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Old Dec 29, 2002, 4:19 AM   #1
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Default newbie with s602 questions

Hi,
I just got the s602 for Christmas. The book doesn't give much guidance for what options to use in different situations. I want to take some portrait style pics of friends on New Years. What tips and settings does anyone recommend. Lighting will be average to low and I have a preset background hanging for them to stand in front of. What types of preparation should I do to make the pics go quickly? I seem to find that SP with no flash and ISO400 makes good indoor photos of my cats, but I get a little movement from the camera about every 3 or 4 shots and the shot blurs. I'd appreciate any tips I can get. I was expecting great things from this camera, but didn't really know what a learning curve I'd have to go through. Are there any books or links that give more user friendly instructions than the manual that came with the cam? Thanks a lot.

Lori
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Old Dec 29, 2002, 5:29 AM   #2
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I've copied this from another post:

...My recommendation for you with this cam, is therefore to put the cam in AUTO mode, check it's 200ASA, restrict to optical zoom, flip the flash up when indoors, and go shoot some better pics like the outside shot you took with the Oly.

Choice of resolution setting is yours. I'm using 3Mpix Fine

When you get some good pics back, you can start to explore the other features. In my opinion, this recommendation for point and shoot will not disappoint - most of the time. I've never taken a good pic of my white cat yet with any cam! Digicams usually work very well in their auto flash modes for close ups, but redeye can be a problem if your guests have drunk a bit!.

You're obviously setting up for portraits and cats move don't they? You can try forcing a higher shutter speed, and close the iris a stop or 2 to increase depth of focus. You will get under exposed pics, but a good editor will pull this back. I wouldn't shoot at more than 400ASA. If you take my beginners advice you should get good results, but I guess you're trying to use natural light and more of it or photo lights would work better and a tripod is essential.

I'm curious about the 'movement' you mention.
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Old Dec 30, 2002, 1:37 AM   #3
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Default Movement

Thanks for the response. I'll get a couple of hours to practice before I take the pictures - actually about 50 shots of couples - how did I get myself into this???

The movement I refer to I 'THINK' is me moving the camera. What happens is that every 4 or 5 shots - even with the same settings, same light etc. The picture is out of focus. I'm holding the button down halfway so it should focus and I don't get the AF! red symbol so I asume I'm moving the camera with my hand or something. I'll definitely have a tripod for the event.

Life sure seemed easier with my 2 MP Kodak. But I couldn't do the beautiful enlargements of photos that I can with the 602 and I'm sure I'll learn more as I go along.
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Old Dec 30, 2002, 6:00 AM   #4
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The 602 uses strong vertical and horizontal lines to find focus. If you have these as a backdrop, this might be your point of auto focus, also if your iris is f2.8, there is less depth of focus, so focus will be more critical. Have you found the little button that gives a magnified centre cut-out to check focus?

If you are using a tripod with a fixed backdrop with subjects always at the same distance, you should be able to fix the manual settings, do a test shot, check on a pc, and shoot the rest for real.

However, I have never had a problem with built in flash, hand held, on close-ups - even shooting in near darkness. BUT the cam is running everything on AUTO.

Curiously, the 602 opens up its iris to f2.8 for auto flash and controls the light output. I might be tempted to try a programme or fixed aperture mode for closeups with flash, setting the aperture to say f5.6 or f8 to get a bit more depth of focus. But allow for longer flash re-charge and more battery drain.
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Old Dec 31, 2002, 3:32 AM   #5
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Interesting discoveries today. I can get great shots if I set everything manual with proper shutter and apperture settings and manual focus. However the auto mode seems to take terrible pictures. 50% seem out of focus. I can handle the manual settings for the photo sessions where everything is set up in advance , but what about the quick shots I might want to take say on vacation or something? Does anybody get consistantly good shots in auto? If so is that with a flash? Do you just point and shoot? How far from the object are you? Thanks for all the comments so far, these have been very helpful.
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Old Dec 31, 2002, 5:50 AM   #6
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I get consistently good shots in auto with and without flash. I don't push the distance to far in flash, I let the auto white balance and focus do its stuff, I watch out for the warnings. If I'm being Geeky I checkout the histogram from time to time. I upload uncorrected files for on-line prints and get consistent good results back - I think that's what I'd call point and shoot!

I regularly check the auto shots to learn what the cam does well and where its limits lie. After a few hundred learning shots, you know what to do for real!

I've shot indoors using available light forcing ASA to 800, still auto white balanced and still get acceptable results for point and shoot prints. I've found auto colour balance and focus works well. Candle lit dinners are tricky though. I have a tripod. I definitely think overall sharpness can be improved even outdoors, and you can do more with aperture and shutter settings.

If you can't get good exterior shots in auto with good light at 3Mpix Fine there must be a problem, assuming your not pointing into the sun. Don't cover up the sensor on the front with your finger (It's mentioned in the handbook!)
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