I am trying to take pictures of a diver doing somersaults and dives off a board indoors and cannot get one without blur. I have tried shutter speed, manual, automatic, indoor sports mode and panning and nothing seems to work. Could you suggest any settings for me. There are spotlights in the building as well. I am probably about 15 metres away from the diver
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Re: indoor sports pictures
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!
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To remove the blur from photos, you need to be in a place where there is enough light to have a fast shutter speed. Using the camera indoors without the flash on will usually result in blurry photos.
Try using the flash.
Holding the camera with two hands or even better, on a tripod, will help too.
Sports mode gives you a high shutter speed. Continuous just allows the camera to keep taking pictures as long as you hold the shutter button and keep the autofocus moving. You need very high Iso capabilities (6400+) and very fast lenses (f1.8, f2.0, f2.8) to shoot indoor sports and night games under lights and stop motion without a very powerful flash system. Standard consumer stuff just can't do it and even with a good flash it cannot work very far. You can set the camera to night mode and it will give you your highest iso and slow shutter speeds but you will end up with motion blur. I shoot a D300($1600) and a 70-200mm F2.8($1900) and I can just barely get away with it. To do it right cost about $8000! I'm now professionally shooting just to pay for the next camera. Hobby too Hell in a hurry.
For sports (or any fast moving occasion) you must be very particular about your settings. The Rebel Xsi takes great shots, but some tweaking needs to be done on your end, to make sure you don't get the "blur" and low quality that you may be experiencing.
On the settings dial, turn the mode wheel to "Tv". This is shutter priority, meaning you are controlling how fast the "shutter" closes. You need to have it set higher because you are trying to "freeze" a fast moving object.
After setting the selector to "Tv", you can change the speed by moving the "control wheel" left and right. (It's located above the ISO button, below the shutter button". If you look at your LCD screen while turning the wheel to the right (it makes a clicky sound), you will see the speed increase.
By default, it is set at 1/125th of a second. Increase it (1/200th of a second for example) and try that setting. You should freeze your target without blur.
If you are indoors and need a flash, the speed will max out at 1/200th of a second. Of course, if you need the flash, you will manually have to pop it up yourself by pressing the flash button when in "Tv" mode. It has a "lightning bolt" and is located near the "EOS" sticker on the front.
Try lowering the quality of the pictures. It will allow a faster shutter speed since it doesn't need as much data to make the picture. Try throwing a ball into the air and playing with the settings until you can get what you need.
The D40 will not take great photos of an indoor event without blurring or noise. You need a fast lens and a high ISO using the popup flash or on camera flash would be ideal but some of these events you can not use flash. All these images I shot with a Nikon D40. http://www.facebook.com/home.php?src=fftb#/pages/Keller-TX/Raving-Design/78762448229?v=photos&ref=ts Learn to use the camera for ur events. Experiment it's all about trial and error. Ray
Evening & Indoors? The kit lens is really going to struggle here. Your only immediate solution is to use ISO 1600 which makes the shutter faster but adds a little noise to the pictures.
You really want to get a better lens for indoor work. If you need cheap, try the 50mm f1.8, it's a prime not a zoom, so you will need to use your feet to "zoom" but it's incredibly good for indoor / low light work.
I upgraded to a 17-55mm f2.8 IS, it was rather expensive but I have never had a blurry indoor shot since - I do also use an external Speedlite flash with it though, which also helps tremendously.
Maybe. Assuming you can't add more light, you can either increase the ISO and/or open up the aperture. Try going to A (Aperture) mode and opening up the lens all the way. This will give you the fastest shutter speed possible under the conditions. That may or may not be fast enough.
You're right that it's because it's darker indoors. You can compensate for this at least in part by raising the ISO. This runs the risk of increased noise, but given the choice between a noisy pic and no pic...
A fast lens may get you a stop or two, but they're expen$ive.
A third option is to increase the amount of light. Multiple flashes around the basket, for example. Or floodlights mounted on the roof...