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Old Mar 7, 2006, 1:31 PM   #1
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First, I want to say how much I enjoy your posts and am learning from them.

I love to take pictures, they are an amazing souvenir of life! My challenge (and passion) is taking photos of my daughter's basketball games. The minolta z1 I have does an extemely poor job of this (our gym has terrible lighting) and I have been hoping to get a rebel xt in the next 6 months. I have a lot to learn and will depend on yall and also hope to take a class once I get a camera.

My son-in-law just got a brand new maxxum 7d which he let me take to our last game in the gym (quarterfinal playoff). I used his 90mm f2/8 lens and set the iso to 1600. everything set for auto for my lack of knowledge and the pics were SOO much better than my z1 ever hoped for. no they weren't real sharp and i don't know yet how to frame and get where i should be. that will take time (and help) but the improvement just amazed me. AND how quickly I could take the pictures!!

I will ask for your expert opinion on which camera when it gets closer. I know this isn't the right topic for that but yall are the ones that are the expert in sports!

Anyway here are some pics just because i'm so excited about them. Don't be harsh. I really know not what I'm doing! Hope i can post it right!!

The first one is in our gym with the terrible lighting. maxxum 7d. this is our quarterfinal playoff game!
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 1:34 PM   #2
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This second one is with the maxxum 7d at the college arena where the state semi-finals and finals are played! this is the semi-final game
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 1:36 PM   #3
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I did resize these down but apparently not enough. sorry. again i don't really know what i'm doing.

this one i had to post as it is MY DAUGHTER #14. same game
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 1:44 PM   #4
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This last one was taken with the minolta z1. my son-in-law took his new camera to disneyworld. what nerve. loss of points for the son-in-law. oh well, he has plenty to spare!! haha.

Anyway the difference in pics is apparent. And BTW

WE WON THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP and although these pics aren't the best they are great memories. I will learn with your help!

Thanks for looking!

Darlene
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 2:13 PM   #5
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I also enjoy taking pictures of my sons baseball games, and the lighting at night is very poor. These pics are not thet bad except for a lillte motion blur due to the shutter speed.

First: I would set the camera to shutter priority this setting works best for me. Also if you dare to shoot manual set the apeture to the lowest setting and set the shutter around 1/600 to 1/1200 and leave the iso at max.

Second : use noiseware or noise ninja to remove any grainy effects from underexposing if you have any. Also picassa 2 from google is a great photoediting software that is free that I am very pleased with. I also asked similar questions about sports and poor lighting and this was the help i got, and it works.

Third: give your camera a try with manual settings it just might work.

Fourth: Keep on shooting and trial and error will get you the results you are trying to achieve.

Good luck


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Old Mar 7, 2006, 2:49 PM   #6
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thank you, angel. boy you can tell the difference between the 2 cameras, huh? i want a new one so bad!!!!!!!! patience...

how do you tell the difference between motion blur and out of focus? or is it the same thing?

thanks,

darlene

p.s. what camera do you have?
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 3:07 PM   #7
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Nice pics!

One suggestion I can give is to see if you can shoot from the baseline while sitting down on the court. This gives the viewer a sense of actually being on the court and thus produces a more capitvating photo.
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 3:21 PM   #8
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Patience is right Sony will be introducing a new line of DSLR this summer. Lets let the forum critique it, but if its anything like its predecesors it will be amazing. I have a three year old sony F717 very similar to your Z1 , just a little more flexable. I also use my friends DSLR when I can. Use manual on your z1 and post them, remember software will help you Picassa and Noiseware are very easy to use and you can edit multiple pics at the same time.

Motion blur is when the subject is moving faster than the shutter setting the camera has chosen for the exposure. Generally I have noticed in baseball I cannot capture multiple shots of a batters swing unless I use a shutter no lower than 1/600 or I get motion on the bat, ball, hands.Most of the time Ifind that 1/1000 works best on my camera and also that is the fastest shutter speed my camera has I think yours is the same. Try to use burst most of the time so tou can have a greater chance of more keeper pics.

Out of focus is when the whole subject looks fuzzy or not very sharp. Again picassa has a auto sharpen that works very well.

Try your camera with these settings and lets see how they look.

max iso, lowest apeture, and a shutter beetween 1/250 to 1/800, and burst mode. I cannot use a flash durring my sons games I think you are in the same situation, nevertheless a flash only works around 3 to 5 feet anyway so its useless in sports most of the time.

Here is a pic of a night baseball game following the same advice. The lighting is much worse thana the gym and I am happy for now until this summer when I get the fever for a new camera.
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 3:51 PM   #9
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WOW, Angel. I feel like I'm at that game!! That's awesome. I know someone who has either the 717 or the 828 and she gets decent pics at our gym. my z1 does NOT. The only pic i posted that was taken with the z1 is the last one and that was at a college arena with much better lighting and still I got very few decent pics. i NEED a dslr.:-)NEED! haha. The difference in the pics AND the ease of taking them with the maxxum was impressive. well i'll wait until summer. basketball doesn't start back up until october.

Radio Control Guy: thanks!! I'll definitely do that at our gym. only the first pic was taken there. the rest were at the state championship in a college arena and we were not able to get down on the floor there. i was sitting as close to the bottom as possible. Hard to keep peoples heads and other things out of pics. thanks a bunch!
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 6:15 PM   #10
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Hi Darlene,

And welcome to the forum. I like the 'bundle' picat the end of the game..... you will find thatthis is the sort of thingthat will often get picked to go in a newspaper as it tells part of the story.I only have a Maxum 5D, but love it and you will have really been helped out by the lens that you were using with it!!

Not wishing to correct Angel, but I am going to :blahand hope that I have this correct:?) but as you are using a small aperture then if the focus is not correct, you will notice that the portion you were hoping to be sharp is not, but something further back or forward is. I have attached a pic below to give an example of this where the camera picked out the background (due to an error by me).

Motion blur is what you have in the hands of the player in the first pic and the baseball bat in Angel's shot caused by that part of the body moving faster than that shutter speed will freeze.

Finally there is camera shake which is where the whole picture will have a blur in a particular direction. This can be mistaken for out of focus if you are using a small aperture (big f number) i.e. f16 as the whole pic should usually be in focus yet it is blurred. This does also happen at wide apertures, but is not quite so likely as you will generally have a faster shutter speed. If you are using a shutter speed of 1/500 or higher then this should not be an issue (assuming you are using the max zoom which is the equivalent of 380mm in 35mm terms on the z1).

When shooting sports we all do set the camera a slightly different way, however, one thing I would not do is use manual settings in a sports hall (or outside for that matter) for the following reasons.

1 When shooting indoors the lights will be different as you go across the court with areas of slightly better light and areas where it is worse. It will depend where a player is standing.

2 When shooting outside then clouds will have a big affect on the exposure so again not good.

I personally shoot aperture priority, Terry will shoot shutter priority. My reason for this is that I like to control the depth of field and keep an eye on settings (when outdoors) to make sure that I am not getting to the limits (either 1/4000th which is the maximum for the camera or 1/640 which is the absolute lowest I like for freezing action). I also under expose by 1/3 of a stop to make sure that whites are not blown out. If shooting shutter priority you also need to be aware of the settings to make sure you are not getting near the widest f stop or that the aperture is getting too small and then you are reducing the depth of field which loses impact in the shot.

If you are shooting indoors then you don't need to worry as much about the limits as the lighting will only change by a small amount. Assuming the lighting is basicallyvertical then generally when players are close to you then the shutter needs to be slightly faster (there is less light falling on them from the front as there are less lights to reflect off of them) then if they are further away. If you are on manual you cannot account for this.

Time to draw this long post to an end. Until you are able to change cameras, I would go for the following settings.

Aperture priority f3.5 (the widest you can use at full zoom) - if you are not going to use full zoom then make it as wide as possible which is f2.8 at wider angles. ISO set to 400 which again is the highest sensitivity and as Angel says go for one of the noise reduction packages - I use NeatImage which has a free version for home use which is great for me. If there are a lot of highlights/players wearing white then under expose slightly if you find they are getting 'blown out' (there is no detail in the whites).

If you find at these settings that the shutter speed is still dropping very low (1/250) then there is not a lot you can do, apart from set some more under exposure or go for full manual at say 1/500 with the same aperture (thus under exposing still) and try to recover in a photo editing package). If you do go down this route you will find that you are getting even more grain (noise) in the shots.

I hope that this has helped you. Feel free to post more questions.... we are all here to help and learn to take better shots.

Regards,

Mark.
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