FZ200: Shooting fast action... what I've learned

Started Oct 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
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RudyPohl
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FZ200: Shooting fast action... what I've learned
Oct 3, 2012

Hi folks:

I finally achieved a small measure of success yesterday (after many tries) capturing in sharp focus fast moving subjects. I took several hundreds of shots of players in a fast-paced rugby match, fast moving cars near my house, and fast and erratically moving dogs at a local dog park.

As one of the new kids on the Panasonisc P&S block I do not consider myself qualified to advise or instruct in this department, however some of you have asked me to share the settings and techniques I used to get the in-focus dog photos I posted yesterday, so here they are:

1) Light Source: Wait for a bright day with lots of sun. (Light overcast can still be sufficient.)

2) Shutter Speed: This is the most crucial setting, minimum 1/1000th of a second.

3) Camera Mode: Shutter Speed Priority... (Can go with others, but make sure they produce 1/1000th shutter speed.)

4) File Format: Shoot in JPEG not RAW (This might change when RAW processors optimized for FZ200 become available).
5) Auto Focus: 1-Area Focus mode
6) Auto Focus mode: AFS or AFC, I didn't see any difference.
7) Frame Rate: 5.5 fps burst mode
8) Metering Mode: Multiple Area ( . )

9) Exposure Compensation: -1/3 EV (Guards against details being overexposed in the higlights.)

10) Image Stabilization: ON (LTZ reports that IS is likely not needed at 1/1000th shutter speed and that turning it OFF might gain a bit more sharpness. I forgit to do this).

Key combination:

Best results come with a combination of 1/1000th shutter speed, ISO 100, and F3.5 or F4.0 aperture. If you have full sun you can set to Aperture Priority and ISO 100 and allow the camera to calculate the shutter speed which is often even higher that 1/1000th stopping action even better. But if the sunlight is marginal or partly cloudly, use Shutter Speed priority to gaurantee stopped action at 1/1000th, set aperture to F3.2 or F3.5, set ISO to Auto and Max ISO to 400, and let the camera choose the ISO for each shot.

Technique:

I hand held the camera and watched each potential scene through the EVF using my left hand to hold the camera and block out the light. I wear strong prescription glasses yet because of the great EVF I could see everything perfectly. I followed the action and constantly refocused by lightly tapping the focus/shutter button until I was ready to shoot, at which time I gently pressed the button and held it down while tracking the moving subject trying to keep it centered in the frame.

Note: I have no UV filter on my camera so I don't know if that would have made any difference.

Here's the link to some dog shots using these settings:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1033&thread=42650462

Well, that's it, happy shooting! (And thanks to everything in this forum who contributed with their comments to get us this far along this path of discovery.)

Rudy

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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