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Sports shots with canon 20D

 
 
Roddytoo
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      12-27-2005
New kit for Xmas, 20D plus 400usm is lens, heavyweight stuff.
Having problems with underexposure. Set on sports automatic, which sets the
speed of shutter and ISO, shooting in snow at the moment. Any advice?
Tried some sports shots yesterday at 1000th second, on tv setting, shots
were almost black. They 'lift' with photoshop, but lose the clarity, very
noisy / grainy. If I go to a slower lens setting, say 250th, will that help?
Just a beginner with this level of equipment.
Chris


 
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Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)
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      12-27-2005
Roddytoo wrote:
> New kit for Xmas, 20D plus 400usm is lens, heavyweight stuff.
> Having problems with underexposure. Set on sports automatic, which sets the
> speed of shutter and ISO, shooting in snow at the moment. Any advice?
> Tried some sports shots yesterday at 1000th second, on tv setting, shots
> were almost black. They 'lift' with photoshop, but lose the clarity, very
> noisy / grainy. If I go to a slower lens setting, say 250th, will that help?
> Just a beginner with this level of equipment.
> Chris
>
>

Chris,
This may be one cause of dark pictures:
The 20D (and other Canon SLRs) have a big dial on the back, which
is used for exposure compensation. Look up this dial in your
manual, and be sure that your exposure compensation is set
to 0.

I almost always work in Av mode. For action, I usually set the aperture
to its widest, and set the ISO manually to trade speed for noise.
The aperture controls depth of field, so primary control of aperture
is first in my opinion.

Roger
Photos at: http://www.clarkvision.com
 
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Skip M
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      12-27-2005
"Roddytoo" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> New kit for Xmas, 20D plus 400usm is lens, heavyweight stuff.
> Having problems with underexposure. Set on sports automatic, which sets
> the speed of shutter and ISO, shooting in snow at the moment. Any advice?
> Tried some sports shots yesterday at 1000th second, on tv setting, shots
> were almost black. They 'lift' with photoshop, but lose the clarity, very
> noisy / grainy. If I go to a slower lens setting, say 250th, will that
> help? Just a beginner with this level of equipment.
> Chris
>

"Sports Automatic" may be the culprit. Those silly icon "Basic" modes are
tuned to set you camera at the lowest common denominator. It wants to turn
the snow to 18% grey, so it underexposes the scene. Actually, anytime you
use a camera with TTL metering, this will happen, but the "Automatic"
settings will prevent you from remedying the situation. Set your camera to
Program, if you don't want to use Aperture Priority, and use Program shift
to open the aperture up between 2/3 stop and a full stop.
Never use the "Basic" modes, they cripple your camera. You lose many of the
parameter settings, several functions, like Program Shift and all of your
custom functions. I have the 20D, and it's a wonderful camera, when used to
its full potential.

--
Skip Middleton
http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com


 
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Tim Hobbs
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      12-27-2005
On Tue, 27 Dec 2005 15:32:51 -0000, "Roddytoo"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>New kit for Xmas, 20D plus 400usm is lens, heavyweight stuff.
>Having problems with underexposure. Set on sports automatic, which sets the
>speed of shutter and ISO, shooting in snow at the moment. Any advice?
>Tried some sports shots yesterday at 1000th second, on tv setting, shots
>were almost black. They 'lift' with photoshop, but lose the clarity, very
>noisy / grainy. If I go to a slower lens setting, say 250th, will that help?
>Just a beginner with this level of equipment.
>Chris
>


Agree with Roger. Av, lens wide open. Keep the ISO as low as you can
without the shutter speed becoming too slow.

What are you shooting? With a 400mm lens (600mm+ equivalent) then
conventional wisdom suggest a shutter speed no slower than 1/600sec
for handholding, maybe 1/500th with a monopod. If you have IS then
you've got a chance a couple of stops slower. 1/250th might be OK for
you, but without IS I certainly couldn't handhold a 400mm at that.

For lots of sports I think you will find the 400mm too long. I use a
70-200 mostly, with a 300mm and a 1.4 convertor mostly in the bag.
Then again, I'm on the touchline usually.

I think a very useful manual function in a DSLR would be to set a
fixed aperture and have the ISO move to keep the shutter speed within
a range. With the 350D it's a pain to change the ISO, as it's on a
menu.

I always shoot RAW and in extremis find that 2/3 of a stop
underexposure can be recovered in the RAW convertor. In a
predomnately white scene (e.g. lots of snow) the camera will tend to
underexpose, but not to the point of making the scene black.


--
Tim Hobbs
 
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Matt Ion
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      12-27-2005
Skip M wrote:

> "Sports Automatic" may be the culprit. Those silly icon "Basic" modes are
> tuned to set you camera at the lowest common denominator. It wants to turn
> the snow to 18% grey, so it underexposes the scene. Actually, anytime you
> use a camera with TTL metering, this will happen, but the "Automatic"
> settings will prevent you from remedying the situation.


I've found that especially for sports shooting, it's often better to go
to full-manual exposure settings, as exposure conditions can often vary
so much you end up with a range of bad exposures. A good example was a
few years ago when I was shooting stock-car races, and had particular
problems with dark cars turning out too light with wash-out
surroundings. Instead, I found that if metered for the overall
lighting, taking a reading off some well-lit concrete, and locking that
exposure (which on a nice day usually turned out to be pretty close to
"sunny-16"), the rest of the shots turned out nicely exposed: black cars
looked black instead of grey.

Shooting on snow is another instance where your exposure readings can
vary wildly depending on which direction you're pointing, and you really
want to just find a good exposure and lock it in. A friend who used to
shoot snowboarders for magazines said they always used a 5/50/500 rule
when it was sunny: f/5, on ISO50 (he always shot Fuji print film), at
1/500s. If you do the math, I believe that too works out to "sunny-16".


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Roddytoo
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      12-27-2005
Thanks guys, will give the av setting a go tomorrow, too dark now and
snowing hard.
Chris
"Roddytoo" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> New kit for Xmas, 20D plus 400usm is lens, heavyweight stuff.
> Having problems with underexposure. Set on sports automatic, which sets
> the speed of shutter and ISO, shooting in snow at the moment. Any advice?
> Tried some sports shots yesterday at 1000th second, on tv setting, shots
> were almost black. They 'lift' with photoshop, but lose the clarity, very
> noisy / grainy. If I go to a slower lens setting, say 250th, will that
> help? Just a beginner with this level of equipment.
> Chris
>



 
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