Two Pro Photographers Attempt Action Shots with a Cheap Camera

Pro photographer, cheap camera. You know the drill. It’s that show where pro photographers are handed a cheap camera and set out into the wild to shoot pictures:

For this episode, the DRTV team brought in two photographers, which can only mean one thing. Double the fun! Marcel Laemmerhirt is an action sports and lifestyle photographer based in Germany. Joel Marklund, based in Stockholm, is a Nikon Europe ambassador who also travels the world to shoot sports and action photography. Both of them shoot with serious pieces of Nikon gear when they’re doing professional work. But on this day, they were each given a Kidizoom ActionCam.

cheap camera challenge

Kidizoom ActionCam

It’s a 0.3 megapixel camera with a 1.4” screen at the back, built-in games, and a host of image filters. It couldn’t get any better. And what would they be shooting with this piece of wonder? Skateboarders, of course!

As the pro photographers and skateboarders got into the groove, it was apparent that cheap camera or not they are quite serious about the job at hand. They quickly discovered the nuances of the camera. For example, the built-in lens isn’t wide. It’s a short tele, a handicap that immediately pushes them back, literally. There’s no burst mode either. So, they had to time their shots perfectly.

shoot action sports with cheap camera

They also realized that there was no discernible shutter lag. Great! But the confusing thing was that the image that the photographer saw when he pressed the shutter isn’t quite the same image that was saved! So, although there was no shutter lag there was some sort of a “save-lag.”

But they figured out ways to work around these problems. That’s why these guys are so good at what they do. Not because of their equipment, but because of their commitment to their work and their ability to adapt to any given situation and produce good images.

They best thing about any professional photographer, is that they can get their models engaged just as much as they are in a shoot. Marklund admitted at the beginning of the video that he doesn’t shoot skateboarders that much. Later we saw him engaging with the skateboarders and quickly learning how to time his shots.

cheap camera challenge

No matter what camera you’re using, it’s key to talk with your subjects about the shoot.

Here’s a sampling of the shots they got:

pro photographer cheap camera challenge

cheap camera challenge

action sports with a cheap camera

cheap camera portrait shot

This exercise proves something yet again. Beyond a doubt, good gear does make some things easier. But there is no alternative to your inner ability as a photographer.

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