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Old May 12, 2009, 10:16 PM   #1
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Default Eos 20D Sport Mode with drastic Aperature Change

I just started using this Canon 20D a few weeks ago. I have used it primarily for Little League baseball games. I know I should probably be using the Av setting, but as this camera is new to me, I wanted to start in one of the auto modes.

When shooting in Sports Mode, I have gotten a couple of shots during a short burst that had virtually the same composition, but the metadata shows an aperature value on one of my shots at 7.1 with a shutter speed of 1/1250 sec. The previous shot is with an aperature value of 14 and a shutter speed of 1/2500 sec. (This shot is very dark) I had this problem the first time I used it. The second time there were no problems. Now it is very bad. 70-80% of the shots are too dark. Is this normal? Could it be dependent on battery charge? Will using the Av mode with proper settings for sports correct this problem? I am using this camera body with a Canon L 4 70-200 zoom.

I appreciate your reply.

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Old May 13, 2009, 2:02 AM   #2
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Sounds like a metering problem.

Are you using flash? Or was it dark enough that the camera was trying to use the onboard flash?

Have you accidentally set some exposure compensation? (Actually I don't think you can with Sports mode...)
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Old May 13, 2009, 6:33 AM   #3
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It was a sunny late afternoon / early evening. The sun was fully up.
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Old May 13, 2009, 7:51 AM   #4
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if it was full sun and there were white uniforms that will screw up the metering - a reflection of light off the uniform will cause the underexposure as Canon's metering is geared towards preserving highlights. Similarly if the background changes say from a building to sky as the player runs. This will also cause the camera to change it's metering. It's why sports photographers very often shoot with manual exposure.
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Old May 13, 2009, 1:45 PM   #5
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I am trying to add my pictures so you can see what I am talking about. Only differences in these pictures were the aperature and shutter speed. This was taken in burst mode. I would estimate about 70% of the pictures were too dark to use out of the 300 or so that were taken.
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Old May 13, 2009, 1:59 PM   #6
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You may want to downsize those images using a tool that retains the EXIF metadata so that members can see the camera settings used and look for something that could be causing your issues (for example, metering mode).

If you're using something like Photoshop for downsizing, don't use the Save for Web option (as that option strips out the header from images).

One free tool you can use is Irfanview

After opening an image, you can go to Image>Resize/Resample to resize it. When you use the File>Save As option to save the resized image for posting, select jpeg and make sure the retain EXIF box is checked (it should be by default).

Without seeing the details you can find in the image's EXIF, it's hard to say what may have gone wrong. If I had to guess (only a guess), the bright reflection off of the helmet may have been fooling the metering system if that was your focus point (as most systems will weight the focus point heavily for metering purposes). If you have a UV filter on the lens, it might have been causing more internal reflections from that bright light source that the metering didn't like. Again, I'm just guessing without seeing more details about camera settings (which the EXIF would give us). That looks too dark for something odd not to be happening in a mostly Auto type mode, and the image EXIF may give members some clues as to what's going wrong.
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