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Basketball Scoreboard blank - EOS 1DX Mark III

Skipper1613
Apprentice

Recently While shooting a high school basketball game I took a picture of the score board with my canon EOS 1DX Mark III & to my surprise none of the numbers for the score, time or quarter showed up. IK took the same photo with my Samsung S20 Ultra phone and everything showed? A22I8353a.jpg

 

3 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

deebatman316
Authority
Authority

Your shutter speed is fast enough that you can't see the numbers on the scoreboard. Electronic displays flicker so fast that we can't see them flickering but the camera can. The same affect happens when trying to take pictures of Christmas lights or lights in general. Some of my shots show that the lights aren't even on. But others show that they're on because of the lights flickering. Which we can't see. Electricity flickers 60 times a second (60 Hz) in North America, Most parts of the Caribbean & South Korea (just a few countries to name) or (50Hz) in The EU, Australia & New Zealand (just a few countries to name).


-Demetrius

Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF F/2.8 Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D

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BurnUnit
Whiz

The scoreboard likely has LED lighting. A/C powered LEDs, like fluorescent lamps, have have a flicker to them that's imperceptible to the human eye. They cycle on and off 60 times per second.

By shooting at 1/1000 of a second with ISO 16000 you just happened to open the shutter while the LEDs were off. Drop your ISO down and/or stop down your aperture to get a slower shutter speed. Even 1/250 or 1/125 may be slow enough to catch the LEDs when they're on, though I'm guessing they might appear a little dim.

Scroll thru the camera menus and you may find an "Anti Flicker" setting that might help. But it might work only for shooting videos. Time to dig a bit deeper into your user's manual.

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wq9nsc
Authority
Authority

Shoot with a slower shutter speed (use lens with IS if needed) and take several shots. 

Typically LED scoreboards cycle the drive between segments at a high rate to keep average current draw (and thus heat) within reason in the controller.  So depending upon shutter speed you will also see different levels of brightness between segments as in this basketball capture using a 1DX III with EF 70-200 f2.8 @ 1/800.

Rodger

Segment luminance differenceSegment luminance difference

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

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5 REPLIES 5

deebatman316
Authority
Authority

Your shutter speed is fast enough that you can't see the numbers on the scoreboard. Electronic displays flicker so fast that we can't see them flickering but the camera can. The same affect happens when trying to take pictures of Christmas lights or lights in general. Some of my shots show that the lights aren't even on. But others show that they're on because of the lights flickering. Which we can't see. Electricity flickers 60 times a second (60 Hz) in North America, Most parts of the Caribbean & South Korea (just a few countries to name) or (50Hz) in The EU, Australia & New Zealand (just a few countries to name).


-Demetrius

Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF F/2.8 Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D

BurnUnit
Whiz

The scoreboard likely has LED lighting. A/C powered LEDs, like fluorescent lamps, have have a flicker to them that's imperceptible to the human eye. They cycle on and off 60 times per second.

By shooting at 1/1000 of a second with ISO 16000 you just happened to open the shutter while the LEDs were off. Drop your ISO down and/or stop down your aperture to get a slower shutter speed. Even 1/250 or 1/125 may be slow enough to catch the LEDs when they're on, though I'm guessing they might appear a little dim.

Scroll thru the camera menus and you may find an "Anti Flicker" setting that might help. But it might work only for shooting videos. Time to dig a bit deeper into your user's manual.

wq9nsc
Authority
Authority

Shoot with a slower shutter speed (use lens with IS if needed) and take several shots. 

Typically LED scoreboards cycle the drive between segments at a high rate to keep average current draw (and thus heat) within reason in the controller.  So depending upon shutter speed you will also see different levels of brightness between segments as in this basketball capture using a 1DX III with EF 70-200 f2.8 @ 1/800.

Rodger

Segment luminance differenceSegment luminance difference

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Incredible! Brilliant! You're killin' me here! 😆

In my post above I was kinda guessing about the LEDs looking a bit dimmer if shot at 1/250 or 1/125 second. But I never figured I'd ever see such dramatic photographic proof of the effect I was predicting. Especially in less than 10 minutes!

But just between you and me . . . Did you take this shot with the intention of displaying this fleeting event? Or was this just one of those "happy accidents"? C'mon, you can tell me . . ! 🙄

Definitely not intentional and I wasn't happy when I was doing post-processing when I got home!

Cameras and LEDs often don't play well together.  Another example was a friend wanted to hear the startup sound of my Corvette Z06 and the LED tail lights (DC powered of course but via a PWM controller) which look to the eye like a solid halo appear to my Canon XF-400 as an odd series of dancing segments:  https://rodgersingley.smugmug.com/Corvette-idle/n-WBG75x/i-f2bgnmj/A

The family of one of the school officials makes the electronic "dial a down" football markers and I had a heck of a time getting a few good photos of those in a game setting.

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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