Sports shots with canon 20D

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Roddytoo, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. Roddytoo

    Roddytoo Guest

    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
     
    Roddytoo, Dec 27, 2005
    #1
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  2. 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
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Dec 27, 2005
    #2
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  3. Roddytoo

    Skip M Guest

    "Roddytoo" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
     
    Skip M, Dec 27, 2005
    #3
  4. Roddytoo

    Tim Hobbs Guest

    On Tue, 27 Dec 2005 15:32:51 -0000, "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
    >


    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
     
    Tim Hobbs, Dec 27, 2005
    #4
  5. Roddytoo

    Matt Ion Guest

    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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    Matt Ion, Dec 27, 2005
    #5
  6. Roddytoo

    Roddytoo Guest

    Thanks guys, will give the av setting a go tomorrow, too dark now and
    snowing hard.
    Chris
    "Roddytoo" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
    >
     
    Roddytoo, Dec 27, 2005
    #6
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