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What manual settings should I have for indoor sports?

jrberton
Apprentice

I have a Powershot SX500 IS.  I would like to take good pictures of indoor sporting event, for example Volleyball. What would be the best setting as far as F-stop, Shutter Speed for decent action shots?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Skirball
Authority

The short answer: open up your aperture all the way, bump up your ISO as far as you're willing to take it (Is 1600 ok on that camera?), and then as fast a shutter speed as exposure allows.  Don't zoom in too far.

 

 

Long answer:

 

It depends.

 

Are you trying to completely freeze the motion? Or would you like perhaps a bit, like the hand of someone spiking a ball to show the movement?  Maybe you want a lot, use a slow shutter speed and pan as a car goes by.  You need to decide this ahead of time.

 

Everything else will be some give and take. Usually shooting indoors means pushing the limits of your camera, and yours is no exception. There are many different ways to do it, but here’s how I’d go about it:

 

I’d select the lens I want (not applicable to you) given the situation. Keep in mind that longer lenses require faster shutter speeds for sharp photos.

 

I’d set my aperture for my needs. Is it a lot of fast action and I want to make sure I get the shot? I’d go more middle of the road (f/5.6 – 😎 to make sure I get my subject sharp. If it’s slower or I’m not worried about getting every shot I usually open it up as far as I’m comfortable with for that lens. I prefer how it looks, and since I’m indoors it gives me all the light I can.

 

I usually want a bit of movement (tires on a bike, tip of a baseball bat, hand of volleyball player, …) to give some life to my photos, so I’ll start around 1/200 or so and adjust from there depending on what I’m shooting.

 

Then I’ll just set my ISO for my exposure. If that requires too high an ISO for my liking, I make compromises, open up the shutter a bit, or lower the speed a bit.

 

 

This is a cyclic process, I’m constantly going over this as I shoot. If I decide I want a bit more motion then I’ll bring my shutter speed down, knowing that I can bump my ISO down a bit too for cleaner photos. Not enough depth of field? I adjust, and know that it’s going to cost me in ISO.

View solution in original post

1 REPLY 1

Skirball
Authority

The short answer: open up your aperture all the way, bump up your ISO as far as you're willing to take it (Is 1600 ok on that camera?), and then as fast a shutter speed as exposure allows.  Don't zoom in too far.

 

 

Long answer:

 

It depends.

 

Are you trying to completely freeze the motion? Or would you like perhaps a bit, like the hand of someone spiking a ball to show the movement?  Maybe you want a lot, use a slow shutter speed and pan as a car goes by.  You need to decide this ahead of time.

 

Everything else will be some give and take. Usually shooting indoors means pushing the limits of your camera, and yours is no exception. There are many different ways to do it, but here’s how I’d go about it:

 

I’d select the lens I want (not applicable to you) given the situation. Keep in mind that longer lenses require faster shutter speeds for sharp photos.

 

I’d set my aperture for my needs. Is it a lot of fast action and I want to make sure I get the shot? I’d go more middle of the road (f/5.6 – 😎 to make sure I get my subject sharp. If it’s slower or I’m not worried about getting every shot I usually open it up as far as I’m comfortable with for that lens. I prefer how it looks, and since I’m indoors it gives me all the light I can.

 

I usually want a bit of movement (tires on a bike, tip of a baseball bat, hand of volleyball player, …) to give some life to my photos, so I’ll start around 1/200 or so and adjust from there depending on what I’m shooting.

 

Then I’ll just set my ISO for my exposure. If that requires too high an ISO for my liking, I make compromises, open up the shutter a bit, or lower the speed a bit.

 

 

This is a cyclic process, I’m constantly going over this as I shoot. If I decide I want a bit more motion then I’ll bring my shutter speed down, knowing that I can bump my ISO down a bit too for cleaner photos. Not enough depth of field? I adjust, and know that it’s going to cost me in ISO.

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