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Old Mar 23, 2010, 6:17 PM   #31
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very ...very....very ....very....one more....very nice fibbling.

the fujifilm cameras are for special people I believe. It is a bridge camera and not a dslr. It's like wrapping your body around "cheap" silk but it is silk none the less.
Well thank you so much Cresho for the nice compliment!

Funny, your remark about Fuji users - my first digital camera years ago was a Finepix, but I soon 'converted' to Canon. Since I couldn't afford an SLR I decided Powershots were the best quality point-and-shoot. But the thing is - I've had far more compliments about my photos since getting the S200EXR.

Buying the S200EXR was again mostly dictated by financial constraint - if I'd been given a blank cheque I would have purchased the latest Digital Rebel with a high-zoom lens :-) Ah, to dream... Anyway, after a lot of research, I decided the S200EXR might be the perfect option for those who really want an SLR but can't afford one, or who can afford an SLR body but not a decent-zoom lens - and for me, someone who loves taking photos of animals and birds, a zoom lens is a must!

At first I thought I'd made a mistake and missed certain things about my Canon SX10 (namely the swivel LCD & RAW/DNG support). But I soon discovered the S200EXR had one really great thing lacking in my earlier cameras: the chance for noise-free images! The EXR Resolution-Priority mode of this camera, particularly at ISO 100 & 200, is what I can only describe as noiseless. And this was always one of the main differences between SLR vs digital camera. If you remove 'noise' from photos, then the only limitation is you! I spent so much time post-editing the shots from my Canon cameras to remove noise that I spent less time on actually planning and taking the photos. And although the 'Pro-focus' mode is not perfect, you can also take shots with this camera that have that SLR 'feel'. These shots are not flawless like EXR Resolution Priority, but a little post-production noise-removal can tidy things up easily ('Neat Image' is my fav).

So this camera has really challenged the idea that you need an SLR system for perfect image quality - it must be this 'EXR' thing!

Anyway, I started a new thread for my RAW question - maybe you found it already!
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 6:34 PM   #32
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Well I got a bit impatient as the weather is still the pits here.
I just ran outside and took a few shots. So the first two shots are EXP mode full auto including the focus. The birds are a very long ways away.
I couldn't use the full auto on any close up shots as it wouldn't focus.

The remaining shots are EXR Resolution Priority all manual focus. I didn't even check the ISO setting before shooting but it was auto(800).

I used the macro and then super macro settings for the manual focus.
I was actually able to see the focus this time around in the viewfinder. I could easily make out the details on those dragonfly wings. But that's an easy pattern to pick up I think. Same for all the water drops.

The focus indicator seems to be a bit off from observed best visual focus and it dances around a bit. So I'm not sure what that means when you're manually focusing on something a bit farther away and not as easy to identify?
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 7:50 PM   #33
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well, These are typical exr automatic shots and I think they are excellent. But you can take better pictures in p mode once you get the hang of screweing around with settings. Nothing wrong with your camera.

Here are my 3 pigeon shots from the park.

first two is full auto exr and the third one is a setting I chose in p mode.

I like the look of this unlike the other cameras. Distortion is low and fringing is low. I have white ducks as well and I see none fringing on mines. to bad it's only a 15x zoom. I could of grabbed nicer and deeper shots with a 30x.

Ill remind you these are just samples and not actual pictures I would post. I just did a few just to show exr auto in action. LOL! For you experts here, the first 2 are iso 400 and the last one is 100.
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 8:09 PM   #34
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and using p mode. first one is not edited, second one is slightly edited.
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 8:37 PM   #35
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All the shots here (both users) are good! I would say to Bob that manual focus is very dicey for distance shots, and especially for birds! I only ever use it for macros as it nearly always results in a totally blurry photo.
One final tip - if you prefer to use the auto-modes to begin with, use the EXR Resolution Priority, not EXR Auto, because it takes too much (esp focus) out of your control. The Resolution Priority mode is also an auto-mode, it will take care of the exposure (shutter & aperture) but still allow you choice of ISO, Focus (and optional stuff on the menu like Film, Sharpness etc) - all you have to do is half press the shutter on something (assuming you have Focus wheel on the left to 'S') and you can have a look at what the exposure is about to be should you take the shot. The +/- button at the top also gives you a say in the brightness of the shot, and adjusting this can be handy for deliberately trying to 'induce' the camera to choose a higher shutter speed (which reduces the chance of blurring). Just hold down this button and turn the wheel leftwards, darkening the image, and as you do so the shutter speed will increase slightly. If the shots seem too dark just increase the ISO. It's not as fool-proof as manual mode but it's a handy semi-automatic mode to start taking good photos.
Good luck!
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 9:30 PM   #36
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The bird shots I took were automatic focus not manual. EXR full auto.

I was totaly concentrating on how the focus was working (thread topic)

It does look to me that it is very difficult to use manual focus on anything that isn't a few feet or less away. The pro focus option didn't help me when trying that either. Look at my previous cut log photo which was taken from across the room with zoom and manual focus. Just horrible.
I didn't try the pro-focus mode today with the macro shots. I didn't think it was needed either. It's a bit distracting too.

So point out where I'm wrong on my thinking but it looks like I basically just have to use auto focus except in very close. On the longer shots I can't really tell how the focus or sharpness is going to turn out by looking in the eyepiece because the viewfinder isn't that good? Though I never had such issues with my film slr.

I was kind of surprised when first shooting those glass dragonflys that I HAD to go into macro mode to obtain a focus even if I was several feet (3 or 4?) away from them. It's different from my other cameras in that respect.

Fibbling, I can see what you mean about manipulating the various automatic modes. I just need some decent days and practice. But there ARE a lot of buttons and options so I would like to get as simple a set of options that "work well" enough because if I put the camera down for 3 or 4 months I know I won't be able to just pick it up and start manipulating 3 or 4 options right away to catch a quick shot. If you're shooting lots of pictures all the time it's different. The camera's operation becomes second nature for you.

So the next set will be distance shots, mostly autofocus and some experimentation to see if I can figure out how/when/if to use manual focus other than for macro situations.

Thanks for everyones help.

Bob
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 9:32 PM   #37
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and using p mode. first one is not edited, second one is slightly edited.
Just curious, what did you do and why in the edited shot?
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 9:45 PM   #38
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the edited shot is just lowered brightness and increased contrast. That's all.

have you tried fiddling with the types of focus options?

They say use area focus for normal shots and spot focus for macro shots.

I use spot focus for everything.

Try using exr resolution priority mode with spot focus aka center focus

Its in the menu->af mode->center, multi, or area
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 10:18 PM   #39
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Hey Cresho,

How far away were you from the pigeons?? That last shot in Program mode is a really big image! I zoom-snap birds a lot and don't think I've a shot that clear - any chance of some EXIF data? :-)

Joanna
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Old Mar 24, 2010, 1:37 AM   #40
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subject was around 10-15 feet away.
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