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Kids

jlbanana
New Contributor

What's the best setting for shooting fast-moving young children with my T4i?  I get a lot of blurry pictures, or pictures with the focus in the wrong place.  My toddler especially moves too quickly for me to use the manual focus.

3 REPLIES 3

ScottyP
Respected Contributor
Hi, jibanana.

I would ignore the canned settings when shooting moving targets. The people who created them had no idea how fast an object you are trying to shoot, or the light in which you are shooting.

Just set the camera to Tv mode. That means "time value" is the thing you are specifying for the camera, and it lets you set the shutter speed. The camera then finds a way to make a correct exposure to fit your designated shutter speed. (It does this by manipulating the other 2 variables in the exposure triangle, which are aperture and ISO.

Experiment with shorter and shorter fractions of a second until you eliminate the blur. Eventually you get a feel for how fast you need to go for a certain speed of a subject. Generally I would say 1/400th of a second will freeze the action of a moving little kid. You can help avoid subject motion blur by "panning" with the camera, basically tracking the subject by turning the camera to exactly follow the subject. You can then get a clear image of the subject against a blurred background, which also creates a cool effect making your subject look as if it is moving very fast.

In addition to the blur caused by a moving subject, by the way, you also have to consider blur caused by camera shake. Unless you are on a tripod you can't hold a camera perfectly still. The longer the telephoto you are using, the more you notice the shake/blur. Imagine holding a laser pointer. You can make the red dot very still when pointing at a wall 2 feet away, but that dot looks very jittery on a wall 50 feet away. As a rule of thumb, you need a shutter speed that is the inverse fraction of your focal length in mm's. So using a 60mm lens, you need a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second or faster. With a 400mm lens you need about 1/400th of a second.
To complicate it, your crop size sensor on the T4i gives you a 1.6x telephoto boost compared to a full frame sensor, but you have to add that to your needed shutter speed. So with a 100mm lens you will actually need 1/160th of a second or faster, not 1/100th.
To complicate further, if your lens has Image Stabilization (IS) it helps you steady the camera so you can get away with a slower shutter.

But getting back to subject motion blur, that requires you to go with a faster shutter speed than the bare minimum needed to simply counteract camera shake.

Good luck!
Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

ScottyP
Respected Contributor
But a fast shutter is not all you need to avoid unclear images. You also need the camera to focus correctly. The camera will have a harder time focusing if the subject is moving, because it will be getting closer to or farther from the camera.
Set your autofocus mode to AI SERVO rather than SINGLE SHOT so the camera will be constantly trying to keep your moving subject in focus.
And if you set the camera to shoot a burst of shots when you press the shutter, rather than just 1 shot, you have a better chance of having at least 1 image in focus.
Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

ebiggs1
Forum Elite

I am going to guess, you have your T4i set on the little green square, full auto? And you do not have a  specific focus point selected? Yes?

This is exactly why you buy a camera as capable as your Canon T4i is. You can set it the way it needs to be for difficult shots.

In full "AUTO" the camera is just concerned with getting a picture. It doesn't know you want your little one stopped in motion.

I also suppose you are indoors where light is at a premium? Depending on your conditions it may not be possible to get sharp photos without some additional light or faster lenses.

 

I would select and set the center focus point and set the camera toTV at least to 1/200th (faster is possible). You also have an "action" setting on your dial. You can try it, if you are unsure about those recommended settings.

What lens do you have? If it is the 'kit' lens, it isn't very fast and this may be the issue.

And lastly use a flash.

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