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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    2

    Taking pics under stadium lights

    I have just bought a Kodak Easyshare Z700. Before that camera I had the Kodak Easyshare 6430. I thought this Z700 would be a step up and it may be but I still do not have any luck taking pictures after the sun goes down on the football field. (it did this during baseball season too) The pics are outstanding during daylight hours--no matter what the subject is. I am now trying to take pics of my son playing football and my other son in band competitions. Both are at night usually. I have tried every setting on that camera---it all comes out a great big blur spot. I want to put it on sport---but that doesnt help the lighting situation....I have tried night landscape, night potrait---(I need a night sport). The blur spot on my screen shows good color---it just is a colored cloud. I have only had this camera 2 weeks and I dont know if I need a different model--different brand or if I just need to give up getting pics of anything under those kind of lights....please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    1,068
    Quote Originally Posted by aworley5
    I have just bought a Kodak Easyshare Z700. . . . I am now trying to take pics of my son playing football and my other son in band competitions. Both are at night usually. I have tried every setting on that camera---it all comes out a great big blur spot. I want to put it on sport---but that doesnt help the lighting situation....I have tried night landscape, night potrait---(I need a night sport).
    It might help if you would post some of your pictures to let us see--but anyway, there are some basic problems you need to understand.
    Night is dark, even under stadium lights. You just don't have the amount of light available in daytime. Under these conditions, your camera tries valiantly to open up the aperture and slow down the shutter speed to let the necessary amount of light in, but when the shutter speed slows down, anything that's moving looks like a blur. That's the dilemma you're in: sports (=movement) + night (=dark) is not a good combination, period. If you had a very powerful external flash it might help to a degree. But you're basically between a rock and a hard place. HOWEVER, there are a couple of things you can try:

    1. USE A TRIPOD! This won't stabilize the action on the field, but it will eliminate camera shake at the slower speeds.

    2. Set your camera's sensitivity (ISO) manually to 400 (that's the highest the Kodak goes). Setting it to AUTO will only make it go up to 160. The tradeoff is this: increasing the ISO sensitivity to 400 will raise the gain in the sensor, making it more sensitive to lower levels of light, BUT it also increases electronic noise in the picture. If you decide the results at 400 are too noisy, get a free copy of NeatImage noise remover (do a google search for it). It should be able to clean up your ISO 400 shots very nicely.

    3. Your camera probably has some shutter lag, so try and anticipate action, trying to get the shutter to operate just as there is a pause on the field. This will require an awful lot of practice. At any rate, there's no way you can get daytime results at night, since the shutter will have to operate much slower under the field lights. Either give up that idea, or get a dSLR with ISO settings up to 3200, and a large-aperture telephoto lens like this:

    (this is an Olympus f2.8 300mm, which costs about $6,500).

    Sure, there are cheaper alternatives, too, but basically, you are trying to take photographs under very difficult conditions, and you may need to lower your expectations.
    "...and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."
    Green Gables: A Contemplative Companion to Fujino Township

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    2

    will try again

    We have a baseball game again tonight so I will save one of the pics. Usually when they turn out that bad--I go ahead and delete them.

    Thanks for you advice.......so you dont think that a different camera is necessary---maybe an optional lense----I am not sure how to change the iso setting on this particular camera--I knew on the older version but havent figured this one out yet as to setting the iso speed. And also, I dont mean to sound stupid---but I am just a mother trying to get pictures of her kids---but I dont know what you mean by "noise".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    8,163

    With a Point & Shoot, it's just not going to happen.

    It's not what you want to hear, but I shoot auto racing. I bought a Canon Digital Rebel XT ($800USD), a 50mm f/1.8 lens ($75USD) (f/1.8 makes it one of the fastest out there), and use ISO1600 and still don't get the shutter speeds I need to truly freeze the stuff I need to freeze. At the very least you'll need to use an external flash if that camera has the capability, and only assuming you're close enough that the flash will illuminate what you're aiming at, get your ISO as high as it will go, and open up your aperture (f number) as wide as it'll get (smallest f number possible) so you can get your shutter speeds as fast as possible. With a P&S you'll also have to perfect your timing, otherwise the shutter lag (time between pressing the button and actually capturing the image) will make you miss everything.
    Ouch.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    1,068
    Quote Originally Posted by aworley5
    We have a baseball game again tonight so I will save one of the pics. Usually when they turn out that bad--I go ahead and delete them.

    Thanks for you advice.......so you dont think that a different camera is necessary---maybe an optional lense----I am not sure how to change the iso setting on this particular camera--I knew on the older version but havent figured this one out yet as to setting the iso speed.
    The information should be in your instruction manual; I don't know the camera myself, but I found a review on the internet that said it does have a 400 setting.

    And also, I dont mean to sound stupid---but I am just a mother trying to get pictures of her kids---but I dont know what you mean by "noise".
    Here are some 100% crops from a photograph, taken at ISO 1600 with a very soft Sigma telephoto lens: the first one is without any noise reduction:

    Notice all the colored grainy dots? That is electronic noise.

    The next one is after using some NeatImage noise reduction:


    Most of the dots are now gone. The photo still lacks detail because this particular lens just doesn't work well at extreme telephoto setting, but I think you get the idea. Basically, "noise" is graininess in the picture, produced by the electronic sensor.
    "...and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."
    Green Gables: A Contemplative Companion to Fujino Township

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