Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Canon EOS dSLR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 9, 2003, 8:45 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 37
Default 10D + 550 EX Flash: I'm having problems

I've been experimenting with "Sports/Action" photography and not really getting the results I thought I would get. For instance, today I went to the local hockey arena to shoot hockey matches. As an experiment I took some shots in "Sports" mode and others in Aperature Priority. None of them really turned out that great. Shots were either too blurry, too dark, too light or the color balance was off.

Yesterday, I went to a horse jumping competition. Same thing happened with my shots.

Here are some questions I have for 10D forum members:


Question # 1: When shooting with the 550 Flash turned on in Shutter Priority, why can't I set the shutter speed higher than 1/200 sec? When I try to set it higher it defaults back to 1/200sec.



Question # 2: In "Sports" mode, the camera defaults to the AIServo setting. Why are my images still blurry? Are there other settings I should be using to get sharper images?

Question # 3: What is the best Flash setting to use when shooting sports action shots with the 10D/550 EX combination? Up to now, I've only used the flash in Auto mode.

I'd appreciate hearing from as many of you as possible. Thanks!

SteveZ
SteveZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Nov 9, 2003, 9:42 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 123
Default

Question 1:
Shutter speed maximum is 1/200 unless you set the 550 flash to high speed sync.

Question 2:
AF Servo is automatic in the sports mode.

Question 3:
Normally the sports mode but you can also use Shutter priority.
Or others depending on the situation(for example depth of field control.

What is blurry? Is it the moving subject only or the whole scene?
If its the whole scene then you may be using long telephoto hand held allowing shake. If its the subject only then it is probably too slow shutter.

Ted
twcoffey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 9, 2003, 10:08 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 37
Default

But when you set the camera to "sports" mode, you would think the camera's shutter speed would would be much faster. My EXIF info in this mode had my shutter speed at 1/60 sec. How can you shoot action shots at this speed?
SteveZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10, 2003, 12:18 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

I don't use that combination for sports photography, but I do have the 550EX and 10D.

Twcoffey is right on answer 1. Read the manual, it's how the camera works (for example, on page 103 of my copy says that in Av, Tv & M the max shutter speed 1/200.)

On page 41 it describes all the settings of "Sports" mode. That includes AI Servo. But your question is "why is it blury?" I believe that AI Servo is the correct setting (it tracks the moving subject and tries to keep it in focus.) But if your shutter speed is too low for your subject's movement, the pictures will be blury. (You basically prove that in your last post saying that the shots were at 1/60th.)

I don't believe you have a choice other than to use the flash in Auto mode (which will, I believe, be E-TTL on the 10D.) If you set it to high-speed sync, the range of the flash will be reduced by 1/3 or so. Page 121 in your 550Ex manual shows you the guide numbers for normal and high speen sync. You might consider a flash extender (the "better beamer" is an example of one.) I don't know if it would give the high-speed sync a long enough reach to be useful. Personally, I had very bad luck with high-speed sync. The camera seems to only use it as fill flash instead of what I wanted, which was more of a main flash effect.

From your last comment I would say that you shouldn't be using Sports mode, but Tv with the time set to 1/200th. I have found that I can get away with pushing the flash about 1 stop with manual flash compensation and reduce the fstop for a larger DOF. Doesn't always work (and might not for the distances you are shooting) but it could help. Some recovery work is still required in PhotoShop, though.

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10, 2003, 12:56 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 610
Default

Stevez

When shooting indoor in the stadium, you will pretty much reply on the lighting condition there, in most cases you are far away fron the subject, far enough that you flash will not reach or effect the subject. You will need the combination of high speed lenses (F/2.8 or larger) and higher ISO setting. If you use the TV mode set the camera as higher speed as the camera allows for time, if the aperture value shows up and doesn't blink, thenyou shoot, if it blinks then adjust the the shutter speed slower until it stop blinking.

You can also set the ISO up to higher value, but anytime you set this ISO>400, you will introduce noise in your picture, that the risk that you have to take. I shot many pictures at the game, indoor stadium at F/2.8 and F/2.0 with ISO 100 and the results still acceptable.

For WB, you can follow the instruction to set in as indoor mode, automatic mode or manual mode. The automatic mode works fine for me in most cases.

As for flash, you must come close to the subject make sure is in your flash range, the maximum synchro speed of the camera for flash is 1/200, but the duration of the flash (1/10,000) will help you to freeze the subject.

On AF traking mode, the shutter will release every time you press the button more than half way to take the picture, this mode track the moving subject and sometimes it probably will not track fast enough and the result sometimes you will have the subject out of focus, that why on highend camera, with better traking focus system and the ability of taking many pictures within a second, like the Canon 1Ds or the Nikon D2h with the new Multicam-2000 AF, it can take 40 shots within a fe seconds as intended for action camera, but it costs a whole lot more. Knowing the limitation of your camera, the lighting condition, the charateristics of your lenses, the flash range of you flash, and all the available features of your camera will help you to take better photograph.

The color looks off and incorrect indicates you lighting condition was not favorable, low light and dim and your picture are very much underexposure or outside the flash range, may not the results of your WB setting.
tuanokc@hotmail.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10, 2003, 7:14 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 123
Default

Tim,

You might want to checkout the following site:

http://www.sportsshooter.com/index.html

Ted
twcoffey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 2003, 12:26 AM   #7
NHL
Senior Member
 
NHL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 39.18776, -77.311353333333
Posts: 11,547
Default

Several points to clear up:

Quote:
Question # 1: When shooting with the 550 Flash turned on in Shutter Priority, why can't I set the shutter speed higher than 1/200 sec? When I try to set it higher it defaults back to 1/200sec.
You can only go higher than 1/200s if the flash is set to high-speed sync; However there's a catch... this mode is not designed for freezing action, but to use higher shutter speed as flash fill-in. The flash actually emit several lower intensity pulses to keep up with the shutter (ie a stroboscopic effect). You are better off using shutter speed of less than 1/200s and have one flash pulse which is like several people here have explained will better freeze the action for you.

Quote:
Question # 2: In "Sports" mode, the camera defaults to the AIServo setting. Why are my images still blurry? Are there other settings I should be using to get sharper images?
This is actually the root cause to all your problems: flash metering is keyed to the AF focusing point (Canon do not use the distance info like on other systems) but evaluate the flash metering based on which AF point is selected! If the camera happened to focus on the wrong subject then the exposure is also bias toward that wrong target!

Flash Exposure Lock may be the solution for you: it uses the center weight metering instead when you lock in the reading (it works just like a temporary manual flash overide) 8)

http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/v...highlight=metz
NHL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 2003, 1:14 AM   #8
-jb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveZ
But when you set the camera to "sports" mode, you would think the camera's shutter speed would would be much faster. My EXIF info in this mode had my shutter speed at 1/60 sec. How can you shoot action shots at this speed?
A camera can only choose a shutter speed/aperture combination that matches your camera settings and the overall exposure calculated by the camera.

Let's say you have a 135mm /F5.6 lens. You have ISO set to 100 with F5.6 select4ed in AV mode. Let's say the camera comes up with a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second as you note above. You want a faster shutter speed to freeze the action. What to do?

If you change the ISO to 200, the shutter speed will jump to 1/125th of a second... Better. Change the ISO to 400 and the shutter speed will jump to 1/250th of a second... Pretty good. Every time you double the ISO, you can use a one stop faster shutter speed.

Say you can't live with the ISO 400 grain (noise). Buy a 135mm /F2.0 lens and you can shoot the same picture at 1/500th of a second at F2.0. Pretty cool, but fairly expensive.

These are all considerations you will have to make.

-jb
-jb is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 1:56 AM.