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New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-19-2015

Why do sports mode photos appear very dark?

I've had my SX50 for approximately 1 year now, and the other day I wanted to shoot some action shots in the Sports mode.  The pictures took fine, but when I go to review them, all of them are so dark you almost can't see the subject.  Any thoughts?  It was working just fine not too long ago.

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 6,705
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: Why do sports mode photos appear very dark?

Do other modes work OK.? What were the lighting conditions.
John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Rebel T5i, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Why do sports mode photos appear very dark?

[ Edited ]
Sports mode tells the camera you need a fast shutter speed to freeze action. A fast shutter does not let much light in though.

If you were zoomed in, that compounds the shortage of light, as the variable aperture also constricts you as to the size of the opening on the telephoto end of the zoom.

It would be tough to shoot indoor sports in sports mode. Outdoors in daytime you would be fine.

I would get out of the Sports mode and try to take more control of the exposure. Try Tv (Time Value, a/k/a shutter priority) mode. That lets you set the shutter speed while the camera handles the other variables. In Sports mode the camera might set TOO fast a shutter, and thus deny you some light you could have used. If you can learn what is the minimum shutter speed to freeze a certain kind of action you can set that speed and not faster. Something like baseball or football might only need 1/400th of a second speed to freeze the action. Something faster like basketball or hockey might need 1/640th of a second. Experiment and see.

You can also get by with a bit longer/slower shutter by "panning" the camera. With practice you learn to smoothly track the moving subject so the majority of the subject (face/torso or chassis/windshield) is not moving much in relation to the camera, and is therefore in focus, and only the fastest moving parts are blurred from motion (feet/hands or wheels/tires).
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"?
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New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-19-2015

Re: Why do sports mode photos appear very dark?

John, I was taking pictures of my grandson' s baseball game during a nice sunny day.  The next time I was taking pictures of eagles, also during the day.  This issue is new as I've taken many pictures in Sports mode many times without problems.  Any thoughts?

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 6,705
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: Why do sports mode photos appear very dark?

I hate to sound like a computer tech ("reboot")😀, but I would suggest shut off camera, remove battery for about ½ hour, reinstall and switch camera on and take a photo in Program or Auto mode and see what happens. If that's OK switch to Sports and try that.
John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Rebel T5i, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic
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