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Old Jun 6, 2009, 10:52 PM   #1
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Default My new Canon 70-300mm IS USM

Ok. I am no where close to anyone on this website as far as experience so please have patience with me, but I must have taken close to 100 pics just trying to get of these dogs chasing the ball off the dock. I was SO excited i got at least ONE decent picture!
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Old Jun 6, 2009, 11:19 PM   #2
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Very nice timing. You had the camera in the sports mode - correct? It appears the camera stayed focused on the dock - or more precisely the flag. It is sharp and the dog is not. The shutter speed is somewhat fast enough - not fast enough for a lot of detail with the hair - but the biggest issue is the focus. Without being there to see your technique, my guess is the camera locked focus on the flag instead of the dog. One thing you can do to improve that is to select a single focus point instead of using all focus points.
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Old Jun 6, 2009, 11:53 PM   #3
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I think by the time i took this shot i was on sports mode (i had taken sooo many before and finally realized i needed to change it). I was just focusing on the end of the dock - not really on anything imparticular. I caught so many before the dog hit the water and so many after - and technique? I laugh. i feel like i'm not even good enough to have a technique!

So given all that, and having no time to focus on the dog, you think if the shutter speed was faster it could have been better? any other thoughts?

Thanks...
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Old Jun 7, 2009, 3:31 AM   #4
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Congratulations on your new lens, it is the best 70-300 for Canon bodies so a very good choice.

I think the shutter speed is OK especially if you are panning as at 1/1600s you should be fine, zoomed in that much if you are not panning then there will likely be some movement/blur.

The main things is not being focused on the dog, this is why action photography is so hard, it always looks easy but with everything happening very quickly you have to nail a lot of thing in a split second. For sports/action work (actually pretty much everything) I only use one focus point so it is me who tells the camera where to focus and not have it guess where I might want it focused.

Lastly, can you please keep photos to about 800 pixels for the longest side so those who are not on big screens can see the whole thing in one go. You can always post a link to a larger version for people to get a bigger impact.

Looking forward to seeing more shots in the future as it seems you are off to a good start.

Happy shooting,

Mark
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Old Jun 7, 2009, 2:10 PM   #5
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OK. now i feel REALLY stupid.

> I only use one focus point so it is me who tells the camera where to focus

If I'm not in AF which shows the AF points, how do i only use one focus point?
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Old Jun 7, 2009, 2:18 PM   #6
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In sports mode, I don't think the camera allows you to select a single focus point but maybe I'm mis-remembering. When you say the camera doesn't 'show the focus points' - what you're seeing is that in sports mode, or any mode when you have AI-Servo focus mode turned on (that focus mode is automatically turned on in the sports mode setting) the camera acquires focus with the center point but uses every point to track the subject. The camera does not light up which point it is using though.

If you want to shoot a dog leaping with that cluttered of a background, here is my suggested settings:

1. Set ISO to 400
2. Set camera to aperture priority (AV) mode
3. Set aperture value to f5.6
4. Set focus mode to AI-Servo
5. Set shot selection mode to continuous
the camera now behaves just like sports mode, but you have some additional control
6. Select center focus point (in AV mode, focus point is selectable)

Put center focus point on the dog - preferably collar
half-press shutter button and camera will keep tracking him
pan the camera as the dog runs - just when the dog leaps, press shutter all the way down and hold for 3 pictures. The key is to keep that center focus point on the dog (preferably the collar because there is more contrast).
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