In the last article, [Part 1] Tips for Indoor Sports Photography, I showcased some great ways to take indoor photography. I’d like to continue that focus to show you a few more ways to enhance your indoor photography skills. Specifically, let’s focus on the settings.

Preset Camera Settings for Indoor Events

Autofocus setting on the lensset to “on”Make sure it hasn’t been switched to manual
White balanceset to “auto”Use a custom white balance, if possible
Meteringset to “zone”Spot metering is rarely needed for indoor sports
Shooting Mode“manual”
Shutter1/640 second1/500 would be the minimum shutter speed to use
Aperturewidest setting (usually f2.8)
ISO“auto”If no “auto” setting, start at 4000 ISO and move up to 5000 ISO
Auto ISO setting in camera menu100-12,800 ISO
Color SpacesRGBDon’t choose Adobe RGB
Save images as…Large JPEGCan also use RAW for more control in editing the images
Focusing Cases (canon)Case 1 for track & field
Case 2 for swimming, wrestling, and tennis
Case 3 for track & field
Case 4 for soccer, basketball, volleyball, and football
Case 5 for tennis and volleyball
Case 6
Case 1 is the default

General Sports Camera Settings


EventRecommended lensesISO settingShutter SpeedNotes
Baseball70-200 @ f 2.84001/1000 and fasterDepends on light, have sun at back
Basketball23-70, 16-35 @ f 2.84001/500 (minimum)No matter what, have at least 1/500 minimum shutter speed
Football70-200, 300 @ f 2.84000/50001/5004000 ISO, eventually switching to 5000 ISO @ f 2.8
Golf70-200 @ f 2.84001/2000
Soccer70-200, 300 @ f 2.8400, (4000/5000 at night)1/500
Softball24-105 A f4, 70-200 @ f 2.84001/640Night, same as football
Swimming70-200 @ f 2.84001/1000 and fasterSettings depend on time of the day
Tennis24-70 @ f 2.8, 24-105 @ f44001/500Sun at your back
Track & Field70-200 @ f2.84001/500 and fasterLight meter determines shutter speed
Volleyball24-70 @ f 2.840001/500 (minimum)
Water Polo70-200 @ f 2.84001/2000Light meter determines settings
Wrestling70-200 @ f 2.840001/500 (minimum)


Things you should carry in your camera Bag

  • Camera body
  • Wide angle and telephoto lens (preferably f2.8 or faster for shooting indoor sports)
  • Extra camera battery
  • ExpoDisc or gray card to set custom white balance
  • Backup camera body and memory card, if available
  • A monopod and beanbag for steady shots

About the author

Chris Bledsoe

Arroyo Grande High School [CA] Chris Bledsoe has been the choral director at Arroyo Grande High School for 34 years and currently teaches choir, piano, AP music theory and advanced graphic arts.