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Old Jul 27, 2006, 11:57 AM   #1
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I have been trying to learn the non-auto features of my S3, as auto isn't its strong suit. I have been learning about exposure, iso, aperture, shutter speed, etc. I learned that aperture is depth of field and when you want the subject in focus and background blurred, you change aperture settings. I tried this with the S3 and no matter what aperture I set, the picture looked the same . . . .whatam I doing wrong? Same with shutter speed and action shots . . . couldn't get the object blurred at any setting . . . the moving object looks stopped at all settings.
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Old Jul 28, 2006, 2:11 PM   #2
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You need to make sure the camera mode dial is set toTv, Av or M and use the 4-way navigator to change the shutter speed and/or aperture. You should definitely see a difference for 1/15 sec vs. 1/250 sec for moving objects... fyi, sometimes having the flash on can freeze movements.

Per the aperture and blurring the background, try shooting something where there is reasonable distance betweeen the main subject and the background... make sure you lock the focus on the subject in the foreground, otherwise the camera may pick the focus so that the foreground and background are in relatively good focus. You should see a difference between f/3.5 and f/8... it might help if you zoom in on your subject.
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Old Jul 28, 2006, 4:31 PM   #3
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put zoom at maxumum 12x, aperture at 3.2-3.6, and put subject at 1-2m.
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Old Aug 2, 2006, 12:25 PM   #4
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You've learned the basic concepts. Now you need to translate them into reality. One of the problems I find with most photography books is that the author usually uses a DSLR instead a PaS and there are major differences between the two technologies. So, when you read an article (or a book) stating that an aperture of f2.8 will create a shallow DoF (blurred background), that is very true if the camera in use is a DSLR but may not be so with PaS (point-and-shoot - and yes, the 12x zoom cameras are considered PaS but for the sake of this explanation, I'll refer to them as FL, which stands for "fixed lens", since this is really what differentiates the two technologies). There is a relationship between a DSLR aperture valueand a FL aperture value. For instance, a f2.8 on a FL camera is equivalent to f5.6-f6.3 on a DSLR. With that said, one can immediately tell that an aperture of f2.8 on a FL camera will not produce the same DoF effect as a DSLR. Unfortunately, due to the differences in lens construction, it is very difficult to obtain a very shallow DoF with FL cameras. The solution? Move away from the subject and use the zoom. The more zoom you use, the blurrier the background will appear (and the farthest away you must movefrom the subject if you want to keep the same proportions).

Now, shutter speed is a different matter and there are almost no differences between the DSLR and FL technologies. A 1/1000 is just as fast on a FL camera as it is on a DSLR. However, if you use the long range of the S3 zoom (12x), then your results shooting at 1/1000 will definitely differ from a DSLR shot at WA. In order to blur anaction, you should set the speed to less than 1/125. Anything above that could potentially freeze the image if the subject is 1)far from the camera and 2)not moving very fast.

With all that in mind, I'd try to use zoom to obtain shallower DoF and very small speeds (1/40) to obtain blurred action. Keep in mind that as the speed goes down, the tendency to have camera shake increases. The S3IS will help you some.
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Old Aug 2, 2006, 8:22 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for your advice and tips! It is invaluable to a beginner, as there is just sooooo much I don't know! I haven't yet had a chance to put these tactics into practice as I was participating in the blurry action last weekend . . . autocross with our MR2 club I'll try it out in the next week or so if I can find something fast moving to shoot.

I'll be asking more questions in the future. By the way, all your advice on the Program setting and using ISO in a previous thread was fabulous! I've been using it ever since and almost never use the auto setting now.
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