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01-01-2010, 11:42 PM   #1
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new and confused! (stupid question?)

I am completely new to photography as far as anything beyond a point and shoot goes, but interested to learn so I just got the K-x. I've experimenting so far, and one major issue that I can't seem to figure out is how to capture moving objects most effectively. There is a sport setting on the camera that I've tried, but when someone is moving quickly they still come out blurry. I have also tried using the shutter priority mode and setting the shutter speed very high, but for some reason this makes my pictures come out very dark! I'm really hoping someone could help me understand why that is, and what I should do to freeze moving objects without any blur! I apologize if it's a stupid question ... but I'm only learning!

Thank you very, very much!

01-01-2010, 11:55 PM   #2
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A starting point...and turn off SR (shake reduction) when doing this. That preset sport feature would only be good for images moving towards you as the simplest situation. The manual explains a lot of these features at it's basic level.

How to Pan in Photography |
01-02-2010, 12:06 AM   #3
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Ahhh, thank you very much! The link was quite helpful ... but I'm also wondering, what would I do to freeze the entire scene with no motion blur in the background either?

And the tip about the anti-shake function was helpful also! This is a little unrelated, but would you generally recommend using the anti-shake function or not? Under what conditions is it best for?
01-02-2010, 12:41 AM   #4
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SR should be on for your second post, if you're at the long end or using a long lens, SR is usually on at all times for me unless i'm panning or the camera is on a tripod.

To keep everything infocus you need to go manual, meter the scene, then set for a speed around 1/500s or higher and the respective aperture.

01-02-2010, 04:01 AM   #5
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To freeze scenes, you need short shutter times; how short depends on how fast the subjects are moving. They come out dark when there is no 'matching' aperture in which case you have to crank up the iso.

If a camera indicates that a photo can be taken with 1/125 sec and aperture f/8 (at ISO200), it can also be taken with 1/250 sec and f/5.6 or 1/500 sec and f/4 (same ISO). Somewhere along the line you can no longer go for a shorter shutter speed as the required aperture is not available on your lens; in that case you can double the iso (so e.g. 1/1000 sec, f/4 and ISO400).

Sometimes you don't want to use the widest aperture (quality, depth of field) so you might want/have to avoid that and switch to a higher ISO earlier. On the other hand higher ISO adds noise which also might not always be what you want. Photography is a life full of compromises. You're the only one that can determine which is acceptable for you. Take your camera, take photos of the same scene with different apertures and iso's so you have an idea of what to expect.
01-02-2010, 05:36 AM   #6
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To get the fastest shutter speed (freezing action) use an aperture as wide as possible (ie: f3,5,f4.5,f5.6) That will let more light in.
OK, then boost the iso high, sometimes as high as 3200 (just experiment and watch the shutter speed in your viewfinder...)It might go as high a 1/4000 of a second !!!!
You can do all this simply by using AV on the mode dial and turning the wheels to alter the aperture and iso. Mind you...I"ve got a K20d. Experiment again and again....
01-02-2010, 05:57 AM   #7
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I would do a little reading -- something like the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson would be a good start. Basically, to get a good exposure, your camera has to have the right amount of light -- too much and your photo will be washed out (over exposed) too little and it will be dark (under exposed). There are three ways to get more light to the sensor: increase your iso (every time it doubles, your shutter speed will be cut in half), open up your lens more (assuming that you can), or keep the shutter open longer. Since the last one is what you are trying to avoid, it means you need to do something with your iso or, get a faster lens.

The other option that would work best for you, is to use flash -- maybe an external flash like the AF 360. Flash freezes motion and doesn't have to look like you were at a mime convention either, but as mentioned above, practice and you'll see what works and what doesn't.
01-02-2010, 06:56 AM   #8
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Here are a couple of links that will help you better understand the basics of ISO (film speed in the old days), aperature, and shutter speed. When you change your shutter speed, you change the amount of light that reaches the sensor. To compensate, you need to change the aperature and/or ISO setting.

The SimCam: Film and Digital Camera Simulator -

Aperture, shutter and ISO value | SLR Camera Simulator

Best of luck.


01-02-2010, 10:03 AM   #9
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The good news is, once you sort out the basics of how shutter speed, aperture, and ISO relate, you will know virtually everything you need to know about available light photography (flash is another matter!). So don't be overwhelmed by the huge number of settings and terms you hear. Zero in those three - shutter speed, aperture, and ISO - and you're pretty well set.

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