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Old Feb 3, 2006, 8:25 PM   #1
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Hi, all! This forum was recommended to me by a member of Goosemoose.com. It looks very informative and I sure hope someone can give me some advice.

I recently purchased a FujiFilm FinePix S5200 and I really love it. Unfortunately, I lost the manual onlya month or so after I bought it - too soon to really know how to use anything other than Auto (that's what I get for taking it everywhere with me so I could read it whenever I hada minute.) :roll:

I'm sure there's a way to replace the manual but in the meantime, I'm having a heck of a time taking pictures. Can someone please tell me what setting(s) to use for fairlyfast moving, small animals in medium (diffuse daylight) to low level (standing lamp) light? My pics either come out with the subjectblurred ('cause, you know, it's hard to get those guys to stop moving!), or they come out too dark. If I use the flash, of course, it invariably blows out the subject completely. I've messed with all the settings I can find, but without the manual....well, I'm frustrated, to say the least. I know this camera is capable of some awesome pictures and I... can't... get them. :angry:

So, Manual? Photo? Shutter? What F-stop, shutter speed, etc.? And how do I change those particular settings? (I can't even find the menu that includes the shutter speed anymore. *sigh*)

To all who respond - thank you verra, verra much!!!
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Old Feb 3, 2006, 9:26 PM   #2
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Auntie C.

I had to stop laughing to type. What did you do with the manual? I hope you are not as crazy as I am. When I got my Fuji S9000 I threw the manual away, can't read those tiny prints. :-)

Anyway, you can download the manual for your camera at Fujifilm website.

Link to FinePix 5200 Manual



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Old Feb 3, 2006, 10:03 PM   #3
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My first sugggestion would be to set the camera back to factory defaults. If your 5200 is like the 5100, you should find a "RESET" menu choice on the last page of the setup menu for this purpose.

Then, get a book on basic photography. It doesn't need to be specific to Digital Cameras, as the principles for exposure are the same.

If you do something like try to use Manual Exposure with faster shutter speeds than the lighting conditions, aperture, and ISO speed allow, you'll get underexposed photos (your dark images). If you do something like change Flash Exposure Compensation to a postive value, or use shutter speeds that are too slow for the lighting, Aperture and ISO speed, you'll get overexposed photos.

As a general rule, if light is low, a camera's autoexposure algorithms are going to select the largest aperture (represented by the smallest f/stop number) anyway (which lets the most light through to the sensor).

So, other than using a flash, your only good way to infuence the shutter speed (while still getting accurate exposure) is to increase your ISO speed (which will increase noise levels). So, there are tradeoffs.

In better lighting, you can shoot in Aperture Priority (Av Mode) and get faster shutter speeds than the camera's autoexposure may normally use by choosing a larger aperture (smaller f/stop number). The camera will then pick the appropriate shutter speed for proper exposure. You can also increase ISO speed, to a point. Each time you double the ISO speed, the camera can use shutter speeds twice as fast for any given lighting and aperture.

In some lighting, you may not be able to get shutter speeds fast enough if you're not using a flash (any model will have limitations).

What I'd suggest doing is posting an image showing a problem. Then, let forum members take a look to see what you could do differently to improve it.

You'll need to downsize it first for posting here. I'd suggest a file size of around 200KB (with have a 250,000 byte limit), and an image size of about 640 pixels wide.

If you don't have a good way to resize an image, download Irfanview (it's free) from http://www.irfanview.com

After opening an image, go to Image, Resize/Resample and you'll see some options to resize it. Make it about 640 pixels wide and make sure to keep the proportions the same (you'll see a check box for this purpose).

Save it to a new filename using the "Save As" menu choice. I'd probably set JPEG compression to around 85. That should give you a small enough file size for an image 640 pixels wide for posting here. Leave the EXIF and IPTC boxes checked (they will be by default).

Forum members can then look at the EXIF (a header giving information about camera settings used that's embedded in an image) and can offer you some tips on what you might try to do differently the next time you're in the same conditions.

When you start a new post, you'll find a browse button at the bottom of the entry screen for attaching an image.

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Old Feb 4, 2006, 11:52 AM   #4
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Thanks, Coldshot, JimC -both your replies were very informative.

Coldshot, I didn't throw the manual away (guess I'm NOT as crazy as you, eh? ), I lost it 'cause I was carrying it everywhereto read whenever I had a minute. Thanks greatly for the link! I downloaded it right away.

JimC, I should have known that there was a reset button, but it never occurred to me! My brother was also messing with the camera and changed the white balance - now I know how to fix all of that, thanks!

I don't mean to be a pest, and truly I'm not lazy, but could you recommend a good beginners photography book? I've looked on-line and browsed at Barnes & Noble and Waldenbooks several times, but there are so many too choose from that....well, Icouldn't. Actually, you know what, I'll go back this afternoon and I'll simply pick one. If it isn't helpful to me, I'll bring it back and get another one. I'll let you know which one I get. (I'm leaving in 45 minutes and I just might pop back into this forum before I go, so if you happen to read this postand also happen to have a particular book you'd recommend.....

:homey:
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Old Feb 4, 2006, 12:35 PM   #5
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Do this.

Download Irfanview from http://www.irfanview.com (it's free). There's a download for the free plugin's, too.

You can see all of the camera settings for an image by going to the Image, Information Menu choice and looking at the EXIF.

It sounds like you're making some basic mistakes with the settings. Just because a camera lets you set it to faster shutter speeds, doesn't mean you can actually use them, depending on the light -- that is, if you want correctly exposed images. ;-)

Try some of the suggestions I made in my first post on aperture and ISO speed when you're in low light or getting motion blur.

Shoot in Av mode and choose a larger aperture. That's a smaller f/stop number since it's representing a ratio between the focal length of the lens and the area of the aperture iris (that's the hole that opens up to let more light in).

It works just like the iris in your eye. It needs to be larger to let in more light when it's low so that it can see well enough.

But, it only opens up so far (and what's bright to your eye is not to a camera). The sensor is only so sensitive (so the shutter needs to stay open long enough to properly expose the image). If not, they'll be too dark or too bright.

If you shoot with larger apertures (smaller f/stop numbers) and let the camera pick the right shutter speed for the correct exposure, that's the best you can do other than increasing the sensitivity of the sensor so that you don't need to let as much let in to get a properly exposed image (or deliberately undrexposing which will increase noise if you brighten it later).

If you increase ISO speed, it amplifies the signal captured by the sensor as you use higher values. Each time you double the ISO speed, you can shoot at shutter speeds twice as fast for the same aperture and get the same exposure.

Look at how the iris is opening or closing as you change the settings in this exposure calculator (you'll see graphics at the bottom of the page). Film Speed in the calculator is the same thing as ISO speed.

Set lighting and ISO speed, then shoot in Aperture Priority and watch how it selects a different shutter speed for proper exposure. Change it to 1/3 stop increments at the bottom for finer control.

You can also select a Shutter Speed and let it select the right Aperture. But, remember that your lens has a largest available aperture (probably f/2.8 on it's wide end, and a bit smaller on it's long end). You'd need to check the specifications. So, you can only go so fast with shutter speed before you'll underexpose if your lens can't go to larger apertures.

You'll have camera limitations for ISO/Film Speed choices, Shuitter Speed ranges available (fastest or slowest), Aperture Range Available (smallest or largest), as well as other limitations for settings that influence exposure. So, keep that in mind. You don't have an f/1.2 Lens. :-)

http://www.robert-barrett.com/photo/...alculator.html

But, if you play with it you'll get a better idea of how exposure works. Then, look at your photos and see what your settings are for good and bad photos in the same conditions using a tool like Irfanview (many other image viewers can also see this information in the image header).


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Old Feb 4, 2006, 1:04 PM   #6
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P.S.

Expose images in more than one way and see what impact it has. You can use Exposure Compensation for that purpose if shooting in Aperture Priority (Av) mode and most modes except for full manual exposure where you're controlling both Aperture and Shutter Speed.

If you use a +EV Setting, the camera exposure algorithms will expose the image brighter than it normally would (for example, by selecting a slower shutter speed than it normally would if shooting in Aperture Priority Mode, or a larger aperture than it normally would if shooting in Shutter Priority Mode.

A -EV setting has the opposite impact (the algoirthms expose darker than they normally would for the amount of light the meter is seeing).

If shooting in Aperture Priority Mode, it would select a faster shutter speed than it thinks is needed for proper exposure, or if shooting in Shutter Priority Mode, it would select a smaller aperture than it noirmally would for the shutter speed you set it to.

Again, your camera has limitations (aperture range available to it, etc.), and you need to have the appropriate settings for your subject and conditions if you want properly exposed images.

But, sometimes you may want to vary from what the camera's metering would normally select. That will take some experience so that you'll have a better idea of what works best in given conditions.



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Old Feb 4, 2006, 10:03 PM   #7
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JimC - good info, good links - you've been incredibly helpful, thank you. (You're all right. ; ) )

I purchased"Photography" from the Teach Yourself series and "The Photography Bible: A Complete Guide for the 21st Century Photographer". They looked the most helpful of all the books I flipped through.

Unfortunately (in this case), I'm a hands-on kinda gal; learning detailed info like this from a book takes twice, no three, times as long as when someone shows me (really - they only have to show me once or twice and I've caught on - it's remarkable how vastly different the learning curve is between the two methods). But with my new books,my manual back (whoot!) and some serious study *sigh*, I should be on track in no time.

By the way, I posted some pics in the stupid pet tricks section, subject something like "Pics of two of my pets." I actually posted four pics of three pets - the first three pics, I had my manual to help, the fourth I did not. If you take a look, the first three are nice and crisp with good color (at least, in my uneducated opinion). The fourth is fairly clear, but it has a...a brown/gold tint to it. That's been one of the problems that I'm trying tofix.

Thanks again for all your help, JimC!
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