How to Capture Action on the Canon Rebel T5/1200D

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

To capture action shots on the Canon Rebel T5/1200D you will need to understand shutter speed. A fast shutter speed is the key to capturing a blur-free shot of any moving subject, whether it’s a spinning Ferris wheel, a butterfly flitting from flower to flower, or in the case of, a hockey-playing teen.

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In figure above, a shutter speed of 1/125 second was too slow to catch the subject without blur. A shutter speed of 1/1000 second froze the action cleanly, as shown in the figure below. Also, in the first image, the skater is farther from the background, blurring the background more than in the second.

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Try the techniques in the following steps to photograph a subject in motion:

  1. Set the Mode dial to Tv (shutter-priority autoexposure).

    In this mode, you control shutter speed, and the camera chooses the aperture setting that will produce a good exposure at the current ISO setting.

  2. Rotate the Main dial to select the shutter speed.

    You can monitor the shutter speed in the Shooting Settings display and viewfinder.

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    The shutter speed you need depends on how fast your subject is moving, so you have to experiment. Another factor that affects your ability to stop action is the direction of subject motion. A car moving toward you can be stopped with a lower shutter speed than one moving across your field of view, for example.

    Generally speaking, 1/500 second should be plenty for all but the fastest subjects — speeding hockey players, race cars, or boats, for example. For slower subjects, you can even go as low as 1/250 or 1/125 second.

    Remember, though, that when you increase shutter speed in Tv exposure mode, the camera opens the aperture to maintain the same exposure. At low f-stop numbers, depth of field becomes shorter, so you have to be more careful to keep your subject within the sharp-focus zone as you compose and focus the shot.