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Thread: The Fujifilm S2500HD Camera

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    Default The Fujifilm S2500HD Camera

    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!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    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-G...N%3D0879858125
    Eighty 1 Fourever

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    Default More Pictures of the Camers

    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!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newbie51 View Post
    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-G...N%3D0879858125
    Thank 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!

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    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…..
    "Type to you a little further down the track"..
    Paul Ford
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    May You Always Have Love 2 Share,
    Health 2 Spare,
    and Friends that Care.

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    Nice catch BryanC.. I can't wait to see how it does on the layout, oh, and videos too!!
    My favorite computer game is "Stump The Spellchecker"...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzbass01 View Post
    ... 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!!!!

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    Default First Pictures from the Camera!

    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.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Trying the Zoom!

    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.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Those look nice! I am jealous. I shoveled snow this morning. LOL

    ~Sean

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    Nice. Now I can't wait for Christmas! I know there is a Fujifilm camera on order.
    BTW, cool yard.
    Jim


    “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” — Thomas Henry Huxley


    My Flickr photo stream ...https://www.flickr.com/photos/142423340@N03/

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    It really does a nice job, the details look crisp and clear!! Looks like you have a winner BryanC!!
    My favorite computer game is "Stump The Spellchecker"...
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    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

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    Default Some Comments on the "Close-Up" Pictures

    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: https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...lligator-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)!

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    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.
    Bryan
    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

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    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. For my Nikon, I have a separate Speedlight (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

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newbie51 View Post
    ...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).
    Bryan
    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

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    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, 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

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    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!

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