Indoor Basketball Photgraphy

Started Nov 19, 2012 | Questions thread
Billx08 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,373
Re: Indoor Basketball Photgraphy

laurie81 wrote:

Hello, I am new to the forum. I have a Fuji Finepix HS25 EXR camera. I am just a mom trying to figure out how to capture the best sports photos with it. However I am not very camera savvy yet. Could someone tell me what settings I should use to take indoor basketball photo's so they will turn out crisp and not blurry. Thanks!

Unless the indoor lighting is brighter than what's used in most gyms you'll probably find that getting good results won't be very easy.  Even many DSLRs might struggle. The best thing to do is use M size, Shutter priority (so that you can select an appropriate shutter speed), and as high an ISO level as you can tolerate. High ISO photos will probably have a gritty look due to noise and colors will fade a bit, but with higher ISO levels you'll be able to use faster shutter speeds, and photos that are blurry because the shutter speed was too slow will look much worse than photos whose image quality is reduced due to noise.  For the best results (that might let you use a slightly faster shutter speed), use whatever camera settings will use the least amount of noise reduction, and then apply your own noise reduction using a photo editor's own NR capability or add-on NR software or plug-ins. Examples of these are Photo Ninja, Topaz DeNoise, Nik's DFine, and Neat Image. Here's an example of how Thom Hogan cleaned up some of the basketball photos that are part of his camera evaluations. Don't expect anything this good because the camera under review was Nikon's D3s, which has amazing high ISO performance. But it will serve to show the kind of improvement that you can get from decent noise reduction software.

No noise reduction added.

Using NR software.

Looks pretty good, doesn't it? I've run the previous image through Nik Dfine and added a slight mid-range curve. We've lost a bit of tonality and color saturation, but from the sideline with the 70-200mm I'm still seeing enough detail in the ball to read some of the small lettering on the ball. I wrote "mind-boggling" and I meant it. The results are enough better than the D3 that I saw the difference immediately on the camera's LCD (otherwise I probably wouldn't have tried ISO 12,800 and stuck to something more expected, like 3200 or perhaps 6400).

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