I am taking pictures of my son's football team. So i use continous for things like kick off's etc. But I keep missing the photo of them actually kicking the ball. It seems the time lapse between photos is too spread out. How do I fix that?
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First thing to do is reset your camera to default. Now get the fastest CF or SD card your manual recommends. Before you shoot don't mess with any other setting except what is necessary for exposure. Don't add any of the enhancing or photo processing features. Choose jpg not Raw in this case. Perhaps the only case where jpg is preferred.
Now it is possible the lighting is poor enough that your SS is the determining factor in how fast the continuous speed is. All photographic gear has limits to what it can do. If this is the case you have hit one of those limits. You will need to reduce the exposure requirements some how. This could be a faster lens or kicking the ISO up or a better camera which has better high ISO specs.
It would help if you supplied more, I mean way more, info about gear and how you shoot and the conditions. Otherwise no one here can give you exacting recommendations beyond my generic ones.
Ad I Said is a rebel 7. As I shoot continuous it takes the photos but goes from foot back to completely off the screen. The lapse between pictures is extreme. I had ISO at 1600 to stop motion and using a 75 - 300 mm lense.
Even in high speed continuous mode, with fast moving sports there is going to be a lot of action between frames. Your options are either timing your captures or shooting in video mode and settling for the lower resolution video frames as still captures.
With high school football, the problem often becomes greater because poor field lighting may force lower than optimal shutter speed resulting in reduced capture rate in high speed mode. I use f2 and f2.8 glass for HS sports which allows me to maintain 1/1000 shutter speeds with reasonable ISO for 1DX series bodies even on poorly illuminated fields but using "slower" glass and/or a body less high ISO friendly can easily force a shutter speed slow enough that the camera cannot maintain its rated maximum capture rate.
I use 1DX III bodies for sports and they are set to 16 FPS in high speed capture but if I relied upon just shooting at high continuous rate, it would still be a low percentage of specific contact shots. Most of my captures at sports events are from quick shutter presses resulting in single frame captures at the right time. Once you gain experience with the sport and the specific shutter release lag of your camera body, timing becomes pretty easy.
But for kicking, the moment of contact with the ball often doesn't result in the best photo and typically more interesting is the "power pose" of the player with kicking leg back preparing to make contact or with the kicking leg follow through with the ball still in frame. My daughter was recruited from soccer to do kickoff, field goal, and point after for the football team during her sports shortened Covid junior year of high school. The first two photos were captures of foot to football contact using precise timing and I captured several of those during the season but I preferred images captured before and after contact which I think better present the power of the kicker.
The maximum frame rate will be the same for RAW or JPG but the buffer depth is larger for JPG. With a fast card shooting JPG, you can shoot at its 5 FPS rate pretty much continuously but with RAW the buffer will be filled in about 15 frames.
With sports, particularly when light is less than perfect, I would stick with RAW. There is really no need in football to shoot continuously past the roughly 3 seconds of buffered continuous with your camera. It has sufficient buffer depth in RAW for a burst of ball coming into the receiver's area through wrapping up or missing the pass.
For a long lasting play (i.e. kick or punt return) there is no reason to shoot the entire sequence in burst mode. Pick and choose your shots within those longer plays. I do that with my 1DX III bodies even though they have unlimited buffer depth at their maximum 16 FPS rate. Your goal is some good keepers and not hundreds of "garbage" shots. At 5 FPS, you definitely have to learn to time to capture peak action but with a little practice I think you will nail that process and the quality results are well worth putting in the effort to develop that skill.
But stay with RAW because you can do so much with noise reduction in RAW during post and with lower than pro or D1 level college sports, lighting for indoor and night events will always be a compromise.
Since you don't say what camera you have, the work is up to you. Does it have two high-speed continuous modes?
Also, are you using too slow shutter speeds? High speed continuous doesn't work any faster than how many exposures can be fired in a second.
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