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EOS Rebel T5 Sports Photos Not Crisp

blbodart99
Contributor

Over the summer I bought an f 2.8 70-200m lens for my camera but we are still having a super difficult time getting crisp sports photos as I work in college athletics.  The camera that we have is an EOS Rebel T5, is it that this camera isn't good for action photos?  Any tips or help for shooting sports photos for both indoors and outdoors would be helpful because I really don't know anything about photography and this has been an ongoing issue.  Especially indoors, though, because I thought buying this lens would fix things but I'm still having tons of issues with noise.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

wq9nsc
Authority

Indoor is tough for any camera/lens combination when the lighting is poor.  And I think volleyball is the hardest sport to shoot, at least it is for me.

The T5 sensor is pretty old technology so it doesn't have anywhere close to the noise performance of more recent cameras at higher ISO.  I helped a HS student get her T5 set up a couple of years ago and as I recall the noise got really bad at ISO 3200 and up.  Shooting in RAW (instead of jpg) will get all of the performance of which the sensor is capable and allows you to do much more in post (including noise reduction) so do that if you are not already.

Given that sensor, I would try 1/800 and 1/640 which will allow marginally more light and may produce better results than shooting at 1/1,000.  I have shot a lot of volleyball at 1/800 and it works pretty well, a little ball motion blur at times.

Is that gym unusually dark?  I am surprised you are having to push luminance that much in post with the ISO @ 4,000 and a f2.8 lens.  Pushing it in post is just going to accentuate the noise.  There is a HS gym in the area where I used Canon EF 85 f1.8 and EF 200 f2 glass because the lighting was so poor before they upgraded to LED lighting.  You are probably getting about as much as the T5 can offer under the conditions.

I don't believe the T5 provides for auto white priority which is what I use as a post-processing preset to correct for color temperature in artificial sports lighting.  Hopefully the lighting color temperature is pretty stable across the gym so that you can fine tune color temp for one photo and apply that to the others; you need to shoot in RAW instead of jpg to do this tuning.

Photos below were shot with 70-200 f2.8 @ 1/800 but using a camera with a high performance full frame sensor so ISO 4,000 doesn't bother it, ISO 3,200 - 6,400 is where this particular gym puts the ISO for a standard exposure using 1/800 and f2.8 glass.

Rodger

AS0I9619.jpgAS0I9705.jpg

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

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8 REPLIES 8

deebatman316
Authority

Which version of the EF 70-200mm F/2.8lens do you own. Canon has released 3 image stabilized versions and 1 non-stabilized lens. The full name of the lens can be found on the outer ring of the lens right above the red ring on the lens. What mode are you shooting with on the top mode dial. Please post pictures with metadata intact. Is this happening in low light conditions if so your shutter speed may be too slow causing motion blur. 

  • Original Non-IS EF 70-200mm F/2.8L USM (1995-Present)
  • 1st Gen IS EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM (2001-2010)
  • 2nd Gen IS EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS II USM (2010-2018)
  • 3rd Gen IS EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS III USM (2018-Present)

-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

The lens is the first gen, L IS USM.  We've been using manual mode just trying to find some sort of balance between ISO and shutter speed, but can't figure it out at all.  Our options are basically photos that are too blurry or photos that are so full of noise that the players blend into the background.  I can't figure out how to send photos on here because all of the originals are over 5 MB, like I said, no idea what I'm doing... Here's one of the better photos, but I edited it to increase Luminance by 19 and exposure by 0.43 in Lightroom.  The shutter speed was at 1/1000, ISO was set to auto so it took it at 4000

IMG_5186.jpg

rs-eos
Elite

While a lens with f/2.8 is very good, there can indeed be very challenging indoor environments where you'd have to have ISO be quite high.

In general, for sports, highy recommend you use Tv (Shutter priority) mode.  There, you pick the shutter speed and the camera will choose aperture and ISO.    If you want to include motion blur in your images, choose a slower shutter (e.g. 1/125 s, 1/250 s).  If you want to freeze action, you'll need faster shutter speeds (at least 1/500 or even 1/1000).

Note: depending upon the sport, freezing action may require even faster shutter speeds (e.g. freezing a baseball bat in motion vs just someone running).

--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x

I'll give Tv a shot for sure, thank you.  We've been trying to use Manual mode but our photos either end up blurry because of low shutter speed or super noisy from the high ISO.  Just can't find a good in between.  When we've tried auto ISO the pictures are just so inconsistent, some look good, and then others are unusable because they are so dark.

BurnUnit
Whiz

From the sample photo you posted I think you're getting a pretty good handle on the situation. I really don't see any noise issues in this example. As mentioned above, shooting at 1/500 or 1/000 using Tv mode looks like a good place to start.

First off, are you shooting in RAW? It will allow to more easily deal with things like noise, white balance and exposure compared to shooting jpegs. If Lightroom seems a bit daunting you should try using Canon's (FREE) DPP4 software to convert your RAW files to jpegs.

Also when dealing with noise try to work while viewing your images at 100% magnification. Working at 200%, 300% or higher can make you a little nuts and you'll start to remove image detail. Are your shots destined to be made into large prints, or mainly for viewing on a monitor?

Hope you don't mind my making some minor adjustments to your sample photo. It just took a few minutes in PS to warm up the white balance a bit, add a "skosh" of sharpening and a little cropping to give it bit more pop.

Sport-01.jpg

wq9nsc
Authority

Indoor is tough for any camera/lens combination when the lighting is poor.  And I think volleyball is the hardest sport to shoot, at least it is for me.

The T5 sensor is pretty old technology so it doesn't have anywhere close to the noise performance of more recent cameras at higher ISO.  I helped a HS student get her T5 set up a couple of years ago and as I recall the noise got really bad at ISO 3200 and up.  Shooting in RAW (instead of jpg) will get all of the performance of which the sensor is capable and allows you to do much more in post (including noise reduction) so do that if you are not already.

Given that sensor, I would try 1/800 and 1/640 which will allow marginally more light and may produce better results than shooting at 1/1,000.  I have shot a lot of volleyball at 1/800 and it works pretty well, a little ball motion blur at times.

Is that gym unusually dark?  I am surprised you are having to push luminance that much in post with the ISO @ 4,000 and a f2.8 lens.  Pushing it in post is just going to accentuate the noise.  There is a HS gym in the area where I used Canon EF 85 f1.8 and EF 200 f2 glass because the lighting was so poor before they upgraded to LED lighting.  You are probably getting about as much as the T5 can offer under the conditions.

I don't believe the T5 provides for auto white priority which is what I use as a post-processing preset to correct for color temperature in artificial sports lighting.  Hopefully the lighting color temperature is pretty stable across the gym so that you can fine tune color temp for one photo and apply that to the others; you need to shoot in RAW instead of jpg to do this tuning.

Photos below were shot with 70-200 f2.8 @ 1/800 but using a camera with a high performance full frame sensor so ISO 4,000 doesn't bother it, ISO 3,200 - 6,400 is where this particular gym puts the ISO for a standard exposure using 1/800 and f2.8 glass.

Rodger

AS0I9619.jpgAS0I9705.jpg

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

Thank you for the input.  I was messing around as some basketball players shot around yesterday and noticed the same as you that when I went 3200 or higher with ISO that's when the noise was very visible.  It's a very old gym, so the lighting is definitely far from ideal.  We've got a match tomorrow and we're going to settle for shutter speeds under 1/1000 and see what happens.

Good luck and hopefully the slower shutter speeds will help some.  You don't want to go to far because noise can somewhat be reduced at the expense of detail but motion blur is not removable.  You just have to find the shutter speed/ISO combination that is in the sweet spot for that sensor.

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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