Indoor action shots

edited January 2014 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
Hi Moose,

I tried taking photos of my daughter playing indoor soccer with my 55-300mm lens and camera set in action mode. Every single photo turned out somewhat or very blurry. Is it the lighting, do I need a tripod or is it something else? Should I just not bother?

Looking forward to your reply.

Thank you!


  • edited January 2014
    Actually, I shoot indoors most of the time. Most of the time the stage has plenty of light, but not always. For high speed shots indoors with poor lighting I always have to push the ISO up higher as a first step. You will notice a higher level of noise, but you'll get faster shutter speeds and less motion in the image. I'd suggest 1/250 or above in indoor sports. You said nothing about dark, just blurry, so I'm thinking you probably had the wrong focus setting for the situation. Single-Point AF and Focus Mode to AF-S are probably going to improve your results. Keep the subject in the center and crop for layout later.
  • edited January 2014
    Hi Allen,

    Thanks for your reply. Although my camera said it was too dark, the lighting wasn't bad actually. In some of the photos the face was clear but the arms and legs were blurry.

    I am very new to DSLR, so I will try to figure out your instructions.

    Thank you!!
  • edited January 2014
    Hi Allen,
    I also have a D3200 but I am using a Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD IF Macro Lens for indoor basketball. Even in sports mode, it is taking up to 2-3 seconds to focus. I start out in relatively good focus but when I click on the button it goes completely out of focus and then back in again, completely missing the shots of course. I bought your cheat sheets today but didn't see an indoor sports card. I thought the new lens would make it easier. Suggestions?
  • edited January 2014
    Hi everyone.
    You haven't mentioned which mode you shoot in. It sounds like you're using Auto mode which lets the camera decide both the aperture and shutter speed. Try shooting in A (Aperture preferred) mode. This will allow you to select a wider aperture (lower number) to let more light in to your sensor and allow higher shutter speed. You may find that your ISO doesn't have to be as high giving you less noise in your photos.

    As Allen said, set your focus mode to Single Point AF, and AF-S mode for stationary subjects, but for moving subjects use AF-C mode. AF-C will allow the camera to focus continually as your subject moves (see page 35 of your reference manual). @soccermom, also try switching your lens onto manual focus. This may take a little practice, but it will eliminate the delay.

    Hope this helps.
  • edited January 2014
    Hey @soccermom - The cheat sheets are specifically for the 18-55mm and Nikon D3200, so the settings will differ a bit for the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8. Here's what I would start with...

    1. Enable Shutter Priority by rotating the mode dial to S
    2. Adjust the Shutter Speed to 1/1000
    3. Set the ISO to Auto with a Maximum Sensitivity of 6400
    4. Set the Metering to Matrix
    5. Set the Release Mode to Continuous
    6. Set the AF-Area Mode to Single-point AF
    7. Set the Focus Mode to AF-S

    With these settings in place, aim the center focus point somewhere on the court. Half-press the shutter button to lock focus. Continuing to half-press the shutter button, wait for your son to cross over the area you previously focused on. Then fully press the shutter button and hold it down to rattle off a burst of images.

    This technique is called "pre-focussing" and will allow you to anticipate the action, rather than rely on the lens to autofocus on the fast moving action in low light. All the best!
  • @MOOSE thanks for the above tips. When I use these settings the onscreen looks good until I take the burst of pictures then they are all dark. The pre-focussing they have good light. What am I missing?
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