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Old 04-25-2008   #1
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Default D300 - Sports Settings - Need HeadStart!

Hi,

I just unwrapped my D300 and hope to shoot my 12 year old son's soccer game on Sat. Since the spring season is almost over I don't have a lot of time to experiment. Could anyone recommend settings they've used in similar circumstances? Should be sunny (9:30 AM) and potential for a lot of shadows on their faces. My soccer lens is Sigma 70-200 f/2.8.

In particular:

Active DLighting on/off?
AF Mode? # of focus points?
NR on/off?
Starting ISO (I always use 200 on sunny mornings, but i've heard maybe I should use a higher value as a default with D300)

I'm only up to page 70 in the manual, so any help would be greatly appreciated !

thanks,
Deanna

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Old 04-25-2008   #2
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Default Re: D300 - Sports Settings - Need HeadStart!

Quote:
Active DLighting on/off?
I set Active D-Lighting on "Low" for most situations involving lots of sun. Works pretty well.

Quote:
AF Mode? # of focus points?
AF-C, Dynamic. I use 11-point selection, as it just takes too darn long to select from all 51. For focus tracking, you can play around depending on the size of the players. With a 400mm I use the 51-point 3D color tracking mode, but with a 70-200 the framing is usually too loose and it gets confused occasionally, so 21-point or 9-point dynamic would be better.

Quote:
NR on/off?
I always have NR on "Low".

Quote:
Starting ISO (I always use 200 on sunny mornings, but i've heard maybe I should use a higher value as a default with D300)
200. It's the base ISO. Don't use any of the Lo settings on sunny days if you can help it, because any highlight clipping looks awful due to the nature of ISO expansion.
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Old 04-25-2008   #3
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Default Re: D300 - Sports Settings - Need HeadStart!

Thanks Michael! I'll start with those.

Deanna
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Old 04-26-2008   #4
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Default Re: D300 - Sports Settings - Need HeadStart!

Well Deanna... how'd you do today with that shiny new D300?

Hope things went well! Let's see an example or two.

Julio
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Old 04-26-2008   #5
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Default Re: D300 - Sports Settings - Need HeadStart!

Wow...I'm loving it so far! These aren't great, but they're bad in a GREAT way! I think they're almost too sharp. Some look a little "cartoonish". Of course I can fix that in CaptureNX, but the cool thing is that I didn't add any sharpening at ALL (just whatever the Vivid picture control has built in). I would love any tips!!!

I DID have one moment of panic... Look to the right of the kid in the first photo. See those splotches Thought there was a huge problem with the camera, but ACTUALLY it rained overnight and those are water drops flying up from the kids cleats!!!

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Old 04-28-2008   #6
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Default Re: D300 - Sports Settings - Need HeadStart!

Great pic's, looks like the setup did well on the new camera. What did you shoot with prior to the D300
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Old 04-28-2008   #7
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Default Re: D300 - Sports Settings - Need HeadStart!

I've had a D70 since 2004. I loved my D70 until it met high school (evening) soccer and it just couldn't handle the low-light action. Hopefully the D300 will be better!
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Old 04-28-2008   #8
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Default Re: D300 - Sports Settings - Need HeadStart!

I hope it does well for you, I have a d200 and wanting to update to the 300, just have to find out if there are enough advantages to justify the expense of upgrading.
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Old 04-30-2008   #9
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Default Re: D300 - Sports Settings - Need HeadStart!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeannaD View Post
I've had a D70 since 2004. I loved my D70 until it met high school (evening) soccer and it just couldn't handle the low-light action. Hopefully the D300 will be better!
The D300 will provide some great images up through ISO 1000 and you can probably be ok pushing it to 1250 with noise reduction set to normal. I do this with great success and get very clean images up to those ISO settings on the D300 with proper exposure.

On these images were you perhaps set in Vivid mode? Vivid I use pretty much exclusively when I'm shooting nature images to bring out the most color. If I forget to change the setting back to normal, I usually end up in photoshop pulling saturation back by about -10 to -15 to get things back to normal and skin tones that go kooky on me or orangy.

For kids sports, if I am shooting jpgs that I don't plan to edit, I will take images in standard mode, push up sharpening a little in camera and sometimes I'll boost or lower contrast and or hue depending on the scene and what the lighting is. Be careful with white balance. The D300 isn't always really good with nailing white balance.

Play around with it a bit at an evening game and see what you like best. Don't be afraid to play with the settings on the D300, you'll get great results.

Julio

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Old 04-30-2008   #10
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Default Re: D300 - Sports Settings - Need HeadStart!

Julio,

Thanks for all the help. I won't have evening soccer to shoot again until the winter, but I will look for opportunities to practice your recommendations.

Not sure what to do about the picture modes. I tried Standard/Neutral/Vivid and vivid looked WAY better to me on the LCD. Now I do see that maybe it's a little TOO vivid, but the other two weren't saturated enough to suit me. Will try to create my own LessVivid mode by decreasing saturation.

I've never attempted to set WhiteBalance (other than setting my D70 to cloudy or sunny). I don't have a gray card, but I've read that you can use concrete sidewalk and get similar effect. Maybe I'll give that a try this weekend also.

thanks again!
Deanna


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