Last Sunday, I had an excuse to put away my Sony a7R II, which I have been using almost exclusively for the last year, and to spend some time with my old Canon 1DX. Armando and I were covering the Cross-country National Championship at the Beacon Hill park. It was an intense day, both i terms of the race itself and in terms of shooting. Everybody hoped in vain that the cold, pouring rain that started just as the athletes began their warm-up runs would stop before the race. Instead, it continued on and off throughout the day.
On the positive side, rain makes action photos more interesting, at least for sports like running, soccer and rugby. I like how the fast shutter speed (I was shooting at 1/1000 s most of the time) freezes the out-of-focus rain drops between the subject and the camera.
The cold rain is tough on the hardware, though, not to mention the athletes and the photographers. For example, I could not shoot with the Sony as much as I wanted to – it is not weather-proof enough.
The bulletproof feel of the 1DX, the autofocus speed, the framing rate, even the characteristic shutter sound of the high-speed bursts – these are the things I’ve been missing in my mirrorless camera. About the sound of 1Dx – I can recognize it in the crowd of photographers even on TV. It reminds me of an episode from “Heartbreak Ridge”, when Clint Eastwood’s character says to young marines: “This is the AK-47 assault rifle, the preferred weapon of your enemy, and it makes a very distinctive sound when fired at you, so remember it.”
For the rainy days, my preferred weapon is definitely a Canon.