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Thread: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

  1. #1
    Member deepanshus's Avatar
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    Default Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    I use a Nikon D90 but i am posting here as the scenario would be same for any make of camera.

    My situation is about taking photos of my child playing in the playground/park.

    I was shooting yesterday at around 5 ~ 6 PM and was slightly cloudy but enough light. I was not able to use any of the ASM settings to my satisfaction . I could only shoot photos at "Auto" or "P" mode where i adjusted ISO to 200 instead of auto iso.

    Would need input from other exp users on what aperture/shutter setting you would have preferred for such a scenario.

    my problem was when i had set an aperture F5.6 ~ F8, at times the shutter speed would become quite slow and picture would come out blur (remember subject is moving fast). I was able to take better photo by just letting the camera adjust the aperture/shutter/flash

    I need two advice

    1) Plz plz someone say "takin in auto mode is also good"

    2) What type of settings should i set on my camera if i want to move out of "Auto Mode"

    thanks for all your time.

    ps: Matrix metering and autowhite balance
    Nikon D90|Nikkor AF-S 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G|SB400|Nikon 35mm f/1.8G
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    hi..it depends on a few factor

    1) the zoom range. the longer the zoom range the shorter the shutter speed you would need to reduce handshake. as a rule of thumb - shutter speed = 1/zoom range.
    e.g shooting at 200mm would require shutterspeed with 1/200s.

    2) ur subject is in motion. if they are really moving fast ( running ard) like kids do and you want still photos. shutterspeed should be at least 1/200( this would vary depending on how fast they really move). if ur kid is bolt i think 1/1000 also not egh.hahah

    3) iso. d90 can easily handle iso up to 1600 with not much noise. Hence why set ur iso at only 200?

    4)mode - which modes really depends on what u are shooting. shutterspeed aint high egh, so allow more light to get in by decreasing ur f number. small f number = bigger aperature = more light into the camera and hence a reduce of shutterspeed. for me personally i use A mode. I set the aperature to whatever I like for the situation and let the camera decide for me the shutter speed. if its still too slow i would then bump up the iso. If its still not egh its time to reduce aperature. still not enough? there is a thing calll flash which is in built into ur camera.

    5) auto mode- there is no gd or bad in taking auto mode. for us that understand how the camera works, we do away with auto-mode as the human brain is still by far the best processor one could ever get. If im you...i would go read up the manual that comes along with ur d90 and read up on aperature/shutterspeed/iso/flash, play ard with your camera more. Once you are confident move away from Auto-mode. I only set to auto-mode when friends that knows nothing abt camera wanna play with my camera.
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  3. #3
    Member deepanshus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    Quote Originally Posted by wildsoyabean View Post
    hi..it depends on a few factor

    1) the zoom range. the longer the zoom range the shorter the shutter speed you would need to reduce handshake. as a rule of thumb - shutter speed = 1/zoom range.
    e.g shooting at 200mm would require shutterspeed with 1/200s.
    Was shooting at very close so zoom is not an issue, was using from 16 to 75 mm only most of the time. so i dont think handshake or shutter speed was an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by wildsoyabean View Post
    2) ur subject is in motion. if they are really moving fast ( running ard) like kids do and you want still photos. shutterspeed should be at least 1/200( this would vary depending on how fast they really move). if ur kid is bolt i think 1/1000 also not egh.hahah
    exactly, even i thought so, but when i tried with higher shutter speed i was losing on exposure as it was slightly cloudy (no bright sunny evening)

    Quote Originally Posted by wildsoyabean View Post
    3) iso. d90 can easily handle iso up to 1600 with not much noise. Hence why set ur iso at only 200?
    was just not used to setting iso high, i feel most of the pics can come out well at iso 200 ~ 400 if other settings are appropriate. Jacking up ISO is in my opinion the last resort. Could be wrong, not sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by wildsoyabean View Post
    4)mode - which modes really depends on what u are shooting. shutterspeed aint high egh, so allow more light to get in by decreasing ur f number. small f number = bigger aperature = more light into the camera and hence a reduce of shutterspeed. for me personally i use A mode. I set the aperature to whatever I like for the situation and let the camera decide for me the shutter speed. if its still too slow i would then bump up the iso. If its still not egh its time to reduce aperature. still not enough? there is a thing calll flash which is in built into ur camera.
    I also started with using the "A" mode but then the pics were not that good as shutter speed was slow (slow enough for a kid)

    Quote Originally Posted by wildsoyabean View Post
    5) auto mode- there is no gd or bad in taking auto mode. for us that understand how the camera works, we do away with auto-mode as the human brain is still by far the best processor one could ever get. If im you...i would go read up the manual that comes along with ur d90 and read up on aperature/shutterspeed/iso/flash, play ard with your camera more. Once you are confident move away from Auto-mode. I only set to auto-mode when friends that knows nothing abt camera wanna play with my camera.
    I agree, but human brain and fingers may not be the fastest ...if by the time i realize i need to increase the APER, he has moved to another Play Unit or maybe he has jumped down from the swing - you see what i am saying, the moment is gone


    I am sure i am missing something very basic or maybe overdoing the things...please keep the suggestions coming.
    Nikon D90|Nikkor AF-S 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G|SB400|Nikon 35mm f/1.8G
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  4. #4
    Member luntut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    Quote Originally Posted by deepanshus View Post
    Was shooting at very close so zoom is not an issue, was using from 16 to 75 mm only most of the time. so i dont think handshake or shutter speed was an issue.
    you think zoom range is not an issue? what lens are you using? one with variable aperture? if so, you think zoom range is not an issue?

    think again.

    Quote Originally Posted by deepanshus View Post
    exactly, even i thought so, but when i tried with higher shutter speed i was losing on exposure as it was slightly cloudy (no bright sunny evening)
    if higher shutter speed turns your image dark, what do you think you can do? increase aperture size? increase ISO?

    the ISO from 200 to 3200 is there for a reason. use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by deepanshus View Post
    was just not used to setting iso high, i feel most of the pics can come out well at iso 200 ~ 400 if other settings are appropriate. Jacking up ISO is in my opinion the last resort. Could be wrong, not sure.
    ISO 200 - ISO 3200 is there for a reason. if you dun like to use it, or dont want to use it, use flash. else nothing we can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by deepanshus View Post
    I also started with using the "A" mode but then the pics were not that good as shutter speed was slow (slow enough for a kid)
    when you are FREEZING MOTION, you NEED TO USE SHUTTER PRIORITY. what on earth are you using aperture priority for? get your basics straight.

    and what is exactly SLOW ENOUGH FOR A KID? is there something thats SLOW enough for a snail too? so how do you quantify slow enough for a kid that runs 100m in 15sec, and how do you quantify slow enough for a kid that runs 100m in 23.54 seconds?

    Quote Originally Posted by deepanshus View Post
    I agree, but human brain and fingers may not be the fastest ...if by the time i realize i need to increase the APER, he has moved to another Play Unit or maybe he has jumped down from the swing - you see what i am saying, the moment is gone
    so go back again and try again. there are also other kids for you to shoot at.

    Quote Originally Posted by deepanshus View Post
    I am sure i am missing something very basic or maybe overdoing the things...please keep the suggestions coming.
    SHoot more. play with your camera settings. there are only 3 things for you to adjust.

    Shutter, Aperture, ISO. if you have been adjusting the first 2 and still not getting anything, time to start to TRY to use ISO.
    Fast Camera. Fast Lens. Slow Me. Sigh.
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  5. #5
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    Quote Originally Posted by deepanshus View Post
    was just not used to setting iso high, i feel most of the pics can come out well at iso 200 ~ 400 if other settings are appropriate. Jacking up ISO is in my opinion the last resort. Could be wrong, not sure.
    Nothing wrong with that. The 3 parameters of exposure are: shutter speed, aperture and ISO. If you must have a certain shutter speed (to freeze motion) and a certain aperture (for enough DOF) then ISO needs to be adjusted. Or you bring in additional light (= flash).
    I also started with using the "A" mode but then the pics were not that good as shutter speed was slow (slow enough for a kid)
    Why A mode? Your main parameter is shutter speed in order to freeze motion. So S mode (hope it's correct, I don't have a Nikon) should be your choice.
    I am sure i am missing something very basic or maybe overdoing the things...please keep the suggestions coming.
    There is this famous book by Bryan Peterson "Understanding Exposure" (a sales thread) which should be able to explain all details.
    Also keep in mind: just because our eyes are able to see clearly doesn't mean that the light is enough for the camera. Our eyes and our brain are doing a lot of adjustments that go unnoticed to us. But a camera measures the absolute amount of light. From your setup (cloudy, 6pm) I can see the light was already quite dim.
    Also, try using spot metering on the center AF point (which you may want to sue here instead of letting the camera select AF points). With that the camera will only consider the central part of the image for metering. Place the child's face there and the dim background will be neglected for exposure metering. For focusing use continuous focusing (check manual for details) so that you are able to track the child with center AF point while halfpressing shutter button.
    All these settings are more or less already prepared for you: in Sports Mode - as others said: nothing wrong with any of these modes, they are tools in your hands and can be used.
    Last edited by Octarine; 18th September 2009 at 10:38 AM.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    Will using a prime lens set to f2 with a shutter speed of 1/250 iso 400 + an external flash do the job???
    A photo is an art painted by light.

  7. #7
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Matter View Post
    Will using a prime lens set to f2 with a shutter speed of 1/250 iso 400 + an external flash do the job???
    Maybe in terms of exposure. But the DOF is very shallow at f/2, especially with longer focal length. Will be also depending on focus speed and focus accuracy whether you get good pictures.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Maybe in terms of exposure. But the DOF is very shallow at f/2, especially with longer focal length. Will be also depending on focus speed and focus accuracy whether you get good pictures.
    Yes...shallow DOF but I love this kind of shot. My concern is using 3D tracking or AF for Focus setting. since subject is very dynamic.
    A photo is an art painted by light.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    Here's one example shot - in a shopping centre.
    Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
    Aperture: f/1.8
    Focal Length: 50 mm
    ISO Speed: 1000
    No flash fired.



    If there's one general advice for you, is the same advice I got from others; surf thru the hundreds of photos in flickr and somewhere similar, and get the EXIF data. Self learning is the best discovery. Good luck!
    Last edited by cheguthamrin; 18th September 2009 at 11:10 AM.
    Already abused my D40 and D80 for my flickr

  10. #10

    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    Quote Originally Posted by cheguthamrin View Post
    If there's one general advice for you, is the same advice I got from others; surf thru the hundreds of photos in flickr and somewhere similar, and get the EXIF data. Self learning is the best discovery. Good luck!
    I will start from your flickr...hope to learn something from there.
    A photo is an art painted by light.

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    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    focusing mode...choose AF-C better for moving subjects
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    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    It's always crazy trying to capture kiddos zooming here and there. I've never hesitate about pumping ISO to get the shot I want, especially on cloudy days with lighning speed kids. Hahaha. You can stick to f5.6 I guess. At least you don't have to pump too high ISO to get decent shutter speed. I am sure when using Auto, the cam does that for you too. If all else fails ... try using flash.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Matter View Post
    I will start from your flickr...hope to learn something from there.
    Thank you and welcome in!
    Already abused my D40 and D80 for my flickr

  14. #14
    Member deepanshus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    wow, what an amazing learning session. yes ndroo, i agree it was crazy. now that i realize, not only i have exposure problems but quite often the bad images were because the focus was incorrect.

    I guees the things that i need to do correctly are

    AF-C
    Spot metering for center focus area
    Use higher ISO or let ISO set to AUTO
    Use Shutter Priority (approx 1/200 to 1/250)

    Last but not the least Learn from exif in flickr and Shoot more!!
    Nikon D90|Nikkor AF-S 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G|SB400|Nikon 35mm f/1.8G
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    oh since u are using d90. do you know that you can set 1 of your dials to control iso, in A and S mode.
    this speed things up in terms of controlling aperture/iso or aperture/shutter speed.

    cheers

    dun worry too much abt noise when iso is less than 1600. d90 cmos sensors give a quite gd noise ratio at 1600. i try to avoid 1600 iso and above- it capable of producing photos above 1600..but i dun really like the noise above 1600. 1600 is alot to me since i never go more than 800 when i had d80 haha
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    Quote Originally Posted by deepanshus View Post
    wow, what an amazing learning session. yes ndroo, i agree it was crazy. now that i realize, not only i have exposure problems but quite often the bad images were because the focus was incorrect.

    I guees the things that i need to do correctly are

    AF-C
    Spot metering for center focus area
    Use higher ISO or let ISO set to AUTO
    Use Shutter Priority (approx 1/200 to 1/250)

    Last but not the least Learn from exif in flickr and Shoot more!!
    and if you hate the noise that is generated from high ISO, try shooting in raw.

    you can remove noise much more easily during post processing with RAW then with JPEG.
    Fast Camera. Fast Lens. Slow Me. Sigh.
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    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    sorry hijack your thread; what about taking in "sport' mode if camera had this function? will it be better? or others? thanks

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    Quote Originally Posted by foofoo View Post
    sorry hijack your thread; what about taking in "sport' mode if camera had this function? will it be better? or others? thanks
    Help yourself by reading properly. Post 5, last sentence: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showp...28&postcount=5
    Last edited by Octarine; 21st September 2009 at 02:45 PM. Reason: Link corrected.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Help yourself by reading properly. Post 5, last sentence: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/report.php?p=5449228
    Meh... That's a report post link?
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Question about Camera setting - Children playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Meh... That's a report post link?
    Thanks for the pointer link corrected.
    Last edited by Octarine; 21st September 2009 at 02:46 PM.
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