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Aperture, ISO, Shutter - huh???
After a month of researching this and a few other sites, I purchased what I hope is the perfect camera for my needs. I am a proud mom of 2 that both have exciting interests. My gymnast competes and I'd love to catch her tumbling. My son plays all sports, and with basketball coming, I wanted a camera that could zoom and take action shots. I bought the fz8. Which was I hope the best camera for $300.

All those numbers and language has left my head spinning. So lets say I am about 30-40 feet away from my daughter. It's in a gym with no outside light. She's jumping and tumbling on the floor- what "settings" should I try to find? Or is there a site that gives very basic explanations to camera dummies like me. I'd really like to fully understand and enjoy this camera.

Please help with any advise... thanks..

Comments (13)

Some links to read for to help you understand the basicshttp://photo.net/equipment/digital/basics/http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/camera-lenses.htmhttp://www.digicamguides.com/learn/shutter-speed.htmlhttp://www.ephotozine.com/article/Camera-Shutter-Speeds-explainedhttp://www.digicamhelp.com/camera-features/advanced-settings/iso.phphttp://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/white-balance.htm.

This will help you learn the basics and how to enjoy your camera to the fullest extent.

Sparky_caI have a photographic memory, but I always seem to have the lens cap on. Current Camera Canon 30D..

Comment #1

Unfortunately sports, and especially indoor, low-light sports, is one of the most difficult kinds of photography. (Couldn't you just do holiday snaps instead? - much easier.) Difficult for you and also difficult for the camera (which therefore makes even more demands on you). So like it or not there is no simple "setting" - you are going to have to learn a lot more about how to use the camera..

The good news is, you can go out and use the camera, make mistakes and learn from them. You are almost certain to get some good results along the way!.

For gymnastics, set the camera to the highest possible ISO speed and use aperture priority at the largest aperture (smallest f-number). If the pictures are too noisy (grainy) try one notch lower ISO speed..

For outdoor sports in good light, use a more moderate ISO speed and shutter priority, aiming for say 1/500 if you can. That'll give you ok results and you can progress from there..

If the camera has a "sports" setting (most do), I wouldn't especially recommend using it as you will simply learn nothing...

Comment #2

I don't know what settings are good for your particular situation but here are some guidelines..

- Keep the ISO speed as low as possible (since you don't have a large sensor or one that can give you decent high ISO performance).- Use the maximum aperture- Turn off the flash (it's useless unless the subject is at most 3 m away)- Watch the shutter speed for at least 1/250 s (1/500 s would be better).

For low light situations the compact cameras are not so good tools. Panasonic is a little bit worse than other compact cameras. Panasonic has a noisy sensor so use RAW as much as possible and turn down the NR if you shoot in JPEG.Unfortunately the OIS will not help you too much..

Unfortunately you will need very fast lens and high ISO for this type of situation. Neither can be found in a compact camera..

If the lighting is ISO100, f/4, 1/250 s it's OK but I'm afraid that the light is more like ISO100, f/2.8, 1/20 s..

Fortunately you have f/3.3 at full zoom and with OIS 1/250 s will not be a problem for handheld photos.VictorBucuresti, Romaniahttp://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/victor_petcu/..

Comment #3

Baloo_buc wrote:.

- Keep the ISO speed as low as possible (since you don't have a largesensor or one that can give you decent high ISO performance)..

That is the worst advice imaginable for a beginner taking indoor sports shots. There is no point at all in taking noise-free blurry shots..

[snip]If the lighting is ISO100, f/4, 1/250 s it's OK but I'm afraid thatthe light is more like ISO100, f/2.8, 1/20 s..

Exactly. Which means the only option is to turn up the ISO speed by several stops...

Comment #4

I told her to keep as low as possible. Since usually this means ISO1600 to get the necessary shutter speed means that the tool is wrong..

If the lighting is fairly low you need to reconsider taking action shots in low light with FZ8 or live with the results of ISO1600 if it has such a high ISO setting.VictorBucuresti, Romaniahttp://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/victor_petcu/..

Comment #5

Michellemoon wrote:I'd really like to.

Fully understand and enjoy this camera. But I'd also like to getsome great shots of her in a week- cause her daddy can't be there tosee it. Please help with any advise... thanks.

OK, first I don't know how well you know gymnastics to be able to photograph the peak moment and I'm not sure how bad the shutter lag is on the Panasonic..

If I were in your situation, I would do two things..

1. For the short term, when I need to get "great shots" for daddy, I would not even consider using the camera as a still camera. I'd set to a high ISO (1250 or 1600) flip over to Movie mode and shoot my daughter tumbling. I might even "narrate" the clip while I shoot. Will you get a still image you can print and put on a wall? Definitely not. Will you make a nice memory you and your husband can play on the computer (or even TV) yes..

2. I would use the gymnastics performance of ever other person there to learn the answers to the questions about the amount of light available and shutter speed and such. (There is no such thing as slow motion tumbling and 1/500 isn't really enough to freeze things). If your daughter does balance beam, that may be your best opportunity for clear, noise free, blur free photos (you could get away with 1/250 of a second, if not 1/125)..

As a disclaimer, sports photography is keyed on shutter speed. Miinimal depth of field is actually preferred. There is one exception to that rule, that's when you're trying to blur an image for artistic effect. You can either mount a camera on a tripod and get a stable background and shoot blurs or, you can pan with your subject to show the motion. The former may work for a tumbling routine, the latter, for your son dribbling down court in basketball (if your's shooting from the sidelines)..

If you're getting the impression that the FZ8 isn't an ideal sports camera, then you're on the right track. But it's not impossible to shoot some nice action photos with an FZ8. Search the Panasonic forum (or post there for some guidance to threads, if the search isn't working) for some ideas..

Good luck..

'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'..

Comment #6

Michellemoon wrote:.

Ok, I've read through the manual and I am still very confused aboutthe ISO sensitivity, the aperture priority, and the Shutter priority..

For any photo, there's a correct exposure total light captured over time. Several things influence the exposure:.

1. The amount of light available. Here you will have to live with whatever the gym provides..

2. The amount your lens lets in (aperture). You'll probably have to let in as much as you can, even if this means reducing the depth of the "in focus" area..

3. How long you let light hit the sensor (shutter speed). You need a fast shutter speed to freeze sports action. But that hurts your ability to capture light (hence the need to try to make up by adjusting aperture and ISO)..

4. How sensitive the sensor is to light. Just about all digital cameras can pretend to be more sensitive than they really are. You raise the ISO and the camera amplifies the signal (and now you can use a shorter shutter speed or smaller aperture). But raising ISO on a digital point-and-shoot camera can also fill your picture with noise..

All those numbers and language has left my head spinning. So letssay I am about 30-40 feet away from my daughter. It's in a gym withno outside light. She's jumping and tumbling on the floor- what"settings" should I try to find? Or is there a site that gives very.

Basically, what you want to do is to set your camera to Shutter priority, set a speed that you think will freeze motion (1/250th, 1/500th), then play with the ISO until you find the smallest ISO at which the camera is happy with proposed exposures one where it's forcing the aperture (nearly) wide open, but isn't displaying an indication that shots will be underexposed..

Don't let the camera use flash. Point and shoot flash won't work at that range, but the camera will change other settings (shutter speed) in ways that you won't like..

Note that the camera may need a higher ISO when you zoom in for telephoto shots if you calibrate for telephoto shots first, you may have to readjust less often...

Comment #7

Thank you- I have set these sites as favorites, and will do much research on them...

Comment #8

Thank you for your advise. I will make note and start practicing!!..

Comment #9

Thank you. Very good advice. I believe a 1 gb will record about 30 minutes - in the 10fps in vga. In 30 fps vga it will only give me 11 minutes of record. Will the 10 fga be a suitable film to view on TV or computer??..

Comment #10

Michellemoon wrote:.

My gymnast competes and I'dlove to catch her tumbling. My son plays all sports, and withbasketball coming, I wanted a camera that could zoom and take actionshots. I bought the fz8. Which was I hope the best camera for $300..

Well, indoor sports like basketball and gymnastics are very tough tough situations for a camera, since you need fast a shutterspeed to freeze the action under very low light conditions. It will be next to impossible do with a compact camera. I would recommend using movie mode during the action sequence instead, like the others mentioned. If you want printable photos, I would recommend taking photos of them in non-action situations (e.g. celebration after victory, candids of them preparing, etc)..

Ok, I've read through the manual and I am still very confused aboutthe ISO sensitivity, the aperture priority, and the Shutter priority.All those numbers and language has left my head spinning..

Basically, those three settings (ISO, aperture, and shutter speed) affect the exposure of the photo. If the three are combined correctly, the photo will be well exposed. If the combination does not allow enough light, then the photo will be too dark. If the combination allows too much light, then the photo will be too light..

Imagine that light is water, and that in order to get a well exposed photo, you need to fill a bucket with that water. The aperture is the hole that allows light through the lens, so image in this analogy that aperture is the size of the pipe carrying the water to the bucket. Shutter speed would be the amount of time that you allow water to flow in the pipe. ISO affects the sensitivity (gain) of the sensor. For this analogy, the higher the ISO, the smaller the bucket needed to expose the photo..

Here is a neat website that visually shows you how the three combine to create a photo, and the trade offs for each setting..

Http://dryreading.com/camera/.

Note that for gymnastics and basketball, you will have low light. See what is needed to get 1/500 or faster under those conditions, and you will see why it will be hard to get a good action shot..

So letssay I am about 30-40 feet away from my daughter. It's in a gym withno outside light. She's jumping and tumbling on the floor- what"settings" should I try to find? Or is there a site that gives verybasic explanations to camera dummies like me. I'd really like tofully understand and enjoy this camera. But I'd also like to getsome great shots of her in a week- cause her daddy can't be there tosee it. Please help with any advise...



Again, the settings you need are probably not available on your camera, since the aperture probably does go big enough. For the light levels in the gym, I would imagine that it is in the 7 EV range, which would mean that you need the following (f2, 1/500, ISO1600) to get a decent exposure and still stop action...

Comment #11

In laymans terms as offered by Bill Huber on OTF.Click on thumbnails for larger view.http://www.pbase.com/otfchallenge/the_basicsJoe B..

Best wishes.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Anything's possible if you don't know what you're talking about...

Comment #12

I'd go for the 30fps for quality. I've never viewed 10fps. I've seen 15fps (not bad, not great) and 30fps which is quite nice on most monitors. Though, once again, it's something you can check before the competition (use moving cars).'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'..

Comment #13

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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