I am going to do a speaking engagement in a hotel ballroom seminar setting and my wife has an e500 camera and we need to know the best settings to use since the pictures she already took at the last seminar came out blueish and not very focused... camera is an e500 with a 40-150mm 1:3.5-4.5 Olympus lens.
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This is not an answer. The S3 normally does not produce dark pictures, and I have seen this issue before. It has to do with a setting somewhere on that camera that needs to be adjusted. I wish I knew what that setting was/is as my wife's camera has recently started doing this ...
Your point n shoot camera has an ISO adjustment in the menu. Be sure that is set to no more than 400 indoors and no more than 100 outdoors.
If it has something called exposure Value or Ev, set that to zero.
Or, if you really want to see if the camera is not working properly, set it to the green auto mode and take a picture. If in auto mode, it still comes out over-exposed there is probably a problem with the camera.
For sports photography, and especially indoors, you really need to be looking at a digital SLR camera. To freeze that sort of motion you need to be looking at a shutter speed of around 1/200 sec or less.
Most compacts won't do this as the light through the small lenses is a lot less than with an SLR. I've just looked at the sports mode on my wife's DMC-TZ5 and it doesn't even tell me anything about shutter speeds or aperture sizes, it's all automatically controlled by the camera.
The only way you would be able to make any difference with your camera is to increase the ISO setting to the highest possbile setting (1600 on the TZ5). The will reduce the blurring somewhat, but will also introduce some noise and graininess into your photos.
See how you get on, if not good enough I strongly recommend you hire a digital SLR for weekend and see the difference it would make - but you would also need a decent lens and this is where SLRs get very expensive!
Check Menu second one down, Press the up button once to get you to the Anti Shock setting and change it to off. Also Check Menu second one down, Click right once then down twice, Right once. Make sure it is set for the top setting.