product. The bottom of the device appear to be a cheap loudspeaker stand.

      Could be a great product, but I’d want to see how it reacts in wind, and the smoothness of the head when zoomed in before I made any judgements on how wonderful it is?

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