Horrible ESPN Camera Work and Great ESPN Camera Work

If you're watching the Big Ten tournament on ESPN on March 12th, you must endure an ultra wide, long distance camera angle that makes the viewer feel as if he/she's watching the game from the last row in the balcony. It's a great camera angle if you want to watch the fans in their seats but terrible for watching the game.

The ESPN Big Ten tournament director is incompetent. He acts if it's 1950 and the zoom lens hasn't yet been invented. Unfortunately this is all too common in the era of HD TV.

However, if you're watching the ACC Tournament on ESPN, you're being treated to excellent camera angles that bring the viewer down on the court with the players The camera work is so good that when guys shoot, you can see the rotation of the ball and the faces of the guys playing defense. As a basketball fan, this kind of camera work helps you truly enjoy the game. I don't understand why some directors think we need to see a long distance, panoramic view of the court plus half of the arena.

My other big complaint is televising the entire game using the same camera angle high above mid court. TV directors act as if there's a federal law that prohibits the use of exciting camera angles during live coverage. We do we have to wait for the replays to see a variety of exciting camera angles that make you feel as if you're sitting court side? Why don't they use a little diversity in terms of camera angles which make TV coverage more exciting?

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Joined: 04/11/2009
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My take on it

I know exactly what you're talking about, man. Personally, I don't really dislike the wide angle camera work if the TV is big enough. It's not a big issue to me. I actually kind of like it better because I can look left or right and see what other people are doing. I actually find that I catch a lot more nuances with the wide angle. For example, I can see when certain players are moving slowly in transition off the ball, or  who's setting good screens off the ball. 

Again, it all depends on if the TV is big enough. If you don't like it, Zoom in on the screen if that floats your boat.

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Joined: 03/25/2009
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tli232, I don't Understand

tli232, it's one thing to have a wide angle, but when it becomes excessive that ruins my enjoyment of the game. We don't need to see 40 rows of people in the stands and we don't need to see the entire half court. A good camera angle is one that extends from the baseline to about 5 feet past the top of the key. Ironically, that's the camera angle they generally use on foul shots. Then the director pans back to his long distance camera view.

By the way, most people I know aren't watching the game on a gigantic screen which can negate to some extent that ultra wide camera shot.

If you check out the ESPN coverage of the ACC tournament, that close up camera angle makes the game far more exciting. With the camera angle used for the Big Ten, the players look like tiny people and I feel as if I need a pair of binoculars to see what's happening.

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