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BryanC (RIP)
24th Nov 2010, 12:39 PM
The camera finally arrived; actually it was couple of days early so at least I got a chance to unpack it! The four attached images show the box and its contents. Basically the box contains the camera, shoulder strap, lens cap, lens cap holder string, four AA batteries, several “Basic Manuals” (in English, French and Spanish), and two CDs (which are not shown in the attached images).

The two CDs are the Fuji FinePix CD which contains the FinePix Viewer along with the full Owner’s Manual and the ArcSoft CD which contains a number of packages designed to help you control and use your pictures. (One, for example, allows you to create greeting cards and calendars using your own images).

A couple of flyers are also there about product registration and returning the camera if necessary, etc.

Unpacking the box was easy and straightforward. The camera felt good in my hands! The four supplied batteries were inserted in place and the camera was turned on. The first time it makes you go though a couple of setup steps, namely telling it what type of batteries you are using and setting the date and time.

While I have an SD card I did not insert it at this time opting to use the camera’s memory for my first few shots.

Setting the desired image size was next and the Basic Manual does not tell you how to do this; you have to go to the Owner’s Manual for this information! Basically there are three Images Sizes, L, M and S (I am guessing Large, Medium and Small). Each of these groups has three picture size ratios to choose from (they are 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9). In addition you can set the image quality to Normal or Fine.

I set mine to S, 16:9 and Fine which I expect to use 99% of the time (and I doubt I will ever use another ratio). With these settings the image size is 1.1 MB and there is enough room for 22 image in the internal memory. A 2 GB SD card will hold 1730 of them while a 4 GB SDHC card will hold 3480 images!

It was now time to try a few pictures and see what happens!

A final note on the Basic Manual; it really is “basic”. There is enough information to get the camera up and running but that is about it! It does, however, have a number of charts regarding various settings and capacities which are very useful. You will need the Owner’s Manual on occasion but that is about 140 pages! It is included on the CD and can also be downloaded from the Fuji site.

The quality of the images is not the best but they will suffice!

Newbie51
24th Nov 2010, 12:48 PM
BryanC might I suggest this book link listed below it is somewhat of a standard pocket reference guide most local bookstores should have it at well. Also if possible consider bracketing with probably a burst shot setting for the first few pictures, remember 3 for 1, 1 at recommended camera setting 1-3/4 stop below and 1-3/4 stop over. This will give you an idea how the camera is going to treat the images it processes.

http://www.amazon.com/KODAK-Pocket-Guide-Digital-Photography/dp/0879858125%3FSubscriptionId%3DAKIAJASE6HSSVXTNREYQ %26tag%3Dsmtfx1-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165 953%26creativeASIN%3D0879858125

BryanC (RIP)
24th Nov 2010, 12:49 PM
Here are some more pictures of the camera Itself. Once again the quality is not the best because of the dark shiny background!

In some of these pictures the camera appears to have a gray color in some areas. That is because of the flash; the camera is actually black all over!

BryanC (RIP)
24th Nov 2010, 12:52 PM
BryanC might I suggest this book link listed below it is somewhat of a standard pocket reference guide most local bookstores should have it at well. Also if possible consider bracketing with probably a burst shot setting for the first few pictures, remember 3 for 1, 1 at recommended camera setting 1-3/4 stop below and 1-3/4 stop over. This will give you an idea how the camera is going to treat the images it processes.

http://www.amazon.com/KODAK-Pocket-Guide-Digital-Photography/dp/0879858125%3FSubscriptionId%3DAKIAJASE6HSSVXTNREYQ %26tag%3Dsmtfx1-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165 953%26creativeASIN%3D0879858125Thank you Pete. However, the first several shots that I take will be on purely automatic! I want to see just how good the automatic mode works for me. However, I do plan on experimenting with manual moses later on! Bracketing is always a good idea when taking pictures in manual mode!

fordi
24th Nov 2010, 03:03 PM
Hi Bryan,

Looks like you made a nice buy. The best thing to do is play with it. Learn just what it will do and what it won’t do. Nothing replaces the basics. Then as time goes on you will wonder if it will do some extras. This is the time to be creative. The nice thing with digital photography is no film to buy. If it doesn’t work just delete it, and go on. It won’t be long till you will be a pro. Have fun…..

Jazzbass01
24th Nov 2010, 05:37 PM
Nice catch BryanC.. I can't wait to see how it does on the layout, oh, and videos too!!

BryanC (RIP)
24th Nov 2010, 06:47 PM
... oh, and videos too!!That'll be interesting! I have never done any videos as yet! But I guess some will be in my future!!!!

BryanC (RIP)
26th Nov 2010, 09:03 AM
The attached images represent the first few pictures I took with the camera. The first two are random pictures from my layout while the others are of an orchid (Cattleya labiata) in our back yard.

All the pictures were taken in full automatic mode. The first two used the flash while the remaining four were taken in full sun! Two of the last four were taken using macro – I think the middle two!

In all cases the images are straight from the camera (via my computer) with no intervening processing!

Edit: Further, all the images were stored in the camera's internal memory. I have added an SD card as yet. Shutter lag was minimal.

BryanC (RIP)
26th Nov 2010, 10:04 AM
There are six attached pictures in two groups of three. The first is using the zoom at full wide-angle, the second is 50% zoom while the third is full zoom.

The lens with this camera is a Fujinon 18X optical zoom lens with F/3.1 (wide angle) to 5.6 (telephoto) apertures. This provides a focal length of 5mm to 90mm (or 28mm to 420mm in 35-mm terms). Digital zoom is also available if desired but is off by default.

The camera was hand-held for all pictures. As before the camera was set to full automatic and the images were stored in the camera’s internal memory and have received no post processing.

YellowBeard
26th Nov 2010, 11:23 AM
Those look nice! I am jealous. I shoveled snow this morning. LOL

~Sean

Jimmi (RIP)
26th Nov 2010, 12:57 PM
Nice. Now I can't wait for Christmas! I know there is a Fujifilm camera on order.
BTW, cool yard.

Jazzbass01
26th Nov 2010, 01:19 PM
It really does a nice job, the details look crisp and clear!! Looks like you have a winner BryanC!!

Chessack
28th Nov 2010, 08:16 AM
That looks like a very nice basic non-DSLR digital camera. It does a good job of zooming in, and the shots look great. You'd probably have to go very high end to beat it for image quality.

I use automatic mode for most everyday shooting myself, even on the DSLR. Heck even in a high-falutin' place like Outdoor Photographer magazine, they are starting to recommend using auto modes on the new digitals rather than manual unless you have a tripod and a long time to compose a shot, because the auto modes these days are faster than a human being at preparing the shot quickly. Only a true pro with years of manual practice could beat them, and for really fast shots, like birds flying quickly by, not even then.

I don't like "flash glare" and I usually want as much of the background to be in focus as possible, so I usually go full manual with long exposure times to shoot my trains... but outside in full light, on holidays with the family, etc, I just use automatic and it does fine.

C

BryanC (RIP)
28th Nov 2010, 03:29 PM
A few days ago, as part of “getting to know” the camera I took a number of close-up pictures of my layout. These were not macro picture but simply zoomed pictures.

If you haven’t already seen them you may find them here: http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?19767-Some-Close-Up-Pictures-from-Alligator-Lines

They were taken on full automatic mode using the flash. In this mode you have virtually no control over any setting. The camera chooses everything including the flash settings!

If you look at the pictures you will see that while the foreground is well lit and looks quite satisfactory the background is very dark. This almost creates an effect of a floodlit night shot! The effect is quite good and I am happy with the results but they were not quite what I was expecting! I was hoping for a result where the background was a little more visible.

Up to this point I have used nothing but the pure automatic setting which has worked well for the outdoor pictures but might be considered questionable for the indoor settings where the flash is being used.

S said, in the purely automatic mode there is no way of controlling anything, however, there is a “programmed” mode (P) that is automatic but which uses settings you have previously made. This includes the intensity of the flash. Something to experiment with!

In a following post I plan to describe the basic operating modes of the camera (set with a dial) and the numerous sub-modes (set with a menu)!

Bryan
28th Nov 2010, 05:59 PM
Bryan, I have the S7000... it looks very much the same externally.
I have been very pleased with it, though it is a little hungry on batteries... tend to take them out at the end of the day now.

Chessack
28th Nov 2010, 06:16 PM
BryanC...

You're getting very harsh shadows, dark backgrounds, and "floodlit" foregrounds because of the flash. The on-camera flash of most cameras, including my $1000 Nikon D90, aims straight forward. This provides good exposure and crisp color in the foreground, but creates very sharp contrast, harsh shadows, etc, making the lighting appear very unnatural.

The flash-based solution to this is to use an external flash or some sort of attachment to do a bounce flash (http://dptnt.com/2009/09/bounce-flash-tips/). For my Nikon, I have a separate Speedlight (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikon_SB-600) (which is a "mid range" model and still cost $200+ -- they are not cheap) that I can angle any way I want. In a room with white/light ceilings, I've gotten superior results by just aiming the flash up, at the ceiling, which ends up diffusing the light and making it bounce all around. This basically eliminates the harsh, dark shadows behind the objects or people you are shooting, and makes the picture look more "natural" -- i.e., giving the room the shadowing and contrast that would be there without the super brightness of the flash.

Of course, with your camera, it is not worth spending the cost of the camera to buy an external flash, and it might be very difficult even to attach one. As an alternative, you can use some good lights like a strong halogen floor lamp to nicely light the room, and then set the camera on a tripod or surface, and, in manual mode, set the camera's exposure time to however long you need to get the right exposure. Usually in such a case it's best to spot-meter a white object and set the exposure meter to something like +1.5, but you can also use a neutral gray card and set it to +0. I do most of my train photography with a tripod, with the lens aperture stopped all the way down to max out depth of field, set the film speed to a bit faster speed (but no more than ISO 800), and then use whatever length will get me +1.5 or so on a spot metering of a white sheet of paper. In my guest room with both lamps on, this generally gives me something like a 10 second exposure time, so obviously nothing can be moving in the shot or there will be a blur, but I've gotten very good results with it.

Personally I prefer working without a flash when I can get away with it, because the flash can't be used for longer exposures and even a flash is not going to be enough with a lens, indoors, stopped all the way down to max out the depth of field. Also the flash gives the subject very artificial-looking lighting, IMO. This is all, of course, a matter of personal taste.

In terms of just taking quick shots for a website or something, of course, using the built-in flash and auto settings is fine, and I do it regularly.

C

Newbie51
28th Nov 2010, 06:25 PM
So the experimentation begins I am old school and either shoot aperture or shutter priority with bracketing. The sensors in the cameras quite often go for the brightest overall area and expose for that so you can get washed out skies and what not. Quite often carrying a 6"x6" Gray card can get you the right exposure settings if you have an exposure lock. Or pointing the camera at the grass on the ground and using exposure lock can work quite well. With the flash shots if you had stopped down the camera you might have gotten better color saturation. It all depends on how much of a hobby you want this to become.

Back down off of my soapbox:)

Bryan
28th Nov 2010, 06:42 PM
...The sensors in the cameras quite often go for the brightest overall area and expose for that so you can get washed out skies and what not...

If that model has the same settings as the S7000, I believe you can set it for central, perimeter, or overall (from memory).

Chessack
28th Nov 2010, 08:24 PM
Most cameras can meter light in several ways. All cameras these days have some sort of integrated measure (in Nikon it is called "matrix metering"), which is best for automatic use.... Other common ones are center weighted, where the whole image is sampled but the center 1/3 or so of it is given greater weight by the camera, and spot metering, where you are only sampling a tiny dot in the scene.

To me the easiest way to meter is to use a spot meter and choose a particular color, and meter for that color. For instance, if you spot meter an exactly medium-toned gray object, then a bright, textureless white would be +2.5 stops, and dead black would be -2.5 stops from medium. If you find an exactly medium toned object and set the exposure so the analog meter reads +0, you will get white whites, black blacks, and medium toned mediums. However, it is quite hard for me, at least, to find exactly medium toned colors, and since I also shoot outdoors a lot, putting a gray card into the shot is not always possible.

The trick I learned from John Shaw's book Nature Photography (http://www.amazon.com/Shaws-Nature-Photography-Field-Guide/dp/0817440593/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1290990274&sr=8-1), which I highly recommend to anyone shooting outdoors, is to spot meter something our eye can more easily sense in terms of tone. Say you are shooting the sky, and the clouds are bright white. They'd be something like +1.5 to +2 relative to medium toned gray. So you can point the camera at the clouds, spot meter the whitest part of the cloud, and tweak the exposure until the analog setting is at +2. Let's say with your ISO 200 film setting on the camera, and an aperture of 22, this gives you a 1/60th second exposure reading. You can now point the camera at the rest of the sky, same exposure, and take a shot. Since you metered the white substance as white in tone, it will come out white. Since the blue sky is a medium tone of some sort, it will come out blue. And so on. As long as you make white record as "white", all other colors will record properly. You can do the same with any other color, as long as you know what tone it is, but I, for one, find white easiest to work with since it's CLEARLY white to the eye, whereas with something like, say, a blue sky, there are different intensities to the blue depending on where the sun is, and I don't trust my relatively inexperienced eye to know which part of the blue sky is "medium".

You can also meter black as -2, or as I said, medium gray as +0. Once your metering is correct, you can move the camera around, and even though the spot meter is no longer pointing at the object, as long as you use the settings you metered, things will look correct.

Following John's advice in his book, I have gotten MUCH better at figuring out exposures, even indoors. I have some white paper near my layout (usually because I am using it, like my "waybill" for operations), and I just point at and spot meter that for between +1.5 and +2 and I'm good to go.

C

BryanC (RIP)
29th Nov 2010, 02:40 PM
Thank you, Mr. C, very much for your comments. They are most appreciated!

So far as an external flash goes you are correct! This camera has neither a shoe nor an attachment for such a beast! Thus a flood light of some sort (as you suggest) would be very appropriate.

The camera does contain a picture analysis capability. Display the picture, press the appropriate button and you get a thumbnail of the image along with all the information regarding the picture and this includes a histogram for the exposure.

For all the pictures being discussed, they showed as being underexposed, but this is for the entire picture and not just the foreground (which looks good, at least to me).

It would seem that when using purely automatic mode this will be the norm for close-ups illuminated by flash. So, either accept it or switch to another mode!

I plan on doing a few more automatic shots and then I will start trying some of the other modes along with their various sub-modes!

As Mr. C suggested, I will use purely automatic for most outdoor shots and maybe a number of indoor flash shots, but close-ups will need something else unless the above is the desire result!

BryanC (RIP)
29th Nov 2010, 04:46 PM
Just to finish up my discourse on this camera, I wanted to list the various modes and sub-modes it can operate in.

The major modes are selected by a dial on the top of the camera. They are:

Automatic (The camera does everything automatically)
SR Auto (Selected optimum camera settings for certain modes)
SP (Retains natural ambience without flash)
Panorama (3 or less shots stitched together)
Movie (Movie recording with sound)
P (Automatic mode with programmed settings)
S (Automatic mode – user sets shutter speed)
A (Automatic mode – user sets aperture)
M (Manual mode – users set both aperture and shutter speed)
C (Shooting mode with user’s settings – recalls previous settings)

With each selection a brief description of that mode appears on the screen. You may then press the Menu button to access the list of the various sub-modes for that particular selection.

Once chosen, pressing the Menu button displays a “Shooting Menu” of various options available for that particular mode.

All modes provide an option for the self-timer and camera setup.

Automatic

High Speed On or Off

SR Auto (Camera selects an appropriate mode when the shutter is pressed half-way.)

High Speed On or Off
Portrait
Landscape
Night Landscape
Macro
Night Portrait
Back-lit portrait[/INDENT]

SP

High Speed Shooting
Scene Position (this is the biggest of them all)



Natural Light
Natural and flash
Zoom bracketing
Smile
Portrait
Landscape
Sport
Night
Night (tripod)
Fireworks
Sunset
Snow
Beach
Party
Flower
Text
Panorama
White Balance

Movie

Movie zoom type

P

Photometry
White Balance
High-speed shooting
Focusing
AF Mode

S (press a button to set shutter speed)

Photometry
White Balance
High-speed shooting
Focusing
AF Mode
Sharpness
Flash
Bracketing
Custom Set

A (press a button to set aperture)

Photometry
White Balance
High-speed shooting
Focusing
AF Mode
Sharpness
Flash
Bracketing
Custom Set

M (press a button to set aperture and shutter speed)

Photometry
White Balance
High-speed shooting
Focusing
AF Mode
Sharpness
Flash
Bracketing
Custom Set

C (shooting mode with user settings)

Photometry
White Balance
High-speed shooting
Focusing
AF Mode
Sharpness
Flash
Bracketing
Custom Set


Obviously very few people will end up using everyone of these settings but I do hope to try a few of them!

Jimmi (RIP)
29th Nov 2010, 05:09 PM
You keep on experimenting and posting BryanC. I'm expecting a Fujifilm camera for Christmas. Not sure which model was ordered but I'm sure to find your experimenting useful.

BryanC (RIP)
12th Dec 2010, 03:05 PM
Well, since my last post I have not spent a lot of time with the camera!

But, of late, I have been able to try a few new things. I have tried a couple of macro shots but didn’t really keep that good a track of them so no examples for now.

What I have done is switch to “P” mode as my default mode while adjusting the flash upwards! So far as I can determine “P” (for Programmed) mode is, essentially, an automatic mode where you can override most of the default settings. For these first few pictures in this mode I adjusted the flash setting up one notch up (from +1/3 to +2/3).

In purely automatic I had always felt the flash simply wasn’t doing a good enough job of illuminating the subject, resulting in somewhat dark pictures. Now I am much happier!

I have attached four pictures; the first two (of my two cats, Chandler and Kiefer) were taken using the flash (at its new setting) while the final two were taken outside on our patio area with no flash.

Overall I am still very happy with the camera and while it can be used right out-of-the-box with excellent results (on purely automatic) there is a learning curve to be able to use it to its full extent. One thing I am having trouble with (and I just have to get used to it) is the flash will not work unless you pop it open manually before taking the picture! (My old camera would pop it open automatically when needed).

In the near future I will also be posting a couple of new pictures (P with new flash setting) in my "Town of Pokery" thread over in the urban Modelling forum.

Edit: You may find a couple more pictures (with the flash) here: http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?19470-The-Town-of-Pokery-Starts-to-Come-to-Life!&p=177750#post177750

Chessack
13th Dec 2010, 09:22 AM
That cat is so cute. What breed is it?

C

BryanC (RIP)
13th Dec 2010, 09:40 AM
That cat is so cute. What breed is it?

CThanks! They are both Abyssinian.

Chessack
13th Dec 2010, 09:51 AM
I thought so! I love Abyssinian cats. If I were going to get a pure-bred one, I'd have a tough time choosing between an Abby and a classical Siamese.

C

69Z28
13th Apr 2011, 10:30 PM
I know this is an old post But Holy cr -:oops:I mean cow Batman!!! :eek:
All this photography/camera stuff is Greek to me. I got lost after the first post.

Anyway this past Christmas I got Fuji S2500HD camera. I looked at it and put it back in the box. Boy was I intimidated by it. :scared: And went back to My old Nikon L3 Cool-pic. Last week it just died :cry:(lens error stuck open) on me. I tried various fixes from the WWW but none worked. So I took it apart just to see the guts of it and maybe sell the parts on Amazon.

So now I've got to learn to use the S2500HD. :o

Does anyone have any suggestions for 2 or 3 good basic books on photography and cameras. :thanks:So at least I can learn what terms used in this thread mean.:help:

See ya
Ron

TwinDad
14th Apr 2011, 12:43 AM
Check out "The Digital Photography Book" and its siblings by Scott Kelby. He's a pro sports (and other stuff) photographer, and a friend who does weddings recommended his books to me. Lots of great tips, written in plain English.

MikeinNC
14th Apr 2011, 12:17 PM
Bryan,

You have abeautiful back yard. I love the pool. Are the orchid's a hobby of yours?

Mike

BryanC (RIP)
14th Apr 2011, 12:37 PM
Bryan,

You have abeautiful back yard. I love the pool. Are the orchid's a hobby of yours?

MikeThank you, Mike! The orchids are actually my wife's hobby. I just enjoy them!

baldylox
14th Apr 2011, 02:26 PM
Glad you are enjoying your new cam and learning it quickly.

Chessack has posted some great info for people new to photography. one of the big things i have learned over many years is that people who shoot automatic and then start post processing are never happy with the results. i'm not familiar with Fuji as i'm a canon user, but on my cam auto=jpg=crappy. i'm a firm believer in cam processing has improved 1000 fold in 5yrs, but the camera processing and conversion to jpg is never as good as shooting a raw format and then doing post processing yourself then the final conversion. when i give courses i first assume people are reluctant to use raw formats or post process so i suggest dual output. in canon its RAW+JPG so you get 2 images per shot stored on the car. RAW,DNG,etc are the best ways to store images as they are your 'negatives' and can always be reprocessed for years to come and never be destructed.

Twindad mention S. Kelby. +1000000000000000 nods to look into his books, but even better....scotts online site and web tv series.

TwinDad
19th Apr 2011, 03:34 PM
Glad you are enjoying your new cam and learning it quickly.

Twindad mention S. Kelby. +1000000000000000 nods to look into his books, but even better....scotts online site and web tv series.

Ooh... haven't seen the web tv series... will have to check it out. I do enjoy his blog when i get a chance to read it... :D :D

69Z28
25th Apr 2011, 09:00 PM
For those of you who are using windows 7 and have or are planning to get a Fuji S2500HD camera the software FinePix, is not compatible with Windows7. You will get a message OS Unknown.

I’ve found the following link to update FinePix to Windows7. But I have not done it yet.

http://www.fujifilmusa.com/support/ServiceSupportSoftwareContent.do?dbid=880022&prodcat=877928&sscucatid=664260 (http://www.fujifilmusa.com/support/ServiceSupportSoftwareContent.do?dbid=880022&prodcat=877928&sscucatid=664260)

Also there is a link to update drivers and again I have not yet used it.

http://www.fujifilm.com/support/digital_cameras/software/ (http://www.fujifilm.com/support/digital_cameras/software/)

I’ll wait until next weekend before I try it. If you do it before me please post your results/issues/questions. Or if you have found better links.
Be careful there are some links from Fuji that try to get you to buy a driver update product. If offer a free analysis and then tries to get you to buy “Driver Detective.”
Thanks

See ya
Ron