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03-16-2009, 08:49 PM   #1
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completely lost

I evidently can't read well because I have spent hours reading the manual and still cannot figure out how to get my camera to take a picture inside , like in a gym at a basketball game w/o the flash...using the k200d with the 18-55II lens and have no idea how to set the shutter speed to take decent pics, shutter worked real slow and gave me blurry pics tried using the sports mode, the flashless mode and manual, and if manual set faster shutter I got black pics,,,,I think the manual is not written for someone who has never had a digital slr, but for someone who understands the terminolgy has just upgraded.. I am a complete noob and am completely lost,,,,and I am "old" but not stupid,,, least way didn't think so til I go tthis camera. Was tryinf to take pics at my grandsons basketball game,, can someone give me the precise settings/moves to make at each turn to get good pics in this situation?

03-16-2009, 09:00 PM   #2
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For indoor basketball, you'd need some SERIOUS flash power, a lot more than the pop up has to offer. You'll have to bump up your ISO as low as you can and still have acceptable shutter speeds. Try putting your K200d into Tv mode (Shutter Priority) and set the ISO to 1600 or 3200 (if you absolutely have to). You can select the shutter speed you need to stop the action and the aperture will adjust accordingly. Remember, as you increase ISO, you will get more noise and worse color rendition, so it's all a trade off.

You can always underexpose intentionally and try to recapture some light later in processing. It's best to shoot RAW if you intend to try this. It will also result in additional noise, but you might get some sharper images.

The kit lens, even at 18mm, is likely too slow to be able to use reliably indoors for sports. There's a reason that the pros use great big lenses with huge apertures to get good sports photos. I used a VERY old M42 200mm f/3.5 Vivitar lens to capture some indoor rodeo shots. It still wasn't as fast as I wanted, but it was better than the kit lens.

There's a lot of options, and the best thing that I can offer is to play with it and don't be afraid to take a lot of bad pictures until you figure out what works best for you.
03-16-2009, 09:18 PM   #3
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Since you indicated you were trying to not use flash you may want to consider a faster lens such as the Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4 . Not too expensive and reasonable quality.

It's all about Aperture (f-stop), Shutter Speed and ISO. Indoors can be tough to shoot in and moving objects need a faster shutter speed, maybe 125-250s.

Lower light usually requires higher ISO and larger aperture.
03-16-2009, 10:46 PM   #4
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The manual explains how to use the camera's controls, but it doesn't explain the basic princples of photography. You should check out any book on DSLR photography to get an understanding of exposure - ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Then you'll be able to figure out how to use the camera's controls to get the results you want. To get a faster shutter speed, you need to increase aperture and/or ISO. Your lens probably doesn't have a large enough aperture to get a shutter speed as fast as you really want, even at maximum ISO. Hence the recommendation for lenses with larger maximum apertures.

03-16-2009, 10:52 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by olphart Quote
I evidently can't read well because I have spent hours reading the manual and still cannot figure out how to get my camera to take a picture inside , like in a gym at a basketball game w/o the flash...using the k200d with the 18-55II lens and have no idea how to set the shutter speed to take decent pics, shutter worked real slow and gave me blurry pics tried using the sports mode, the flashless mode and manual, and if manual set faster shutter I got black pics,,,,I think the manual is not written for someone who has never had a digital slr, but for someone who understands the terminolgy has just upgraded.. I am a complete noob and am completely lost,,,,and I am "old" but not stupid,,, least way didn't think so til I go tthis camera. Was tryinf to take pics at my grandsons basketball game,, can someone give me the precise settings/moves to make at each turn to get good pics in this situation?
The actual exposure has only three variables: aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Each variable has a different impact on the photo.

ISO is similar to a volume control. You can turn it way up and more light gets to the sensor, but more noise gets there too. The noise is most noticeable in shadows and solid-color areas. Noise is subjective, so you might be OK with the highest ISO setting. You should try the two or three highest settings and see how you like the photos.

Shutter speed is easy to understand. Your subject is moving so you can't go too low here or you'll just get a blur. The minimum speed for basketball is probably 1/60 sec., maybe a little lower for a player not moving much.

Aperture is the opening in the lens. Your lens has a variable maximum aperture, starting at f3.5 at 18mm and going to f5.6 at 55mm. (The number goes up as the aperture gets smaller.) Probably you are stuck at the 55mm end of the zoom and thus f5.6. A "faster" lens would have a larger maximum aperture, let in more light, and allow a faster shutter speed or lower ISO to be used for the same exposure value. Besides the expense of faster lenses, larger apertures limit the area of the image in sharp focus, to the point where a portrait can have the nose in focus but blurry ears.

The camera has a bewildering array of controlling these three variables. I would ignore the modes with cute icons, simply because it can be hard to figure out what each one does and what changes you can make. (You can try Sports mode.) But with your situation, you could do OK by controlling the variables yourself.

I think your aperture choice is going to be f5.6. You can gain a little bit by zooming out to about 32mm, so the lens can go to f4. Maybe sit closer or focus on the action in one particular area.

The ISO setting should be high, as high as you can stand it. You can set it directly or use the camera's Auto ISO setting and allow the camera to choose high values. You probably need at least ISO800. but should try ISO1600.

Then you can control shutter speed yourself, keeping it high enough to avoid blur. You can lower it for a player that's not moving very fast or raise it for faster action. The Tv mode should work fine for this. The aperture will automatically adjust, and it will use the maximum lens aperture if it is needed. Adjusting the thumbwheel adjusts shutter speed. The light level won't change with gym lights, so you won't have to make too many changes.

You already have some photos to look at. Even if they are bad, looking at the settings for these three variables can give you hints about what might have worked better. At least you know what you tried.
03-17-2009, 02:02 AM   #6
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Start with ISO1600, and the lowest f-stop you have (f1.4, f5.6...whichever)

If every single shot is dark then two possible issues may be that you've mistakenly set the exposure compensation too far in the negative, or that the camera's metering is being affected by some bright lights that the camera is trying to compensate against.
03-17-2009, 02:10 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
ISO is similar to a volume control. You can turn it way up and more light gets to the sensor,
No, ISO itself has no effect on how much light gets to the sensor. It is just amplification of the readout values. Only shutter speed and aperture changes the amount of light reaching the sensor.

If you raise the ISO to use faster shutter speed or smaller aperture then less light will get to the sensor (due to faster shutter or smaller aperture) and the camera amplifies the smaller readout values together with noise - less data for the same amount of noise, (partly) that's why you get more noise with higher ISO, escpecially when shooting in low light.
03-17-2009, 02:53 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by simico Quote
No, ISO itself has no effect on how much light gets to the sensor. It is just amplification of the readout values. Only shutter speed and aperture changes the amount of light reaching the sensor.

If you raise the ISO to use faster shutter speed or smaller aperture then less light will get to the sensor (due to faster shutter or smaller aperture) and the camera amplifies the smaller readout values together with noise - less data for the same amount of noise, (partly) that's why you get more noise with higher ISO, escpecially when shooting in low light.
Simico's response is technically correct, but Just1MoreDave's is probably clearer for a noob to understand. The original poster was describing problems with movement blur so he needs to get the shutter speed up, the aperture larger (lower number), and the ISO up to compensate for the required faster shutter speed.
If I may modify Just1MoreDave's sentence:
You can turn it way up and the sensor will react as if more light gets to it, but more noise gets there too.
Just trying to keep it clear for the noob,
Brian

03-17-2009, 05:40 AM   #9
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I have used the kit lens inside buildings and had some decent shots without flash. As other posters have brought up, set your ISO high, 800 or 1600 and try to get as fast a shutter speed as you can. I have found the TAv mode very usefull shooting sports indoors and outside under lights. For basketball I would try to keep the shutter at 1/250 or higher to stop the action but slightly slower shutter speeds can work if things aren't too fast paced. A fast lens can work better but you loose depth of field and in a basketball game that may not give the results you want. I'll second Marc's advice about getting a good book on photography. Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" is a good one to start with.
03-17-2009, 06:52 AM   #10
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completely lost

Wish to thank all those who added input,,,I think I got a little more knowledge out of each post and taken all together the posts have helped greatly,,, also starting to jog my memeory a little,, I owned my first pentax back in "64" (memory fuzzy but may have been called a "spotmatic"???)with the "fisheye", 50mm,105mm and ?- 300 mm lens,, and loved them til they were stolen in a house burglary in 77,,,thought i had alzhiemers for awhile when tried reading this manual,,,thx for the help.
03-17-2009, 07:45 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by olphart Quote
I evidently can't read well because I have spent hours reading the manual and still cannot figure out how to get my camera to take a picture inside , like in a gym at a basketball game w/o the flash...using the k200d with the 18-55II lens and have no idea how to set the shutter speed to take decent pics, shutter worked real slow and gave me blurry pics tried using the sports mode, the flashless mode and manual, and if manual set faster shutter I got black pics,,,,I think the manual is not written for someone who has never had a digital slr, but for someone who understands the terminolgy has just upgraded.. I am a complete noob and am completely lost,,,,and I am "old" but not stupid,,, least way didn't think so til I go tthis camera. Was tryinf to take pics at my grandsons basketball game,, can someone give me the precise settings/moves to make at each turn to get good pics in this situation?
There is a lot to read on the Internet on digital photography principles, perhaps you should read articles like: Digital Cameras - A beginner's guide - photo.net

Cheers, Bert
03-19-2009, 08:50 AM   #12
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Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" Buy it, read it, and you'll have a better understanding of exposure.

That said, I'm afraid you won't be able to get sharp non-blurry shots at an indoor basketball game with your current equipment. DSLRs do great in low light, but that's coupled with a fast lens as well. DSLR+slow kit lens+low light=noisy blurry pictures (although less noisy than a compact camera)
03-19-2009, 09:28 AM   #13
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Understanding Exposure definitely should be required reading for anyone taking up photography.

For specifics on the K200D I would recommend grabbing a copy of Amazon.com: Magic Lantern Guides: Pentax K200D: Michael Guncheon: Books as it picks up where the OEM Operator's Manual leaves off. It was of great help to me (the K10D version) when I purchased my K10D last year and hadn't touched an SLR in 10 years and had never used a DSLR.
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