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Old Dec 11, 2002, 6:28 AM   #1
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Default Best settings for sports shots to be printed

I ahve so far had ISO to auto and got good enough results for my needs which are reducing pics to 640x480 and publish on web only.

I have now been asked to print some 8x10. Thus all my settings might be usless

OK they dont have to be proffesional 200% quality but they should be pleasing enough to the naked eye when viewing behind glass on a wall.

I am taking football action shots (hmm soccer I suppose for some of you )

If I set to ISO 100 all the time will I be able to take shots of moving targets and get a reasonable picture or should I stay with auto

I dont use full time auto focus on the camera..I depress half way and take the shot when it tells me in focus..is that the correct way for the situation?

Also for sports shots spot or iesp I am thinking iesp

I only really get saturday afternoons to use my camera so its hard to test and play around with possible settings especialy at this time of year in England..The game starts at 3pm and the lighting is gone by 3.30pm and the stadium floodlights come on ...So i get about half an hour to play with hence the advice pre game
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Old Dec 11, 2002, 12:41 PM   #2
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640x680 is useless for prints. You'll need to go to 2mp for a decent 5x7. The higher the iso the noisier the image. Some noise can be removed in post processing.

I have printed some reasonable 4x6 at that resolution but they are grainy - better than nowt though.
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Old Dec 11, 2002, 1:25 PM   #3
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Since you're posting in the Olympus forum, I'm assuming you are asking about using your UZI for these shots. With that in mind, here's my suggestions:

1. Set mode to SHQ mode for best quality; HQ works fine for me, but for 8x10 prints there is a slight difference
2. Let the camera set the ISO. It will always preferentially select 100 if there is enough light; shoot when there's plenty of light and you won't have many problems.
3. Pre-focusing is the way to go with action shots-- if you use continuous autofocus, you'll miss a lot of great pics because of shutter lag.
4. Unless your subject is severely backlit, use iESP rather than Spot. One of the really great things about Olympus digicams is exposure accuracy! I've found that using spot by default can give you some overexposed areas outside of the spot area; as you won't have time to go back and retake, use iESP the first time and save spot for when you can experiment. You can usually post process if needed.
5. Keep in mind that you will have little room for error when it comes to cropping. For 4x6's, you could easily crop a 800x600 area and get good shots. Since you are shooting 8x10's, for best results you won't want to crop ANY if at all possible. SO... frame your shots carefully, and use your resources - let the stabilized zoom do your cropping for you!
6. I haven't been able to purchase one yet, but if you can afford it, an Olympus B-300 1.7x teleconverter will greatly enhance your ability to get those great action shots from the sidelines. I know of no other teleconverter that can match the sharpness of the B-300. I'll assume you know to stay away from the digital zoom on your camera-- for quality prints, digital zooms are worthless.

That's about all that comes to mind right now, and I'm sure there are others that can offer much better advice, so I'll give them a chance. With just a little practice, it won't take long before you'll be complemented for getting such great action shots!
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Old Dec 11, 2002, 2:32 PM   #4
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Steve : Yes I say for "reducing" to 640x480. I have been taking them in 1600x1200 hq and reducing or being able to do a lot of cropping

lg: Apologies I cant believe I didnt say.. Yes Uzi +B300

Apart from changing to SHQ (which I just did and dropped from 257 to 90 pics) then I think I have everyhting else as per your list.. which pleases me.. Is there a noticable difference when printing 8x10 to warrant losing all those shots as I do take around 200 per match... Although not ATM with losing the light so early..

Many many thanks to you both for the input... If I had more time I would happily figure these out for myself... maybe over the crimbo holidays

Hoping to get a monopod for crimbo.. That should help sports shots a lot.
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Old Dec 12, 2002, 11:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyG
Apart from changing to SHQ (which I just did and dropped from 257 to 90 pics) then I think I have everyhting else as per your list.. which pleases me.. Is there a noticable difference when printing 8x10 to warrant losing all those shots as I do take around 200 per match... Although not ATM with losing the light so early..
Tony, I know there is a difference and I still choose to shoot everything in HQ mode. If I handed you an 8 x 10 shot at HQ and asked you what you thought of it, you would probably say it was incredible! If I asked you which is sharper, and gave you both side by side, you would probably pick the SHQ pic. It's a personal preference, but my opinion is that HQ is fine. I shoot everything in HQ mode.
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Old Dec 13, 2002, 9:04 PM   #6
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Tony,

I have the 2100 with a B300 lens. I have been taking photos of my kids soccer games, so here is what I have found out so far.

I use the camera in auto, set on the "sports" mode. I use burst mode, then as I see a play developing I hold down the button to get 4 or 5 shots. This way I don't have to worry about timing the shutter lag to get the right picture. I have got some great pictures this way.

Another thing I have learned is that I get better photos when shooting from beyond the endline rather than the sideline. You get the players facial expression as he come toward you. Also there is less problem with blurring caused by the motion.

I just got the camera a few months ago, and by no means am an expert, but I like the results. Look at some of my photos at www.pbase.com?lil_country

Good luck
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Old Dec 14, 2002, 3:56 AM   #7
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Hi

I did try the sports mode with the dial set to S-prg But wasn't happy with the results at all. grainy..Maybe it was somehting else and just coincidence.

I also tried the burst mode and wasn't happy.

Would you or anyone say there is ANY quality loss using burst mode?

Having looked at yor pictures there pretty good. Using the same settings I cant get a full picture in focus.. whatever I pont at will be in focus and everyhting around it out of focus.. your whole picture is in focus..I would really like to know how that is achieved especialy in zoom with b300
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Old Dec 14, 2002, 12:11 PM   #8
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Using burst mode you have to keep in mind that the camera will only focus one time - just before the first shot. As long as you hold the button down it will rely on that first focus, so make sure you get a good site picture and hold steady for the first shot.

As far has having the whole picture in focus, I guess I have just been lucky. I saw that in some of your photos. I get the same thing sometimes. Using burst mode, though, I take about 200 photos per game. I usually end up only keeping about 80 of them. I have noticed that I seem to get the best photos from the endline with the B300 at full zoom when the players are at the other end of the field.

One advantage I have over you is that my photos are taken outdoors, with no stadium to shadow the results. Your lighting conditions are part of your problem. You could use the software to try to brighten up the photos.

I don't think I lose any quality in burst mode, but I do take a lot of pictures that I discard. I just use the burst to try and capture the right moment, rather than trying to time the photo exactly.
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Old Dec 14, 2002, 12:37 PM   #9
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Exactly the same here. 200 shots on a good day. I use around 60 but as you can see as the months pass less and less usable pictures. I didn't even bother today as I realised after 5 minutes it was very poor lioght and the flodlights came on. It was dark by 4pm here in England so no good at al

looks like thats about it until it starts to come light again.
many thanks for your tips. all taken on board
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Old Dec 14, 2002, 1:11 PM   #10
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Tony, all is not lost-- all you need is enough light to take great action shots! A strong flash should do the trick. Check out this thread in the Flash (External) forum. It should get you pointed in the right direction.
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