Howdy, Stranger!

If you're just starting out in the world of photography and want to learn how to get the most out of your camera, then this forum is your new secret hangout spot!

Take better photos today with my Canon T2i Cheat SheetsCheck 'em out!

Sports Setting on the T2i

edited March 2012 Posted in » Canon T2i Forum
Hello! First, thanks for sharing! I am new to Canon, switching from Nikon. I am real excited to learn how to use the camera for taking even better pictures than ever.

My son is a tumbler and gymnast. I am anxious to use the action sport mode. In practicing on that setting in bright light, low light and indoor light today, the pictures are all a blur :( (He was doing jumping jacks for my practice shots. I wondered what I am doing wrong. Any pointers?


  • edited April 2013
    Howdy @wvubrandigirl - Sports mode (running man on the mode dial) automatically adjusts the in-camera settings to use a fast shutter speed. When shooting outdoors in bright daylight, you should have no problem freezing your subject. However, the moment you step indoors or you're shooting late in the day if will be much more difficult to obtain a sharp shot of a subject that's moving.

    I'm guessing you're shooting with the 18-55mm kit lens. This lens has a very average aperture range. The lowest available aperture when shooting towards the wide-end (18mm) is f/3.5 and the lowest available aperture when shooting towards the long-end (55mm) is f/5.6. This is the equivalent to wearing dark tinted glasses.

    Wearing dark tinted glasses outdoors is fine, because of all the bright light emitted from the sun. However, the moment the sun sets or you step indoors, it becomes much more difficult to see because the dark shades aren't letting enough light through.

    This is what happens to your T2i when it's equipped with a lens that has an average aperture range. When it can't get enough light, it will first try to raise the ISO which is the image sensor's sensitivity to light. Next it will slow down the shutter speed so that more light is passed through to the image sensor. These two things can contribute to blurry images with lots of noise.

    Really the only way to capture fast action in low light is to add a "bright" lens to your arsenal. A bright lens is capable of obtaining an aperture between f/1.4 and f/2.8. The lower the f-number, the more light is being passed through to the image sensor.

    This in turn, increases the shutter speed and lowers the you the ability to freeze movement and reduce the effects of image grain.

    One of the more popular "bright" lenses for beginners is the "nifty fifty"
    Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II. This lens will allow you to obtain an aperture of f/1.8, which will increase your odds of capturing a sharp shot of your son tumbling indoors.

    Hope that all makes sense and happy shooting! :)
  • edited March 2012
    Hey Moose, I have been using the 55-250mm lens for indoor cheerleading competitions. I have been using the Tv setting with the shutter speed set between 1/500 to 1/1000 with the ISO set to 3200, depending on the lights. I get a lot of noise and my white balance is off. How do I correct this?
  • @Lmadison8217 - Like I mentioned above, when shooting with a lens (like the 55-250mm) that has an average aperture range (f/4 to f/5.6), it's the equivalent to wearing dark tinted sunglasses indoors...reducing the amount of light entering the camera.

    In order to freeze subject movement in low light (indoors, gym, arena, etc...), your camera needs lots of light. You can either use a "bright" lens or turn up the ISO. A "bright" lens is one that is capable of obtaining an aperture between f/1.4 to f/2.8. When using apertures this low, it allows you to obtain fast shutter speeds at lower ISO's.

    When you're forced to use higher ISO's, your images will be greatly affected by image noise (grain). The only way to minimize the effects of noise is to use dedicated noise removal software (like Noise Ninja).

    As for the white balance issues you're experiencing, you can use one of the preset white balance settings (tungsten, fluorescent, etc...) or set a custom white balance by accessing the MENU, highlighting the second tab and selecting the 'White Balance' option. This will greatly improve skin tones and give you more natural looking colors.

    Hope that helps. Happy shooting! :)
  • edited September 2013
    I use the Sigma f/2.8 for football shooting and I'm still getting a lot of blur. I use 250-320 shutter and ISO at 3200 on the TV setting. What am I doing wrong?
  • edited October 2013
    Hi @Llr143, Your shutter speed is not nearly fast enough. You should be using 1/500 upwards. Your ISO of 3200 will not cause blur, it just gives you more noise. To reduce noise cut your ISO to 1600 and toggle in a bit of exposure compensation.

    Regards, PBked
  • Hey @Llr143 - Yep, you'll want to increase the shutter speed to a minimum of 1/500 for football. Anything lower and your chances of freezing the action go way down. If you can, I would stay closer to 1/1000, however, it can be incredibly difficult to get speeds this fast at dimly lit high school football fields.

    To increase your odds of a keeper, be sure to enable continuous burst mode. This will allow you to rattle off a series of images in quick succession. All the best!
  • edited February 2014
    What lens would you recommend for low light sports that you cannot get close enough to use the nifty-fifty?
  • Hi Moose, I have used my 55-250mm lens for 4 years now taking outdoor swimming shots of my son in swimming races on sports mode and continuous burst. I used to get great sharp focusing, but that has deteriorated terribly in the past 12 months and shots are now blurry and hugely disappointing. I'd appreciate any advice.
  • Hi @carobu - It could be a number of different things. Do you mind posting a couple photos online somewhere (Flickr, Google, Facebook, etc...)? Preferably full resolution images, that way I can look at the image data to see what went wrong. All the best!
  • edited January 2015
    Hi @Moose. I had a lightbulb moment after reading through your recommended filter post. I have now realized that my autofocus in sport became really bad when I put a cheap CPL filter on my lens "for protection" and I'm really kicking myself for not realizing this earlier - 12 months of frustrating photos! Oh well, you can use my example of what-not-to-do, but I am glad that I'm not up for any expensive servicing. I'm buying a Hoya filter soon, or I might just go without.
  • Hi @carobu - It's possible the autofocus could be inhibited by a cheap filter, however, my gut says it's probably not the culprit. One of the more common focus issues happens when a single focus point is in use and it has been accidentally moved off center. You might check your AF points and see if it's set to automatic selection or manual selection. If it's set to manual selection, make sure the focus point is in the center of the frame.
  • edited March 2015
    Would the 100mm f/2 be a good option for when you can't get close enough for the 50mm f/1.8?
Sign In or Register to comment.