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View Full Version : High School Football shots??? HELP!



HawkeyeLonewolf
10-22-2004, 07:39 PM
I am confused... Just used my great FZ20 at this week's high school football game and blech -- was very hard to get anything good from it. I used a monopod as well, but things were blurry or not seemingly at random.

I think the artificial lights are causing me grief. Anyone recommend some good settings?

I tried SPORTS mode, manual and auto focus, wider AF setting, etc.. I just don't get it. My daughter is in color guard/band and they dance in the stands. I tried to get some shots of them in motion and blur-city (and when not the one kid that was in focus at the time came through).

I finally went into MF and got some decent long shots of them marching on the field. But then I tried to get a shot of the band director sitting on a perch not 25 feet away and every shot was blurry (MF and AF in P mode).

Ideas?

djbizz
10-22-2004, 08:51 PM
Check to make sure your using a fast enough shutter speed...what were you using?

HawkeyeLonewolf
10-22-2004, 09:06 PM
I tried 1600 and 800, but it was too dark. Perhaps I should have altered aperture as well?

PixChick
10-22-2004, 09:27 PM
What focus setting did you have (ie spot mode maybe)? It may be that the cam was focusing on the wrong subject. Are any parts of the blurry pics sharp? Sometimes I have made the mistake of focusing (with auto focus, of course) on something in the background and it is hard to tell that is what happened unless I really look. Also, did you have motion blur, or just "out of focus" blur? As always, people will have an easier time helping if they can see some of the pics that are in question.

PixChick:)

Payne
10-22-2004, 09:40 PM
You should set 1/800 or 1/1000 with an aperture = 2.8 .....but sometimes 1/500 is enough....depends on the available light. if you set more than 1/1000 sec. your pictures are gonna get dark because of the aperture is more and more close.....so when you take indoor shots I suggest setting an aperture of 2.8 always.

judge9847
10-23-2004, 05:01 AM
What focus setting did you have (ie spot mode maybe)? It may be that the cam was focusing on the wrong subject. Are any parts of the blurry pics sharp? Sometimes I have made the mistake of focusing (with auto focus, of course) on something in the background and it is hard to tell that is what happened unless I really look. Also, did you have motion blur, or just "out of focus" blur? As always, people will have an easier time helping if they can see some of the pics that are in question. PixChick:)
Absolutely - putting the images on a web site somewhere so that we can have a look at them would REALLY help! It should be easy to tell if it's motion or focussing problems.

I prefer a monopod - it's easier to lug around - BUT don't forget it isn't stable in all directions as a tripod is. It'll be OK for vertical movement but horizontal - or side to side - takes quite some getting used to and is surprisingly easy to muck up with blurred images as the result. Could be that.

You don't say whether the action was indoors or outside: that information would also help a lot - and if you've got the EXIF data that would be a real bonus! I'm thinking that maybe you used some digital zoom which could also cause you problems with quality - maybe - and the EXIF will say.

genece
10-23-2004, 07:12 AM
It does not seem possible to use 1/800 at night, post a shot with exif.

HawkeyeLonewolf
10-26-2004, 05:57 PM
Sorry, I never thought that some places might play HS Football indoors :)

These are outside...

http://www.peidev.com/peimain/img/photos/twirler1.jpg

ExposureTime : 1/2.5Sec
FNumber : F6.5
ExposureProgram : Program Normal
ISOSpeedRatings : 100
ExifVersion : 0220
DateTimeOriginal : 2004:10:22 20:35:16
DateTimeDigitized : 2004:10:22 20:35:16
ComponentConfiguration : YCbCr
CompressedBitsPerPixel : 4/1 (bit/pixel)
ExposureBiasValue : EV0.0
MaxApertureValue : F2.8
MeteringMode : Division
LightSource : Unidentified
Flash : Not fired(Compulsory)
FocalLength : 72.00(mm)
MakerNote : Panasonic Format : 5744Bytes (Offset:912)
FlashPixVersion : 0100
ColorSpace : sRGB
ExifImageWidth : 1280
ExifImageHeight : 960
ExifInteroperabilityOffset : 6652
SensingMethod : OneChipColorArea sensor
FileSource : DSC
SceneType : A directly photographed image
CustomRendered : Normal process
ExposureMode : Auto
WhiteBalance : Auto
DigitalZoomRatio : 0/10
FocalLength(35mm) : 432(mm)
SceneCaptureType : Night scene
GainControl : None
Contrast : Normal
Saturation : Normal
Sharpness : Normal


http://www.peidev.com/peimain/img/photos/twirler2.jpg

ExposureTime : 1/25Sec
FNumber : F2.8
ExposureProgram : Program Normal
ISOSpeedRatings : 200
ExifVersion : 0220
DateTimeOriginal : 2004:10:22 20:34:54
DateTimeDigitized : 2004:10:22 20:34:54
ComponentConfiguration : YCbCr
CompressedBitsPerPixel : 4/1 (bit/pixel)
ExposureBiasValue : EV0.0
MaxApertureValue : F2.8
MeteringMode : Division
LightSource : Unidentified
Flash : Not fired(Compulsory)
FocalLength : 72.00(mm)
MakerNote : Panasonic Format : 5744Bytes (Offset:912)
FlashPixVersion : 0100
ColorSpace : sRGB
ExifImageWidth : 1280
ExifImageHeight : 960
ExifInteroperabilityOffset : 6652
SensingMethod : OneChipColorArea sensor
FileSource : DSC
SceneType : A directly photographed image
CustomRendered : Normal process
ExposureMode : Auto
WhiteBalance : Auto
DigitalZoomRatio : 29/10
FocalLength(35mm) : 432(mm)
SceneCaptureType : Standard
GainControl : Low gain up
Contrast : Normal
Saturation : Normal
Sharpness : Normal


http://www.peidev.com/peimain/img/photos/snap.jpg

ExposureTime : 1/25Sec
FNumber : F2.8
ExposureProgram : Program Normal
ISOSpeedRatings : 200
ExifVersion : 0220
DateTimeOriginal : 2004:10:22 19:29:16
DateTimeDigitized : 2004:10:22 19:29:16
ComponentConfiguration : YCbCr
CompressedBitsPerPixel : 4/1 (bit/pixel)
ExposureBiasValue : EV0.0
MaxApertureValue : F2.8
MeteringMode : Division
LightSource : Unidentified
Flash : Not fired(Compulsory)
FocalLength : 72.00(mm)
MakerNote : Panasonic Format : 5744Bytes (Offset:912)
FlashPixVersion : 0100
ColorSpace : sRGB
ExifImageWidth : 1600
ExifImageHeight : 1200
ExifInteroperabilityOffset : 6652
SensingMethod : OneChipColorArea sensor
FileSource : DSC
SceneType : A directly photographed image
CustomRendered : Normal process
ExposureMode : Auto
WhiteBalance : Auto
DigitalZoomRatio : 0/10
FocalLength(35mm) : 432(mm)
SceneCaptureType : Standard
GainControl : Low gain up
Contrast : Normal
Saturation : Normal
Sharpness : Normal

HawkeyeLonewolf
10-26-2004, 05:58 PM
And the other two...

http://www.peidev.com/peimain/img/photos/director.jpg

ExposureTime : 1/6Sec
FNumber : F2.8
ExposureProgram : Program Normal
ISOSpeedRatings : 200
ExifVersion : 0220
DateTimeOriginal : 2004:10:22 21:04:55
DateTimeDigitized : 2004:10:22 21:04:55
ComponentConfiguration : YCbCr
CompressedBitsPerPixel : 4/1 (bit/pixel)
ExposureBiasValue : EV0.0
MaxApertureValue : F2.8
MeteringMode : Division
LightSource : Unidentified
Flash : Not fired(Compulsory)
FocalLength : 72.00(mm)
MakerNote : Panasonic Format : 5744Bytes (Offset:912)
FlashPixVersion : 0100
ColorSpace : sRGB
ExifImageWidth : 1280
ExifImageHeight : 960
ExifInteroperabilityOffset : 6652
SensingMethod : OneChipColorArea sensor
FileSource : DSC
SceneType : A directly photographed image
CustomRendered : Normal process
ExposureMode : Auto
WhiteBalance : Auto
DigitalZoomRatio : 0/10
FocalLength(35mm) : 432(mm)
SceneCaptureType : Standard
GainControl : Low gain up
Contrast : Normal
Saturation : Normal
Sharpness : Normal


http://www.peidev.com/peimain/img/photos/timeout.jpg

ExposureTime : 1/30Sec
FNumber : F2.8
ExposureProgram : Program Normal
ISOSpeedRatings : 200
ExifVersion : 0220
DateTimeOriginal : 2004:10:22 19:38:44
DateTimeDigitized : 2004:10:22 19:38:44
ComponentConfiguration : YCbCr
CompressedBitsPerPixel : 4/1 (bit/pixel)
ExposureBiasValue : EV0.0
MaxApertureValue : F2.8
MeteringMode : Division
LightSource : Unidentified
Flash : Not fired(Compulsory)
FocalLength : 72.00(mm)
MakerNote : Panasonic Format : 5744Bytes (Offset:912)
FlashPixVersion : 0100
ColorSpace : sRGB
ExifImageWidth : 1280
ExifImageHeight : 960
ExifInteroperabilityOffset : 6652
SensingMethod : OneChipColorArea sensor
FileSource : DSC
SceneType : A directly photographed image
CustomRendered : Normal process
ExposureMode : Auto
WhiteBalance : Auto
DigitalZoomRatio : 0/10
FocalLength(35mm) : 432(mm)
SceneCaptureType : Standard
GainControl : Low gain up
Contrast : Normal
Saturation : Normal
Sharpness : Normal

HawkeyeLonewolf
10-26-2004, 06:15 PM
Ok... so was it my shutter speed? I think I was in AUTO mode or SPORTS mode for some of these... But I get 1/2.5 through 1/30 -- nothing very fast.

Suggestions?

NeoteriX
10-26-2004, 08:35 PM
I don't own a panasonic, but happened upon this thread.

Here's an example shot of a college football game with my Canon S1 IS:
http://www.pbase.com/neoterix/image/35002065/large.jpg

For the motion blur you are experiencing, I would use the widest aperture setting you've got, and I would bump up the ISO to 400 or the max setting. You can get about 4 times faster shooting speed, with the tradeoff being noise, but if you run it through noise ninja or something, the pic will be quite usable.

*shrug* I dunno why the picture doesn't work.

http://www.pbase.com/neoterix/image/35002065

PixChick
10-26-2004, 09:09 PM
well at first glance I would say most definitely you need faster shutter speeds to freeze the action. Don't know how dark the pics would get though. Pics at night/dusk with action--others may be able to comment on this but I would venture to say that it will be very difficult unless you are willing to compromise on the noise and/or brightness. You can try working the pics through pp if they end up dark and/or noisy. I stay away from iso 400 but if it is the only way to capture a pic, then so be it. Again, pp with noise reduction software. To get really good shots with the high ISO settings (and higher than 400 would probably help), you really need a
(d)SLR. Sorry:(

PixChick:)

HawkeyeLonewolf
10-26-2004, 09:20 PM
well at first glance I would say most definitely you need faster shutter speeds to freeze the action. Don't know how dark the pics would get though. Pics at night/dusk with action--others may be able to comment on this but I would venture to say that it will be very difficult unless you are willing to compromise on the noise and/or brightness. You can try working the pics through pp if they end up dark and/or noisy. I stay away from iso 400 but if it is the only way to capture a pic, then so be it. Again, pp with noise reduction software. To get really good shots with the high ISO settings (and higher than 400 would probably help), you really need a
(d)SLR. Sorry:(

PixChick:)

If the whole stadium is lit up by several light towers, what is the difference from an indoor shot? Obviously the flash doesn't enter into the picture due to range...

PixChick
10-26-2004, 09:57 PM
Maybe no difference. Just depends how much light you have. I can't say b/c I have never been to your particular stadium nor do I shoot at stadiums in the evening. I don't know how much it matters to disscuss whether this is like indoors or not. The point is you have to deal with the lighting and the motion and most likely you will need fast shutter speeds, high ISO, and low F number. But I would suggest that you do some experimenting the next time you go to the stadium (before you really want to begin capturing pics) so that you can fiddle around with the settings to see what is going to be workable in the particular lighting conditions there. Figure out the fastest shutter speed you can use with ISO 400 and f2.8 and still get a decent exposure. Hopefully that will give you the "freeze action" that you need. And yes, that is correct, the onboard flash probably won't help to much b/c it has a limited range.

HawkeyeLonewolf
10-26-2004, 10:02 PM
Maybe no difference. Just depends how much light you have. I can't say b/c I have never been to your particular stadium nor do I shoot at stadiums in the evening. I don't know how much it matters to disscuss whether this is like indoors or not. The point is you have to deal with the lighting and the motion and most likely you will need fast shutter speeds, high ISO, and low F number. But I would suggest that you do some experimenting the next time you go to the stadium (before you really want to begin capturing pics) so that you can fiddle around with the settings to see what is going to be workable in the particular lighting conditions there. Figure out the fastest shutter speed you can use with ISO 400 and f2.8 and still get a decent exposure. Hopefully that will give you the "freeze action" that you need. And yes, that is correct, the onboard flash probably won't help to much b/c it has a limited range.

Very interesting... I thought ISO WAS shutter speed. Is that not correct?

PixChick
10-26-2004, 10:19 PM
oh, ISO is "film" speed. Lower speeds require more light and higher speeds require less light. The trade-off is that the higher speeds end up with more grain (or noise) in the pictures. I think that digital cams have ISO speeds, from what I have seen, as low as 50 and as high as 3200 (on a dSLR--consumer/prosumer typically stop at 400 and maybe 800 on a few). Anyhow, the shutter speed is the actual amount of time the shutter remains open. 1 sec, 1/1000 of a sec--whatever. The FZ-20 ranges from 8 seconds to 1/2000 of a sec, but at F2.8, I think the highest is 1/1000. You can set both ISO and shutter speed on your cam. to set ISO, you go to the menu and go to sensitivity under the "REC" menu. For setting shutter speed, you can do it in S mode (which allows you to set shutter speed only), or M mode (which allows you to set shutter and aperature). To set the shutter speed, press the exposure button and then use the left/right arrows accordingly.

HawkeyeLonewolf
10-26-2004, 10:52 PM
oh, ISO is "film" speed. Lower speeds require more light and higher speeds require less light. The trade-off is that the higher speeds end up with more grain (or noise) in the pictures. I think that digital cams have ISO speeds, from what I have seen, as low as 50 and as high as 3200 (on a dSLR--consumer/prosumer typically stop at 400 and maybe 800 on a few). Anyhow, the shutter speed is the actual amount of time the shutter remains open. 1 sec, 1/1000 of a sec--whatever. The FZ-20 ranges from 8 seconds to 1/2000 of a sec, but at F2.8, I think the highest is 1/1000. You can set both ISO and shutter speed on your cam. to set ISO, you go to the menu and go to sensitivity under the "REC" menu. For setting shutter speed, you can do it in S mode (which allows you to set shutter speed only), or M mode (which allows you to set shutter and aperature). To set the shutter speed, press the exposure button and then use the left/right arrows accordingly.


Thanks!

I knew shutter speed and aperture, but figured ISO was constant because it was digital and not real "film".

jeff
10-27-2004, 12:57 PM
did you open the flash? if you did, it will lower the shuter speed!
jeff

PixChick
10-27-2004, 01:10 PM
did you open the flash? if you did, it will lower the shuter speed!
jeff


huh? It raises the shutter speed for me (when it is the camera's choice anyhow). This would make more sense too, b/c the camera has more light when the flash is open--at least within the flash range, so it doens't need the shutter open as long. Just as a note, when I get a 1/4 sec reading in P mode (no flash) I get a 1/60 sec reading when I pop the flash.

jeff
10-27-2004, 01:27 PM
you are right. Im sorry. I ment that closing it, will lower the shutter speed

HawkeyeLonewolf
10-27-2004, 01:44 PM
did you open the flash? if you did, it will lower the shuter speed!
jeff

Nah, flash would be useless at that distance.

jeff
10-27-2004, 02:07 PM
1) the flash is useless but opening it will couse the shutter speed to go up.
2) was the digital zoom in on position? if It was than look at page 74 in the mauel. the say that in that case the stabelizer is useless and you should use
a trypod.
jeff

NeoteriX
10-27-2004, 02:11 PM
I stay away from iso 400 but if it is the only way to capture a pic, then so be it. Again, pp with noise reduction software. To get really good shots with the high ISO settings (and higher than 400 would probably help), you really need a
(d)SLR. Sorry:(

PixChick:)

The shot I posted was at full telephoto,
1/125s f/4.5 at 58.0mm iso400
and then run through noise ninja with a custom profile. I certainly point and shoots can work decently well :)

PixChick
10-27-2004, 03:02 PM
The shot I posted was at full telephoto,
1/125s f/4.5 at 58.0mm iso400
and then run through noise ninja with a custom profile. I certainly point and shoots can work decently well :)
Decent? Yes. Amazing? Probably not, although I'm sure that it happens once in a while in the right setting. It really also depends on your definition of "good" and what your comparison base is. And there is no denying that a dSLR will be much more usable in difficult conditions due to the higher ISO speeds and bigger dynamic ranges (b/c of bigger sensors). Again, it doesn't mean a consumer/prosumer cam can't take a decent pic in low light (esp with pp) but for optimal results, a dSLR is going to be best. A lot of the time, I am not happy with what noise reduction does to the detail in my pictures, so the higher ISO on a dSLR to me is a big bonus. Did I buy a dSRL--no. I got the FZ-20. I can't afford a dSRL with all the lenses I would want, so I made a compromise and get acceptable instead of great in some instances. I don't know what Hawkeyelonewolf's expectations are though, so if he (she?) is really set on spectacular pics in that setting, then yes, I would say a dSLR is necessary.

HawkeyeLonewolf
10-27-2004, 05:43 PM
1) the flash is useless but opening it will couse the shutter speed to go up.
2) was the digital zoom in on position? if It was than look at page 74 in the mauel. the say that in that case the stabelizer is useless and you should use
a trypod.
jeff

1 -- I could just up the shutter speed manually :) And the flash in front actually makes the far images darker :(

2 -- No I was full optical in all but one shot. And I was using a monopod.

judge9847
10-28-2004, 06:34 AM
1 -- I could just up the shutter speed manually :) And the flash in front actually makes the far images darker :(

2 -- No I was full optical in all but one shot. And I was using a monopod.
You'll have to forgive an Englishman but "football" to someone like me is played with round ball, the action starts and other than a short break in the middle, stops 90 minutes later. And there are several formats that could be played indoors. We're quite inventive with our sport in this part of the world ;)

Looking at your images and like everyone else who has commented, I'm sure it's the shutter speed that's causing at least part of the problem. But I also think that there's a lot of horizontal (side to side) movement because of the monopod. I personally don't see how, unless there was very quick movement in a very short period of time, how a lot of what you're suffering from could have happened. So I'd dismiss that as being the total cause: I'm really inclined to believe the monopod isn't helping because it looks like the camera is moving a tad as well. That could very well be the monopod.

I'd try hand holding the camera, put the OIS into mode 2 (others may disagree), select Auto for just about everything else, point the lens at full zoom and see what happens. I'm sure you'll get an improvement. :)