The Olympic Games is certainly generating lots of stories, drama and images at the moment. There are 1,100 Official photographers covering the event for a worldwide audience, I found this great shot on the gizmodo website which shows a sample of the press area covering the athletics in the Birds Nest Stadium.
Just for a laugh gizmodo have worked out that in this one seemingly innocuous image there is probably a quarter of a million dollars worth of equipment on show. Going a stage further, if one was to include the fact that most photographers travelling to China to cover the Games will take at the very mimimum a second back-up camera body and at least 2 other lenses, then that is something like 22 million dollars-worth of professional camera gear in attendance throughout the event!
For many years Canon was the manufacturer of choice for the discerning sports photographer, but this picture shows that Nikon is now making great strides into this specialist market. The white lens is the Canon L-Series, I count 23 lenses on view and only 7 Canons. Also it looks like 16 fella’s and only 2 lady ‘togs …. not quite equality there yet!
Over on the caborian.com site there is a much wider view of the Press Pen, it seems Canon have a slightly better showing here but they are still in the minority. Most of the sports photographers are using a telephoto which will enable them to zoom in close on the action and the individual; they’ll probably be using anything from a 400 right through to an 800mm. Though the guy on the bottom row with the yellow cap looks like he’s sneaked in there armed only with his cameraphone !!
Footnote. The beige shooting jackets on show are standard issue from the International Olympic Committee for all accredited photographers, I wonder if they come with a laptop hidden in one of the pockets?
UPDATE. Feb 2010. Nice link to the photography gear being used by Getty photographers for the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 over at PetaPixel.