Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Newbie Help

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 29, 2005, 1:49 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1
Default

I would really like to take some quality pictures at my son's basketball game... good enough to get an 8x10 print. I took a few last week using the camera's "auto" setting, and the the results were horribly grainy (or noisy, I don't know the difference!). Can any suggest the best settings?

I have a Canon SD400. I have access to a tripod, but I prefer not to use it, of course. The gym seems to me to be well light. I will have to use the cameras 3x zoom.

Thanks for your help,

John
johnm304 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Nov 29, 2005, 2:13 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
bernabeu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 990
Default

to 'freeze' action you require at least 1/500 second shutter speed

most P&S cameras have relatively slow maximum apertures of f3-4

so the iso must be boosted to 400 or 800 introducing noise due to the small CCD

a tripod will not help with subject motion

here is what you need to capture sports action:

APS-C sized sensor

200mm f4 ( or 2.8 )lens

iso 400

1/500-1/1000 sec shutter speed

GOOD LUCK
bernabeu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 30, 2005, 8:02 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
terry@softreq.com's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,539
Default

I'd advise shooting that scenario at ISO1600 or ISO3200, which most small point and shoots are not capable of setting those ISO's, or they would be so noisy the image would look bad.

An entry level DSLR usually offers ISO1600. Both the Canon Rebel XT and the Nikon D50 can deliver usable images at ISO1600.

As for lenses, you want a lens with a maximum aperture of F2.8, regardless of the focal length.

I've seen some great results from the Canon 85mm F1.8 lens, however it's a $300+ (US dollars) lens.

Anything less than the above recommendations, I doubt you'd be happy with the results.

-- Terry
terry@softreq.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 30, 2005, 12:46 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

There isn't any magic setting you can use to get those shots with your SD400. Lighting that looks fine to your eye isn't necessarily enough to generate the shutter speeds necessary to capture action. When you zoom out with the SD400 you are at f4.9. With indoor lighting that isn't giving you much shutter speed. Half depress the shutter and see what it is giving you for shutter speed. I would be surprised if it is much over 1/30 second even with a higher ISO in auto.

The camera tries to give you the reciprocal of the 35mm equivalent focal length. So at 105mm eq it is trying to give you 1/100 shutter speed, which is considered the slowest you can go with good holding technique to get really sharp photos of still subjects. My guess is that the grain is noise caused by the auto ISO increasing to try to give you a useable shutter speed.

slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 5, 2005, 1:16 PM   #5
Member
 
Brian Randall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 56
Default

One of the toughest settings to shot, is indoor sports, or concerts. Because you need a fast shutter speed, AND a large aperture setting. Very uncommon in P & S cameras.

Might be a good idea to try aperture priority and open the lens to max. Set the ISO to the highest level that usually does not interject noise, and let the camera set the shutter speed. But be prepared, depending on how far you are from the action, you still might not get a fast enough shutter speed.

You should refrain from using any zoom. Get as close if possible and use the wide angle setting.

Good Luck.
Brian Randall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 5, 2005, 2:48 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 117
Default

I'm getting good results with the following:

Canon EOS 20D 70-200 F/2.8 L or 24-70 F/2.8 L
Shutter Priority 350 or above (I can't recall exactly what it was set to)
ISO 400 to 800 (I haven't had to go above 800 yet).
the 5 fps helps a lot too.

I have IS on, and use autofocus the faster lens helps with the auto focus I believe.
I've shot basketball in several different locations and it's by far much tougher than
baseball or football. I shoot a ton of shots, maybe a 2gig card worth in RAW. This is
just kids (9 -13 year olds) so it's not even close to an hour of playing time (maybe two 12 or 15 minutes periods). Just shot one the other night and took a bit over 200 shots.

Joe


jlacasci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 5, 2005, 2:57 PM   #7
Member
 
Brian Randall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 56
Default

jlacasci wrote:
Quote:
I'm getting good results with the following:

Canon EOS 20D 70-200 F/2.8 L or 24-70 F/2.8 L
Shutter Priority 350 or above (I can't recall exactly what it was set to)
ISO 400 to 800 (I haven't had to go above 800 yet).
the 5 fps helps a lot too.

Joe


Joe,

I'd say you had better be getting good shots with that camera. If you weren't, I be happy to take it, along with your lens, off your hands for you....LOL

Can you tell, I am jealous........
Brian Randall is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:20 PM.