I'm often asked about "typical" camera settings, and what should be used in various situations. As such, I've gathered a short list of what I use most, depending on the provided or adjusted light, motion, and overall conditions.
I'll discuss Sports in this post, and touch on Concert, Studio & Urban/architectural subjects, in later posts.
As most of you already know, photography is a balance between three (3) key elements...
ISO (Sensibility to light), F-Stop (Depth of field), and Speed (stopping motion in it's track).
In challenging instances or settings, one might need to play the "compensation" card, in order
to achieve the desired result.
Depending if you're shooting an outdoor or indoor venue, most times I'll use an F2.8 depth of field, in order the have a nice "soft" background (making the subject pop out of the picture), and leaving myself enough margin to crank up the speed, to freeze the action, without having to boost the ISO too high, and avoid having too much digital "noise" in an image.
Example: NHL Indoor hockey, my settings are something like this...
Full Manual Mode, F2.8, 1/800sec speed & 1600 ISO
BOXING, on the other hand, is a whole different story. High speed action, Low light, warm color-cast lighting from above spotlights, etc.... This is a perfect example of "sacrificing" one of the above-mentioned elements, in order to achieve the best possible results. In a "decently-lit" arena, my settings of choice would be something like this...
Full Manual Mode, F3.5, 1/800sec & 5000 ISO
If digital noise is a concern at this level ISO (camera body dependent) a good portion of it can be reduced, using appropriate software.