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Old Aug 31, 2004, 8:41 PM   #1
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I bought this camera and then headed off on vacation. I ended up with some amazing pictures by basically thinking of framing the shot and letting the camera do the rest. It really is a GREAT camera, friends and family were amazed.

Now I want to learn a bit more and am trying to figure out how to adjust the aperture, shutter speed etc. I've tried using the exposure settings (-2 thru +2) thinking that would change the aperture but it seems to only change the shutter speed. The aperture stays at 2.8

I used the 'infinity, macro and normal' settings but noticed that the aperture didn't change, neither did the focal length (according the info attached to my picture, read in iPhoto)

Maybe none of this matters, but it seems like I should care about DOF and i thought that was managed by the aperture.

Also, I see how to slow the shutter down, but can't see where i can speed it up it for action shots. (other than adjusting the exposure I guess, but that's pretty random) The manual is limited although I'm sure the features are similar to other digital cameras out there.

thanks for taking the time to read and hopefully reply

~laura



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Old Aug 31, 2004, 9:34 PM   #2
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I assume you mean the S500 (I'm not a Canon user, and I couldn't find another model with "500" in the name).

I'm not a Canon user (only tried a friend's Canon once), but this camera is basically a "point & shoot"...it's not designed for advance photographers who want to adjust aperture and shutter speeds. If you want to adjust all that you'll have to get a more advanced camera. Most of these cameras have multiple letters on the mode dial like "P" (Program Exposure), "A" (Aperture Priority), "S" (Shutter Priority), "M" (Manual)...all these modes would be listed under "Exposure Control" or "Shooting Modes" in Steve's Review if the camera had them.

Here's a site that's a primer on the basics of digital photography which could help you:
http://209.196.177.41/

One thing though about digital cameras with small CCDs (like your camera and many other non-dSLR cameras)...you won't get much variance in DOF with aperture as the CCD and the opening is so small...it's almost like a pinhole camera in that regard.

You should hit the Canon forum here and see what your fellow Canon users have to say for advice on these issues...they might have some tips or workarounds.
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 10:01 PM   #3
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mike, thank you for the link, I've read many but hadn't seen that one yet.

I've been reading the canon group and hadn't seen anything regarding my question which is why i asked here... sorry, sounds like i'm way out of my league

i'll just keep pointing and shooting : - )
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 10:13 PM   #4
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lksixt wrote:
Quote:
Now I want to learn a bit more and am trying to figure out how to adjust the aperture, shutter speed etc. I've tried using the exposure settings (-2 thru +2) thinking that would change the aperture but it seems to only change the shutter speed. The aperture stays at 2.8
Laura:

Your model does not give you any control of aperture. At full wide angle, in lower light, it will always be f/2.8 (because that is the largest aperture available, and a larger aperture is preferred for faster shutter speeds to prevent motion blur).

If you use Zoom, the Aperture Value will change, based on the amount of zoom used, and you'll see it stop down to f/4.9 at full zoom in lower light.

In very good light, it will select a smaller aperture (higher f/stop number)at wide angle, with the value changing based on the amount of zoom used.

This is not something you can control.

Quote:
I used the 'infinity, macro and normal' settings but noticed that the aperture didn't change, neither did the focal length (according the info attached to my picture, read in iPhoto)
These are the focus modes. Infinity locks focus to the furthest focus point, and may cause your subjects to out of focus if they are not distant. It is more useful fornight photos when autofocus may not work. Macro Focus is instructing the camera that you want it to focus at closer than normal ranges. It is still autofocus, but allows the camera to focus from 5 cm (2.0 in.) to 46 cm (1.5 ft.). In Normal focus mode, the camera's autofocus will work from 1.5 feet to infinity.

Quote:
Maybe none of this matters, but it seems like I should care about DOF and i thought that was managed by the aperture.
You have dramatically greater depth of field with a non-DSLR camera model at any given aperture and 35mm equivalent focal length anyway. This is because depth of field is computed using the actual, not 35mm equivalent focal length of the lens. Since the lens on your camera is only 7.4 to 22.2 mm (to give it a 35mm equivalent focal length of 36 - 108 mm), you've got a lot of depth of field, even at f/2.8. With a small camera like this, it can be very difficult to blur backgrounds by using a larger apertures, even if you did have a way to control it (which you don't).

Quote:
Also, I see how to slow the shutter down, but can't see where i can speed it up it for action shots. (other than adjusting the exposure I guess, but that's pretty random)
You haveslow shutter mode which is for long exposure night photos using a tripod.

As far as exposure compensation, I would not use it unless you have a reason to, and understand how it works (for example, using +EV when a subject is backlit to instruct the camera to expose the scene more than it's metering normally would). Otherwise, your photos will not be properly exposed.

EV Compensation is designed to let you adjust the exposure differently than the camera's metering thinks it needs to be exposed for some conditions. So, if you use-EV Compensation, your image can be underexposed, or if you use+EV Compensation, your photocan be overexposed.

The only way you'll be able to speed up shutter speeds (without exposure problems) is to increase ISO speed. This probably won't have any impact in lower light using flash (shutter speed is not as critical with flash, since the flash has the effect of freezing the action). Other than indoors with flash, each time you double the ISO speed, the camera's autoexposure can use shutter speeds twice as fast. However, this will increase noise. I'd advise against it unless you have a very specific reason, due to the degradation in image quality that can occur.

The camera's autoexposure can also use faster shutter speed at your lenses full wide angle setting. This is because less light reaches the sensor when using zoom with your model.

Quote:
The manual is limited although I'm sure the features are similar to other digital cameras out there.
The S500 is a very good little camera. However, it was not designed to give you control of things like aperture and shutter speed. The A Series Models (A80, A95, etc.) do give you this control (but they are not as small, either).

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Old Aug 31, 2004, 10:37 PM   #5
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That all makes sense, thank you jim. I've read many 'JimC' posts and they are always very gracious and informative.

I've been buying my photography teacher (i'm tech director at a school... ask me about wireless networking, just not cameras) what she wants and i probably should have followed suit, but wanted something that would fit in my purse ... no traction otherwise in documenting life.

I was going through some of the handouts from her class where she talks about aperture control and so was trying to apply it to my little camera...

I still love it though : - )

thanks!

~laura

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