I have started a separate thread with this video rather than put it in the TM900 thread because I know a number of contributors here are interested in shooting hockey, as well as other sports.
Hockey is very challenging to shoot:
1. The arenas are dimly lit. In this case, the typical wide angle shot was f1.5 with 5db of gain. Zooming reduces the maximum iris to f2.8 with the TM900, resulting in the need for more gain and noise.
2. The expanse of bright off-white ice reflecting back to the camera will typically lead to underexposure (backlighting) and dark videos, with players dim. Either manual exposure or ev+ settings are needed if auto exposure is used (of course the shutter is fixed). I used manual exposure for the most part, and shutter fixed at 1/60th. I considered shooting some parts at 1/125th for slo-mo effects, but given the dim light I decided to stick with 1/60th. The problem with fixing exposure is that the rink is not evenly lit (darker corners)
3. The action is very fast, so there is plenty of panning and zooming required to follow and view the action. And, basically it is not possible to do that well without a viewfinder. I did not have trouble following the puck, the fast skating and the quick passes using the viewfinder.
4. To make an interesting video, crowd or band shots are useful, but typically the lighting for the crowd is not only dim, it is of different color balance from the playing ice. This requires constantly watching for and altering the color balance and exposure.
5. There is a lot of end-to-end *in*action. To get any good stuff you have to shoot a lot of video, as something interesting comes at random times. So, you need a minimum of 16GB for one game (at 28Mbps 108060p) and a full battery. And then after you need to go through all the clips and find the action. And edit, a lot.
6. And there is that darn, discolored glass surrounding the rink!
So, 108060p - progressive video - is needed for best results given both the fast action and the need for relatively fast (not too fast!) camera panning. And so is a viewfinder and a good variable-speed, controllable zoom. And, as it is unlikely you can bring a tripod to a real game, you need good stabilization. The video here was shot handheld, but there is no shaky cam at all.
In addition to these challenges, there are issues relating to sound. The indoor arena amplifies crowd noise and any music (which is designed to be loud anyway). Autogain audio prevents overloading from the loud sound, but will during the more quiet parts of the actual game push up ambient noise unnaturally and annoyingly. In this video I used the lowest manual audio setting possible - the audio captures the near-deafening levels of the pep
band, but also the sound of sticks on pucks and skates on ice that add to the sense of being there - the full dynamic range.
This video is the rough cut - no transitions or titles or narration, which are added later. I did not try to be especially creative here, just aimed to convey the experience of being at the game. The video clips were not altered in any way but through trimming. If you download the video and play it on a good HDTV you will view the video as delivered by the camera. Vimeo videos are converted to 30p; the original (downloadable) video, at 60p, shows ultrasmooth, realistic hockey action.http://vimeo.com/37751356