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Thread: Need help with night sport photography

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Need help with night sport photography

    hello, i'm new here,

    Since the last few weeks i;ve been trying to get my night shots settings right, but they always end up blurry, un focused or grainy.

    I'm using a canon powershot G2, it only goes from f2 - f8, 1/1000- 15", iso50 - iso 400. I've read a lot of other articles on night shots and most of them only cover still shots, not a lot of night sport photography.

    So far i've been using iso 100, 1/10, flash, f2 for all my shots. But it's not fast enough to capture the movement.

    Here's an example.
    http://www.3peeps.com/mj/2004/may/100504.html
    There's the bluring and stuff. And it's not sharp most of the time. I only get like one good shot out of 60 or so.

    Here's another recent shot.
    http://www.3peeps.com/mj/2004/june/200604.html

    I've tried using iso 200 and iso 400 to try and get a faster shutter speed to really freeze the action but the grain is really very bad. And i'm stuck at f2 for the all my shots, if i go f3 or f4 it will force the shutter to open longer and i get a blurrer photo. And i suspect the f2 setting is blurring my photos a bit too. It dosen't bring out the detail in my subject's the way f3-f4 would. So right now i can only get away with 1/10, f2, flash, iso 100, on 1600x1280 resolution then shrink it down to cover up the blurryness of the image.

    So the question is, what would be a good setting to use for night action shots? I've never really seen any online portfolios with solid night action shots too

    Would really appreciate any help. thanks a lot

  2. #2

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    for that kind of action u need 1/30 or faster. since the exposure dont allow for even 1/30..then u have no choice but to increase iso

    g2 af is just like most other digicam af: slow. use manual focus and prefocus. when the moving object comes within the region of focus, then quickly snap

  3. #3
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    mmm, will try 1/30. But at iso200 the noise is quite apparent...

  4. #4
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    there isn't enough ambient lighting in the first place, so it doesn't really help in any way. f/2 doesn't matter about depth of field much, since the aperture is really small anyway on the camera. use a prefocus method, or manual focus. important note, is to tell your subjects that you are going to use flash, and ask them if they will be distracted by flash when they are pulling off their stunts.

    work from there...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sehsuan
    there isn't enough ambient lighting in the first place, so it doesn't really help in any way. f/2 doesn't matter about depth of field much, since the aperture is really small anyway on the camera. use a prefocus method, or manual focus. important note, is to tell your subjects that you are going to use flash, and ask them if they will be distracted by flash when they are pulling off their stunts.

    work from there...
    thanks , i tried the prefocus thing, yea it helps a lot, but sometimes at darker areas the camera dosen't focus properly or takes a very very long time to focus on a wall or something. I suppose right now all that i can do now is to work on my panning?

  6. #6

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    If you really want to freeze action, try this:
    Lowest ISO(100?)
    Step down the aperture to about f8.
    Use flash.

    You will not be able to see the background but the subject should be sharper than what you are getting now.

  7. #7
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    Sorry, other folk here have been very diplomatic and have tried to give you some workarounds your camera limitations. I don't want to be flippant and don't wish to burst your bubble, but a G2 just isn't going to cut it for taking night sports, at least not in the quality that you seem to want it. You just don't have the high ISO performance, focussing speed, shutter release speed, lens brightness necessary for this type of photography, one of the most demanding on camera/lens systems ever. There are plenty of good online albums with night sports, you will notice they they are taken with systems in excess of $5K upwards. If you wish to do this seriously, you need a minumum of an SLR (film/digital) and one fast telephoto lens.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerstorer
    If you really want to freeze action, try this:
    Lowest ISO(100?)
    Step down the aperture to about f8.
    Use flash.

    You will not be able to see the background but the subject should be sharper than what you are getting now.
    if i use f8, my picture will become totally dark, despite the flash

    Quote Originally Posted by misnomer
    Sorry, other folk here have been very diplomatic and have tried to give you some workarounds your camera limitations. I don't want to be flippant and don't wish to burst your bubble, but a G2 just isn't going to cut it for taking night sports, at least not in the quality that you seem to want it. You just don't have the high ISO performance, focussing speed, shutter release speed, lens brightness necessary for this type of photography, one of the most demanding on camera/lens systems ever. There are plenty of good online albums with night sports, you will notice they they are taken with systems in excess of $5K upwards. If you wish to do this seriously, you need a minumum of an SLR (film/digital) and one fast telephoto lens.
    Yea i'm beginning to find limitations on the things i can do with the g2. Especially for sport photography shots. Was thinking of getting a D70 though. mmm

  9. #9

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    Actually, what you are taking isn't exactly sports. More of just trying to capture some stunts that you and your friends attempt at night. Here, you have the opportunity for retakes and hence all the so called weaknesses are not much of an issue.

    Incidentally, you seem to want to eliminate motion blur, but have you considered that the blur may actually be visually appealing?

    Think carefully if you are going to spend a couple of grand just for this purpose.

  10. #10
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    misnomer, there is still some good usability for the G2. it was not a top end digicam once for no reason, you know...

  11. #11

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    a really powerful flash should do a little magic i feel..

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