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New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-23-2013

Newbie

Hello. I have a PowerShot Sx30IS. I have had it for a couple years. I mostly use automatic settings. I bought it mainly for the awesome zoom. I like getting close up shots at football games. I still use it for birthdays and whatnot. I feel like I may not be getting my full use out of it without using manual settings. But after reading several things online and looking for videos, I'm still lost. I'm wondering if there's a video or article that would best help me understand things like manual focusing, etc. I've learned a little about shutter speed and aperture, but I'm still not very good at using it.

So I guess I'm just looking for a little help to take the best pictures with my camera.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,343
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Newbie

I'm not sure why you think you might need to use manual focus vs the AF system but I've posted some stuff that might help you here.

 

http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/PowerShot/SX280HS-do-auto-settings-give-best-results-w-o-adjusting/m-...

 

And if you think you'd like to learn a bit more about shooting action which in general needs good panning skills & an understanding of the venue (freeze the entire scene OR just parts of it) you can read this.

 

http://www.rccanada.ca/rccforum/showthread.php?t=147971

 

The suggested shutter speeds are for model aircraft but the idea is the same for real prop planes & wheel sports where you blur the wheels / tires & background but freeze the car. You use as slow a shutter speed as you can working your way down as your panning skills improve.

 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-23-2013

Re: Newbie

Thank you for the response. I'll definitely check out those links and keep practicing.

The automatic feature took very good outdoor, daytime photos at the football games I've been to. As well as decent pictures during a daytime Nascar race. The quality is very poor when it comes to taking pictures at a basketball game (indoors) and when an outdoor event goes "under the lights".

Any tips for indoor shooting and nighttime pictures?
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,343
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Newbie

Those are the toughest venues to shoot & even those of us with DSLR's have trouble. The keys to low light action are to use fast lenses (big apertures) & a body with clean high ISO settings. The trouble is those fast lenses are expensive in the longer lengths but you need telephotos to get the action from the sidelines.

 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎06-13-2013

Re: Newbie

[ Edited ]

Yeah, to take really great photos of games at night under the lights or indoors in gyms... unfortunately it takes thousands of dollars in gear.  You can still take decent shots with what you have, especially if you're allowed to use flash... but in general those low-light + fast action venues are the realm of full-frame sensor DSLR's and fast aperture (usually high dollar) lenses.  It's all about getting the most light into the camera, and having the best high-ISO sensors to maximize what gets in.  That usually means the bigger the sensor in your camera, the better.  I have a 5D Mark III and several f/2.8 or better lenses and it's still a challenge.

 

One thing to try, I've done this with my (G11 with some success) is to shoot either in Av or Manual, and set your camera such that your shots are a little (1 to 1.5-stops or so) underexposed on purpose to keep a decent ISO (around 800 on my G11) and fairly fast shutter combination.  In post processing (I use Lightroom mostly, but any decent editing software will probably work), I'll boost the exposure and try to minimize the noise as much as possible.  Even then, you won't be able to make any huge enlargements out of it, but you can probably get some decent screen images and/or small prints.

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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-14-2017

Re: Newbie

Auto focus is the worst invention ever created.

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