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Itís the time of year again when kids play indoor sports. Because flash photos are not often permitted during games, what combination of lens, f-stop, shutter speed, and ISO will give me shots to freeze the action? I have an E-500 with the standard 14-45mm and 40-150mm lenses. Is there another lens that will give me better results?
Answer: Of your two lenses, the 40-150mm will be best suited to shooting sports. The E-Systemís 2X magnification factor makes that lens perform as an 80-300mm zoom lens would on a 35mm film camera. If you wanted to add a lens with more zoom, the 70-300mm f4.0-5.6 Zuiko Digital will perform as a 140-600mm zoom lens would on a 35mm film camera.
In photography, exposure setup is a series of trade-offs: wide f-stops mean shallow depth of field, narrow f-stops mean a sacrifice in shutter speed, and high ISO speed may result in some graininess.
In the E-500, I would recommend an ISO of at least 800. You will need to set the ISO BOOST to ON+NF, which enables a Noise Filter to reduce some of the image graininess. On the Mode Dial on the top right of the camera, use the S (Shutter Priority) mode and set the shutter speed to a minimum of 1/250 of a second. You may be able to go as high as 1/500 of a second, depending on how much light is in the auditorium or gymnasium. In the S mode, the camera will choose the f-stop it needs to balance the exposure with the shutter speed. Using a long focal length lens, there will be fairly shallow depth of field. This can be a good thing because it will throw background clutter out of focus.
Use the C-AF autofocus mode since as long as the shutter button is held down halfway the camera will continuously autofocus, which will increase the shutter response time by reducing the focusing time. Since many gyms use energy-efficient lighting, it would be wise to familiarize yourself with the One-Touch White Balance option to create a more accurate white balance when shooting. Remember to set the White Balance back to AUTO after the game.
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