Shooting F1 in Austin With a Sony A7RII

Took a break from blogging bikes (one of my day jobs) to watch and photography Formula 1 in Austin, Texas. Shot with the A7RII, a 35MM f/2.8 and 55MM f/1.8 from pit lane and the Circuit of the America’s paddock. For the high-rez images, view this gallery on our Flickr page, starting here.

At times,  writing to the SD card was a frustrating wait, cause I missed the memo on getting an SDXC memory card with a Class 10 or higher speed before shooting action! The less-than two minute laps, with subjects going over 200 mph meant I missed some shots looking at a red LED light, waiting for the 42MB file write to finish. When shooting though, the focus tracked much better than the original A7R, and I validated all the a7rII praise. I’m probably in the minority, but miss the loud scheelunk sound from the a7R first edition. The changes to the body seemed incremental, but noticeable like the switch lock on the mode dial. Shipping the camera with two small batteries instead of one was a nice touch from Sony too, and the Eye AF feature, which automatically focuses on a subject’s eye, helped me get the badge-check shot above before she noticed me.

On pit lane, despite the wind and rain, the crowds were enthusiastic and it was a great show with Lewis Hamilton taking the win, and a 3rd world championship. I enjoyed being that close to the crews and cars, getting some intimate shots, as well as panning (over and over again) when the cars raced past.

Next up…street shooting in Geneva, Switzerland, and all the bikes there. If I get invited back to an F1 race, maybe bring a long lens too, like the credentialed media did.


Thanks to B&H, an equipment partner with Sony Mirrorless Pro for the camera and lenses. My stories about shooting with Sony mirrorless cameras are also on the newsstand in a bookstore near you later this month, in Digital Photo, and Digital Photo Pro magazines.

My daily shooter is Sony A1 with a vertical grip and various Sony lenses attached like the FE 20mm F1.8. Find more gear recommendations in our shop. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.