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Old Jan 12, 2006, 7:27 AM   #1
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I just purchased a Nikon D50 withthe 18-55 kit lens,and need some help on how to set the camera settings for better indoor sports pictures without using a flash. Mainly for Basketball games and for Volleyball, etc. I have spent time trying to find a workable solution through the various websites, but they never really address any camera setting starting points. Obviously there is probably not one specific cure all setting, but any help with a specific starting point as it pertains to manual settings (pre-programmed ones dont work) and perhaps lens options would be helpful. Thanks!!!




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Old Jan 12, 2006, 9:03 AM   #2
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These are action sports and therefore require fast shutter speeds to freeze action. Unfortuately, gyms have very poor lighting (for photography purposes) The only way to achieve fast enough shutter speeds (1/250th or higher) is to bump the camera's ISO up to at least 800, and probably 1600. You will also want to shoot at the shortest focal length possible...the lens aperature is larger at shorter zoom lengths. If you can get close, the kit lens should be fine..I find long tele zooms are too long in most of the gyms I have been in. If you find the lighting especailly bad, you may want to look at the 50mm 1.8 prime lens. It can be had for under $100 on the used market. This is a great low light lens, although DOF will limit usefulness when shooting wide open, but being able to shoot at f2.8 is a big help. Be aware that you will see some noise at the higher ISO settings. However, the noise usually cleans up very well with Noise reduction software such as Noise Ninja or Neat Image.

A couple of other things...set the camera to continous focus and burst mode. This will help keep the moving subjects in focus and allow you to squeeze off many shots while holding the shutter button down.

Good luck.
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Old Jan 12, 2006, 2:07 PM   #3
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I tend to fiddle around with the white balance till I find one that works. I sure do hate poorly lit gyms.
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Old Jan 31, 2006, 5:37 PM   #4
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Can someone please address a STARTING POINT for novices to begin with for all settings. One or more options would be helpful!
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Old Jan 31, 2006, 9:17 PM   #5
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For the described situation (typical gym, shooting sports) I would set the camera to shutter priority with a shutter speed of 1/250 and an ISO of 800. AF should be set to continous, and the camera should be in burst mode. If you're using a bright prime (like the 50mm f/1.8) you should be ok.If the camera selects a smaller aperature (say aroundf/5.6 or smaller) you can try bumping the shutter up to 1/500. If you're using a zoom, you should be shooting at the minimum focal length (not zoomed at all, or only slightly)...this allows the camera to use the widest aperature it has available. Also, with a zoom (or even the prime if you're getting the underexposure message), you may need to bump up to ISO 1600. Regardless of the ISO, you will need to use noise reduction in post. You will still get some blurry shots, but if you learn to anticipate the action, and focus ahead of the subject (pick a spot, prefocus, and shoot when the subject enters) you should get some keepers.
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Old Jan 31, 2006, 11:07 PM   #6
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I appreciate the input. How do I set the the stop at f2.8 throuout the entire focal range of the 80-200 f 2.8 lense? I seem to get darker photos at the longer ranges. :?
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Old Jan 31, 2006, 11:10 PM   #7
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What noise reduction software? And, is it stand alone software or do you need to run it in another program????
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Old Feb 1, 2006, 6:39 AM   #8
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Select aperature priority (A mode) and dial in f/2.8. Noise reduction software is basically a filter that reduces noise in an image. Noise ninja and Neat image are two of the most popular. They can either be used as standalone products (I think) or as a plug-in for your image editing software. They are much easier to use as a plug in.
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