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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys last year I had front row seats to a game. I used a Sony W290. It took great video ill post and picked up good sound. The zoomed in still shots were great. As you can see by some of these examples any actions shots I took were a complete failure. I used auto intelligence mode. Another issue I had when I got my pictures printed the camera focuesed on a Scratch on the glass and made it the main focus. This year ill be attending again front row and id like to get some action shots instead of just stills. Any tips?







 

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Hockey is particularly tough shooting since you're faced with fast action, not-so-great lighting and very reflective, snowy white ice. Using a faster shutter speed is the first thing you need to get sharper shots of fast moving objects (like hockey players) - and unfortunately telling your camera that you need to use faster shutter speeds isn't always easy.

With the w290, Sony says there's a "semi-manual" mode that gives you options like multipoint focus, single point focus, slow, medium and high shutter speeds - so try the "high" setting, but it doesn't look like you can actually tell it "1/80 of a second" or something like that.

The problem with faster shutter speeds is that there isn't always enough light to expose the image properly, even with the aperture wide open and the camera at a higher iso setting. Depending on what the w290 decides to do, the pictures may still come out darker (but sharp) or still a bit blurry due to movement. A camera with manual controls will let you force it to use a fast shutter speed, but its possible still that the images will come out underexposed.
 

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Any tips?
According to the specs on http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Sony/sony_dscw90.asp your camera does have manual focus. Use it. I'm going to start using manual focus on my Pentax K-x this week. I've lost too many potential good shots while the focus motor was going "whirrr whirrr whirrr" and the shutter refused to click. Or else it focused on the wrong spot, and the area I really wanted was blurry. A nice side benefit is that the batteries will last longer between charges, if they're not excercising the focus motor.

Estimate the distance to your potential shot, and set it. Bump the ISO as high as you can without it getting grainy. Then you can go to a higher F-stop number, with the same shutter speed, which will give more safety margin for focussing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I read the manual. SO I go into P mode and then I can adjust the iso. It goes all the way upto 3200. F stop goes upto infinite. So I guess ill try 3200 and infinite at the game its not till next year so maybe some practice shots before then.
 

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I'm not sure if you guys are talking about the same F-stop. The F-stop I know (aperture) you want the number as low as possible for such situation. For the Sony W290, that's 3.3 (full wide) to 5.2 (full tele).
 

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I'm not sure if you guys are talking about the same F-stop. The F-stop I know (aperture) you want the number as low as possible for such situation. For the Sony W290, that's 3.3 (full wide) to 5.2 (full tele).
Sorry for using jargon, guys...
  • F-stop refers to aperture; not focus; The dpreview page I pointed to earlier says "Aperture range * F2.8 - F5.2".
  • for focus, it says "Manual Focus * Yes, 5 steps"
  • for ISO, it says "ISO rating * Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200"
The problem with ideal photos is that it comes down to the old joke about compromises...
  • low ISO - for the minimum graininess
  • fast shutter speed - for the least motion blur
  • high F-stop number - for the greatest depth of field
pick any 2 :( The trade-offs vary by situation.
  • For action shots, you MUST choose fast shutter speed. No if's, and's, or's, but's.
  • For indoor shots, you MUST choose the highest ISO you can get away with, without getting too grainy. Maybe even go one step beyond, and clean up the image with de-noising software.
  • That leaves F-stop (i.e. aperture) to be sacrificed

Turn anti-shake on. Practice some evening shots for objects up to a couple of hundred feet away. I assume the last stop on manual focus is infinity. Maybe try the second-last stop at F2.8. Practice, practice, practice.
 

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Not only that, but often times a large depth-of-field is not desirable. And even if you are wide open, as the subject gets further away the depth of field increases fairly quickly.
 
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