5 Nikon D500 Sports Photography Tricks For Better Image Quality!

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If you’re someone who enjoys documenting sports through photography, then the Nikon D500 is the perfect camera for you. It helps you capture all the thrilling and exciting moments of a game and lets you freeze those moments in time. With its 20.7MP APS-C (DX-format) sensor, you can get crisp images of the most blazing moments, whether it’s tennis, soccer, or football. It allows you to fulfill your aspirations of professional photography and bring them to life. 

Sports photography requires many many things, namely photographer skills, and camera features. With the following tips, you will learn everything there is to capture the best sports images, worthy of being featured in a magazine, and you’ll know precisely how the Nikon D500 helps you do that. 

Since this kind of photography was heavily dominated by professionals from magazines, newspapers, and TV channels, the accessibility of cameras like the D500 is a ray of hope for everyone. Today, it is not so much a restricted territory. 

The D500 comes equipped with tools like 180,000-pixel RGB sensor for metering and subject recognition, which helps you focus and keep the subject in place without losing sight. This feature also allows you to get focused images without the subject’s movement causing any blurring effects. 

The camera also comes with an AF point joystick, which lets you get away from the viewfinder and get an alternative for focusing purposes. Such features not only help you get amazing images but also allow you to do so comfortably. 

Here are 5 tips on using the Nikon D500 for sports photography.   

A Fast Shutter Speed Is Necessary

A sports event can never be expected to have slowly moving subjects. It is a fast-paced scene, which needs a fast capturing device. Thus, an incredibly fast shutter speed is required in order to make that happen. If in a cricket game, the baller is throwing the ball at the rate of 60 kilometers per hour, then your camera needs to have the ability to capture that instant when the ball is still in the air or just barely touching the bat. This much precision can only come if you have a professional DSLR.  

Alternatively, you can also adjust some settings to get a faster shutter speed. Factors like the ISO levels, aperture, and how bright the day also affects the shutter speed. For example, if you’re shooting at night and it is dark, then the ISO needs to be very low to capture the image at the highest speed. 

However, this will cause the image to be darker than the actual scene itself. So, you may want to use a flash or external lights. Alternatively, you can increase the shutter speed and increase the ISO level if the day is too bright. This technique will get you much crisper images with much more precision while being moderately bright.  

The Nikon D500 comes with incredibly fast shutter speed. With 10 frames per second shooting for up to 200 shots (lossless compressed 14-bit Raw to XQD card), you can take as many photos as possible without blurring an image. 

You also get an ISO sensitivity of 100-51200, which you can alter as per your liking. This added feature lets you choose how much light enters and how fast you wish to capture an image. It also has a shutter speed of 1/8000 second, which is perfect for any sports event. 

Use Aperture Priority Mode

The aperture priority mode determines what amount of light is captured into the camera’s mirror. There are multiple modes on a DSLR, including shutter priority, manual, automatic, and aperture priority. As mentioned above, the aperture is another factor that determines the brightness and shutter speed of your camera. The aperture is the f/stop number on the manual setting mode, which you can alter as per your liking. It is denoted by the letter A on every Nikon camera. 

With this mode, you will need a high aperture, which is denoted by a smaller f-number. When you set the camera on f/2.8 aperture, it will automatically know that the camera needs to release the shutter fast because more light is entering. 

The lower the f-number, the higher the aperture, the more the brightness, and the faster the shutter speed. Thus, when doing sports photography, you will need to use the aperture priority mode, which automates the camera into a faster shutter speed. 

The Nikon D500 comes with several exposure modes. All these modes are fully accessible and fully customizable, so you can decide what aperture you want to set for any game. You also get an exposure compensation of ±5 EV range. 

Fast Auto-Focus Helps

Auto-focus is super essential in sports photography. It is what helps you get innovative shots and crisper moments to cherish. AF mode enables you to track multiple subjects at the same time. Since sports is a super-fast event, you will need a camera that can focus on subjects faster. 

In this case, taking bust shots is the best option because it allows you to get that one money shot. It is advised that you set your camera to 4 or 5 frames per second so that it can take faster images, out of which at least one will be well focused. 

For example, if you’re in the bleachers, and you’re shooting a football game, you’ll need to keep your camera moving with the players. This simultaneous movement may cause the images to come out blurred. 

Still, if you have a faster AF system, then the likelihood of anything disastrous happening will be dramatically reduced. So, you should always look for a camera that can focus faster without you having to manually rotate the focus ring and potentially missing out on some incredible sports moments. 

With the Nikon D500, you get a 153 point AF module with 99 cross-type points. This feature helps you in taking pictures from any angle and getting a great focus on every subject. It also comes with several AE/AF modes including. All these features help you get the best sports moment captured onto your camera.   

Take Multiple Shots

Once again, as mentioned above, sports photography is a very fast-paced job. It requires you to move fast and focus fast. Thus, it would be best if you took as many shots as possible. Since it is so fast, taking multiple photos helps to reduce the likelihood of getting blurred images. 

This can be achieved through the use of manual settings on your camera. Once you’re in manual mode, you can easily configure the settings to a burst mode of however many frames per second as you want. This will help in getting at least one good shot. 

For example, if you’re shooting a cricket match, and the ball is thrown at a very high speed, you will need to capture that in as many shots as possible. Just taking one single image will not help. Since the time between releasing the ball and it touching the bat is merely a second, your camera will have to take as many shots as possible in that one second. Only then will you be able to get a good image that portrays a stunning moment in sports. These moments are what fans live for. 

With a shutter speed of 1/8000 sec and an X-sync speed of 1/250 sec, you can take as many shots as you wish. The Nikon D500 can shoot at 10 fps, which is an incredible speed for any DSLR. This means you can take 10 images in a single second. And you can continue doing so for up to 200 photos, so you never lose a moment in the game.   

Shoot From A Low Angle

Shooting from higher up is always troublesome because of the way most stadiums are constructed. If you shoot from a low angle, then you have a direct view of the sports field. This is why you may have seen most photographers line at the bottom of the stadium, taking images as if they are on the field. It is primarily because the viewer of the images wants to feel like s/he is in the field. That experience can only be created by shooting from a lower angle. 

A higher angle will only give you a bird’s eye view of the event, something most viewers experience anyway. You have to provide them with an experience that is live and thrilling. This only happens when you’re shooting from a lower angle. 

For example, you can stand outside the boundary line of the field and take images from there. This will allow you to not interrupt the game, all the while taking a low angled picture that will potentially get you published somewhere. 

The Nikon D500 comes with a 4K (UHD) video from a 1.5x crop of sensor and a 100% coverage viewfinder with 1.0x magnification. It also has a tilting touchscreen display, which goes hand in hand with low angle photography. You can now shoot any game and not be worried about whether the images are correctly framed or not because the camera takes care of that. So go out there and shoot your first game.