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Photography Question 
Heather Lynn King
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/22/2005

How to shoot indoor sports with faster Shutter Spp

I have a Canon 20D and I don't know how to shoot fastest while indoors,using a Promaster 7500dx digital flash. How fast can I shoot per sec,& w/a flash?

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1/11/2006 11:02:33 PM

Kip T. Berger
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/20/2002
  Not sure what you are actually asking Heather? Your max flash sync on that camera is 1/250 but can be slower depending on what mode you are using and speed of your lens. Your flash recycle time will also affect how many shot per sec. you can take. As will the ISO setting you are using. Best scenerio is to use your fastest lens, highest ISO with acceptable noise for you, new batteries in your flash unit or use a battery pack, and chose a mode that allows use of your 1/250 sync. Not sure if this helps answer your question; if not, please clarify more.

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1/11/2006 11:47:27 PM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  The problem that I see could occur is motion blur. You can use a fast shutter speed indoors usually unless you use a high ISO or a fast lens. By fast, I mean having a large maximum aperture probably larger than f/4 at least. What sport is it? Canon makes a 50mm f/1.8 lens which is very fast (lets in a lot of light during a given moment) and this would have the field of view of an 80mm lens so if you're close and it's something like basketball you could get some good shots probably. That lens is only about $80. If you don't have a fast lens like this, you'll probably have to use ISO 1600 or H(ISO 3200, set by a custom function).

Now, if you are allowed to use that flash you might want to try to use the slowest shutter speed that you can use that corresponds to the focal length of the lens, so like 1/100 second going along with a 100mm lens. The reason why I'm saying this is so you can use more than just the light from the flash. Maybe you can just set it in P mode and take the pictures unless you can figure out using M mode with the flash. Either way, it'd be easier to help you out if we knew what sport it was, how close you can get, and what lenses you have. You could so something like set the camera to 1/250 second at f/5.6 and see how that works?

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1/31/2006 6:24:57 PM

Bob Fately   Hi, Heather - your question is a little open ended, but here goes:

First, as for how fast you can shoot without a flash indoors - this depends on the ISO setting of your chip, the fastest speed (i.e. - widest aperture) of the lens, and, most importantly, how much light is in the room. If it's a darkened gym, for example then you may simply not be able to use a fast shutter speed because there's just not enought light to expose properly, even at the most sensitive ISO setting (3200, as Andrew mentions above).

By the way, Andrew's calculation is a bit off as to the slowest hand-holdable shutter speed to use with a lens. In teh 35MM film world, the rule of thumb is 1 over the focal length of the lens is the slowest you should attempt to hand hold to avoid blur 9assuming no IS or VR functionality). This does not translate exactly to the digital world - because the "crop factor" of your chip (1.3 or 1.6, whatever it is) needs to be included. That is, if the ship requires a 1.6 factor, then the 100MM lens behaves like a 160Mm lens would on a 35Mm camera. So the slowest shutter speed you should use is 1/160th second or thereabouts.

Now, if you add more light to the room with a flash, the answer basically depends on how quickly the flash can recycle. In a dark enough room, where the flash tube will effectively be the only source of light, the shutter speed on the camera body won't matter so much because the flash duration is 1/1000th to 1/30,000th second - more than fast enough to freeze action.

Of course, you don't want to use too slow a shutter speed, because the ambient light might augment the exposure, but certainly 1/250th is fine and dandy - if, again, the flash is providing the bulk of the light.

If it's a brighter room, though, then the flash's light contribution to the shot may be less that 100% - so things can get a it more complex there.

Just so you know, when the pros shoot in venues like basketball courts or hockey rinks, they have huge arrays of flashes hanging from the rafters (above the continuous lighting) triggered by radio remotes - because they too cannot avoid the realities of physics. If there's not enough light, there's not enough light...

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2/1/2006 11:25:12 AM

Heather Lynn King
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/22/2005
  Thanks Kip, Andrew, Bob...I'm shooting basketball games, and I have had a little bit of luck at tonights game with trying the different ISOs and shutterspeed and aperatures...You have helped me a lot!

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2/1/2006 10:26:21 PM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  Glad we could help somehow! By the way, I checked out the first page of your gallery quickly and you have some really nice shots. I'm sure they liked their pictures!

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2/1/2006 10:29:34 PM

Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
Contact Bob
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  Hey, Heather, is that someone's snout I recognize in your mini-pic????
If you had a 580ex with that 20D you could almost flash as fast as your finger could click...:-)....almost....


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2/2/2006 5:00:14 PM

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