Sony played a major role in the massive, record-breaking production of Super Bowl LVIII, but its support for capturing images at the event didn’t stop there. Over 50 a9 III cameras and 145 lenses were available for photographers and Sony Pro support was also available.
Arguably the biggest sporting event in the United States, the Super Bowl presents unique challenges for the photographers tasked with capturing it. Just like the Olympics, Sony was present at Allegiant Stadium with a huge amount of equipment as well as a crew on hand to keep the photographers and their equipment operating at peak performance.
In addition to repair and cleaning support, Sony’s on-site presence at the Super Bowl included a massive delivery of 145 high-end lenses and more than 50 new a9 III cameras.
The agency’s photographers had access to professional support from Sony during the game, which included cleaning and repairing the camera and lens, if necessary. Photographers also had access to the library of cameras and lenses that Sony brought to the Super Bowl, all for free.
While Sony’s support will likely be greatly appreciated by the continent of professional photographers in attendance, the task of capturing incredible photos ultimately falls to their individual skills – but the latest and greatest hardware certainly helps.
“Sports photographers often have to think ahead of a moment using their past experiences with the game and what they know about the athletes. The exception to that is when you’re covering athletes like Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce,” said Kansas City Chiefs photo crew member Kyle Rivas. PetaPixel.
“A lot of times the crucial moment is probably something we’ve never seen before. This is where I think the Sony a9 III will excel for sports photographers. I was able to cover the AFC Championship in Baltimore for the Kansas City Chiefs photo team using the Sony a9 III.
Rivas used the a9 III to take the photo below and explains why the experience impressed him and why he continued to use it for the Super Bowl.
“Early in the first half, Mahomes was rushing a crucial third down when he threw the ball to Travis Kelce. Travis did something no one had seen him do like that, he jumped after the ball and went parallel to the ground while making a big catch. It happened so quickly that no other photographer on our team was able to find Kelce, focus and capture the key moment, except for my lens,” he says.
“Two things were crucial here. Because I had pre-capture enabled, the A9 III captured multiple frames of the ball before it hit his hands while my brain was still tracking the moment. Since I was shooting at 30 frames per second, I didn’t just have one or two key frames, I shot a series of frames that our Chiefs 65 TPT production team was able to use on the video side as well.
The a9 III is a brand new camera: it only became available to the public last week. However, Rivas did not hesitate to use it in the biggest moments.
“The Sony a9 III will, in my opinion, force sports photographers to change and adapt the way they approach certain moments. Some photographers will scoff at higher frame rates and say we’re just glorified videographers,” he says.
“Others may be hesitant about the number of images taken at any given time due to both the higher frame rates and pre-capture. I say if the power of this camera allows me to think at the same pace as an athlete like Mahomes and Kelce, I choose the Sony a9 III every time.
Image credits: Sony