Help with settings for hockey

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    • #71601

      I have been filming for many years but am certainly an amateur.  My grandson is a fantastic hockey player and everyone depends on me to take the videos and either give them out upon request or post on YouTube.  They all go on YouTube for the dad's to critcise (sorry kids).

      This year I upgraded to a newer presumer camera a Sony HDR- PJ760V with the floating lens thinking that should be good for fast hockey.  However I get quite a bit of blur with everything set on Auto when I grab a still shot while stil filming..  If I manually adjust shutter speed which Auto sets at 60 the picture gets darker.  As some of you probably know in an indoor hockey rink the light varies from rink to rink and you also can most often end op shooting through Plexiglas (I avoid the higher elevations with nets to protect the fans). I get better shots with a clear puck in the air if I go to 250, 500 maybe even 180 is not all that bad.  But I have the abiliy to go the the thousands for shutter speed.  Imagine the action I could freeze with that and a 24.1 megapixal still.

      Anyway any advice on how to set this thing so that I can get clear action still pictures and still maintain good lighting?  Sometimes also the movies may have a green or blue or other colour tinge to them. Any way to eliminate that?

      Thanks so much.  For a guy who takes so many hours of video for so many years I really don’t know what I am f]doing . But I’m sure glad I found this forum

    • #209445

      Shooting sports is very different than shooting other types of video.


      The thing about it is this – expose is a balancing act between three basic factors.

      1. Shutter speed (slower shutter: more light but more motion blur – faster shutter: less light but less motion blur.)

      2. Iris aka f stop (larger iris: more light but shallower depth of field – narrower iris: less light but deeper depth of field,) (Lower f stop means larger iris.)

      3. Gain, aka ISO (lower gain: less brightness but less video noise – higher gain: brighter image but more video noise.)


      The chip size in your camera is 1/2.88 of an inch which is decent for a palm sized camcorder. It's nowhere near the size of an HDSLR, though, so having an overly shallow depth of field isn't likely to be a serious problem for you. You should be able to open up your iris all the way.


      I'm not sure what you mean by 'floating lens' but I suspect you're talking about some sort of image stabilizer. The way an image stabilizer works is by causing a slight delay in panning until the camera is sure you meant to move it. Then when you stop panning, the camera catches up with your image. It's great for holding a steady handheld shot and taking out the little jitters, but you may find it a bit distracting for the quick pans associated with hockey. Try playing around with your stabilizer settings and even try turning it off (especially if you have a tripod) to find out what you like best.


      As for the bluriness you're finding in your video, that's likely caused by fast movement and low shutter speeds. True, a slow shutter gives you more light, but it magnifies motion blur.


      Your camera is capable of shooting 1080p at 60 fps. This setting will give you the crispest video possible for hockey. To minimize motion blur, shoot at a shutter speed of 1/125 or 1/250.


      As you've noticed, higher shutter speeds mean less light. You'll have to compensate by using a wider shutter/lower f stop and probably a higher gain.


      If you can set a shutter priority to 125 or 250, you can then set your gain to auto and let the camera sort it out. If the gain is too high, your might begin seeing video noise. But at least the action will be in focus.


      Here's something else to consider – auto settings are probably going to weigh the bright white ice and under expose the players. Automatic setting will allow you to slightly overexpose the ice while also bringing some detail back into your players. So a manual gain setting might be a better choice – try both and see what you like.


      Finally, if your camera has contrast settings, try shooting at a lower contrast. This will bring the white ice and the darker players more into the middle zone giving you lower contrast but more details in your video.

    • #209448

      Thank you so much.  I think I have learned a lot from your post.  It also happens that we are right in the middle of a tournament ie two games yesterday, one this morning and the next tonight with hopefully a couple more tomorrow.   So I can try these settings right away and come back and let you know how I made out.

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