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Old Mar 20, 2007, 11:38 AM   #21
cpe
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There are some possiblities with depth of focus (colors are artifact of resizing to this forums maximum). F/4.9, 66mm:

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Old Mar 20, 2007, 11:51 AM   #22
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I didn't mean to imply that there was no control of depth of field with this camera. I was only suggesting that, since it is not as shallow and controllable as it is with a digital SLR, perhaps that would be a benefit in this particular situation. I have read a few comments from people asking why it is so difficult to make the background blurry. And the reason that has been given by those who REALLY know (not me) is that the smaller sensor causes the camera to photograph with more of the picture in focus.
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Old Mar 20, 2007, 1:34 PM   #23
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I've been chatting to a fella on another photography forum who put me onto the Samsung GX-1L DSLR... Damn him for that too because now it's really caught my eye.

Can't decide if I should invest in an entry-level DSLR and have done with it or not.
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Old Mar 20, 2007, 2:32 PM   #24
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Well, I certainly would have in your situation. I don't have a lot of money to invest in this kind of stuff. And I have a couple of other situations that come into play. You want to look like a pro, so why not get a camera that will allow you to produce more like a pro? I can't recommend the camera you mentioned because I don't know anything about it. But all of the digital SLR cameras are very nice. They are more responsive, they have bigger sensors, they produce better images. Yes, I know, it has been said many times that you have to have two or three lenses to cover the range of the 9100. Do you really need that kind of range? I don't think so. My suspicions are that you are shooting at a fairly wide angle and are quite close to your subjects. What good is a 300 mm lens in a situation like that?
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Old Mar 20, 2007, 6:26 PM   #25
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Very true, but my camera is more than just a tool. I really enjoy photography and I do use it outside my job. But the GX-1L comes with two lenses. An 18-55mm and a 55-200mm. But that's another thread.

I'm heading over to Wales next week. All those landscapes and castles to shoot
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Old Mar 20, 2007, 9:59 PM   #26
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Perhaps you want to try a technique I used when photographing dance floor activity with a similar camera (and I hope the explanation is clear, I'm trying to simplify it for those who are new to the advanced features the S9100 offers). The right equipment doesn't cost much and it really simplifies your club shooting:



First, instead of the camera's built-in flash, I was using an external flash (a Vivitar 285HV, which is quite powerful). These cost about $90. Imounted it on a $10 flash bracket and fired it by the camera's external flash connection socket. The Fuji S9100 is one of the very rare non-SLR digital cameras to have this feature, soan "old fashioned" flash like the Vivitar works great (not to mention makesa real statement to people impressed with the "pro look" of the combination). The Vivitar is an old-style automatic flash - it has a sensor that reads the light as the flash fires and adjusts the flash output to match the scene you are photographing, and it works great.



I set the camera to full manual - no automatic exposure wasneeded. The power of this flashallowedme to set the camera's aperture manually to f8 (a shutter speed of 1/125 is fine).At this flash's f8setting the flashhas an automatic range going out to around 17 feet with the camera set at 100 speed - plenty of distance for dance floor work.



Then I'dturn off the autofocus and set the focus manually to 6 to 7feet (check often to make sure you didn't bump the focus accidently). Now, if you keep the lens down in the 28mm to 50mm range (and you have to remain conscious of this and check it constantly - I usually set it at 50mm and left it there)your depth of field is, at a minimum, something like 4 feet toway out there 20+ feet across the room (that's with the lens set at 50mm - its even greater down at the wider 35mm and 28mm settings) and everything in thatrange ispretty sharp. Now you just shoot away - you don't focus at all (or wait on the autofocus), you just shoot. The flash's auto feature takes care of proper exposure., the depth of field takes care of the focus. Simple.



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Old Mar 21, 2007, 6:12 AM   #27
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Thanks for taking the time to offer your advice here and it does sound like you're know what you're talking about.

I guess the main problem with that advice is that it requires I spend more money on a flash unit, and at the moment, I'm torn between investing even more money into this camera and just buying a DSLR.

I do like this camera, but I'm just not sure that it's the camera for me.
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Old Mar 21, 2007, 6:01 PM   #28
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Machine -



Glad I sounded half-way intelligent, since I've been doing this awhile (I bet I have cameras older than you!) :-)



Certainly the question of whether a camera is right for you is a consideration. But don't be afraid to be patient with the Fuji. The Fuji camera is not by any means a beginners camera and it takes some learning. It has some very advanced features, and once you get to know them you may really appreciate it. And you won't necessarily do any better with a low-end SLR.



The camera I was using on the dance floor that was similar to your Fuji was a Minolta 7Hi, which had some remarkable advanced features - in fact, it pretty much could do anything that the more-advanced mid-rangeSLRs can do andMORE than the entry-level SLRs do.I also have a Canon 20D that I use to shoot weddings, Mitzvahs, and portraits. The Minolta sadly went belly-up thanks to the Sony defective sensor failures that struck so many cameras. No big deal,I have this wonderful 20D and that should be all I need, right? Well, truthfully, there are a whole lot of times I go out shooting and want a serious camera, with all the "pro" features and control that myCanon offers,plus better image quality than my little "snapshot" digital delivers, but I also want to travel light and don't really want to haul the 20Dand the heavy lenses (think hiking and such). The Minolta was the perfect compromise. I miss it, butthe Fujiis very comparable,so much so that even though I have that wonderful 20D I will actually be purchasing a Fuji S9100 very soon!



The so-called "bridge" cameras (bridging the gap between snapshot and SLR cameras) really are very good, andin my view the Fuji ranks far above any of the others because its a camera you can grow into and really develop your skills. A lot of folks mistakenlythink an SLR will automatically do better (and the camera makers are more than happy to stoke that thought and sell you a pricey SLR outfit), but you may be disappointed to find that the SLR in fact doesn't do any better for you (the reduced depth of field of the longer focal length lenses that the SLR's use means you are even less likely to hit the focus). So if you can,be patient and get to know your Fuji better. If nothing else, the skills you develop will carry over fine to an SLR later.



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Old Mar 21, 2007, 8:34 PM   #29
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Thanks again Jim.

I'm seriously torn now buddy. I've been discussing the performance of entry-level DSLR's such as the GX-1L, compared to the performance of the high end prosumer cams, and the guys on the other thread are all saying that there's really no competition... Being that the DSLR would be better for me to be more creative and advance my skills.

Then just when I'm about to commit to the purchase I read your thread and find myself back where I started! lol

I completely see your point about the S9600 being an advanced and highly capable camera. I've spent most of the day shooting outdoors in various modes and settings, mostly be means of blind experimentation than anything else.
There's clearly a great deal more to this camera than first meets the eye, and it's also clear to see that this camera is by no means your average point and shoot kit.

I allowed my girl to experiment with the camera today too and she really enjoyed using it. This is quite rare since my girl doesn't share my enthusiam when shopping for, or raving about a new camera. She also is encouraging me to keep hold of this one, although I suspect that she secretly hopes that she will be given it as a hand down when I do eventually invest in a DSLR!

My problem is that I'm a fussy bugger! Can't be helped.

Thanks for the feedback again. I've taken your advice onboard mate.

--------

New question

I'm gonna be doing further testing today both indoors and outdoors.
I plan to have a trip over to a local lake and shoot some scenic photos. And then the clubbing starts at night so I'll have another chance to drill it in the low-light.

Can anybody give me some setting suggestions for best results in both environments.

Thanks in advance
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Old Mar 22, 2007, 5:14 PM   #30
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Machine -



Glad I could "help"! :-) Its interesting when you compare specs, because not only does the Fuji do about everything any entry-level to mid-level digital SLR can do, but in some cases it does more (e.g. I don't believe any entry-level SLR has an external flash socket like the Fuji - you can hook up studio flash units and those "old fashioned' and INEXPENSIVE Vivitar and Sunpack flashes to the Fuji so easily).



Yes, in ultimate image quality the SLR wins (because of its larger sensor) - but from experience I can also tell you that the differences in a print (not on screen) don't begin to show until you are making some pretty big prints (like larger than 11x14). Andof course that ultimate quality comes at a hefty price when you figure that the least expensive 6MP SLR body plus a lens that matches the Fuji 28-300 will cost about double. And you never have to worry about dust on the sensor and anguishing over cleaning the sensor with the Fuji. Its just a great, do-it-all camera.



Your girl will be very lucky when (IF?) you pass the Fujidown to her, as it will do everything she could possibly need. Best of luck on your decision (hint: even if you go for an SLR, wouldn't making your girlhappy be a reallynice idea?) :-)



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