Need help with sports - GH3

sigamy

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I have been struggling this year to get sharp images of baseball/softball with my GH3. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but it seems I had better results with the GH2.

Typical ball fields have me a fair distance from the action so I'm using the Lumix 45-200mmm.

The biggest issue is that the vast majority of my shots are not in focus. I've tried all the AF modes, tried back button focus (don't like it yet), etc. I lock focus, feel like I'm holding still, and take the shot. But 90% of them are totally out of focus.

Tonight I tried "S" mode and bumped shutter to 1/100, 1/1250. At one point I even moved into the Sports Scene mode but still most of the shots are a blurry mess.

Any tips?
Here is one example. This is 91mm, f/4.6, 1/100 and ISO 3200 (night game). Why is the pitchers arm ghosting? Why is the shot not sharp? Do I need even faster shutter?

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lightning

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Hi,

your shutter speed is too slow. 1/100 is very low for sports, try up to 1/500. I know its difficult to raise the shutter speed since your ISO was already 3200, which comes to that fact 45-200 isn't the best choice for sports at night time since the max aperture is F4.6 in this case (91mm). 35-100 2.8 or 75mm 1.8 prime could work better in these difficult conditions.

Also try AFF focus on GH3, i have noticed that it is much better for action than AFS =)
 

Fran Guidry

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Two things:

Time the pitcher's motion ... how long does it take her to move her arm from full back to full forward? 1/100 doesn't seem like a very fast shutter to me for this kind of motion.

And electronic shutter??

Fran
 

OzRay

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When I used to shoot sport for news, my shutter speed was usually around 1/800, generally never lower than 1/500. You also need to pre-focus and anticipate the moves when shooting the pitcher or batter, it becomes much harder when trying to shoot action at the bases.
 

LowTEC

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1/100 is way too slow for any sports or anything that moves, I would agree 1/400s is your minimum. I see you are at 3200 already so you need a much brighter lens; a 35-100 at 2.8, with every other setting being the same, you can get 1/250s. You can get 1/500s with a f2 lens, aka 75 f1.8
 

yakky

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OP, your original post mentioned out of focus. You shots appear to have motion blur, those two things are very different. Out of focus is almost never desirable, but motion blur can add to the shot. You can see that focus is fairly correct by the sharpest area of the ground being under the pitchers feet. I also see camera shake. You have a whole lot of issues to resolve but focus is probably not one of them.
 

sigamy

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Thanks to all.

I went through some of my good shots from last season and I see that I was at 1/400 and 1/500 in those. I will bump the shutter at next day time game.

I agree that motion blur is probably what I meant to say... I'm all ears on tips for my many issues...i.e. any other suggestions on sports shots from far distance...
 

CiaranCReilly

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I'd have two things to add: 1 - Shoot lots and lots, and be prepared to cull most of them! 2- And when it's dark I sometimes turn the exposure comp down quite dark to get the shutter speed up, and pull back the exposure in the RAWs in post. It's nosier but at least you have a better chance at getting the shutter speed you want without high ISO banding.
 

CaptZoom

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Save up for a faster lens. If the Oly or Panny offerings are cost prohibitive, look into adapting older lenses. Don't be put off by manual focus. The pitcher and/or batter stay in the same general location. Use zone focusing.
Get your shutter speed much higher. 1/100 is the minimum for people moving at normal speed. It's far too long for athletes moving at their peak! The minimum you should consider is 1/500, but this means you'll need to push your exposure in post. This will introduce noise, which you may want to address with noise reduction software (LR is actually pretty good, but there are many other choices as well). Some noise actually looks nice in prints. If your primarily into digital display, down res the file (after you're done with post processing).
 

Levster

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Have you tried the Rokinon/Samyang 85mm f/1.4? If your shots were around 90mm (as per your example) then an 85mm should do the trick. The lens is manual but it only costs around £200, compared to the 75mm Olympus auto lens that will cost upwards of £600. I've shot wide open with the Samyang and have been very pleased with the results, the only issue will be nailing the focus!
 

BigOwl

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I will second Levster's suggestion of the Rokinon 85/1.4 for your situation. I used mine yesterday evening at the horse track and got some nice action shots at 1/1000 and faster. Granted, these were taken before dark so there was some daylight left. Sports lighting is never as bright as you think when you are taking pictures versus just watching. If you are used to the light weight of the m4/3 gear, you'll quickly notice how much heavier the Rokinon is, but still lighter than DSLR systems.
 
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