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Thread: Sports camera settings - Nikon

  1. #1
    RonH's Avatar
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    Sports camera settings - Nikon

    I would appreciate recommendations for Nikon camera settings when shooting eg horse races and other action sports. I am trying to avoid 'presets' and use Shutter Priority together with:
    3D Tracking
    AFC
    Continuous Shutter
    Lens stabiliser ON (using Sigma 70-300)

    I'm going to try these settings today (if it don't rain ) ... are these the best settings to use on a D3000?
    Last edited by RonH; 17th May 2011 at 08:58 AM.

  2. #2
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Sports camera settings - Nikon

    Hi Ron,

    While I'm not really familiar with the D3000, most of the newer Nikon models are similar in most respects. All the above sound fine, and the only thing I would say is, depending on the light, you might want to raise your ISO settings slightly.

  3. #3
    RonH's Avatar
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    Re: Sports camera settings - Nikon

    Thanks Mark ... didn't have much luck though Most of the horses were 'brown' and the camera AF dodged about a bit. Will have to try to get in some more fast moving practice but not in rain showers again!

    Back to the 'books'

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    Re: Sports camera settings - Nikon

    hi Ron it all depends on what sort of action you want to portray ? i tend to use the centre focus point because that is the strongest,auto focus is not infallible tho so if your eyesight is good and you can use manual focus quickly enough on your subject then thats always the best solution, if your using auto focus make sure you have set everything right, ie one mode will always focus on nearest subject so you might not want that, if i remember rightly 3d auto tracking is very hit and miss,
    i tend to use centre focus point and AFC, if i switch modes to the oblong thingy my settings are already made to go into 3D tracking,(not sure what they are called but i know what they do when i switch,lol)
    a couple of questions
    do you think the rain got in the way of the autofocus ?
    why were your horses "brown" ? was that not the right colour ? if so what was your settings ? (i tend to go for centre weighted metering) cheers martyn

  5. #5
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Sports camera settings - Nikon

    Hi Ron,

    I shoot horses a bit and you need a shutter speed of 1,000thsec for a fast moving horse travelling across your field of view. I don’t worry too much about 3D focus tracking as the horse is pretty much on one focal plan thatnormal focus works fine.

    The focus setting is important. I use single servo but I get rid of all multi focusing points and only ever use the central focal point, autofocus on the subject and then re-frame the shot if require.

    As I tend to use Aperture Priority most of the time I generally just open up to the widest aperture you can and by default it will give you the fastest shutter speed for the available light. In this way you getthe maximum blur in the background to highlight your subject. Good luck

  6. #6
    RonH's Avatar
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    Re: Sports camera settings - Nikon

    Thanks Martyn & Peter.
    I think my problem with using 3D tracking in this instance (& its the first time I have tried it) with continuous shooting was that the 'brown horses' would have all 'looked' the same so some focus tracking point indecision occurred ... they were coming towards me at fast pace. I tried the jockeys but very hard to keep in the 'sights'. A good point about the rain ... must have had some sort of an effect.
    Normally I do use centre single point focus which I find works well in most situations ... multi-point makes too many of its own decisions and I like to choose what I want to be in focus I like the point about using Aperture Priority instead of Shutter, will try this. Because of the weather I found that my shutter speed was limited to 320-400 but I had also previously clamped down the ISO to max 400 ... forgot to 'open it up' which would have helped.
    I will post some shots the next time I get the opportunity to 'go to the horses'.
    Crickey ... these 'point and shoot' are seriously good but not so much fun
    Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: Sports camera settings - Nikon

    The 3D tracking is a waste of time for anything moving quickly. Even on the pro bodies with 51 points and loads of cross sensors it doesn't work, most pro's switch to the centre 9 or even the single centre one.

    Switch to the centre point only, put the camera on shutter priority, put the auto ISO on and let the camera take care of the rest.

  8. #8
    RonH's Avatar
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    Re: Sports camera settings - Nikon

    This is one of my better ones
    The horse decided to stand still for me ... or was it that it simply chose to brake hard and not to jump
    (Lucky also with a hint of sun)

    Sports camera settings - Nikon

  9. #9
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Sports camera settings - Nikon

    Hi Ron,

    I meant to say in the previous post I think you have a conflict with 3D tracking and image stabalization ON. One is trying to follow the action the other stabalize it. Try turning image stabalization off.

  10. #10
    RonH's Avatar
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    Re: Sports camera settings - Nikon

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    Hi Ron,

    I meant to say in the previous post I think you have a conflict with 3D tracking and image stabalization ON. One is trying to follow the action the other stabalize it. Try turning image stabalization off.
    Thanks Peter for your interest. I also meant to say that I had tried turning the stabiliser off ... didn't make much difference. I will definately avoid 3D tracking and go back to my favorite of centre focus which nearly always has 'done the job'.
    (Plan to take a visit back 'home' (Melb) later this year and enjoy the brighter light)

  11. #11
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Sports camera settings - Nikon

    Bring your sunnies and give me call and we could maybe grab a coffee.

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