Hydro Thunder Taupo
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Thunder comes to town

Over the weekend, the New Zealand Hydro Thunder Powerboat series came to Taupo. The course was set up along the lakefront, giving everyone a front row seat so we thought it would be a good opportunity to shoot a little out of our comfort zones. We generally shoot stationary objects like mountains and waterfalls, or things that we can at least chase down on foot, like other humans.

But these boats are something else. With super charged V8 engines producing upwards of 1000HP, on the straights they reach speeds well in excess of 200kph. From a photography point of view, that requires some serious panning to capture the action, not to mention good autofocus.

For the day, Debs had our Canon R5 with a 24-105mm lens, so she was better placed to capture some wider shots like below.

Hydro Thunder Taupo

That said, given the R5’s high resolution, cropping in on the image below shot at 105mm, still delivered some reasonably good detail.

Hydro Thunder Taupo

I on the other hand used the R7 with our tried and tested EF 70-200mm f/4.0 lens. Being a crop sensor, the R7 gave me a little more focal length, extending the 200mm to just over 320mm, and I needed every millimetre to get as close as possible.

Hydro Thunder Taupo
Hydro Thunder Taupo
Hydro Thunder Taupo

It was a bit of a grey and miserable day but I’m pretty happy with what we captured and at the end of the day I was left with an even greater appreciation of what the mid-to-entry level R7 can do. Of course I’m under no illusion that this doesn’t come close to what you could capture with, for example, an R3 and something like the RF 400mm f/2.8L. But a setup like that would cost over $30k. That’s more than 5 times what our R7 setup costs, and unless you’re a professional sports photographer, it’s hard to justify. Donations gladly accepted though 😉

Hydro Thunder Taupo

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