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Are you using the camera mounted on a Monopod? If so, then you will more than likely be experiencing the effects of the IS looking for vibrations / slight movements / Camera Shake etc. when there may not be any due to the grounded nature of the monopod, you should really be turning the IS off when mounting your camera on a Monopod.
But as you have not mentioned if you are using a monopod or not it's difficult to guess what the problem may be. My best guess would be not using a fast enough shutter speed, as mentioned above, opening the aperture right up and / or turning up the ISO to get a faster shutter speed is the most obvious starting point for a cure.
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Quote: Ive never ever used auto ISO in the past,
I'd never tried this either, then a few days ago, I found the option in a part of the camera's menu that I hadn't explored before.
Wondering what would happen, I switched it on and took some shots of some birds in the garden; some even in flight.
Despite ending up using some insanely high ISO, much higher than I'd normally expect to work, the results were really quite pleasing.
While I'd probably never use it ordinarily, I'd certainly consider it for the kind of shots being discussed here.
If I was you, gameon, I'd switch it on, I'm sure that your camera will have the option and try it out on some passing traffic somewhere in (deliberately) poor light.
With the greatest respect to the people trying to help by suggesting a monopod/tripod/bean bag etc, have you actually read the settings the OP used? You could have your camera mounted on the most stable platform on earth, but you aren't ever going to get sharp pictures of football using the low ISO/small aperture combination. The only way is to get the shutter speed up by changing the settings, as several helpful people have mentioned above.
Select auto ISO - in this mode it will go upto 3200 if needed
Select M Mode and set 1/500 & F2.8 above ( you can then step shutter speed up to suit the action)
Select spot focusing - some blur can just be poor focusing if it catches something else in the foreground then it focusses on this.
Of course if its too dark then manual focus.
If the blur is coming from your own camera shake, then a monopod will reduce that, but at over 1/500 sec that's unlikely. A lot of the pro's seem to use supports jsut to carry the weight of the camera as much as anything else.
the reciprocal rule for your 7D aPS-c camera say that (200*1.6) anything above about 1/320 should be OK but with the action i'd use at least 1/800.
The other thing is that in a stadium you might be quite far from the action so the subjects will be small in the frame, so when you digitally zoom on the PC screen later in there is not that much detail there to display the subject as sharp. In this case you need to get closer, use an extender, or use a longer lens.
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