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Old Aug 29, 2006, 10:25 AM   #1
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I recently purchased my S2 IS and being a relative camera novice have two questions:

1) Comparing the new S3 to my S2, the S3 has on its qucik dial a "sports" modewhere the S2 does not have this option.

Is there a way to simulate the"sports" modeon my S2? Would a high-speed SD card make a difference?

(Yes - I know that I can't get true action photos without upgrading to an SLR but how can I get the best out of what I have.)

2) I was trying to take aphoto on a lake with my daughter in the foreground andthe sunset inthe background. It was twilight and someone said I should try turning on 'Flash- Fill'.

What does this mean and howdo I do it?

Thanks for any input
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Old Aug 29, 2006, 1:42 PM   #2
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Sports scene mode

An automatic exposure mode which selects a faster shutter speed than normal to help freeze fast moving subjects.

So that suggests you could try shutter priority mode , set a fast speed, say 1/250 or faster and possibly raise ISO a notch if the camera can't reach that fast due to low light.

Probably best to ignore ISO 400 unless you really have to and treat 200 with caution, and use a good noise reduction program afterwards.

Fill flash, force the flash to on, so it takes out or softens any shadows on the main subject (your daughter).

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Old Sep 1, 2006, 3:28 PM   #3
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I thank you for the information, since as a novice I too need to know what's what. I'm able to read English and understand most of whatI read but when you start talking aperture numbers and shutter speed I seem to get a fog in my head. Is there a simple way to remember what these two settings mean for action vs posed shots?

I enjoy my camera to death, have gotten tons of great photos in P and Beach scene for swimming. Nothing is better than 2 frames/s following the action. But to be able to use M I think I need a more basic understanding of F-stop and similar concepts. Here is a sample using P: http://www.anniebananie.net/dans/helpers/helpers253.jpg

Can you recommend a tutorial?

Thanks tons
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Old Sep 12, 2006, 6:05 AM   #4
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Aperture is how wide the camera's iris opens to admit light, and Shutter Speed is how fast the shutter opens and closes to admit the light.

For a given lighting situation, the two work in an inverse relationship to achieve the same amount of light on the picture. So if you lower the shutter speed, the aperture closes down so it doesn't admit as much light but the sensor is exposed to that lower light for a longer period of time so it gets the picture. Conversely, if you raise the shutter speed, the aperture needs to open wider to allow more light for the shorter time the shutter is open.

These two are very closely linked, so in either Av or Tv mode, adjusting one adjusts the other to get a properly exposed picture. It is possible to set the shutter speed high enough that the aperture can't open wide enough to get the proper amount of light and the picture comes out dark. It is also possible in a very bright situation to set the aperture so high that the camera can't adjust the shutter fast enough and the picture gets washed out.

How do these two things affect action vs posed shots?

For action, think shutter speed. The higher the better, to freeze the action. But if there isn't a lot of light, you must remember that the higher the shutter speed the less light gets into the camera so the pictures may come out dark.

For posed pictures, think aperture: the wider the aperture, the shallower the depth of field, so you can isolate the subject better, leaving the background more blurry. If you have a lot of people in the scene, though, which you want all to be in focus, use a smaller aperture (i.e. higher aperture number such as 16 or 32) to get a deeper depth of field.

Really, the best thing is to go practicing. Go to a sporting event and play around with the shutter speeds, and set up a still-life scene and play around with the aperture.

Finally, experiment in M mode, where you have to set the aperture and the shutter speed, for most flexibility.

ISO factors into this by capturing more light as the sensitivity number goes up. The lower the ISO number, the more light the scene needs to affect the sensor. The higher the ISO number the less light is needed, but this can also introduce more noise (which looks a lot like what was called 'grain' when working with film) which can make an otherwise great shot less appealing. Sometimes this noise can be removed by software but often that happens with a great softening of detail, so depending on the camera you may be limited to ISO80 or ISO100 for the highest quality pictures.

The great thing about digital is that all this experimenting will cost you nothing and you can see immediately what the results of your actions are.

A good starting place to experiment is to take the picture in P mode, then look at the exif data and see what the aperture and shutter speed that the camera selected are. Then put the camera in Tv mode and try a slower shutter speed and a faster shutter speed and see the differences in the pictures. Then do the same with Av and use a wider aperture and a smaller aperture and see the differences. Then use M and play around.

When using Flash, it is important to remember that the camera has specific flash-sync shutter speeds, so even though you may think you have set the shutter to something like 1600, it might actually have only been 250 or 60 (two common flash sync speeds). Your camera's manual can explain this more completely.

One way to capture fast-moving scenes, if you can get close enough for your flash to actually impact the scene, is to use flash even in daylight. It will provide enough extra light to really freeze one moment in time, surrounded by a blur. Sometimes an external flash may be necessary to achieve this effect.

If I've made any errors in this post, I'm sure people will jump in and correct me (at least I hope they will!) and I hope I haven't over-explained things for you.
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Old Sep 30, 2006, 6:31 PM   #5
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I had the same problem trying to take action shots at my daughters softball games. I still have alot to learn, but I have had some good luck setting the camera to the Av setting (aperture priority setting). Thenuse the 4 way toggle to set the number to its lowest setting (2.7 at wide angle, and it jumps to 3.5 when you start to zoom). I have had some decent luck with action shots doing this on sunny days, and its easy to remember.
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