Shutter speed and movement

Started Aug 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Rankin Johnson Regular Member • Posts: 325
Shutter speed and movement

I'm a newbie, trying to advance to intermediate, posting here rather than in Beginner's Questions because this question is very sports-specific. I'm trying to figure out the slowest shutter speed I can get away with for various kid sports. I have a ten-year-old playing (American) football and a seven-year-old playing soccer this fall.

For baseball, there seems to be a little blurring of the bat head and a hit ball even at 1/2500th. A thrown ball blurs a little at 1/1000th. My guess is that the blurring would be worse, but not a lot worse, at the pro levels; a major league fastball is less than twice the speed o a good Little League fastball.

Football and soccer don't have anything moving as fast as a batted baseball, so, this season, I will probably spend most of my time between 1/500th and 1/1000th and see what works. I usually shoot in manual, but I will probably try using shutter priority, if only so I can look at what shutter speeds work.

Are there any published charts that show what shutter speed is necessary to freeze motion in various activities? I recognize that zoom length, angle, and other factors affect the answer, and so maybe there is no helpful way to write such a list.

What shutter speeds do others use for kid sports? Do you use shutter priority? Manual? Something else? If in manual, do you use shutter speed or aperture or something else to make fine adjustments during the game, as when cloud density and light changes minute to minute?

I'm using a Sony a77, mostly with a 70-200 2.8, if that matters, but this doesn't seem like a camera-dependent question.

Thanks as always.

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/s/ Rankin Johnson IV
-Fighting for justice, but I'll settle for a reversal.

 Rankin Johnson's gear list:Rankin Johnson's gear list
Sony a77 II Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T*
Sony SLT-A77
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