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Baseball and softball

Baseball -- by Jack Scholl. Taken in hi-burst mode.

steve `ssteppe' (dpreview, Panasonic forum, 12 March 2004)...

I found the best thing to do was anticipate the action and prefocus on the base. For example, when you know the runner on 1st is going to steal 2nd, I'd prefocus on 2nd base (also learned later to pan with the runner, even when using a high shutter speed.) The FZ1's lens would fit between the wire in back of the batter's box, but the FZ10's won't. So I'll probably be using the TCON-17 {see Section [*]} and shooting from the 1st base area when shooting batters.

You also get a feel for which girls on the other team are going to be hitting to the outfield, so when they were up to bat, I'd prefocus on the outfield, hoping to shoot a girl catching a fly ball. (With the FZ10, I can increase the DOF {depth of field, i.e. increase the range of lengths which will be in focus. This is done by increasing the f-stop or reducing the zoom. f-stop can be set in aperture-priority or manual mode, or as a side effect of slowing down the shutter speed in exposure-priority mode. Of course, if the shutter speed is too slow, moving athletes, let alone balls, will appear blurred!} to help with that.)

Of course you're going to miss a lot of action too (can't always anticipate correctly), but I don't think using auto focus and trying to follow the ball on every play is going to work. Better to be patient and anticipate. Good luck! :)...Example softball shots taken with FZ1 by steve


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David Fong 2009-09-04