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Shooting Indoor Basketball

edited January 2016 Posted in » Nikon D5200 Forum
I am trying to get started and I'm looking for some help in some tips for shooting indoor action shots.


  • edited January 2016
    If you're using one of the kit lenses, which tend to be a little slow for indoor sports, your options will be somewhat limited. Use it wide open, try to practice panning on moving figures, and guessing where focus will be before a person gets there. You can try multi-point focus in C (continuous servo) mode, but if it keeps guessing wrong, try switching to Dynamic Area or 3D and see if either works better.

    Shutter Priority mode is probably your best bet. You'll need to keep your shutter speed up over 1/250 at least, and if light is low, that's going to require that you use Auto ISO because you'll need the camera to boost the ISO as needed. You can also use Sport mode, which will do pretty much the same thing. It will default to auto ISO, no flash, and multiple shutter mode.

    Switch your shutter to continuous mode and you can shoot in bursts. If you shoot in Raw, your buffer will fill after about 8 shots and briefly stall if you simply hold down the button, but if you shoot only a couple at a time, it will recover fast and you may never notice. If you continually run out of buffer memory, switch to JPG, but you can usually keep the file size large and high quality. Don't lower size or quality unless the camera continually stalls.

    If you have a choice, find and use the fastest memory card you can find, and it will stall less often.

    If you are using a zoom, and have trouble hitting your subject quickly enough, or focusing on it, remember you can go a bit wider and crop later. A slightly wider angle will give you a bit faster lens speed, and probably focus faster. Although you may not want to crop a huge amount, there's a good deal of room in the D5200 image, especially if you don't print very large.

    Of course, if you want the best performance on indoor sports, you'll get that with a fast lens; a nice 2.8 zoom. Get out your wallet!

    I'm reminded of an old hot rodders' motto, "The only substitute for cubic inches is rectangular dollars". In photography it's aperture.

  • Thanks for the info.
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