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Old Mar 4, 2006, 5:15 PM   #21
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Have you set the autofocus to continuous mode or is it in single mode? I also would use the burst mode for fast motion. Then at least one picture of such a burst sequence should be fine. As already mentioned you have a very shallow DOF at f1.7 and the autofocus easily can get it wrong - even if it is in continuous mode. You may also have a back focus or front focus problem. Every new KM 5D/7D owner should perform a focus test.
As far as the white balance is concerned, the auto white balance of my KM 7D doesn't seem to be the best. For instance, with snow I always get a blue cast unless the sun is behind the camera. Of course dark snow, i.e. snow in the shadow, is a problem for the auto white balance of any camera, but my Coolpix 8400 is performing better in this respect. However, I always shoot in raw mode, whence the white balance chosen by the camera doesn't matter much . Burst mode is the only exception, when I use jpeg.
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Old Mar 4, 2006, 5:32 PM   #22
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lomitamike wrote:
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That was the same gym that I took practice shots in earlier that day. The reason it seems a little darker in the second set of pictures is that during the earlier test shotsdaylight was shining through a big window atthe top of the wall.
Aaah... That makes sense. I didn't realize you'd be in different conditions.

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I did switch to the shutter priority briefly and you were correct the shots were very under exposed. Sorry I can't give you the exif on those shots I've deleted them from my CF and I'm using photoshop 2 that doesn't have that information.
If you want to shoot that way, just keep an eye on the viewfinder. If you have shutter speeds set too fast for the maximum available aperture, the Aperture value will flash at you.

Then, you just dial down the shutter speeds until it stops blinking and you'll be at the fastest available shutter speed for the largest aperture the lens supports, for the lighting conditions and ISO speed selected.

I would personally go about 1/3 stop or more down from wide open, provided you could keep shutter speeds at around 1/320 second.

Most lenses are sharpest about 2 to 3 stops down from wide open. That wouldn't be practical in gym lighting. But, every little bit helps if you can avoid shooting at totally wide open apertures with a lens and keep shutter speeds high enough. I hardly ever shoot wide open with any lens, even in very low light (I'll go at least 1/3 stop down, preferrably more if lighting permits).

For my tastes, using Av Mode is easier. Start out at larger apertures and watch shutter speeds, stopping down just a bit from wide open for increased sharpness if lighting permits, deciding if bumping up ISO speeds more is desirable or not, depending on lighting.

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The WB was tricky because the lights in the gym are not all the same. Some produce more of a green light and some orange. You can clearly see it in the last shot. I don't know if that would make it harder for the WB or not.
The 5D (and 7D) are a bit finnicky about setting a custom White Balance. They tend to make you try a few times before you can get it set without errors in some lighting.

But, you may want to try setting a custom white balance for the lighting to see if that helps out, perhaps setting it about half way in between some of the different light fixtures.

If nothing else, a couple of coffee filters stacked together usually make a good test target for setting it.

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Also, I think anything slower than 1/500 is not going to be fast enough for these conditions

Well, the trick is to balance ISO speed, aperture and shutter speed for best results. If you shoot at wide open apertures at higher ISO speeds, you'll have a shallower depth of field which can make it harder to get shots of rapidly moving subjects as the AF system tries to keep up, and a lens is going to be a bit softer wide open.

If you lock focus prior to shooting, your subject can be out of focus due to the shallow depth of field, too. Using Continuous AF can help there, as I suggested earlier (since it will try to track your subject for you as movement occurs).

I think you'll find about 1/320 is a good target for balancing these parameters, if lighting permits.

If lighting doesn't permit stopping down the aperture from wide open (i.e., it's not as good as in your first set), then you may decide that a bit of softness from shooting wide open, and a shallower depth of field is preferrable to motion blur.

The sports mode that rduve suggested is another way to get there. It will automatically switch you to Continuous AF (as well as Continuous Drive mode), and will most likely shoot at wide open apertures (f/1.7 will your 50mm) in lighting that low.

So, it's basically doing the same thing you were for the first set, with the addition of Continous AF and Continuous Drive mode (if you were not already shooting that way anyway).

Another way to have more flexbility is to use the P Mode. You can then spin the dial between available aperture/shutter speed combinations for the lighting you're in. Then, you can balance the need for faster shutter speeds with the ability to dial in a bit more depth of field and sharpness as desired. The trick is to remember that you'll need to keep shutter speeds up in low light to prevent motion blur (keep an eye on what they are in the viewfinder, selecting the best combination of aperture and shutter speed for the conditions and desired depth of field)

I'd make sure to set Continuous AF for any mode you choose to shoot in, as that would probably help you out (making sure to focus on a subject that you want to track and shoot).

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Old Mar 5, 2006, 8:10 PM   #23
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rduve, Jim, tcook, kassandro.

After reading through everything suggested and then trying to remember it all once I got to the gym for the second game,I think that I made some progress. After taking around 150 or so pictures I ended up with 23 acceptable shots. One bigadvantage I had for the second game I shot was the daylight coming in through the window and doors.

Here's 3 shots. The first 2 came out good the last onewas similar tothe other 127 shots.

X.Fine

50mm

1/250

f/2.0

Sports mode

multi segment

AWB

ISO 500


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Old Mar 5, 2006, 8:13 PM   #24
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X.FINE

50mm

1/250

f/2.2

Sports mode

multi segment

AWB

ISO 800
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Old Mar 5, 2006, 8:16 PM   #25
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This last shot is typical of most shots.

X.Fine

50mm

1/250

f/2.0

sports mode

multi segment

ISO 800
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Old Mar 5, 2006, 8:35 PM   #26
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Im not sure but I think ( I'm pretty sure ) that I adjusted settings to sharpen +1 and natural +. Afterturning the mode dial to sports I think the camera defaults to natural and resets sharpen to 0. One more thing to mention is that all shots where set to continuous AF.

Things are getting better, butI guess it just takes time to figure it out. Thank God for digital or I'd be spending a fortune on film trying to figure out this camera.

It sure was a lot easier to get good shots on my old Sony DSC S75. I guess I really thought that moving up to a DSLR would'nt be such a big deal. Huh, I need to guess again.

Thanks everybody
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 12:16 AM   #27
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Thanks, keep us posted. I didn't get a chance to take any indoor sports shots this weekend. But as soon as I do, I will share my experiences.
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 4:06 PM   #28
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One thing to do is shoot RAW and use a custom WB. Kids basketball is usally played in poorly lit gyms unlike the pro's where the lighting is good enough for TV use. Getting high shutter speeds is hard. Try RAW, Custom WB, AFC and burst.
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 6:29 PM   #29
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Nice shot! Was that taken with a 5D? Lens?
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 7:54 PM   #30
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5D, ISO1600, Minolta 70-210 F3.5-4.5 @90mm(135mm equiv.). RAW converted with C1. Same here.

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