We met Travis Guerra in the planet5D HDSLR chat room the other day and found out that he's shooting paintball matches with his Canon EOS 7D (reviews) and doing quite well. He's got one of the top paintball video channels on youtube – Socialpaintball.
This video was shot as a promo for a company and they've incorporated it into a site where you can customize the video – they put your name in several spots in the video like this:
My name is Travis Guerra.. and I film for my Youtube Channel “Socialpaintball”. My partner and I travel across the country filming professional paintball events (pspevents.com) . Our favorite camera for the job.. is the Canon EOS 7D and Canon EOS 5D Mark II.
We primarily use the 7d, because of the crop factor and 60p capabilities for slow motion.
Filming live fast action events like paintball creates some real challenges when using the 7D. First is protection. You must cover your cameras with rain bags and your lenses must have filters. Paintballs are traveling 300fps or 200 miles per hour and can easily damage lcd screens and lenses. Tournament grade paintballs have a very thick and nasty fill and can rack havoc on your equipment.
I use the Vari-ND filters because I shoot wide open at 2.8 aperture and this allows me to not shoot crazy shutter speeds. Our lens of choice is the 70mm-200mm 2.8 L IS. We find image stabilization a big help during this run and gun style shooting. Also focus takes a lot of practice on fast moving subjects especially at 2.8 and using a rain bag. Not to mention you are wearing a mask on your face.
We also have over heating problems and the rain bags just aggravate the problem with the lack of ventilation in the heat of summer. And yes..you get shot as much as the players or more..and it freaken hurts! My record is taking 27 hits in one day. Its very hard keeping your camera still while getting wailed on I assure you. Its like trying to hold still while standing on a fire ant bed. Another little useful tool is the 561BHDV manfrotto video monopod. It allows you to move freely without the restrictions of a tripod and still get very stabile images.
I also use the Zacuto Z-finder… and just can’t live without it. Especially in the HOT and bright Florida sun.
Now, doesn't that look like fun?
(cover photo credit: snap from Travis Guerra)