First Timer (Valhalla MMA pics inside)

 I just got a new camera but am not a photographer. I am very interested and want to learn.

I don't know much about cameras but let me know if this is a decent camera? I got a Nikon D-70.

I took the following pics the day I got the camera (had it about an hour so I didn't know what I was doing).

How are they? I know they aren't good pics but was hoping for suggestions on what settings to use ( and info on how to set those settings ) and what lens I should use. Right now I have 18-55.

You caught some good action!

I'll try to help even though I don't feel like I know that much, haha...

A D70 is good enough for what you need as a beginner. Get the 50mm F1.8 lens for $115 to eliminate blur. If you have more money, buy a F2.8 zoom lens like a 28-70mm so you can back off the zoom a bit, but still zoom in a little if needed. That last pic looks almost like a fisheye lens.

Set your camera to manual, turn off the flash. Change your white balance to get the best color...I just change it depending on the lighting above me, take a few test shots of the ref or someone in the cage, and then check out the pics. If I don't like the way they look, I change the WB to a different setting and repeat.

Jack up the shutter speed to reduce the blur (this is why a F2.8, F1.8, and F1.4 lens comes in handy....the lower the f-stops, the better - for action) and you'll probably have to jack up the ISO a little as well. I shot Ring of Combat with a shutter speed varying from 320 to 800 and an ISO from 200 to 400. I was using a F1.8 50mm lens which allowed me to keep the ISO low to reduce a lot of the graininess. My F4-5.6 55-200mm zoom lens required me to keep the shutter speed lower and the ISO higher so the pics are typically darker or grainier. is the best site for learning, IMO.

 Thanks for the advice! I am so new to this I don't even know how to jack up the shutter speed like you suggest! lol.

I bought the camera used for $200 but it didn't come with a manual :-(

You got some nice shots there. As backfist said, you need to get a faster lens to avoid the blur and let in as much light as possible.

$200 is a nice deal for a D70.

As for ISO, since your camera is older, try to keep the ISO at 800 or lower to reduce your picture grain. Newer cameras do a better job at reducing grain with the newer technology embedded into them.

Flash should never be used cageside. It drowns out the picture and stuns the fighters. It also reflects off of the black fence.

As for white balance, I typically use "Tungsten" at UFC events due to the many colored lights they have. Otherwise I just take a white coffee filter and cover over my lens, shoot at the lights above and set that as my custom white balance. It's a neat little trick.