Blur can occur if the shutter speed is too low relative to the degree of movement of your subject(s). While the 'sports' mode favors shutter speed and adjusts the focus for moving subjects, you may still need to increase the ISO (I'm not sure the camera does that automatically), or use flash, if feasible.
Alternatively, try panning the camera with your moving subject. This should blur the background, but keep the subject from blurring.
Finally, keep in mind that in sports photography, blur is sometimes a desired outcome that produces a sense of motion in an otherwise static photo.
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That depends on the sport, the location, and what you want the pictures to say to the viewer. You won't necessarily shoot a daytime football game outdoors the same way as a basketball game indoors.
In general you're going to want a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. To get the fastest shutter speed possible, use the Aperture Priority mode by turning the mode dial to "A" then select the largest aperture by using cursor-up/down to get the smallest f/number.
Having said that, sometimes you might want a slower shutter speed to convey a sense of motion. Select Shutter Priority by turning the mode dial to "S" and use cursor-up/down to select the desired shutter speed.
Based on the following descriptions:
I'd say use the little person running, or 'Sports' mode. This basically chooses a high (fast) ISO and fast shutter speed, in attempt to let the most light in and reduce the exposure length to reduce blur.
Hope this helps.
Oh, FYI, manual mode is very useful...if you find a shutter speed and f-stop (aperture) that works for your setting -- which can be seen in the viewfinder or on the status LED on the top of the camera -- you can set the camera to those settings and know that the shots should turn out well, where any 'automatic' type setting is very convenient, it has the potential of adjusting the lighting based on the wrong 'subject' of the photo and leaving you with a under or over-exposed photo. Best of luck!
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 $8000! I'm now professionally shooting just to pay for the next camera. Hobby too Hell in a hurry.
That's a big lens and for sports photography you are going to need a lot of light to ensure you can use a fast shutter speed to capture the action. Sports mode may do too much for you and you might want to try switching to a more manual mode. Try switching to Tv mode which gives shutter speed priority. Set the shutter speed to something around 1/150 or higher (1/200) which should be fast enough to freeze the action. Make sure the ISO is set to 200 or 400 for best results and see how you get on. This should stop any action based blur which would leave you with focus problems if the pictures are still blurry. Check out http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos450d for info on what this camera can really do for you
Maybe. Assuming you can't add more light, you can either increase the ISO and/or open up the aperture. Try going to A (Aperture) mode and opening up the lens all the way. This will give you the fastest shutter speed possible under the conditions. That may or may not be fast enough.
You're right that it's because it's darker indoors. You can compensate for this at least in part by raising the ISO. This runs the risk of increased noise, but given the choice between a noisy pic and no pic...
A fast lens may get you a stop or two, but they're expen$ive.
A third option is to increase the amount of light. Multiple flashes around the basket, for example. Or floodlights mounted on the roof...