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Old Apr 9, 2006, 7:33 AM   #1
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I have an Olympus E-500 digital slr and need help taking pictures of my son playing soccer at the late games when the sun goes down at the field lights come on. Ive tried all the pre-set modes. normally i leave it on action but when the lights come on at night everything blurrs. im messing around with the manual setting and need some advice iso,wb,should i use flash metering,af mode
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Old Apr 9, 2006, 10:05 AM   #2
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Increase your ISO speed. Each time you double the ISO speed, the camera can use shutter speeds twice as fast for any lighting level and aperture choice. Auto ISO only goes through ISO 400 with the E Series models, but you can set it higher.

Most models will already be using their largest available aperture (represented by the smallest f/stop number) in low light. The sports mode on some models does the same thing (opens the aperture up all the way), or you can shoot in Av (Aperture Priority) mode and set it yourself (use the smallest f/stop number available). Then, the camera will use the fastest shutter speed it can for the lighting and ISO speed (while still giving you correctly exposed images).

Setting ISO speed higher to get faster shutter speeds will increase noise levels (it will look similar to film grain). So, if you need to use ISO 800 or 1600, you may want to use noise reduction software to reduce noise.

Popular choices are Neat Image , Noiseware , and Noise Ninja

Using a brighter lens can also help.

Most Zoom lenses are rated by their largest available aperture on the wide angle end, and on the longest end. For example, a Zuiko 40-150MM F3.5-4.5 AF lens has a largest available aperture of f/3.5 on it's wide end, dropping off to a largest available aperture of f/4.5 on it's long end. This is not really bright enough for some sports use without motion blur in low light at typical ISO speeds. But, using higher ISO speeds can help reduce blur.

Olympus also offers some brighter f/2 lenses, which is more than 4 times as bright as a lens with a largest available aperture of f/4.5. But, these f/2 lenses are relatively pricey.

The aperture scale in one stop increments goes f/1.0 (theoritically larger apertures are availalbe, too), f/1.4, f/2.0, f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, etc.

With each one stop move to a smaller aperture (represented by higher f/stop numbers), you will need shutter speeds twice as long for proper exposure, given the same lighting and ISO speed.

That also means that with each one stop move to a smaller aperture (higher f/stop number), you lose half the light getting through the lens to the AF sensors and viewfinder (and to the main CCD when the mirror flips and shutter opens), so a brighter lens can improve Autofocus, too.

For night sports, it's a good idea to use a lens with an aperture of f/2.8 available and a camera capable of shooting at ISO 1600 to keep shutter speeds fast enough. You can increase ISO speed up to ISO 1600 on your Olympus (but the images may be a bit on the noisy side). Just use noise reduction tools to try and clean them up as much as possible and take lots of photos to get more without blur from subject movement or camera shake. Using a monopod may help reduce camera shake in low light (but it won't help for subject movement).

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