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Old Feb 5, 2006, 12:24 PM   #11
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Regarding "f". ' f ' is the notation for the f stop or aperture setting for a lens. the smaller the number eg. 1.4, 1.8 etc the more light that comes in to the camera to be processed. works the same for film and digital. The Fuji has an absolute MAXIMUM f stop *aperture of f 2.8 at it's widest angle (28mm) BUT when you zoom the f stop increase in number (decreasing the light you have available going into the camera until at full zoom you have an effective f stop of only f4.9 What this means is you loose the ability to receive more light into your camera the more you zoom it. 28mm (wide angle) being the maximum you can achieve at f2.8 and only f4.9 at the extended zoom of 300mm. So your shots at the further end, beside being farther away from the camera are subject to less available light in the camera. This is a lens design function. Some stay at the same f stop opening all the way through the zoom and that is a plus.

Now to explain to you what aperture and f is all about. In a dimly lit room look at your daughters eyes, her pupils. Notice how large they are? This is the same as the camera lens at the lowest f stop 2.8 (it's actually in real life a LOT lower, but for this example with this camera it will do). Now her eye is adjusted to get the maximum amount of light that is available in the dimly lit room so she can see. Now take a flashlight and shine it in her eye and watch the pupil constrict (get smaller) Her eye is naturally shutting down the opening so too much light doesn't get in and adjusts quickly and automatically to the condition. Now her eye would be likened to f 11 or f 16 (thereabout for this illustration) If you were to lock them in at that and she could not "open up" the pupil again when you removed the flashlight, she would have a very hard time seeing anything as it would be dark. We experience that often when we go from a very bright environment into a very dim dark room until our eyes "adjust". Your camera at zoom is limiting your amount of light physically able to be coming into your camera, just because of it's lens design and limitations.

Now for sports in a room. Herein lies a problem. The further the lens stops down (the f stop get's larger which causes the aperture to become smaller) the more time is needed for the correct exposure. Shutter speed and aperture both work hand in hand with each other. Example: A shot at perfect exposure in the outdoors at f 11 (aperture) AND shutter speed of 1 /250 second (not factoring in ISO HERE!) would be the same amount of light, hence proper exposure, at lets say f 8 (aperture) and shutter speed of 1/500th second. If you increase the amount of light 1 f stop (from f11 to f8) you need to decrease the shutter speed (time) by 1/2 so you would use 1/500th second instead of 1/250th second.

AND if you increase the light one more stop from f8 to f5.6 (next available full stop) you have doubled the amount of light being able to pass through the camera lens to the image sensor, so you will have to again cut the time that make the exposure by 1/2 from 1/500th second to 1/1000th second to keep everything equal. The smaller the aperture (f stop) the longer the exposure time to make the correct image per the ISO setting.

Getting a basic book at Barnes & Noble on photographymay be of great benefit in expaining how things work with photography.

Vern



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Old Feb 5, 2006, 12:36 PM   #12
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Vern, you're the best. It's still a bit confusing but I understand a lot more about it now. I WILL go find a good "photography for idiots" book if I can find one :-) I would really like to be able to make photographing my kids more of a hobby rather than a second job so it will help to know how to use the camera. :?



Thanks again!
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Old Feb 5, 2006, 2:06 PM   #13
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Sorry to be a pain in the butt....

I took my camera to my basement to practice (it has decent light but only unnatural lighting) and no I used the S mode and no matter what I took a picture of at different shutterspeeds and aperture settings, I got grainy pics. Why is that? Is it me? or should I use the auto mode when shooting still objects to get rid of that?

also, should the "Raw" setting be on all the time?
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Old Feb 5, 2006, 2:28 PM   #14
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What shutter speed and ISO settings did you try?

Try This, set the shutter speed to 1 this will probably give you a setting of F4 because the camera will choose the F value automatically depending on the available light, set the ISO to 200, you will find that your pictures are clear now, but be aware that because you are using a slow shutter speed below 1/50 sec you will be risking blurred images because of camera shake. using a tripod would overcome this problem. Hope this helps go and have another play:?

If in doubt while you are learning, use the auto mode for the important shots, this should overcome most problems, but remember that you will need to reset the ISO to auto too. For example if you have been using ISO 800 in S mode when you revert to auto mode it will keep the same setting ISO 800 so you must remember to cahnge it back to auto,or a small safe value such as ISO 200.

Also at this stage of your learning turn the RAW setting off, a whole different set of rules apply to the process of these images.

Have a look at some websites also, try this one http://www.photoxels.com/digital-pho...tutorials.html


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Old Feb 5, 2006, 3:03 PM   #15
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Buffy wrote:
Quote:
Sorry to be a pain in the butt....

I took my camera to my basement to practice (it has decent light but only unnatural lighting) and no I used the S mode and no matter what I took a picture of at different shutterspeeds and aperture settings, I got grainy pics. Why is that? Is it me?
Quote:
The grainy is from the ISO setting and the low light. I don't know what setting you have, but 800 in low light should work.
Quote:
or should I use the auto mode when shooting still objects to get rid of that?

also, should the "Raw" setting be on all the time?
Don't set the camera on "RAW" at this point. This is a more advanced function and we are still taking baby steps here to acquire correct images:-)

I tried my camera in the house and best I could find was ISO 1600 as ISO 800 was still too slow for anything but tripod shots and you want to be able to use a fast shutter speed to acomplish 2 things: stop action and prevent handshake blurring. 1 second just ain't gonna cut it! LOL

In reality, if I were you I'd concentrate my low light image taking to be used with a decent strong flash. Make sure it is of the kind with the adjustable setting for the f stop (aperture) and that it is an "auto" flash that cuts off when needed to prevent overexposure.

Vern


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Old Feb 5, 2006, 3:28 PM   #16
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The little flash that comes with the camera is inadequate for what you are trying to do. Buy an external flash and that should solve your problem.

Tom
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Old Feb 5, 2006, 6:01 PM   #17
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Buffy,

An external flash may not be welcome if some players complain about the flash in their eyes.

I'm sorry I referred to your son when your daughter is the player.

Your key to success is using a monopod, using Aperture priority wide open, ISO 800, and Neat Image in Post Processing.

If you are obligated to shoot the team as well, I would then also select some sideline locations on both sides of the court and be ready to keep moving following the action. I would still stay with Pre-focusing and letting the camera sit on Manual Focus. Don't worry about the shutter speed as you are going to select your shots as you see them unfold with almost zero shutter lag.

Try it, you'll like it. And get plenty of rest.

Regards, Nicholas
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Old Feb 5, 2006, 6:11 PM   #18
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Buffy, take a look at the link below. I'm not advocating this particular flash over any other, but it does give you some ideas. Using a powerful enough flash with your camera allows you to "reach out" and adequately illuminate something further away than you can reach with the built in flash.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...e&n=502394



I've not used the Sunpak 383 but I've seen that it can go to 30' with settings at f 4.0 and you might be able to eek out just a bit more distance by setting the camera's ISO up from 100 to 400 ISO. The guide numers are 120' at ISO 100 settings. Interestingly you cannot double the effective range of the flash by doubling the ISO, doesn't work that way. Light (stobe flash) begins to fall off in illuminating power in inverse porportions. Therefore, long distance flash units cost many $$$$ because of the design to charge them up adequate to create enough flash to reach. With a thristor circuity, you need not worry about any specail settings as long as the flash and camera are set on the same f stop setting. Shutter speed doesn't matter excep you want 1/1000 second and below to somewhere around 1/250. less shutter speed than that and you run the risk of getting movement from the natual light exposure. IE. Shoot at 1/30 second and there is still a small discernable, but still small part of the exposure that is due in part to the natual light, and at 1/30th that is enough for blurring. At 1/250 there is not enough light from ambient sources to interfer with sharpness.
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Old Feb 7, 2006, 2:05 PM   #19
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Hello Buffy,

Indoors sports photography is the most demanding and difficult thing you can as of your new digicam.

That's because to freeze action you need high sutter speed.

But high shutter speed requires wide open apertures and lots of light.

But you don't have lots of light, so you you need to increase the ISO.

But High ISO produces high noise levels.

To reduce noise levels you can lower the ISO and reduce shutter speed.

But with reduced shutter speed you get blurry action and camera shake.

And you're back to square one.

As you can see, you need to find just the right balance of aperture, shutter speed and ISO sensitivity, combined with the use of Flash and zoom plus achieving the right focus in those conditions.

My advice:
-Set everything to auto (including ISO).
- Push the shutter half way to set focus and exposure
- Switch to S mode and increase speed by a little
- Increase EV compensation a few steps to avoid underexposure

Shoot away.

Good luck!
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Old Feb 7, 2006, 4:30 PM   #20
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haha man did I get what I asked for. Thanks to all of you. Who knew that taking pictures of my kids playing sports was going to be so damn difficult? :lol: The game is tomorrow and I will be trying a lot of what everyone has told me. I am going out tomorrow to get the external flash and will try that too. I'm determined to have a few good shots out of this game tomorrow. :sad:



Thanks again! I sure look forward to softball season - that's played outdoors and is relatively slow moving :-)
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