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Old Jul 6, 2004, 11:26 AM   #1
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Having just acquired an A2 I spent the last 3 days taking photos of my daughters fast pitch softball tournament. In short, several photos were quite good. Many, however, were blurred. The blurring appears to be based on ISO sets, not focus. I have upgraded the firmware.

Several posts have indicated significant noise issues at ISO200 or higher. My limited experience does not show a major problem at ISO200. Anti-shake is on.

When taking action photos with the A2, have you found more success at shooting in the "sports" mode, "auto" mode, manually setting at ISO200 or 400 or ??? Any advice on settings would be appreciated.If there is a choice/tradeoffbetween capturing a photographically perfect picture (noise/color/contrast) vs capturing a clear shot of a moment (sacrificing noise/color/contrast), I would take the later and hope I can correct it with very amateurish efforts with post processing.

Any insights to an A2 rookie appreciated.

Thanks




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Old Jul 6, 2004, 1:21 PM   #2
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It sounds like you've got the right idea.

Each time you double the ISO speed, you also allow the camera's autoexposure to select shutter speeds twice as fast. ISO 200 is twice as senstive to Light as ISO 100, ISO 400 is 4 times as senstive to light as ISO 100.

The downside of increasing ISO speed is increased noise. However, noise tends to blend in at smaller viewing and print sizes. Bear in mind that an image viewed at 100% magnification on screen, is occupying a much larger area than you'll be printing at.

I do not own your camera model, but the sports mode is likely shooting "wide open" (selecting the largest aperture, represented by the smallest F/Stop Number) in Sports Mode. This will allow the most light to reach the sensor through the lens, allowing faster shutter speeds.

You can also accomplish the same thing yourself. One way is to shoot in Aperture Priority Mode. Selecting a larger aperture (smaller F/Stop number) allows the camera to select faster shutter speeds.

Aperture also controls Depth of Field. This is the amount of a photo that's in focus. With a larger aperture (which lets in more light), your depth of field is more shallow. With a smaller aperture (which lets in less light), you depth of field is greater (more of the photo in focus, as you get further away from, or closer to the camera from your focus point. Larger Apertures are often desired to help blur backgrounds.

BTW, there aresome good tools to reduce noise, if you decide to shoot at higher ISO speeds to help reduce blur from subject movement. One is Neat Image, and the other is Noise Ninja. Here are the links (you can download trial versions):

http://www.neatimage.com

http://www.picturecode.com


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Old Jul 6, 2004, 3:36 PM   #3
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JimC,

Thanks for the reply ! At this point I think I will need to mandate ISO 200 or 400 and then deal with post processing. Thanks for the links ! I also had a Cokin circular polarizer on the camera so I think that removing it might gain a bit of f-stops and (for this type of shooting) won't significantly change image quality. This is not "puffy clouds and panorama" time, rather, fast pitching, fast bats and rough slides (all seeming to happen at the same time...

Thanks again !


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Old Jul 8, 2004, 6:01 AM   #4
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Hi:

I had got same problem and sports mode seemed not to help too much.

Have you tried use 3d predictive autofocus? (not prefocusing with half press shutter button)

Tryusing A mode and set smaller aperture (higher f) you can.



A regard
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Old Jul 8, 2004, 6:26 AM   #5
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rober wrote:
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Tryusing A mode and set smaller aperture (higher f) you can.
Using a smaller aperture aperture (higher f/stop number) will have the opposite effect. This will cause the camera's autoexposure to use a slower shutter speed, increasing motion blur. This is because less light can reach the sensor through the lens at smaller apertures.

To get the fastest shutter speeds, you must use a larger aperture (smaller f/stop number). This allows more light through to the sensor, allowing the camera to use faster shutter speeds to reduce motion blur.

The aperture scale (in one stop increments) goes F/1.4, F/2.0, F/2.8, F/4.0, F/5.6, F/8.0, F/11, F/16, F/22... With each one stop move to a smaller aperture, you will need shutter speeds twice as long for proper exposure.

The largest aperture available on your A2 (at full wide angle)is F/2.8. This isthe brighest aperture for the fastest shutter speeds. If you went to a smaller aperture (like F/8 ), you'd really have a bigproblem.For example: F/8 would require shutter speeds 8 times as long as F/2.8 for proper exposureof the same image.



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Old Jul 8, 2004, 11:01 AM   #6
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It sounds like an option is to manually set the f-stop at the most opensetting (2.8), set the ISO at 400 and hope the exposure can keep up with the action. Focus, in of itself, does not appear to be the issue. Rather, having a shutter speed fast enough to freeze action. And, frankly, if it's a choice between underexposing or freezing, I'll take the latter.






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Old Jul 8, 2004, 12:03 PM   #7
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Altos wrote:
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It sounds like an option is to manually set the f-stop at the most opensetting (2.8), set the ISO at 400 and hope the exposure can keep up with the action. Focus, in of itself, does not appear to be the issue. Rather, having a shutter speed fast enough to freeze action. And, frankly, if it's a choice between underexposing or freezing, I'll take the latter.


Well, since you mentioned it (underexposing)....

Some people do deliberately underexpose an image, just to get a faster shutter speed.

You can sometimes accomplish this by using EV compensation.

I don't own your camera model, so I don't know exactly how it's autoexposure algorithms work. However, if using the technique of shooting wide open (largest aperture or smallest F/Stop number) with aperture priority, doesn't produce shutter speeds fast enough for you, then you may want to deliberately underexpose the image.

You'll need to test your camera's behavior to make sure, but if you underexpose by about astop (setEV compensation to around -1.0), your camera's autoexposure algorithms in Aperture Priority Mode, will probably usea muchfaster shutter speed (twice as fast). Play with different amounts of EV compensation to see how much underexposure you can live with.

Of course, a downside of underexposed images is also increased noise, so you'll need to experiment (to make sure your camera uses a faster shutter speed with - EV compensation in Aperture PriorityMode; and to make sure the "cure" isn't worse than the problem).

Update:

Of course, you can always go either shutter priority (picking a shutter speed that's fast enough to freeze most action), or go full manual (setting both aperture and shutter speed). However, you'll have fareasier control of the exposure, using Aperture Priority (with EV compensation to control how much your images are underexposed, if faster shutter speeds are needed).


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Old Jul 13, 2004, 6:31 AM   #8
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You're right but he's trying to get a shot of its daughter. He doesn't need a very high shutter speed. He needs a good field deep and a moderate shutter speed.
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Old Jul 13, 2004, 8:12 AM   #9
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rober wrote:
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You're right but he's trying to get a shot of its daughter. He doesn't need a very high shutter speed. He needs a good field deep and a moderate shutter speed.
That's not what I got from his post:

"Having just acquired an A2 I spent the last 3 days taking photos of my daughters fast pitch softball tournament. In short, several photos were quite good. Many, however, were blurred. The blurring appears to be based on ISO sets, not focus. I have upgraded the firmware"

So, he's trying to freeze action in a software tournament. He indicates that the blurring does not appear to be focus related, but based on ISO. Since ISO impacts shutter speeds, it sounds motion blur to me.

It would be easy to tell from a sample photo (motion blur is pretty obvious). Perhaps he'll post one for us.




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