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Need settings recommendations for indoor gym
I've had a Kodak Z740 for years. Always kept it on auto settings, never ventured beyond that. Recently, I've developed a new interest in photography. (I'm saving up for a Canon S5IS.).

Anyway, last week I took my Z740 to my daughter's volleyball game in an indoor gym. Tried taking pics from the stand, zoomed in. Tried auto settings, just got a bunch of noise, red eye, and dark images. Played around with the manual settings and ended up with good lighting but a bunch of blur..

Tonight, I'm trying again. Where would you recommend I start, as far as settings?.

Thanks!..

Comments (15)

Indor action shots are tough. You can get good results with DSLRs + fast prime lenses like 85mm f/1.4. or 200mm f/2.8.

DSLR camera with thisty of lens cost over $2000.

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #1

Well thanks, but that's not much help to me...LOL...that's why I posted in the "beginners" forum..

I only have a P&S and wondered if anyone could give me some pointers on the P&S settings..

THanks..

Comment #2

What Stan was getting at was that you are probably trying to do things that are getting to be beyond the capability of your camera. Shooting fast moving sports in low light requires expensive equipment..

However, if you want to see what you can get, try the following:1. Unless you can get really close, turn the flash off.2. Set the ISO to the highest possible setting..

3. Set the camera to aperture priority and set to the lowest possible aperture number, which on your camera is f2.8-f3.7 depending on the zoom..

4. Focus lock and see what shutter speed comes up. If it less than about 1/15, give up - there isn't enough light for anything. If it is less than, say, 1/60, you may be able to take the players when they are reasonably stationary with the zoom at a widish setting. If it is about 1/200, you may be able to take shots of the players when they are moving at a longer zoom.5. Experiment and see what kind of results you get..

6. There will be a lot of noise in the images because you are using a high ISO setting..

Best of luck.Chris R..

Comment #3

I think indoor gyms are tough even with the right equipment (such as fast primes and a sports-oriented d-slr), especially if you can't use flash (or don't want to). if your end goal is prints, some of the noise you see on the screen will typically disappear into the print..

With your current camera maybe try to work with lower shutter speeds (to keep ISO noise down) and then intentionally go for motion blur. a camera with IS in the body can be handy at slow shutter speeds since it will help keep the background steady while the players have motion blur (vs. just everything in the picture being blurry). or use flash if you are allowed to..

If you are shooting white uniforms the camera metering may be fooled and you may need to bump up exposure compensation to avoid a darkish picture. but when you do that your shutter speed may fall so watch out for camera shake..

You may need a custom white balance (does your camera support that) to compensate for the kind of lights you often find in a gym..

There's a reason why outdoor sports are popular with shooters ..

Comment #4

Thanks Chris, I'm printing this out and sticking it in my pocket!..

Comment #5

Lynette3 wrote:.

Anyway, last week I took my Z740 to my daughter's volleyball game inan indoor gym. Tried taking pics from the stand, zoomed in. Triedauto settings, just got a bunch of noise, red eye, and dark images.Played around with the manual settings and ended up with goodlighting but a bunch of blur..

Indoors gyms are really difficult to shoot in because although they look quite bright, the light level photography is much lower than one would think. A compact or point and shoot are alos at a disadvantage due to the sensor size and limitations of the camera but here are a few other things to consider in addition to what has been posted..

Invest in a monopod to give you a bit more support as your shuter speeds will be very slow. Use the highest ISO setting possible on your camera and the widest aperture....as others have shoot, shoot in aperture priority and shoot with the lens wide open. Invest is some good noise removal software (NeatImage or Noise Ninja) and learn how to work with your images in a good editor (Photoshop Elements, etc.). You'd be surprised at the number of usable shots you can get with just a bit of work..

JohnPentax *ist-D, K100D, Fuji F20/31fd, Oly Stylushttp://www.pbase.com/jglover..

Comment #6

My Canon s5 arrived yesterday. ) Took it to the volleyball games tonight and the pics turned out GREAT on AUTO with and without flash! Woo-Hoo!!.

My kids have been at this building since my older daughter was in pre-K. 7 years of crappy pics in that auditorium..

FINALLY some good ones!!! Oh, and the batteries didn't die on me which is also a new and pleasant experience!.

(For some reason, my laptop won't read my 2gb SD card, and I haven't installed the Canon software yet to hook the camera up, so I can't share right now.)..

Comment #7

Your laptop maybe will only read 1GB cards (I assume you are using an onboard slot). Maybe there is an upgrade patch but finding it may be difficult. It is probably better to buy a new card reader..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #8

Since others will read this. I ought to have added that it must follow from your post that you have only seen yout photos on the LCD of the camera? I hope they look equally OK on a bigger screen..

I am pleased for you if your shots are OK but the advice to others must still be you need an SLR and a good lens for indoor sports photography..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #9

I got curious and searched flickr for s5 low light performance. Not a sports scene though....

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/thepma/661207295/.

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Camera: Canon PowerShot S5 ISExposure: 0.125 sec (1/8)Aperture: f/2.7Focal Length: 6 mmISO Speed: 200Exposure Bias: 0/3 EVFlash: Flash did not fire..

Comment #10

Chris Elliott wrote:.

Since others will read this. I ought to have added that it mustfollow from your post that you have only seen yout photos on the LCDof the camera? I hope they look equally OK on a bigger screen..

True, I've only seen them on the LCD. I'll report back when I get motivated to get the Canon software installed and the camera hooked up...

Comment #11

I wish you luck. I find my Nikon D80 is pretty challenged at shooting indoor sports (nighttime) for girls' basketball for a local Catholic school. I've got a Canon S3 IS and never liked shooting ISO 400, I'd expect the S5 has better high ISO performance, of course..

I usually shoot ISO 1250-1600 1/320 sec w/ a constant f/2.8 zoom. Using an f/1.4 or f/1.8 prime allows me to go to ISO 640-800 around 1/400 sec. Much safer to reduce motion blur..

So, what others are saying, is that you are really, really challenging your camera to do things it isn't really meant to/capable of doing. Of course, I NEVER would use flash during a sports event. It could be dangerous, and is distracting at the very least. YMMV..

I hope you can find a reasonable solution, but I am afraid to concur... That you really would need a very good dSLR and a FAST lens or two to get great indoor sports shots- especially lower than college level (college gyms are better lit)..

Cheers.Davidmy flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/prodesma/my website: http://kaptures.net/.

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Comment #12

Prodesma wrote:.

I wish you luck. I find my Nikon D80 is pretty challenged atshooting indoor sports (nighttime) for girls' basketball for a localCatholic school. I've got a Canon S3 IS and never liked shooting ISO400, I'd expect the S5 has better high ISO performance, of course..

Not really - From the review.

"Surprisingly the S5 IS holds up very well against it's predecessor at higher ISO settings, and if you take into account the slightly lower degree of enlargement needed to produce a print I think it's fair to say that you will get fractionally better results out of the new camera at ISO 400 and 800, though whether the difference would be enough to actually be seen in the final print is debatable, to say the least.".

Http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canons5is/page7.asp.

Like you I am using the D80. I have checked your EXIF. We are doing the same thing via different routes. I use shutter priority & ISO 1600 f/2.8 then push the shot, usually in MM, by about 1.3 stops which gives me about 1/100th with theatre lighting..

I have never tried ISO 1250. Do you find it significantly better than ISO 1600? Given that I am photographing live events the opportunity for experimenting is limited and theatre lighting can change quickly. The shot below - the death scene from La Traviata - had only a single spot on the chemise of Violetta with the rest of the stage in semi-darkness..

ISO 1600 f/2.8 1/100th Spot metered off the chemise (Not that it mattered. I should have been on something like 1/20th in MM) and a lot of PP in Capture NX..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #13

Well, yes I'd read the review of the S5 when it came out... Certainly not worth upgrading from the S3 IMHO. And I'm trying to give the benefit of the doubt on high ISO to the S5, but your point is well taken, maybe not better at handling high ISO's..

I've tried a lot of different scenarios/set-ups for indoor sports. The 50/1.4 or f/1.8 is simply too tight. I dint have the Sigma 20/1.8 last year. The Sigma 30/1.4 or Nikon 28/1.4 would likely be best and simply crop to frame. As long as I could still pull a 5x7 print..

For you, I dint check your EXIF, because it may change drastically depending on venue and show I'm guessing. I'd say that if you're getting paid, get some FAST glass. I realize it's expensive, so renting is a good option IMHO..

85/1.4 would be my choice. It has good reach, and good FoV if you're far enough away to capture a lot on a stage. Sharp wide open, maybe not critically so- but enough for most purposes. YMMV. Or the 105/2 or 135/2 or 200/2..

A MF 85/1.4 rents for $20 in San Francisco, AF 85/1.4 for $25-30. A 28/1.4 rents for about $30 and a 200/2 rents for $40/day..

I'd also opt for the 85/1.4 because it is a great portrait lens (the others are too) that could shoot in tighter spaces (like backstage). You shoot a few portraits w/ this lens and the actors will likely applaud the results! So, the lens easily does double duty..

Sure you're losing zoom. ISO 800 doesn't scare me at all... I find ISO 1250 is about the cut-off for reasonable imaging on my D80 if I nail exposure. ISO 1600-2000 is begging for a very low keeper rate. When I've shot ISO 2500 I'm just asking for trouble in PP. : ).

So, get up to ISO 1250 at 1/80 or 1/100 for fairly still scenes, and go up to 1/250 or 1/320 for very active scenes. Motion blur is a killer, and critical sharpness is tough in low light... I'm curious to hear how your primary lens(es) AF in low-light. Mine can hunt a lot and I can miss shots that I really, really need to have. I also shoot film for low-light and find Ilford Delta 3200 pushed to 6400 to give fairly remarkable results when processed properly.Cheers.Davidmy flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/prodesma/my website: http://kaptures.net/.

Sigma 100-300/4 at f/4 ISO 800... no noise reduction:.

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Sigma 20/1.8 in very low-light:.

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Delta 3200 film pushed to 6400 speed:.

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Comment #14

David,.

Before I get on topic I loved you "Little-Minskis" shots and the music was just right..

I take your point re primes but I need to go from a 40ft wide stage to a head and shoulders shot of a soloist and all points in between including group shots of characters interacting. I now have both a D50 and D80. I mount a Sigma 24-70 f2.8 on one and a Nikkor 80-200 f2.8 on the other both mounted on a T bar on a very heavy tripod. That way I can cover effectively 24-200mm all at f2.8. ISO 1600. My output is mainly for the web (though I print some A4 for promotional material) and I am after atmosphere rather than detail.



I have read in one of your posts (or at least I think it was one of your posts) that noise increases heavily with underexposure. That is not my experience and I rely on Thom Hogan as my starting point. He says that the noise increase with underexposure is linear on the D80 so that you get the same amount of noise e.g pushing one stop up from ISO 800 as you would at ISO 1600. I have adopted that with relish as my starting point. For reasons that I have never found convincingly documented ISO 3200 is called Hi 1. There are suggestions it is not properly calibrated.

Whatever it may be I have rarely trusted ISO 3200. So I stick with ISO 1600 and when the lights come up and I am recording what is intended to be bright scene. I get a straight 1/100th with no EV adjustment. When the lights are really low and and I am pushing I may PP to +0.7 EV..

I often use NX Control points to brighten faces and hands to highlight gestures but otherwise keep the lighting low key..

I really have very little problem with AF on the either the D80 or the D50. The focus assist beam is off of course but I try to chose semi-posed subjects so I do not have much action to stop. And I am on a tripod with large ball head etc, etc. Very often I am not even using the central focus point but still I do not seem to have problems. That is probably because I am photographing that upon which lighting attention is focused so I have *relatively* good light..

Sometimes I use a monopod. Here is a shot of Simon Keelyside at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester:.

D80 Nikkor 80-200 at 155mm (but cropped from landscape to portrait) f2.8 1/200th..

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(Unfortunately the focus is not bang on. It focused on the 1st row of violins).

If you are shooting hand held you might find a monopod will help. I used a Manfrotto 486RC2 which works well with my two f2.8 lenses..

The shot below was also taken using a monopod. This time with the 24-70 lens.D80 Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 1/60th ISO 1600.

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That shot or one of the others I took that night is now on a CD cover (I have not seen it yet. I told them to chose whichever they wanted).

Both the above were live performances..

I no longer use film but I have do have a framed shot of a concert at the Bridgewater Hall from 1997 taken from the front row balcony at the end of the concert during all the bows and pluadits pushed to ISO 6400. I did not actually take it. I was on stage. I left instructions for the Mayor who was sat there to press the shutter and wind on a few times!! I had strapped my monopod to the safety rail with my Minolta SLR and my f3.5 zoom lens on it pre-focused etc..

P.S. I think we both deserve a D3!!.

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #15

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