Autofocus issues whilst videoing indoor sports

jezdawes's picture
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 09/06/2017 - 6:52am

Hi I am using a Sony RX10iii to video korfball matches (similar to Netball/basketball) and sometimes I am having trouble with bluring when I pan from one end of the court to the other. I am very much an amateur so don't have a great understanding of the settings I'm using. I have read up a little on possible causes and I am wondering if the hall temperature is affecting the camera. It does seem to be worse when the hall is cold but I'm not 100% sure. I upload my videos to youtube and you can see them on my channel  by searching for "jerram dawes". The " KV v Tigers Jan 2018" is a good example. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Jack Wolcott's picture
Last seen: 5 hours 14 min ago
Joined: 01/02/2008 - 11:51pm
Plus Member

If you are using autofocus I would expect this. On a very fast pan autofocus has trouble deciding what to focus on, especially if there are lights or glittering objects in the scope of the pan. Try using manual focus and see if this improves your shots. I doubt that building temperature has anything to do with the problem unless you're in a near-freezing environment.

Edit: I had an afterthought as to what might be causing your problem. Be sure that image stabilization is turned off if you're shooting on a tripod. If hand-held, experiment with stabilization on and off to see if that makes a difference. Sometimes image stabilization "grabs" the image, locking it so that a fast pan will cause a delay or jerkiness during or at the conclusion of the pan.

paulears's picture
Last seen: 5 hours 2 min ago
Joined: 11/05/2006 - 8:36am

Turn autofocus off! I'm amazed it's as good as it is. The trouble with sports is that the camera has no idea if you want to focus on the person close and in the foreground, crossing the frame or the person with the ball in the background. As soon as the camera detects a blurred edge it triggers a refocus - which means it has to defocus first to them refocus, and there's no guarantee it will focus back to the right person. So you focus on something at a distance where forward or backwards movement from it is still within acceptable focus sharpness. It gets worse as you zoom in of course, but I note you rarley go in close - is this because it makes the focus worse? DSLRs are also tricky for sports because the zooms are rarely able to keep focus - not what they're designed to do. I note the video is quite soft, and youtube says 720/60. The image doesn't look that brilliant for the type of camera? low contrast, under exposed - so are you using it on full auto - auto focus, exposure, etc? The pans in particular are quite soft too? In that position, I suspect I'd have set the focus point for an essentiall wide angle shot the goal posts. My cameras don't have auto focus, so it takes a bot of practice to adjust focus on the viewfinders I use - but DSLR viewfinder are usually horrble things. I use mine for stills and it's hopeless for accurate manual focussing. 

Spend some time practicing and experiment with the camera a little more - but the autofocus is just unreliable. Very few can cope with sport and fast moving objects moving left to right.