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Old Sep 27, 2003, 11:37 AM   #1
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Default ASA Speed - How to get action photos in low light

I went to a radio control car race, and took about 1000 pictures using my Olympus e-10 and e-100 cameras. The e-10 was rather useless for action shots, as 1/640th of a second isn't anywhere near fast enough to "freeze" the cars.

The e-100 did pretty well, but only in sunlight, when I could get the shutter speed up to 1/4000th of a second. That was at around f2.8 or so, if I remember.

The above is with the camera set at "asa 100" speed. When the cars were in the shade, the highest shutter speed I could use was 1/1000th or less, and the pictures were not as good. To get back to the higher shutter speed, I'd have used faster film in the old days, but now all I could do was increase the "asa setting", which I didn't do, as my experience in the past was that the photos got too grainy, and I didn't know about the new software programs that cleared up the "grain".



So, on to the question. If you get a DSLR, with "asa speed" of 100 to 1600 or so, how high can you go before the photos really start looking too bad to use? I'd like to get up to the equivalent of asa 800 or so, at least. Is this reasonable?
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Old Sep 27, 2003, 11:42 AM   #2
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From my old film camera days it would seem that the digicam with the larger, faster lens would take faster pictures. This would rule out pocket cameras. I looked at your cams online, they are indeed large handheld cameras with fast-looking lenses. You might consider going to Nikon or Canon and see if there are good values there which could take faster pictures.
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Old Sep 27, 2003, 11:59 AM   #3
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I'm not sure if that relationship is true.... a "faster" lens, say one that is f2.8 will allow a higher shutter speed than one that is "slower", say, f4.0, but that's just basic photography.

The e-10 has a much "larger" lens than the "e-100", and while that may help in image quality, I'm not sure it has anything to do with allowing me to get sharper racing photos.

The smaller pocket cameras don't have a high shutter speed, don't have enough "zoom", and don't function quickly enough to allow me to get a good action shot. For that matter, even with the e-100, which is made specifically for high speed action, I had to watch the cars with my eyes (not the viewfinder) and press the shutter release button when the car was about eight feet away from where I wanted it to be in the photo.


Here's what I mean -
http://www.forgas.org:1089/1111/INDE...0/P9168512.JPG

I had to snap this photo when the orange car was actually where the blue car appears on the picture, to get the orange car to be where I wanted it to be in the actual image. (If I pressed the shutter release fully, when the image in the viewfinder looked like what you see here, the image saved by the camera would have the blue car up in front, and the orange car gone, not in the photo at all...)
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Old Sep 27, 2003, 12:01 PM   #4
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(What do I actually have to type here, to get the picture to show up in the window, rather than a link to the picture? If I use "html" code, will it work???)


<p>
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Old Sep 27, 2003, 12:04 PM   #5
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Old Sep 27, 2003, 12:05 PM   #6
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Old Sep 27, 2003, 12:22 PM   #7
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The site you link to has to have sharing capability, not all do like your link:
http://www.forgas.org:1089/1111/INDE...0/P9168512.JPG

Many sites don't allow sharing due to bandwidth theft. If you click on the above link, you should see the picture.
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Old Sep 27, 2003, 12:51 PM   #8
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Maybe this will work better....

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Old Sep 27, 2003, 12:57 PM   #9
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Sorry, it was just a dumb mistake on my part - I should have been linking directly to the image, not to the page from which the image could be found.




From what I've been reading in the past hour or so, the Fuji S2 seems to be excellent at dealing with low-light conditions. From other things I'm reading, the Nikon D1h isn't quite as good, and seems to be really hungry for batteries as well.

If I take some of these photos in less than ideal lighting situations, being able to go to a higer shutter speed is still a requirement. The photo above was taken early in the day, when the lighting was great, but the "main" event is usually held last, like maybe 5 or 6pm. By then, I'm shooting in the shadows. I'll need to get up to at least the equivalent of asa 400, if not higher....
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Old Sep 27, 2003, 1:06 PM   #10
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There's another thing I left out.... with the ASA 100 setting, even when I could get up to 1/4000th of a second, the lens was wide open (f2.8) and depth of field was pretty limited. I had to pre-focus on where I hoped the car would be when I pressed the button. If it was there, sometimes the shots worked just great. If not, not.


Here's one of the better examples of a shot when everything came together just fine for me:




For what I had to work with, I guess it came out pretty good. I'm hoping that with a better camera, the majority of my shots will come out this good.
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