Cameras forum

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canon eos 40 action

by leolowe / February 10, 2008 7:24 AM PST

I just bought my first DSLR, a Canon EOS 40D. I do just fine taking portraits and landscapes, but when I try to shoot live action, virtually everything is blurred to some degree. I am not a professional photographer, and don't even play one on TV, but I would like better pictures of my niece and nephew's soccer and basketball games.
Any help would be appreciated.

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Canon 40D Action
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / February 10, 2008 7:46 AM PST
In reply to: canon eos 40 action

You did not mention which lens you are using and if you are taking these action shots in daylight or under artificial lights.

Also we would like to know what settings the camera is using.
You can find this out by RIGHT clicking on one of the blurred photo file name.
Click Properties
Click the Summary Tab
If you see no data, click the Advanced Button

The information we would like is:
F-Number (or aperture)
ISO speed
Exposure Time

We need that information, plus the lens type, and the lighting conditions at the time the photo was taken.

Then we can better determine the problem.

Waiting for your reply.


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by leolowe / February 10, 2008 7:59 AM PST
In reply to: Canon 40D Action

For the most part, I used a tamrom 75-300 mm lens. f/5.6, iso 80, exposure time 1/25th of a sec.
I shot these in a gym with so-so lighting.

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Canon 40D
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / February 10, 2008 8:57 AM PST
In reply to: infor

Your picture is blurred because your shutter speed (1/25th of a sec) is too low.

For action shots, you should start with about 1/250th of a second.
If you still get some motion blurring, raise the shutter speed to 1/500th of a second.

If your photo is well exposed (just blurred), you should be able to get your shutter speed up, but your ISO setting will go up to 800 or 1600.

Try this while at the gym:

Set your mode dial to Shutter Priority.
(That may be Tv on your mode dial)
Then set the shutter speed to 1/250th of a second.
Then set the ISO setting to 1600.
Press the shutter button half way down while looking through the viewfinder.

At the bottom of the viewfinder you should see the shutter speed and the aperture setting (probably f/5.6 in your case).
If the aperture setting is blinking, there is not enough light available for the shutter speed (1/250th of a second).

If it is blinking, lower the shutter speed to 125th of a second.
Then press the shutter button halfway down and check the viewfinder again.

If the aperture is still blinking, lower the shutter speed again.
Keep doing this until the aperture setting stops blinking.

If you final shutter speed is slower than 125th of a second, you need a different (brighter) lens.


Your lens is rated f/4.0 - f/5.6
Which means it is rated f/4.0 if you do not use any zoom.
It is rated f/5.6 if you use zoom.

A brighter lens would be a lens with a setting like f/2.8 (with/without zoom)
Like the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L
An expensive lens.
There is an image stabilized (IS) version of this lens.
It is very expensive.


Next time you are at the gym, try what I have suggested and see what results you get.
Let us know the results.


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by leolowe / February 10, 2008 10:18 AM PST
In reply to: Canon 40D

Thank you very much. I will try this ASAP

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by RichardRyals / February 11, 2008 4:10 PM PST
In reply to: canon eos 40 action

I have the EOS 40D and I use a 70-200mm F2.8 or 24-70 F2.8. On occasion I use a 28-200 F3.5+

When using a flash, set your flash to 1/250 of a second and set your camera's shutter speed to either 1/200 to 1/250 of a second. The idea here is to match your flash speed to your camera's shutter speed. You must also choose the H--> for hi speed/power on your flash if you are using the 430 ex flash. Then you must choose the aI servo option to follow the action. Next: while the "Servo" option is showing, turn your wheel over the "Set" button until "H" and multiple frames are showing on the LCD screen. If the action is indoors, set the ISO to between 800 and the highest setting, whichever gives you the best detail without added noise. Too low an ISO will give you a slower shutter speed than intended. Do NOT shoot at 1/1000 of a second because that will freeze the action and the blur of the person, ball, etc. These settings can be used to shoot dance, sports, and other fast paced human action. Oh Yeah, if you get a contract with the NFL or Sports Illustrated, just don't blame me. LOL

If you are shooting in bright sun, you probably will not need a flash. When shooting at night, adjust your ISO accordingly. Your WB or white balance depends upon the situation. If you use manual settings, AV will give you a nice exposure, as will TV, P, and M. I suggest you start out in P aka program mode because it may be the easiest to use. Low light/higher ISO. I fyou shoot with lenses F2.8 or faster, then these settings will work just great. If you shoot with a lens that is F3.5-6.3, then you will have to adjust for best focus, exposure, etc. because they are not ideal for sports.

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