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I'm a complete newbie here but I am reading all the I could. I bought a D5200 with a 55-200 to shoot our lacrosse league. Shooting from the sidelines the lense gets as close as needed. The first few times used we had good weather and light right up until out 8:00 PM game when the lights came on.

Last week we had some clouds and the earlier games looked better than our night game, but the camera in "sport mode" kept choosing slower shutter speeds. Light room indicates 1/250 - 1/400 for the photos. All the previous weeks the shutter speed were 1/800 to 1/1600 and didn't have focus problems.

Why did the camera choose such slow shutter speeds? They were especially slow and out of focus for our 8:00 game that was entirely lighted by the stadium lights. Anyone have suggestions for manual settings when I experience this problem?

  • Were you running full Auto or Aperture Priority? – SCB Jul 29 '14 at 1:41
  • I need to go check. I think it is in full auto when the "sports" man is selected. – Yaemish Jul 29 '14 at 19:57
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If you are taking sport shots and need a high minimum shutter speed, shoot in S (shutter priority) mode instead, and force the camera to use a speed like 1/800. It will adjust your other settings (ISO, aperture) to accommodate it. But be careful: it might make boost the ISO so much that it may make your images grainy. But you'll get the higher shutter speed that you seek.

Also, it might not have been a focus problem that you encountered. It may have been motion blur caused by a combination of the slightly slower shutter speed plus the long 'zoomed-in' focal length (which accentuates camera shake). If the camera can't get enough light in, it will slow the shutter speed down. That can cause motion blur. A tripod, monopod or a lens with image stabilization can help with that.

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