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Old May 7, 2011, 2:08 PM   #1
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Default Couple of Manual questions

Well, I've seen what wonders can be done with manual on.

However, I seem to be lacking the skills to adjust on the fly, and often miss a good shot.

Right now, here are my settings:

Manual
Single Autofocus
Usually around f5.0
Shutter speed depends on how much light.
ISO from 100-400

But how can I adjust all of this to know which is perfect for a quick shot? For example, Ive seen amazing bird shots, but usually I miss a good shot because my shutter speed was too fast or slow, and automatic takes too long to figure it out.

Any good tips?
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Old May 7, 2011, 4:04 PM   #2
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If light is changing then you pretty much need to be in a semi auto mode and take control of the element that is key to you and know how (if needed) to dial in a quick bit of exposure compensation. You are unlikely to get exposure set anything like quick enough for a opportunistic shot unless you know where it is going to be, in which case it isn't to opportunistic.

I suggest getting used to using Av and playing with exposure compensation so if you see something you know if you need positive, negative or no compensation for your subject to be exposed as close to correct as possible.
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Old May 7, 2011, 4:31 PM   #3
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Lighting doesn't often change so fast you can't keep up, so you should be able to preset your exposure, and just have to work on focus and framing. With birds, which tend not to hold still, as with sports and children, the best way is to set focus and exposure on where the subject is going to be, and then all you have to do is fire the shutter when it gets there.

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Old May 7, 2011, 4:40 PM   #4
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G'day Saltine

May I help to confuse you .... :-)

When you say 'manual' I and many others interpret this as you using the camera on "M" and manually selecting a shutter speed and also an aperture. This method is mostly used by professionals or studio 'togs for whom speed is not the essence. [I'm opening myself up for comment here ...... ]
When you are operating in a semi-automatic mode - ie Aperture-priority or Shutter-speed-priority [which most of us do] then you select one half of the exposure controls and the camera sets the other half

For your Fuji [as a fixed-lens superzoom] you have a small selection of Apertures ... f2,8 - f4 - f5,6 & f8.
The lens's best corner-to-corner sharpness will be in the middle - ie: at about f4,8 - f5 - f5,6 [so your f5.0 is about right]
The camera will give you Depth-of-Field mostly via careful use of the zoom lens
... 1x to 2x zoom and move in close to the item in the foreground plus f8 will give you calendar-style huge DoF images
... 10x zoom and f4 - f5,6 and frame the flower or person's head [whatever] and the background will disappear out of focus

To try for better bird-moving sort of shots I would suggest several things
1- set the camera to AF-C for continuous auto focus as the camera sweeps sideways following the bird. It doesn't always work but give it a try anyway
2- set the shutter to Burst mode so that each press of the button will grab multiple images. Your camera will grab 7 frames in one second - much faster than most dSLR cameras and one of these images will be better than the others - keep the best and chuck the rest. [ps: burst button looks like 3 sheets of paper on top of body, follow screen menu for choices]

Hope this helps
Regards, Phil
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Old May 7, 2011, 5:37 PM   #5
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Thanks all! This does help a lot. Yeah, the lighting shouldn't be a huge issue, I'm really good with exposure adjustments on PS and iPhoto.

Ok, I didn't know if I should go minimalistic with the Manual, but now I know. If it is a moving target, I will probably go Shutter Priority, and I use burst with 7 pics, up to 6 of them RAW.

Also, one last question: One of the photometry options has an option to track a moving object to focus on. Should I set it to that or do the following myself?
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Old May 7, 2011, 5:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltine713 View Post
If it is a moving target, I will probably go Shutter Priority, and I use burst with 7 pics, up to 6 of them RAW.
Actually you are better off going for aperture priority for anything where you want the fastest shutter speed, the time to use Tv is if you want to fix shutter, usually lower, things like motorsport where you want some motion blur when panning, or an aircraft/helicopter where you want movement in the blades.

Set the aperture as wide as possible and make sure the ISO is high enough to give the desired shutter speed, that's your best bet.

Don't forget if you are shooting something with light behind you and then you go to the other side with the sun behind the subject it's a different setting completely. A nice overcast day is very helpful
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Old May 7, 2011, 7:27 PM   #7
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Yeah, sunset pics can be difficult sometimes if I am facing the sun.

Also, the higher the ISO the faster the shutter speed. Gotcha. Ap Priority. The only thing that sucks is how it the f stop will get really small as I zoom in, so there is a fine line for me to get that good blurred background and possible a small amount of bokeh.

Really good tips, I'm going to test them out tomorrow and I will upload the results. Thanks a bunch for all your help everyone, I am learning so much from here.
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