Canon EOS 20D Action shot help
I am new at this and want to take GREAT pictures of fast action sports. I am unable to get clear shots using the sports basic zone mode. If anyone can help I would appreciate it!!..

Comments (7)

A little more info will help. What lens are you using, what shutter speeds and apertures are you getting (from exif data if needed)? Do you have a sample shot that shows the problems? What iso are you using and what is the venue or scenario for the pictures? Like noon in Southern California on a wide open soccer field versus football night shots under the lights at a small high school? Indoor arena?..

Comment #1


If you are using Sports mode, the camera can use only ISO 400, and thats a waste of ISO in a low noise camera as the 20D. The pictures are blurred because probably the light levels were too low for ISO 400 and your lens, and the camera used a too low shutter speed. Next time try to use P mode, or Av mode at the largest aperture the lens is capable, and ISO 1600 (or even ISO 3200) to keep the shutter speed as fast as possible ( at least 1/250 ) Guillermo..

Comment #2

Did you end up buying either one? I just got the Panasonic FZ20 and I am very happy with it...

Comment #3


Forget flash. Internal flash is useless in open spaces or beyond 10-15m even at ISO 1600. External flashes as the 550EX or 580EX have more power and reach, but still have limitations. Also using ambient light you'll capture a more faithful picture.

Of course to have a fast lens (f/2.8 or faster) will improve the situation a lot, but fast tele zoom lenses are usually pretty expensive (the 28-70/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 are around $1100 each) but not so long primes as the 85/1.8 is around $350 and the 50/1.8 is just $70. Guillermo..

Comment #4


Sometimes, even slow shutter speeds can be useful, to capture a feel of movement in the image, as far as part of the image is not motion blurred, or it will look just bad.

This is one example taken with the 50/1.8 at 1/50 f/2.5 ISO 1600. Attachments:.


Comment #5

Craig I am still pretty new but I have learned much about sport shooting, particularly indoor basketball.

Guillermo Freige gave you some sound advice:.

Fast lenses fast Aperture speed and lenses that open up to allow these to happen.

In basketball and Volleyball the best lenses come in f/1.8 flavor. Most gyms are terrible for other lighting. To get the most from these lenses most port shooters use the Manual mode. No flash is used in these events although the pros at the big stadiums are plugged into stadium strobes.

ISO = 800-1600 and even 3600.

Aperture = 1.8-2.0 maybe a little less but not much.

Now about the blur: set your Shutter to 250-500.

You would be advised to get a white /gray card especially since you may have an increase of up to 1 f stop with a custom white balance.

Your camera lenses are as Guillermo Freige said but I will add that for indoor sports as described above the EF 85 f/1.8 USM is tops hands down.

Your camera is a bit faster than my 10D that I shoot RAW/JPEG Fine.

You really can get alot of your camera in the AI Servo AF mode. Best if you can get in front of the player. Ie, basketball right down by the basket about 15 feet , 1/3 towards the corner, if you are alowd. Hint, most Bball shooters shoot from the right, you pick the position.

Lastly fast shooting sports ussually require Multiple shots , Get a gig CF card. or at least 1/2 gig Heres a couple of links that you may find good and are at and lastly here.


 I hope I helped you.

Good luck.


Comment #6

It wasn't my question. But I would agree that success at sports shooting is perhaps more equipment dependent than many other types of photography. My point was that to make progress, we have to know where someone is starting from. Since sports and venues vary a lot, the best advice would take those interests into account. Oh yeah, I'm a Minoltaphile so Canon offerings are interesting but not something I'll be jumping too. What I'm struggling with now is trying to decide between the Sigma 70-200/2.8 or the 100-300/4.

Since a converter can be successfully used with either (to a point) I'm leaning towards the faster lens...

Comment #7

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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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