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Old Sep 11, 2006, 6:52 PM   #1
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THis is my first Digital so any suggestions would be appreciated. When taking pictures indoors in a well-lit arena all actions photos came out blurry. I tried both 'auto' and 'sports/action' settings but no luck - actually I think the action setting was worse.

Is the problem the lighting slowing things down so I don't get a fast, clean shot? I was trying to get pictures of bull riders and once before I took similar shots outdoors and they came out great. If this is the cause what, if anything, can I do to get these types of shots?

Sometimes I feel that the camera just doesn't work as well as when I first got it but don't know if that's possible - maybe its the photographer that's wearing out.

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Old Sep 11, 2006, 7:33 PM   #2
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Blurred photos mean you're using too slow of a shutter speed, this is because it is too dim. Are you using the flash? I have similar problems indoor with no flash, but when I turn it on the problem goes away. Also, are you using all auto settings, if not, tell me how you're shooting the pictures.
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Old Sep 11, 2006, 7:51 PM   #3
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What you think is a well lit stadium (or a well lit home interior) is quite dim to a camera.

Your camera has a relatively bright lens on it as these things go (it has a widest aperture of f/3.1 when zoomed in all the way, which isn't too shabby).

But, it's limited to ISO 400. Each time you double the ISO speed, the camera can use shutter speeds twice as fast for the same lighting and aperture.

Your best bet is to simply set it to ISO 400 in low light when you can't use a flash (since the Auto ISO may not be increasing that high).

I'd keep the flash off in a stadium (it's not going to help unless you're close enough to be within the rated flash range anyway), because some cameras will try to set the shutter speed to a value assuming that you're closer when you use it).

You can shoot in Av (Aperture Priority) mode and select the largest available aperture (smallest f/stop number). But, that really won't help anything with most models in low light (since the camera will already be using the largest available aperture in low light).

This kind of shooting is tough on a camera (night games, events in a stadium at night, etc.).

Most sports photographers shooting night games in a well lit stadium are going to be shooting with a DSLR at ISO 1600 with a bright f/2.8 zoom, and will get shutter speeds 4 times as fast as you could get with your model to help prevent motion blur.

So, your camera is not really suited for that type of shooting (because when the camera leaves the shutter open long enough for proper exposure at it's maximum available ISO speed, it's usually not fast enough to prevent blur from subject movement in low light).

You may also find that some of the blur you're seeing is from camera shake. Using a monopod or tripod can help that part. But, it won't help with subject movement.

If you set your ISO speed to it's highest available setting (ISO 400 on your camera), noise (similar to film grain) will be a higher. But, there are some good tools to help remove it. Here are links to two products that have free versions available.

Neat Image


There is one other thing you can try if you're still getting an unacceptable amount of motion blur (and you probably will in a stadium at night, even at ISO 400).

You can deliberately underexpose to get faster shutter speeds. The easiest way to do this is use the Exposure Compensation feature (set it to a -EV Value) when shooting in Aperture Priority mode with the Aperture Wide Open (smallest available f/stop number). For example, if you underexpose by one stop (-1.0 EV) using Exposure Compensation, you'll get shutter speeds twice as fast in low light. Underexpose by two stops (-2.0 EV setting) and you'll get shutter speeds 4 times as fast.

Deliberately underexposing using Exposure Compensation means your images will be darker, and you'll need to use an image editor to brighten them later.

Also, keep in mind that they may get pretty "ugly" that way (since if you underexpose to simulate a higher ISO speed, noise will be higher, just as if your camera had an even higher ISO Speed available, especially after you brighten the images with software). But, sometimes higher noise is preferrable to motion blur.

You will lose some dynamic range using this technique, too (for example, loss of shadow detail if it's too underexposed), and the amount of detail left in your photo after brightening and noise reduction may or may not be acceptable to you, depending on the use for the images and the desired viewing size.

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Old Sep 12, 2006, 11:36 AM   #4
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Thanks veru much for the info and advice. I really appreciate it
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