I am starting this thread to kind of eliminate trying to compete with the other manufacturer's forums in offering suggestions for use of the SONY DSLRS, so do not assume you cannot do this with any other camera.

Since the track season and other outdoor sports are beginning up, again, I figure I wanted to cover the technique of panning.

Generally speaking, here are five simple tips for PANNING
  1. Panning requires a steady hand (or mobile tripod head) and a relatively slow shutter speed. You also may want to shut off "SSS" (Super SteadyShot) for this one.

    The actual shutter speed depends on the speed of the subject but generally it will be 1/200th or slower. 1/200th if your subject is really flying along, like a speeding car on a race track, and maybe as slow as 1/40th of a second if your subject is a runner on a track. It also works best if the subject crosses in front of you on a horizontal motion. Another trick in panning is to position yourself where the background is cluttered. A plain background doesn't produce the motion effect as much as a cluttered background.
  2. Keep in mind that the faster your shutter speed is the easier it will be to keep your subject crisp.

    Especially as you’re learning the art of panning, don’t slow your shutter down too much. Just keep it slow enough to begin to show some motion. As your confidence increases and you’ve got the hang of things, go ahead and slow your shutter more and more to show even further pronounced motion and thus separation of your speeding subject from the background.
  3. Make sure your subject remains in the same portion of the frame during the entire exposure: this will ensure a crisp, sharp subject.
  4. Remember that the faster your subject is moving the more difficult it will be to pan.

    This point goes right along with number 3. It’s harder to keep your subject in the same portion of the frame if it’s moving faster than you are able to. So again, start with something a little slower and then progress from there.
  5. Have fun with this technique. Stick to it and improve it with time. It can make for some very dynamic-looking images that will be your first prizes of this "moving" season.