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Old Mar 22, 2010, 8:01 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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Default Nikon D40 Baseball pictures

i have a nikon d40 SLR and lens 18-55 that it came with. I purchased a zoom lens seperate 55-200 as my son is a high school pitcher, and I am trying to get good action shots, my pictures come out blurry and in motion his arms look fat and blurry. I have read the book so many times and ready to give up. I have had camera for 6 months and have yet to get a good clear crisp picture. I am not real camera savvy and I don't know how to capture good action shots??? Any help from anyone would be so much appreciated !!!! Thanks Myshelle
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Old Mar 22, 2010, 8:18 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378

Hey Myshelle.

Welcome to the forum.

Your problem is that your shutter speed is too slow, resulting in motion blur from subject movement.

Are these daylight games? If not, you'll probably need a different lens, since that one won't be bright enough to work well at night games.

The shutter speed a camera can use for proper exposure depends on the lighting, the aperture setting of the lens (with lower f/stop numbers representing a wider opening that can let in more light) and the ISO speed (which is how sensitive the camera is to light).

In many daylight conditions, you'll need to use a higher ISO speed in order to keep shutter speeds fast enough to freeze the action. With a lens like that 55-200 (which will have a widest aperture opening of f/5.6 when you zoom in much), you may need to use ISO 800 unless you're in relatively bright light.

Are you leaving the camera in Auto? If so, it may not know that you want to freeze action and isn't trying to increase the ISO speed enough to let the camera use faster shutter speeds. I'd switch your mode dial to Aperture Priority, set your aperture to around f/5.6, and set your ISO speed to ISO 400 and take some test shots and keep an eye on the shutter speed the camera is selecting. If it's not faster than 1/500 second, set the ISO speed to 800 instead and see what you get. That will result in a little higher noise levels, but that's usually better than motion blur. You'll also want to make some changes like shooting with Continuous Autofocus and Drive modes for better results with moving subjects. But, shutter speeds that are too slow sounds like your main problem to start with (probably because the ISO speed you're using is set too low)

I'd give members some info on the conditions you're shooting in for better responses. Fixing the issue for daytime games is probably just tweaking a couple of settings like making sure your aperture is set to an appropriate value and making sure your ISO speed is set high enough. But, for night games, you're going to need a different lens.
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