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Old Aug 26, 2006, 7:07 AM   #1
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hello there!

as an slr user i'm used to having full control of basically everything.
now i'm looking for an extra ultra compact camera and i have a general question regarding the functioning/control of shutter speeds in point and shooters:

most of these cams don't have real manual settings (what they call manual is usually the control of WB, ISO, EV, Metering and Focus but not aperture/shutter).
but all these cams have a shutter speed range in their specs, say 3 seconds to 1/2000.

my question is how the camera chooses between the range of its given speeds. does it have "rules" that in certain scene modes, for example night modes it chooses lower times starting at one second going down to the final setting -in this example 3 seconds- and in others, say sport modes it will only choose something between 1/500 and 1/2000?

if that's the case then what are the shutter settings in their so called "manual" modes? do they have the full range in this mode (3s to 1/2000s) even though you cannot set the speed? for example if i wanted to take a night shot in manual mode, and set the iso to 200 and crank up the EV all the way will the camera then go all the way down to its slowest speed (achieving the same shot as it would have in a night mode) or are the manual modes also limited to a given shutter range?

i'm especially interested in Fujis F20, but this actually refers to any p n s cam, which has no real manual settings (aperture/shutter).

thanx a lot,
regards,
shadow.

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Old Aug 26, 2006, 7:43 AM   #2
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Most P&S camera come with "scene" modes, which give a clue to what they're doing with aperture and shutter speed. In what is called Sports mode (usually signified by a little runner on the mode dial) the camera will set exposure using the highest shutter speed possible for the lighting to freeze action. In Portrait mode (a little cameo on the dial), the widest aperture is selected to blur the background (shallow DOF) to concentrate on the subject. In Landscape mode (little mountains on the dial) the smallest aperture is utilized to increase depth-of-field. Such is the P&S version of aperture and shutter priority.Night probably messes with ISO and EV as you mentioned.
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 10:41 AM   #3
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thanx!

but what about the "crippled" manual modes these cameras offer (lots of pns cams have this mode, where you can't set aperture or shutter but where you can set things like WB, ISO, EV,...)?

do these manual modes also have a preset shutter-speed range? will they only function in a certain shutter range, say 1/8 to 1/500 even though the camera specs say that the camera's shutter range lies between 4 seconds and 1/2000, meaning that everything below the 1/8s which is the lowest setting you get in "manual mode" will be achieved by using the night mode?

thx,
shadow.
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 11:14 AM   #4
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You really have to look at them on a case by case basis. Some cameras won't use shutter speeds slower than a certain value unless you go to some kind of night scene or slow shutter mode.

That's because cameras really can't meter very well (any of them) once you get into shutter speeds that slow anyway. Even DSLR models usually can't meter accurately in light much below about 1 EV. So, night photos using a tripod usually take some experimenation for best results.

You'd probably need to look at the manuals for the cameras you consider to find out exactly how each one works outside of Auto mode if you don't see it discussed in reviews for them (and even then, the manuals may not go into a lot of detail about it, so you may have to try the different modes to determine a given model's behavior).


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Old Aug 26, 2006, 12:33 PM   #5
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@ JimC:

thx for your reply!
i read the F20 manual thouroughly before posting in any forum, but like you said, even manuals offer few answers to different questions...

so i was hoping for F30 users to reply as the F30 has the same "manual" mode.
in fact that's where i should post now anyway...

in case you know about the F30s manual mode (regarding the shutter speed - how far down it goes) please let me know.


thx,
shadow.

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Old Aug 26, 2006, 12:42 PM   #6
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I thnk some point and shoots use no aperture control at all (stay at maximum aperture) and therefore vary only the shutter speed as needed.


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