Help needed for digital camera use at indoor sporting events

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Head Shot, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. Head Shot

    Head Shot Guest

    I presently have a Nikon CoolPix 8700. What happens at games is that even
    though the field is bright, I am in a dark area (the seating area). The
    camera drops my shutter speed to 1/30th of a second and the pictures are
    often blurry. Back when I used to shoot 35mm; I had a Ricoh SP Sports
    Programmable. I put it in automatic SP mode and it always kept the shots at
    1/125th of a second to keep photos from being blurry. Is there a nice
    digital camera that has an indoor sports arena mode that I can just set it
    to and start shooting without having to worry about ending up with blurry
    shots?
     
    Head Shot, Dec 31, 2006
    #1
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  2. I'm always amazed when people ask such questions here.
    Has it not occurred to you to go to a nearby camera dealer and ask the sales
    assistant to show you their range of cameras and their features? That way
    you get to play with a few models on the spot, see what other features they
    have, besides a sports mode, that might also have an impact on your buying
    decision. (Such as type of battery, type of memory card, type of lens(es),
    size and weight, accessories, etc.)

    If you ask here, all you'll get is someone else's idea of the "best" camera
    for the job. In the end, it's your opinion that matters when you buy.

    Alternatively, can't you set the camera you presently have to a fixed
    shutter speed of 1/125 and have the camera set the aperture (f-stop) to suit
    the light level?
     
    Anthony Frank, Dec 31, 2006
    #2
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  3. Head Shot

    Head Shot Guest

    Actually; my first choice is to keep this camera. It's actually a nice
    camera except for it not doing what I want. The problem is that the manual
    is not the best. It does not tell me how I can leave it in automatic mode
    but do some sort of shutter priority so that I can force it to 1/125th. It
    keeps going to 1/30th and I end up with blurry shots. I keep thinking
    back to my 35 mm days. I have a Ricoh 30SP and when I put it in Sports
    Programmable mode it knows to go to 1/125th or 1/250th and change the
    f-stop. I just wish I had a digital that has a Sports Programmable mode.
     
    Head Shot, Dec 31, 2006
    #3
  4. Head Shot

    Head Shot Guest

    Have you ever done that? The local camera stores near me have 20 year old
    kids that know less than I do (which is REALLY, REALLY BAD!!!). I read
    some reviews and it seems the Canon EOS 20D has a sports mode. It kills me
    to toss a 2 year old camera that was $1,000. I would not mind if it was a
    $200 camera that I could donate to the kids; but this really bothers me.
    I have no idea why Nikon made 12 pre-defined modes beyond auto and manual;
    and none of those profiles is for shooting photos in an indoor coliseum. I
    would have thought lots of folks go to football games, baseball games,
    hockey games, and basketball games. Other than this problem (I own
    season tickets to a football team); I really love this Coolpix 8700.
     
    Head Shot, Dec 31, 2006
    #4
  5. Head Shot

    Whiskers Guest

    Is your camera like this one
    <http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/nikon8700.html>? If so it
    appears to have both shutter-priority and aperture-priority 'modes', as
    well as two custom modes.
     
    Whiskers, Dec 31, 2006
    #5
  6. Head Shot

    JoeT Guest

    Surely this camera has a manual mode? I may be over simplifying but try
    getting in place before the event begins and selecting manual mode and
    setting the ISO to 1/25 (If that's what you want) then play with the
    aperture setting through trial and error until you get the desired result,
    then go at it during the actual event. There are probably presets that allow
    you to set ISO and let the camera choose the appropriate arperture and visa
    versa as well.
     
    JoeT, Dec 31, 2006
    #6
  7. Head Shot

    Head Shot Guest

    Thanks to you and the others for the responses. I found that there is a way
    to do "shutter priority". I was able to set it to 1/125th. Now of course
    I need them to play the Peach Bowl again so I can see if it works. :)
     
    Head Shot, Jan 1, 2007
    #7
  8. Head Shot

    JR Guest

    Read the Manual and take the time to learn your camera.
     
    JR, Jan 1, 2007
    #8
  9. The camera store where I bought my camera has knowledgable people. But then,
    they are photographic specialists, dealing only in equipment for the serious
    photographer. I wouldn't expect the same level of expertise at one of the
    camera franchise stores, which are aimed more at the general consumer market
    and employ sales people rather than photography experts/enthusiasts.

    If your current camera doesn't have sports mode, perhaps one of the other
    modes might get you close enough. Maybe a night-time mode? That oughta keep
    the lens open and the shutter fast. If it has 12 "other" modes, surely some
    of these must favour a fast shutter speed? Do a test shoot and take a few
    shots in each mode and see what results you get.

    Or maybe you can ask in this forum for people who have the same camera as
    you to tell you if your camera model has a shutter priority mode or a sports
    mode and how to select this mode. A more specific question like that could
    bring you the result you want.

    Cheers.
     
    Anthony Frank, Jan 2, 2007
    #9
  10. Head Shot

    Joel Guest

    Here you go.

    1. Get a DSLR camera that can handle ISO-1600 (or even 3200) with less
    noise. Canon 20D and later is very good with low-light

    2. Spend some money on fast len like f2.8 for zoom lens, or f1.8 for prime
    lens (I would spend money on zoom lens). This will add around $1000-1200
    extra on top of the camera

    ... and if you don't have any better choice then you may learn to move
    your donkey <g> to the right location (traveling direction) to reduce
    blurry. Actually, you may want to spend some money on the right tool for
    the right job, else it may not worth all the trouble and end up with poor
    photo. IOW, the professionals don't spend extra money to add more weightto
    their shoulders, and these days with around $2,000-2,500 you should be able
    to get the minimum requirements of what the professional used some years ago
    (more money may not make much difference besides faster FS and longer reach)
     
    Joel, Jan 16, 2007
    #10
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