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EOS Rebel T7 Need Help with Outdoor Night time sports pictures


I just purchased a Cannon EOS Rebel T7.  I want to take night time pictures, outside, at sporting events.  There is some light on poles.  My pictures are coming out too dark.  I'm new to photography.  What is the best recommended settings to use for these pictures?  Thank you.



If you are shooting sports then you probably want a fast shutter speed to stop action.

However, outdoors at night is a low light situation.

The first thing to try is set the camera to Program and see if it can take an image. Program will try to find a setting that can take a properly exposed image. It doesn't look for preferences like a certain shutter speed, aperture or ISO setting; it just tries to get a properly exposed image. If Program won't allow an image to be taken then there just isn't enough light.

If you can get an image make note of the shutter speed. Switch to Tv mode. Then start increasing shutter speed. Camera will increase ISO and open lens aperture until camera no longer allows an image to be taken. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic

Thank you John.  I will try this.


I have a much more simple suggestion. Use Av mode and set the lens wide open (a small number). This lets the camera select the fastest SS it can for proper exposure. Select auto ISO and set an upper and lower limit or not if you just want to get the max ability out of the T7. But keep in mind as ISO goes up noise also goes up but sometimes just getting the picture is the most important thing.

Every camera/lens combo has its limits. The limits of the T7 and kit supplied lens are on the lower end so you will quickly find that out. But it just might be enough and that's all that matters.

You next option is a faster lens. Something with a constant f2.8 (smaller number) or faster aperture.


EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Thank you.  I will try this as well.  Beautiful picture by the way.  

The best advice is to keep it simple and not over think it. Sometimes the camera is smarter than you think. Try the Av mode and let your T7 do the rest.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


What jrhoffman75 said.

Are you a novice in photography? Or with digital photography? The same principles apply in digital as exist in film.

Are you familiar with the "Exposure Triangle"?  Shutter speed-lens aperture-ISO speed.   These interact to determine an exposure. Increasing shutter speed requires larger aperture, until you run out of aperture opening. Manually setting higher ISO speed allows higher shutter speed and/or smaller apertures (but can introduce other negative properties).  

In Program Mode you can vary the shutter speed-aperture combination to get equal exposures with the Main Dial of the camera shot-by-shot. 

It would behoove you to learn to use the functions and abilities of your camera, and digital photography in general. Classes, books, photo clubs, Canon tutorials, whatever. You'll enjoy your T7 a lot more for what it can do.

I took a photography class many many years ago, so much has changed since then.  I'd like to get back in to it and definitely shooting family sporting events.  I'm learning the different features and their meanings, was just hoping for a quick answer while I'm learning.  I do have a book ordered, read some settings to try, but they haven't been the right ones yet.

thank you for your help. 


I would add to John's advice that you MAY need to change metering modes so that metering is biased more towards the subject than the total scene. This is particularly true if the combination of lens and shooting distance is causing a lot of "scene" beyond that of interest to be included in the capture.

If you haven't downloaded the full owner's manual from the Canon site, do so because it contains a lot of useful information.  In it you will find the light meter modes and how each works, depending upon the field you may find that partial or center weighted metering will do a better job of dialing in exposure for the conditions.

For most sports events I use the default evaluative metering mode in my 1DX II and III bodies and it does a great job but for some conditions I switch to a center weighted mode.  The first image was captured with standard evaluative mode which was fine for that field but for swim, reflecting lights off the entire surface of the pool made center weighted a better choice.


Default evaluative meteringDefault evaluative meteringCenter weighted meteringCenter weighted metering

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


Thank you for the pointers, I will try these.  I did look up some options to change on-line and both didn't work.  I just downloaded the manual and will see what that offers.  I also ordered a book.  I'm in the midst of getting back in to photography, but am hoping to find a short-cut in the meantime.  

Some good suggestions here that I will try.  Thank you.

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