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hooksabrother Sep 18, 2004 4:56 PM

Iam having trouble capturingfaster moving images.when I press the button to take the picture the camera takes too long to record the image and i miss it. Is there any way to make the camera capture the image as soon as I press the exposure button. The shutter speed is set to 1/2000 and when I do caputre the tail end of the moving object it is not blurred as if the shutter speed is too slow. So i don't think shutter speed is a problem. The camera seems to hesitate before taking the picture after I press the exposure button. Thanks

ohenry Sep 18, 2004 8:42 PM

You're dealing with a term called shutter lag and your shutter speed has nothing to do with it. It is a design issue of consumer point and shoot digital cameras, some being better than others, but all of them have lag. It is not a noticible problem with SLR style digital cams, so I assume you're talking about a non SLR style digicam.

Take a look at this site for some tips on how to deal with shutter lag:

JimC Sep 18, 2004 8:49 PM

You may want to give more informaton about the camera model you are using, what you are taking photos of, in what lighting conditions and at what distances.

There may be a way to change some settings to reduce lag (using manual focus, preset focus distances, etc). There are also techniques that can be used to help if your cameras doesn't have other options (for example, prefocusing with a half press of the shutter button first - then pressing it the rest of the way down when the moment is right).

hooksabrother Sep 19, 2004 9:39 AM

The camera I am using is a sony dsc f828 and I am trying to take pictures of hockey players on the ice during a game. The appoximate distance of the moving subjectis 20m. I appreciate your replies.

hooksabrother Sep 19, 2004 9:43 AM

The camera I am using is a sony DSC-F828 and I am trying to take pictures of hockey players on the ice during a game. The subject I am shooting is appoximatly 20m away. The lighting conditions are fairly dim where I am taking the picture and become bright where the subject is located. Thanks for your help.

JimC Sep 19, 2004 11:57 AM

Indoor sports are very demanding on a camera. Not even considering autofocus lag, cycle times, etc. -- you're going to have a difficult time getting the shots without high noise and/or motion blur with a non-DSLR model like your DSC-F828.

Well lit indoor sports have an EV (Exposure Value) of around 8. This is about the same as night sports, like a baseball game under bright lights.EV is the way the light is measured. What is bright to the human eye, is not to the camera's lens.

There is no way that your camera could be taking photos using a shutter speed of 1/2000 second at an indoor hockey match. Otherwise, your images would be totally black, since the shutter would not be open long enough to expose the images properly in this lighting.

You are probably facing two major problems -- one being autofocus/shutter lag, and the other being motion blur.

You can reduce thelag in one of two ways:

1. Prefocus on a spot ahead of time, by "half pressing" the shutter button. Then, press it the rest of the way down when the action reaches this spot. Shutter lag is very minimal with your model, after the camera is prefocused using a half press first.


2. Use Manual Focus. This will also reduce total lag time

The motion blur will be harder. As a general rule of thumb, you want to have shutter speeds of 1/focal length or faster to reduce blur from camera shake (this does not even account for blur from subject movement). In other words, if shooting at wide angle with your camera (28mm equivalent focal length), you'd want shutter speeds of 1/28 secondor faster. If shooting at full zoom (200mm equivalent focal length), you'd want shutter speeds of 1/200 second or faster. However, when shooting a moving subject, you must also have shutter speeds fast enough to freeze their action.

My guess is that you're shooting around 100mm or longer (probably longer). So, if your focal length was between 100mm and 200mm equivalent, you'd want shutter speeds from 1/100 to 1/200 second to reduce blur from camera shake.

The lens on your Sony has a maximum aperture of f/2.0 at full wide angle, dropping down to f/2.8 at full zoom. So, at around 100mm or so, you're probably at around f/2.4 with it. At ISO 400 (settable in your camera), with an EV of around 8 (typical for well lit indoor sports), you'd get shutter speeds of around 1/180 second. But, if you go to full zoom (200mm equivalent), then your maximum aperture drops down to f/2.8; and you'd only have shutter speeds of around 1/125 second.

This is probably "close enough", if you have steady hands (the 1/focal is only a rule of thumb, and some people can hold a camera steadier than others).

This may not be fast enough to stop all of the action, but may good enough get catch some good shots. Noise (similar to film grain only worse) levels at ISO 400 will be very high from your model. So, it depends on the quality of photos you are willing to accept. If your viewing/print sizeswill be kept small, you may find them OK after cleaning them up with software.

Here are some popular tools to help reduce noise: (this one has a free version)

Here's what I'd do:

Use Aperture Priority (Av Mode), and set the Aperture to the largest value (smallest f/stop number). This will be f/2.0 at wide angle, changing to f/2.8 at full zoom. This will allow the camera to use the fastest shutter speeds possible and still get proper exposure.

Force Flash Off (it will be useless at the distances you will be shooting from)

Set ISO Speed to 400 (but they will look "ugly" at ISO speeds this high).

You may also want to try ISO 200 for some (which willhave more motion blur since the shutter speeds will only be half as fast -- but they will have less noise)

Consider using one of the multi-burst modes (that takes multiple photos when you hold down the shutter button to increase you number of keepers).

Prefocus on areas in advance using a half press of the Shutter Button, then press it the rest of the way down at theaction arrives.

Take lots of photos

Use Noise Reduction Software to Clean up the Images Later

Consider buying a different camera if you want to take photos of Hockey Games on a regular basis and need higher quality photos. The two lowest cost DSLR models right now are the Canon EOS-300D (Digital Rebel) andthe Nikon D70. You'll also need a bright lens to go with them. A popularlens for sports is theSigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM lens. It's available in mounts for either Nikon orCanon DSLR models. Either of these cameras would have dramatically less noise at higher ISO speeds compared to your Sony.

muskrat sam Sep 20, 2004 6:09 PM

Not much to be added to Jim C's extremely comprehensive answer, but you can increase your shutter speed still further (thus reducing camera shake and action blur) by accepting an exposure one or two stops below the metered optimum. (Either in manual mode, or with exposure compensation in the aperture priority mode.) You can then brighten up the image in post-production.

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