No matter what, I have blurry pictures I am solely trying to get mdeium action sport photos to turn out but the subject is always blurry to almost non recognition and sometimes the surroundings or back drop of the pic is more in focus then my son. Anyone with experience in this problem and possibly with this camera assist me in providing a few settings to try? Greatly appreciate it. I found it odd there was no action or sport mode in the pre defined settings, I thought this was a standard normal slection on all camers. Found out it is not on this one I guess....
Due to inherent limitations and slowness of focus in any point-and-shoot camera, you have to plan the shot very carefully and practice a lot to be able to shoot moving subject with this type of camera. You have to learn about and learn to work around the limitation of the point-and-shoot cameras. In contrast to SLRs, they don't have dedicated focus processors and many of them focus using the image produced by the main imaging sensor. This is less than desirable and is very limiting for moving subjects. The sport mode will simply increase the shutter speed and possibly ISO to "freeze the motioin", it will not cause the camera to focus more quickly. Also, if you are shooting sports in-doors, it may present another challenge as focusing in low light is especially hard for pont-and-shoot cameras.
If you are really serious about photographing your son's sporting events and just kids in motion, I would strongly suggest saving up for a while and stepping up to a digital SLR. The focusing speed will amaze you, and the number of good quality (in focus, properly exposed) shots that you will end up with will be so much higher, it will make investment in SLR worth every penny.
If you are really not into SLR for one reason or the other, I suggest you read and understand the techniques involved in shooting fast moving subjects as well as technology behind focusing in point-and-shoot cameras. Then you will understand the limiting factors and will be able to work around them. It will be a lot more work for you than with SLR, but you will be able to do that.
I think that most of us know that an slr would give hugely better control of the camera, but as to being worth the difference, it really does depend on a) your personal financial situation and b) how important photography is in your life. There was a time when photography was THE important thing in my life and spending what was then a lot of money for a really good camera rig was worth it for me. I still love photography and I fancy that I take damned good pictures, especially considering that I'm working with this kind of camera. But the difference in price is not "a bit." It's enormous ... a couple of grand vs. a few hundred (or fewer) dollars. As a retiree, that kind of money doesn't just pop up in my life. Sure, I'd love to take great pix of our dogs and grandkids ... I actually still enlarge, print and frame photos. Sports photography is pretty specialized, even when you DO have the right equipment. Before investing a great deal of money in a really good SLR (or even a mediocre one), you might want to use someone else's a bit to see if it is really what you want. SLRs are much heavier and feel very different than even the highest end point-and-shoot camera models. And the difference in quality is not just in the buying of the camera ... it's also investing in learning how to take those pictures. That isn't just money: it is time and more than a little work. You need to balance the investment against the return to decide if it is worth considering. For me, it no longer is ... it might be for you, but at least know what you are getting yourself into.
As S. Murphy already suggested, try the "Kids & Pets" mode - this is the equivalent for the "Sports" mode on other cameras.
And if the subject (your son) is still blurry, check the shutter speed used by the "Kids & Pets" mode - press the "Disp." button several times while looking at the photo until you see its technical data. Then you can try the "Tv" (time variable) mode, which allows you to manually select a shorter shutter speed, and the program will care for the rest (aperture, ISO ...) automatically.
If the background is in sharp and your subject, which is in motion, is blurry, then you probably are not panning as you shoot. Are you keeping the camera still? Instead, try following the subject as you shoot. If you do that properly, your subject will be sharp and the background will be blurry, which is a nice effect.
Hi Wendy, I shake a lot ( to much coffee i guess..lol) and my hands are not always as steady as I would like. one thing I've found that helps is the use of a tripod with a quick release mount so that you can go from tripod to hand held in seconds. Also try playing with your shutter speed. for action photos I'd start at 400, and take a few test shots of a moving car or a bird in flight. before taking the actual shots. That way you know right where to set the speed before I take my shot.