Steve's Digicams Forums

Steve's Digicams Forums (
-   Newbie Help (
-   -   Rookie here. I need help with action photos. (

jerd Aug 12, 2006 6:04 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hello, I am new here and to Cameras. But I just bought a Cannon S3is. Now I love the still photos it takes, But I am having problems when taking action shots. I know nothing when it comes to digital cameras are taking pic. peirod. I was just reading somethings ya'll have wrote, and its like trying to understand spanish. can ya'll help me.

I bought this Camera because my son is in Gymnastics. I wanted something that could zoom in and reach him. also I like the Idear of video and taking pic at the sametime. But when I try to take action pic. If I set the Camera at ISO800 I get alot of Noise. Is there another way, setting , anything else that can help me take better pic with this camera. This camera was one of the best I could get for the money, and its right under a SLR. So I am sure that its me and not the Camera. can someone help me please.

Sintares Aug 12, 2006 7:29 PM

It is unfortunate but non of the current fully manual capable superzooms have acceptable ISO 800 (and have generally poor ISO 400).

While the Canon is quite bad its not as bad as the Panys and slightly worse than the Sony H2/H5 (which go out to ISO1000), and I don't think the Kodak superzooms are any better either.

The thing is gymnasiums are generally poorly lit and hard for cameras especially when they can't use flash, and the lack of low light capability in the S3 was always known and was pointed out in the various reviews of the camera..

Eg from Dpreview..

ISO 800 mode is too noisy to be really useful ,ISO 200 noise reduction too strong

And from Dcresource

noise levels start to pick up at ISO 200. The ISO 400 shot has noticeable loss of detail, though you could still squeeze a 4 x 6 inch print out of it if you use noise reduction software. The ISO 800 shot is not usable, in my opinion.

A good low light camera like the Fuji F30 would have been a better choice except for the short zoom , only x3 from 36-108mm.

Barring that then a dslr would have been the best option, though that adds to the price (especially for quality glass) plus no movie mode.

I suppose you could try dropping ISO 800 to 400 which would mean the shutter speed wouldbe even slower,you would need to hold the camera carefully at wide angleand at full zoom you would have to use a tripod (or rest/prop the camera on something).

Of course with a slower shutter , motion becomes blurred..

You could also keep using the higher ISO and try to use noise reduction software, either built in to your image editor or an add on program, such as Noiseware, Noise Ninja etc

Even with the best NR software, with ISO 400 or above you are going to be limited to small printsand they are never going to look the best..

jerd Aug 12, 2006 11:02 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks guys for the input, didn't like to hear that though. I think that my S3is takes pretty good Pic. at iso400. I am ok with the iso400 but when I get to iso800 that is the problem. You see I bought this camera because I had problems last cuple of years trying to Video and Pic. at the same time with one in one hand and the other in the other. So to me this camera gave me one peice that could do both. Also I didn't want to spend $1000 on something I didn't know if I would use it alot. So I reviewed for months and got the best one I thought was for me,witch was the Cannon S3is. Well With that said Witch Camera do ya'll think would have been better for me to buy that would have been in the same price tag of $600. I still believe that I have a very good Camera, and I will do the very best I can with it. I just need to learn more about it. So thats why I am in this Form. heres another pic from my camera I took.

JohnG Aug 13, 2006 1:15 PM


In short, no - there isn't a way to get any better photos out of that camera since you aren't allowed to use flash in gymnastics.

As others have mentioned, there is currently no good low light sports digicam on the market - period. The Fuji F30 is the only digicam that has decent (note I say decent) ISO 800 and 1600 performance. It has ISO 3200 but that's pretty much a last ditch once in a while solution - i.e. it works great with extreme close-ups of faces and such where digital noise is not prevalant but will work less well in a situation like yours where there are dark backgrounds and mats and shadows where noise becomes the most prevalant. And, 108mm means you would have to be on the floor right near the aperatus to get usable action shots - I'm guessing by your first post you don't have that kind of access.

Now, let's get to some more specifics. When I look at the exif I see an aperture of around 2.7 and a shutter speed of 1/60 and ISO of 800 - that's just too slow. You need at least 1/250 to 1/320 and even then you'll get blurred hands and feet.Now, to get speeds of 1/250 - you need 2 full stops better. That means you would either need an ISO of 3200 (3200 is two stops better than 800) or an aperture of 1.4 (1.4 is two stops better than 2.8).

And, even then the photos are going to be marginal because 1/250 still isn't good enough to stop full motion.

There is no digicam I'm aware of that has aperture of 1.4. And the only digicam that has ISO 3200 that isn't complete trash is the F30 - and as already mentioned it's too short unless you're right by the aperatus. There is another camera from Fuji coming out in the fall that is supposed to combine superzoom capability with the F30s high ISO capability - but it isn't out yet. And even when it is, gymnastics at the youth level is probably one of the worst sports to photograph because of the poor light.

So, I know this sounds bad. What can you do? You can pick your shots - put the camera down to ISO 400 and select points in your son's routine where there isn't a lot of movement - high peaks in his horse work, stops in motion on the rings or after a tumble on the mat. That's the best you can do with this sport.

Don't feel bad though - I have one of the best high ISO cameras on the market today - the Canon 20D. I shoot ISO 1600 or 3200 at gymnastics with $900+ lenses and I get mediocre results. The combination of terrible light and in most cases distance from the events prevents less expensive solutions.

And, by the way - you have an excellent camera. You just have a need to photograph possibly one of the most difficult subjects. It's not a knock on the S3 that it isn't up to such a daunting task.

jerd Aug 14, 2006 8:29 AM

Thank you for the info. The only good thing I can see is that I have made a good choise on my camera. I am a little hard on my pic. As for my wife she thinks all of my pic. are fine. So I trying to make myself happy. Any pictures of him that I take will be way better that I got last year. I just need a bigger Memory card.

Also I have found a new great hobbie. I really injoy taking pictures. I never though I would get this excited about photographing. Well thank all of ya'll with the helpfull advice, even if I can not fix my problem. But at least I know that I really didn't buy the wrong camera.

Thunderchild Aug 16, 2006 3:26 AM

I like you waterfall photo!!!!

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:49 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 RC 2