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Archive 2012 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?
  
 
Mike Letour
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


I am looking to optimize IQ using a 7D in a night sports shooting situation. I shoot HS football, and my home field is absolutely horrendous. The end zones should be renamed “dead zones”, because the primary lighting just doesn't reach them. No flashes allowed. Even in the center of the field, it is not that good. I am trying not to go slower than 1/400. How am I handling this?
1. Work hard to get close to the subject and avoid cropping (I only have a 70-200 2.8)
2. Set shutter priority 1/400
3. Vary the ISO between 3200 and 5000, depending on field position.
4. Maximize the in-camera noise reduction options
5. Use the Noise Reduction filter in Photoshop Elements for post-processing
This is giving me okay results for the most part, but it definitely leaves room for improvement. For the most part, the RAW files I generate are ¼ to 1 stop underexposed. I've tried adjusting the exposure in RAW and with the JPEG, and after I apply the noise filter, there doesn't seem to be much of a difference.
My question: Is there anything more that I can do, short of buying an FF (not in the cards for me right now)?



Oct 18, 2012 at 12:31 PM
epphoto
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


7D ?? Night shots ? You need camera and lens upgrade for night shots
I have 7d and it is very bad with noise above 200 ISO, I know that's sounds bad but it's the truth



Oct 18, 2012 at 10:07 PM
beautox
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


200ISO That's not the truth, far from it.


Oct 18, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


epphoto wrote:
7D ?? Night shots ? You need camera and lens upgrade for night shots
I have 7d and it is very bad with noise above 200 ISO, I know that's sounds bad but it's the truth


If you seriously believe this

http://www.fordxr6turbo.com/forum/public/style_emoticons/default/facepalm.gif
http://www.fordxr6turbo.com/forum/public/style_emoticons/default/smilielol.gif

I hope it's typo and you at least meant ISO 2000 and even then it's still not true.



Oct 18, 2012 at 10:57 PM
RobDickinson
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


Aye, this is effectively ISO 6400 and f2.8 (3200 under exposed and pushed a stop).




Oct 18, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Monito
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


Duplicate thread: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1158465


Oct 18, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Monito
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


Mike Letour wrote:
I've tried adjusting the exposure in RAW and with the JPEG, and after I apply the noise filter, there doesn't seem to be much of a difference.


Always shoot Raw unless:

A) You have a tight deadline like Sports Illustrated Super Bowl coverage or kiosk sales at a national cheerleading event with thousands of competitors.

OR

B) You are totally psychic and know that there will never be any more improvements to software to extract better looking pictures from Raws.

The usual excuses can all be punctured.



Oct 18, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Monito
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


Mike Letour wrote:
1. Work hard to get close to the subject and avoid cropping (I only have a 70-200 2.8)
2. Set shutter priority 1/400
3. Vary the ISO between 3200 and 5000, depending on field position.


That basic plan is reasonable.

However, add to the mix that you might benefit by making some shots at lower shutterspeeds and therefore lower ISOs. Motion blur gives a very dynamic feeling of action. If you:

A) Anticipate action to shoot at peak moments, and

B) Follow the player's face with your composition,

Then you will get some great photos of a quarterback (for example) with hand slightly blurred just at the point of throwing a pass and with feet showing greater blur and perhaps a blurred background which isolates the quarterback for even greater impact.

Explore the use of 1/250, 1/100, and 1/60.

Do Not expect every shot to work. I assume, that like most people making photos of high school football, with perhaps the exception of state championships, there is no burning necessity to get every key point of every play in case that play scores a touchdown or is otherwise crucial to a win. In most high school football work, if the photographer gets an outstanding photograph of important players (or all the ones on a list), then it doesn't matter how many dozens are discarded. Perhaps your requirements are otherwise.



Oct 18, 2012 at 11:24 PM
TeamSpeed
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


We go through alot of settings and techniques in this thread.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1143454

For example, here is a shot at 6400 at a night ballgame


This is 12800, and that really pushes both the 7D and your postproc skills.




Oct 18, 2012 at 11:52 PM
 

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Caleb Williams
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


Monito wrote:
Always shoot Raw unless:

A) You have a tight deadline like Sports Illustrated Super Bowl coverage or kiosk sales at a national cheerleading event with thousands of competitors.

Sports Illustrated wants RAWs anyway + they have runners to get your card at the Super Bowl.



Oct 19, 2012 at 12:01 AM
tanglefoot47
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


epphoto wrote:
7D ?? Night shots ? You need camera and lens upgrade for night shots
I have 7d and it is very bad with noise above 200 ISO, I know that's sounds bad but it's the truth


Wow send your camera back



Oct 19, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Lance Couture
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


Mike Letour wrote:
1. Work hard to get close to the subject and avoid cropping (I only have a 70-200 2.8)


I'm not a general sports shooter, but I do shoot a dog sport to pay my photography bills. The rule which many SS's here have drilled into my skull via PM tutoring: Shoot tight, crop tighter.

2. Set shutter priority 1/400


I shoot in Av mode, and set my ISO, then let the camera worry about shutter speed. I just use a high enough ISO to get my min shutter speed. Setting Tv is equally valid, but I have found that I get better, more consistent results from Av/ISO.

3. Vary the ISO between 3200 and 5000, depending on field position.


See #2 - whatever you're comfortable with.

4. Maximize the in-camera noise reduction options


No. To maximize control of the final product, turn all of that in-camera crap off. ALO, PIC, NR, and shoot RAW. If you are shooting for a deadline and have to submit as soon as it comes out of the camera, I can see it, but you dont, so control it all yourself in post.

5. Use the Noise Reduction filter in Photoshop Elements for post-processing
This is giving me okay results for the most part, but it definitely leaves room for improvement. For the most part, the RAW files I generate are ¼ to 1 stop underexposed. I've tried adjusting the exposure in RAW and with the JPEG, and after I apply the noise filter, there doesn't seem to be much of a difference.


Then dial in 1/3+ EC to start with while shooting and see how that looks. You should be chimping your histogram after the first few shots to see if your settings are correct.

If you really have to start pushing a file around in post, you'll quickly see the difference b/t a 14bit RAW image and an 8bit JPG image. The JPG will fall apart almost instantly. The colours will clip long before they should. Shoot RAW.

My question: Is there anything more that I can do, short of buying an FF (not in the cards for me right now)?


A FF camera wont help you. In fact, if all you have is a 70-200, a FF camera will actually hinder you b/c you'll have to crop so deeply, you'll lose a lot of resolution.

You have everything on track, it just looks like you need some tweaking in your settings while shooting and your post production. Why not throw up a couple of pictures you feel you had problems with and see if the community can give you some better feedback?



Oct 19, 2012 at 06:00 AM
SoundHound
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


You could do what the pros do. Buy the very best low light hi ISO body 1Dx/mK IV. Shoot at 10 fps to increase the chances of captureatari a 200mm F1.8/2.0 lens and/or a 400mm F2.8.


Oct 19, 2012 at 04:49 PM
CW100
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


TeamSpeed wrote:
We go through alot of settings and techniques in this thread.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1143454

For example, here is a shot at 6400 at a night ballgame
http://teamspeed.smugmug.com/Sports/HS-Football/i-bLMWt8V/0/X2/IMG9568-X2.jpg



looks pretty good for ISO 6400



Oct 19, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Charles Gallo
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


I don't know - I personally find it noisy - good for 6400, but LOOK at the area in the top right corner, particularly the person in the jeans, and the area just 2:00 to the QBs helmet. NOTHING on the players bothers me at all. The spot where noise always gets to me is in the OOF parts of the photos


Oct 19, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Tommy_D
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


Charles Gallo wrote:
The spot where noise always gets to me is in the OOF parts of the photos


Yeah, but that's the easiest place to reduce noise. Do a layer mask of noise reduction at a crazy high level, adjust opacity as you see fit and erase where you don't want noise reduction. No more OOF noise.



Oct 19, 2012 at 09:54 PM
andyz
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 7D: Best Technique in a Tough, Low Light Situation?


I crank up the ISO. I'd rather have a shot that has noise than have no shot at all. I might live with 6400 and a noise reduction program before I stop shooting the end Zones.


Oct 20, 2012 at 04:48 AM





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