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Thread: Canon 500D: High School Night Football Settings

  1. #1

    Canon 500D: High School Night Football Settings

    I am waiting for the arrival of a T1i (500D) and will be using it with a Canon 200L F2.0 prime lens for taking night high school football pics as a volunteer parent team photographer. I also have a Canon 85L F1.8 that I used last year for high school basketball (same volunteer deal). I will be shooting JPEG for convenience. Any help on settings would be very appreciated.

    I am considering shooting ISO 3200, AV mode, AI Servo, Center Pt focus, and AWB. The stadium lighting will be uneven. I would like to get 1/400 shutter speed. I would prefer to avoid Manual (requires too much on-field fiddling) and RAW (too much photoshop time) -- I'm just a hobbyist volunteer with a high learning curve.

    How do these settings sound? Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    Subscriber Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Connecticut, USA
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    Re: Canon 500D: High School Night Football Settings

    I shot high school BB and FB for three yrs while my kids were there. I found that the following helped me. First, forget AWB, as you pan around the field/gym to follow or anticipate play, AWB may change from one frame to another, depending on various lighting factors. Mainly each time a different amount of the field lighting will be in one frame vs another, the WB may change. This was essential for BB and helped for FB as well. Secondly, I had better luck shooting in Manual mode. Setting manually a specific shutter speed and keeping my F stop floating more in Tv mode didn't work so well either. Action is fast, and if the lighting changes from frame to frame, on Aperture orTv priority, the speeds could decrease significantly and even on Tv mode, things could change from one shot to the next enough to ruin a keeper. I got far more consistent shots using Manual mode overall. When I changed ends of the field/court, I would re-evaluate my setting if the lighting was different on one end or other.

    Having a f2.0 lens will be a big help in one way, more light, but DOF will be nill, and thus especially with a xxxD body expect focus errors. Shoot lots, and keep shooting longer as long as your buffer is not full. Curious I might have gone for an xxD body instead and a F2.8 lens if $$ were a concern. You will get keepers but don't expect every shot to be one.

    I don't remember what you said the end use of the images were, I had to make 24x36 posters for the seniors from action shots, and I never knew which shot would be my best of season for a particular player, so I shot lots of images to ensure this. If you can rent an older xxD or even an older 1D body, it would help immensely and if you are not making posters, small prints or web use, the lower Mp count will not matter a bit.

    By the way, welcome, and good luck shooting, had a ball doing for the kids when I had to..

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Re: Canon 500D: High School Night Football Settings

    I have upgraded my 450D to 500D recently.
    I think 500D shows more noise when using high ISO values.
    ıf you need big prints, I wouldn't go to ISO3200 at all.
    With f2, I think you may stay at smaller ISO values and still capture the action. The first few photos will give you a good idea.
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