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Author Topic: 60D Sports Photography Help  (Read 22577 times)

mattg60d

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60D Sports Photography Help
« on: May 03, 2011, 01:37:09 PM »
Hey guys, I recently purchased the canon 60d and love it, but I went to snap some pics of a HS lacrosse game and most of my images came out blurry and out of focus. I had the camera in sports mode and on auto focus.  I know the 60D isnt as fast as the 70D but I should still be able to get some great pics right ?

Any tips on how to get good shots for fast paced sports ?
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 01:40:25 PM by mattg60d »

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60D Sports Photography Help
« on: May 03, 2011, 01:37:09 PM »

KyleSTL

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Re: 60D Sports Photography Help
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2011, 01:47:23 PM »
Some information that would be helpful:

Focal length (and lens model)?
Shutter speed?
AF setting (One Shot, AI Servo, AI Focus)?
AF point (one point, zone, auto)?

The 60D is (from what I have read) a very capable camera both in terms of image quality, and AF accuracy and speed.  The lens is definitely important too, in terms of focusing speed and accuracy.  With more information we should be able to help you achieve better action shots.
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mattg60d

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Re: 60D Sports Photography Help
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2011, 01:54:31 PM »
Im new to photography but ill do my best to answer your questions lol

as far as the lens is, i am using the one my camera came with which is the EF-S 18-135mm
the shutter speed i believe is 1/125 (not too sure)
shot in the action mode on AI servo

mattg60d

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Re: 60D Sports Photography Help
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2011, 02:05:30 PM »
Here is an example:


IMG_3042 by MattG203, on Flickr

neuroanatomist

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Re: 60D Sports Photography Help
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2011, 02:06:12 PM »
Im new to photography but ill do my best to answer your questions lol

as far as the lens is, i am using the one my camera came with which is the EF-S 18-135mm
the shutter speed i believe is 1/125 (not too sure)
shot in the action mode on AI servo

The 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens has an AFD (micromotor) focusing mechanism, meaning it's comparitively slow (vs. ring USM = ultrasonic motor, which is found in better lenses).  So, its possible that your lens' AF can't keep up with the action.

A shutter speed of 1/125 is not going to be fast enough to stop fast-pased action like lacrosse.  Unfortunately, with a Basic Mode setting like Sports Mode, you cannot choose a shutter speed.  I'd recommend getting away from the Basic Modes.  Start off using Tv and Av, and set your ISO to Auto - with Tv selected, you can push up your shutter speed. 

Typical settings for sports would be 1/500 - 1/1000 s shutter speed, and in Tv mode with Auto ISO, the camera will set the rest of the exposure.  Continuous shooting, AI Servo mode.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: 60D Sports Photography Help
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2011, 02:14:41 PM »
Here is an example:



Night match, bad lighting.  You're already at ISO 3200 (as high as you can go without expanding that setting), and 1/125 is not enough to stop the action.  Part of the limitation is your lens - f/5.6 is slow.  For example, if you were shooting with a 70-200mm f/2.8, f/2.8 would allow you two more stops, so that shot could have been 1/500 s which would stop the action more effectively.  A 135mm f/2L (a great lens for sports in poorly lit settings) would get you to 1/1000 s.

My advice about Tv mode above wouldn't have helped for that shot - you were already at your camera+lens' limits for exposure with that amount of light (although ISO expansion could buy you two stops, at the cost of a very noisy image - but for that, you'd have to set that in custom functions, and manually set ISO to the expanded value, meaning no Sports Mode).
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 02:18:56 PM by neuroanatomist »
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acoll123

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Re: 60D Sports Photography Help
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2011, 02:27:21 PM »
I agree with Neuro - shutter of 1/500 is minimum for almost all action sports. At night on auto, your camera will probably max out your ISO (3200 I think for the 60D) so you will see some grain in the shots, but that will be better than blurry shots. . . You might try positioning yourself and waiting for the action in the brightest lit areas of the field.
Using AI Servo will take practice to keep the focus point on the players as they move around. I only use a single focus point (usually the center point) when I shoot sports with my 7D. You might also try using one-shot mode - just remember you need to manually re-acquire focus quite often. This might help if you find your lens is "hunting" for a focus point and your shots are focused beyond the subject you intended.

If you shoot a game during the day, try 1/1,000 shutter and maybe overexpose by 1/2 stop - since the players wear masks, their faces will be somewhat shadowed and the overexposure will help with that.

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Re: 60D Sports Photography Help
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2011, 02:27:21 PM »

TexPhoto

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Re: 60D Sports Photography Help
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2011, 03:05:52 PM »
That's a great camera, and a pretty good lens.  But night sports is a tough environment and really calls for big, expensive glass.

I shoot a lot of night sports with a 7D and generally go with: 1/200 second, ISO 1600, and from a monopod.  I also use a 540 EXII speedlight when I can (highschool) games. turn to M on the flash, 1/128 power.

Your f5.6 lens is your biggest problem with night games.  I have a 70-200 f2.8 IS II, which is awsome, but way exspensive.  A friend shoots with the 70-200 f4 IS and while good, the 2.8 is much better.  I turn my IS to mode II, and pan as much as I can.

The 60D is a great camera, and with that lens you'll do much better in the day.  I'd invest in lenses if/when you can.  And borrow if you can. Consider a Sigma, or used vesion 1 of the Canon lens.  IS is nice, but not critical.  Use a monopod.  Even a decade old Sigma 70-210 f2.8 (maybe 4-500 on eBay) would be good budjet choice.

dstppy

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Re: 60D Sports Photography Help
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2011, 03:25:31 PM »
A not-already-mentioned lens would be the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM which is going for $450 now:
It's a great portrait lens.
You have enough MP on your camera to do crops that will take a shot better than the one you had here.
Focusing is seriously fast.
It's f/1.8 . . .

As everyone else mentioned, it's the lens that is your limitation . . .
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neuroanatomist

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Re: 60D Sports Photography Help
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2011, 03:41:54 PM »
A not-already-mentioned lens would be the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM which is going for $450 now:
It's a great portrait lens.
You have enough MP on your camera to do crops that will take a shot better than the one you had here.
Focusing is seriously fast.
It's f/1.8 . . .

Or its close cousin, the 100mm f/2; the difference between f/1.8 and f/2 (1/3 stop) is minor, and for sports the extra 15mm is likely more important.  For more focal length, the 200/2.8L is another choice (more expensive than any of the 70-200/2.8s, but cheaper than the other lenses we've been mentioning).
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Cornershot

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Re: 60D Sports Photography Help
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2011, 05:27:51 PM »
Shooting sports at night is an activity that requires both a good camera and pro level lenses, though even 2.8 can be too slow at times. That's why you need a really good camera that can do high iso well.  A little noise might be a trade off for getting in-focus shots. The 60D is pretty decent. It's my backup camera. The lens you have might work in the day but definitely not at night and there's nothing that will help unfortunately. The conditions are just beyond the limits of camera and lens. I use the 100mm 2.0 and it works pretty well for low light. I plan to get the 135 to replace it though, and that's pretty good reach on a crop sensor camera. The latter is just a bit more expensive. The 85 and 100mm are bargains.

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Re: 60D Sports Photography Help
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2011, 07:30:35 PM »
I'd advice to use manual mode, Tv/Av tend to give you lots of broken images, the meter isn't quite intelligent enough to figure out if the person you are shooting is lit enough and it's a-ok to leave the background dark. It will try to equalize. Anyway, the semi-auto modes don't work well for me, maybe for some, but I've never had much luck with them.

Non IS 70-200 2.8L   
f/2.8
1/1600
ISO 3200


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Re: 60D Sports Photography Help
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2011, 07:30:35 PM »