Help with new camera....

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dale&Stacy, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. Dale&Stacy

    Dale&Stacy TPF Noob!

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    My wife recently purchased a new camera and I am trying to figure out how to make the most of the camera.

    We have a Olympus E500 SLR 8.0MP with FL-50 flash with a 1GB xD card. I have tried using both the 14-45mm and 40-150mm lense with the same results.

    I am trying to take action shots such as of my daughter in gymnastics. The camera shoots very fast in succession in the sports mode and under sports in the scene mode....tried to take many shots of a back hand spring to show each stage of it.

    but....many of the succession shots are blurry....usually 1/3 look good but the rest are blurry...

    please tell me what settings and how I should be shooting this type of scenario or am I doing more than the camera is possible of.

    could someone also explain the difference between using an xD card and a compact flash card?

    Thanks for helping a beginner

    Dale & Stacy
     
  2. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Hi there. I don't know much about that camera in particular, but it sounds like there could be a number of issues here regarding the blur. It could be the movement of the camera, if you are using a slow shutter speed. The usual rule is to avoid shooting hand-held below a shutter speed of equivalent number to your lens's focal length, for example with the lens at 50mm try not to use shutter speeds below 1/60th of a second, for 100mm try not to go below 1/125th etc. On the other hand the blur could simply be the movement of your daughter; the shutter speed may not be fast enough to capture that movement. For movement of this kind I would expect 1/250th would be the minimum to avoid motion blur. Finally it could be focus, if you have the lens set to a wide aperture (that's a low f/number) and the focus is a little off the subject being out of focus may look 'blurred' too.

    It could be any or all of these. My advice might be to find out how to use "Shutter Priority" on the camera, use that and set the shutter speed to at least 1/125th and preferably quite a bit higher. Maybe also raise the ISO level. The best advice I can give you however is to read up on exposure; what aperture, shutter speed and sensitivity (ISO) are and how they are related. There are many folks here who can explain all that to you, but not me because I'm terrible at explaining things. Anyway a better understanding of that should make everything I wrote above make a little more sense, and ultimately help you get those shots.


    Finally, the difference between an xD card and a compact flash card is that the former is the proprietary card used by Olympus and Fuji, while compact flash is used by several companies. I don't know of one being inherently better than the other, though one may be cheaper than the other.
     
  3. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    Several items here.
    First, in action shots you want the f-stop (aperture) to be as open as possible. Second, unless you cannot have it, or other reason, I would purchase a mono pod to hold the camera steady while shooting. I have come to learn that shooting fast shots can be a hazard to quality for many reasons. The open aperture will allow for a faster shutter, and thus stop action. If the camera (because I don't know) has an EV setting, crank it up until the photo is bright but not washed out. (This takes practice.) Have your daughter run around the yard a few times to practice such shots. You can delete them later. The trick is to learn to have the camera on a mono pod but following the action at the same time.

    One primary issue here that I need to address. Lighting!
    Avoid using the flash for such shots. Flash will wash out after a few feet, and the the ambient light will take over. So you really need to adjust the camera for the brightest possible picture, using the ambient light, and the most open aperture you can get.
     
  4. MACollum

    MACollum TPF Noob!

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    Do monopods really help keep the camera from moving? I've considered getting one because my tripod is hard to use and of course, cumbersome in some situations. I would think that with a monopod you'd still have to try really hard to hold still to avoid camera shake. I realize that a tripod is essential for some shots, but what about those where the shutter speed is just slow enough to make camera shake a minor issue, but not slow enough to demand total stillness?
     
  5. burtharrris

    burtharrris TPF Noob!

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    I've heard some people say a monopod can buy you a stop or two, but not much else. The real reason is to keep sports and nature photographers from having to hold up 30+ pounds of glass all day.
     

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