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New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-14-2013

Why do all of my sports pictures with my Powershot SX30 turn out blurry?

My husband and I have had a SX30 for a few years now and are very happy with it with one exception.  The reason we bought it was because our children were getting to that age where we wanted it for sporting events.  Unfortunately, everytime we take a picture, it is blurry.  I am far from a camera guru and would love some help figuring out what I am doing wrong.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Why do all of my sports pictures with my Powershot SX30 turn out blurry?

[ Edited ]

A.). Shutter speed is too slow:
My first thought is that the camera is not giving you a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action. If the shutter stays open too long, a moving object will blur in the image.

If you are not already doing so, try the camera's sport mode, or kids & pets mode, or whichever mode your camera has for fast action.

If that is not enough, or if you want to control things better than this, put the camera in Tv mode, which is shutter priority. Set a shutter speed that is fast, like 1/400th or 1/640th or 1/800th of a second. In bright light you should be able to make this work. Use the slowest shutter that is adequate to freeze the action, though, because your camera will raise the ISO sensitivity to get by with the short shutter open time, and that degrades the image quality with digital "noise" and "grain" and decreases the amount of detail captured.

B.). Autofocus is struggling to work fast enough:
If you find you are still getting blurry shots after you raise the shutter speed to, say, 1/640th of a second or faster, then your problem is autofocus. If the camera can't focus fast enough to deal with a moving person, you need to use technique to make it easier on your camera.
1.) Avoid shooting when the person is coming right AT you. That is hard for all cameras, and a Powershot would definitely struggle. Shoot instead with the the action passing across your field of view.
2.). Learn to do "panning". That is where you smoothly pivot your body (and the camera) so that the camera follows the moving person, which cancels out some of the subject's speed if done correctly.
3.). Set your focus mode to "servo" and not to single shot. That tells the camera it needs to be constantly working to stay in focus.

Good luck!

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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,853
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Why do all of my sports pictures with my Powershot SX30 turn out blurry?

If you post an example which includes the exposure data we can likely tell you why it's blurry.


Scotty already nailed the two main reasons.


The minimum shutter speed to freeze actually as it's coming either toward you or moving away is usually 1/250th.  The minimum shutter speed to freeze action moving sideways (relative to your camera) is usually 1/500th (these are just guidelines... is the action is particularly fast then these speeds may not be adequate.)


Sports is particularly demanding on the camera because the fast action requires high shutte speeds which, in turn, requires a lot of light (most cameras are fine with outdoor mid-day sports played in the sun... but struggle with sports during night games or sports played indoors.)   Sports also tends to require a responsive focus system operating in "continuous" mode.  By default, cameras work to establish the focus distance, then stop focusing once they achieve focus.  But in sports the subject is still moving... so they don't remain at that focused distance.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-22-2014

Re: Why do all of my sports pictures with my Powershot SX30 turn out blurry?

so what would be the best setting for shooting action shots at night in a stadium. All mine come out good in the daylight but are all blurry when taking action shots at night.
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