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Old     (jfergus7)      Join Date: Jul 2011       07-02-2014, 3:20 PM Reply   
Alright I have had a Rebel XSi for several years and have always just used the camera on auto mode. I am hoping to get out on the boat with it this weekend and wanting to catch some action shots. What settings typically seem to work best for this?
Old     (RonBurgundy)      Join Date: Jun 2012       07-06-2014, 12:31 AM Reply   
I run settings I found online and they are great.

Here is the link. I run this on my nikon 5200 and shots are super crisp and great focus....
Old     (jfergus7)      Join Date: Jul 2011       07-06-2014, 6:37 AM Reply   
Awesome thanks for the link! Getting the girlfriend out this morning for the first time so want to catch some good pics!
Old     (RonBurgundy)      Join Date: Jun 2012       07-06-2014, 8:46 AM Reply   
What lens are you using? I noticed I needed something around 100mm minimum from the boat to get close...everything is clear regardless, but it makes it easier to let the autofocus hit the rider and track them if they are larger in the viewfinder

I'm using a 55-200 and it's perfect
Old     (jfergus7)      Join Date: Jul 2011       07-06-2014, 9:23 PM Reply   
I am using a 75-300mm lens. Those settings seemed to work out real well. She wasn't able to get out wakeboarding today because we hit a tree stump this morning and ended up casing damage to the drive shaft and ripped the gasket out. Ended up taking on a ton of water before we were able to get it out of the water but I was able to use the camera to try it out on some tubing shots and they turned out great! Thanks for the help!
Old     (chillinoj)      Join Date: May 2009       07-07-2014, 7:26 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by RonBurgundy View Post
I run settings I found online and they are great.

Here is the link. I run this on my nikon 5200 and shots are super crisp and great focus....
Great link, some great starting places. Thanks for posting.
Old     (SangerTom)      Join Date: Aug 2010       07-18-2014, 11:28 PM Reply   
I liked the settings in the post. I do it a bit different. I go to Aperature mode and set it as close to wide open as possible (2.8 or 5.6 depending on your lense) I set the ISO to Auto. With the bright sun and the reflection from the water the camera is going to want to underexpose the face and I want the face to be lit The ISO is going to stay low to compensate but your shutter speed is going to shoot up...perhaps 2000. I like that because it freezes motion and and will help with camera shake. Only downside is not alot of depth of field but IMO you want the facial expression anyways.
Old     (jafo9)      Join Date: May 2012       08-09-2014, 3:26 AM Reply   
each camera is different, but the physics are always the same. i prefer to shoot wide open or nearly wide open depending on the quality of the lens. a good lens will let you shoot maximum aperture but with a mediocre lens you'll likely need to stop it down 1 or 2 stops. my personal preference is the canon 70-200L. its a very expensive lens, but they don't depreciate much and you can use them with any canon body you upgrade to in the future. with a good lens, you also don't loose much if you need to sell it used as long as you don't trash it.

as far as settings, i prefer to use aperture priority. so i set the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed. i don't have auto ISO so i usually set it at 200 for outdoor shots. this is where cameras will vary greatly. you'll need to do some research to see what ISOs your camera is best at. I try not to take my 40D past 800 in the dark and i don't shoot at 100 in full daylight as my shutter speeds will often exceed my max of 1/8000s at f/2.8. i'll occasionally look at the histogram to make sure the metering looks close. i shoot RAW and do post in Aperture so i have some latitude with exposure. if i really want consistency, i'll get a general idea of my settings Aperture priority and then i'll switch to manual and follow the histogram until i get my settings dialed in. having constant settings helps with post production as you can fix one picture and then apply those settings to all the rest.

i almost always shoot with only the center focus point activated as it is my only "crosshair" type. these are more sensitive at f/2.8 or greater. i don't know about your camera, but if i had a newer model i'd probably use one of the upper focus points to meter off the face vs. the waist. i also use the auto tracking auto focus setting for shooting water sports. this allows the auto focus to "track" the target to help keep them in focus.

hope this helps, once you leave the safety of the "auto" mode and get comfortable, you may never shoot "auto" again.
Old     (Walt)      Join Date: Jan 2003       08-11-2014, 7:11 PM Reply   

Take a little time and learn how your camera works. (Shutter speed, Aperture , ISO , light meter Etc ) If you shoot on auto or shutter priority you loose all creative control.

The first thing I think about before taking a shot is what kind of depth of field I want. You loose control of DOF if you shoot shutter priority. Manual or AV is a way better IMHO. If the light is changing slowly go manual and read your light meter. If your shooting and the light is changing fast shooting AV is a really good way to go and you don't loose control of your DOF.

Go out on a bright day and take a shot on AV mode of something static like a beer bottle. Set your camera to a higher F-stop like F-11 or higher. Then take the same shot at a lower number like f-4. Make sure the camera is at the same distance from your focus point (beer bottle) you will see a big difference in the depth of field. The higher the fstop number is the smaller the Aperture opening is. Smaller = less light but deeper depth of field. On the other hand a lower number allows more light in and has a shallower depth of field. You might want everything in focus like a landscape shot so you go to a higher number. If you want the subject to really pop and stand out you open the aperture.

Keep a eye on you're shutter speed when changing F-stops too and see how one effects the other.

There's really no ONE SETTING that is the magic ticket because light is different and changing most of the time.

Once you get your light meter , shutter speed , aperture and ISO figured out you can move on to other things like composition.

You should also use your camera a lot if your really want to master it. If you put some effort into it you'll have it figured out in no time and never take another shot on auto.


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