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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:47 pm 
I've just started using my Fuji HS10 and am struggling to get focus for close-ups or when in macro mode. I find the manual confusing, or maybe I'm just losing grey matter as I get older!
Let's use the common example of photographing a bee on a flower. You can't get too close with the camera or you disturb the subject. So you may have a shooting distance of, say, 12inches. Whether in Auto or SRAuto more I have the same difficulties - I can't get it focused in non-macro mode (using manual or autofocus) and I can't get it focused in macro mode (using manual or autofocus) unless I pull way back from the subject and then lose any close-up shots. All this applies however the zoom is set. In autofocus mode if I half-press the shutter button, I can see the focus go from blurred to focused then to blurred again, but my shots are all blurred. I can't get focus to lock.
I am hand-holding the camera, which is how I aim to use it in all cases, carrying a tripod doesn't exactly go with a walk in the country or one of those occasions when you take the camera "just in case". So I understand that some shake might affect the focus - I do get the blur/camera shake symbol and sometimes !AF symbol for failure to focus - even at relatively low levels of zoom. However, I'd had no similar problems with my old Olympus when zooming in macro modes. I've been using Auto or SR Auto in order to let the camera make the most appropriate settings choices, so that I could concentrate on the focus. I really need to master this, since I often take such close-up shots, it's something I could do with my older, cheaper, simpler camera but not yet with my HS10.

I'd appreciate help from those who have gone before.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:52 pm 
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Hi Alan,

I've deleted your duplicate post. Not a problem as you are new to our community but please take a moment to review our forum rules. Thanks.

Bob.

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Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:03 pm 
Alan81 - I've had an HS10 since mid last year, and so can agree that the critter takes a LOT of getting used-to! It certainly has its Fuji-isms and foibles. At times - even when you're busily avoiding the gimmicks and trick-functions Fuji loads it with - it can seem to have "a mind of its own".....

And that IS the hassle with it. Go through the Menus and turn "everything automatic" OFF. Start with the so-called "automatic" EVF-LCD switch - it'll drive you ga-ga if you leave it on. It's also a battery-hog.

(Change the EVF-LCD refresh rate from 30 to 60fps - and put the Brightness up 1 or 2 notches, to suit. Make sure the diopter adjuster on the left of the EVF suits your vision - even 1 click 'off' can blur the EVF.)

Don't use the Auto or Program modes (well, Program if you have to - but turn the Auto and Ranges ISO off - set your ISO manually, top button of the 5 on the back-left of the camera.)

Get used to used Aperture Priority for things that don't move, or only very slowly - and Shutter Priority for anything above snail's-pace.

My camera-off and carry-mode is Shutter Priority. Don't be afraid to bump the ISO up to 200, even on a fairly bright day - to get the shutter-speed in Shutter Priority up. Noise at ISO 200 and 400 is very low for a P&S. On even a fairly bright cloudy day I'm switching between ISO 200 and 400 to keep shutter-speed at 1/250th and faster. Using 1/125th is okay - if you're holding steady.

As you've already discovered, the HS10 is VERY sensitive to "movement" with much zoom at all in use.

Don't be alarmed at using the Priority modes as this camera's "standard" functions instead of Auto and Program - as noted above - I use Shutter Priority almost in the same way as I use Program with my Canon SX10, for the usual offhand "snaps" - and when it's needed for moving objects, you're already in it - and just need to increase the shutter-speed up somewhat.

As for Macro - I was used to the Std Macro and Super Macro of the Canon SX10 - the HS10 of course, has to have a Fuji-ism for Macro, too... :D

Actually - it works well once you realise what it's doing. The Super Macro is almost "conventional" - for very close up - in the 10cm / 4" range. You'll find that if you are really close to the wee bug or such - 5cm / 2" - you'll get distortion at the corners and edges. Keep the target in the centre two-thirds of the image with JPEGs - or shoot RAW+JPEG and correct it in RAW post-processing. The distortion decreases rapidly if you increase the distance from lens to target - much less at about 6"+. (It's not like the Canon SX10/SX20 lens that has almost no Super Macro distortion at under 1cm...)

If you're like me - not accurate all the time - doing RAW+JPEG lets you know quickly after downloading which RAWs are worth processing...!

Now - the "Standard" Macro... Isn't standard, as I was used to with the SX10 - or other cameras. It actually has "two ranges" - from about 6" to 8ft in Wide - and 6ft to 16ft in Tele. Closer-in, you do get some corner-edge distortion - the centre three-quarters of the frame is okay.

You can use RAW and/or Manual Focus in "Standard" Macro. With any MF use - get the zoom distance right - then press the AE-AF-Lock button below the Red Video button on back of the camera. The camera uses the AF function to give a quick "approximate" focus, and "beeps". You then have a 'clear' EVF or on tripod, LCD - image view, if not exactly focused.

At that point, correct the zoom slightly if needed for framing, and/or adjust composition in the frame. Now with the image you want, press the AE-AF button again, and "beep". You then only need to "rock" the Manual Focus ring slightly either way, until sharpest focus centres, then shoot.

Manual Focus in the HS10 works in all modes, including Auto and Program. You can turn that centre "magnified" rectangle On/Off in the Menus. Using that can be a help - but if I'm using MF in hand-held Shutter Priority or Manual Modes, I turn it off.

As you've found, the HS10 in supposed "normal shooting" mode isn't too keen on AF focusing close-in - particularly under about 12ft in Tele zoom range.

So, under 16ft - just change to Std Macro mode. Then those closer things at say 5-15ft, AF well - or you can use MF.

You can also use the Std Macro to get blurred backgrounds with the primary image in sharp focus. No - you won't get that lovely creamy "bokeh" the DSLR folk do - but you "can" blur-out backgrounds quite effectively. Get the primary target - flower, etc - at 3-6ft - and make sure that the "background" in the rest of the frame is at least 3 times the lens-to-target distance - and it will blur-out well.

If you can use a hedge, grass, brick wall, or similar fairly smooth background - not separated items - this works best...

Try the above... And you're sure to have more questions on the HS10 - so post back... The HS10 is a very capable P&S - so long as you "get on top of it and tell it what to do"...!

PS:- Batteries can make a difference to how the HS10 performs. I'm using Sanyo Eneloop rechargeables, which seem to suit it well.

Dave.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:40 pm 
Well, oldwarbler, many thanks for this really comprehensive and informative set of hints & tips. It'll take me a while to extract and exploit all of these. It's very much appreciated and I am sure will help me get the most out of the new camera. You're a star!

Regards - Alan


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:33 am 
Alan81 - I think once you find your way around the HS10's sometimes odd little customs, you'll like it. It's quite capable of doing very acceptable images in quite low light, cloudy days, shade, so on.

If you have firmware update 1.02 or later - the HS10 Review-site tests at 12.5-13.2fps on fast-continuous - fairly quick for a P&S. The reason it differs from the claimed maximum 10fps, is that at launch it couldn't get close to the "claimed" 5fps for RAW / RAW+JPEG. So Fuji cooked-up a firmware update to fix that - and in so doing, accelerated the JPEG max rate.

At 12fps+ it's actually too fast for many purposes - it zzzaps the 7 images it saves in just over a half-second - meaning that many targets you were meaning to "burst-bracket" to catch a nice position, have hardly moved in the frame. You can't control number of shots with the shutter button, either.

If you're using continuous on a moving target, the now bit over 7fps, or 5fps are better. The 3fps is also useful - it gives a duration a bit over 2 seconds for the 7 images. With any of those you can fire 3-4-5 images and stop via the shutter button, if you've caught the shot. That reduces the "Save" delay time before being ready to shoot again.

Do learn to use the RAW mode - the HS10 doesn't have a "Superfine" low-compression, low JPEG-artifacting Save mode like the Canon SX10 - or some that give 1-2-3 "star" levels of JPEG.

While the camera does do quite good JPEGs (I run the Menu-adjustable image controls at Colour - Mid, Tone - Hard, and Sharpness - Hard) - you can get quite a bit more out of the RAWs. You might find it awkward to get a program that handles the HS10 RAF RAWs - but you can convert them to DNG (Adobe Digital Negative) with Adobe's free RAW Converter. Just about any program that does RAW can use DNG.

With the JPEGs, you can also use a Circular Polariser - this can improve colour and contrast, as well as controlling glare and reflections, allowing you to shoot fish through a water surface, so on. If you're not familiar with polarisers, Google for some Guides. The "CambridgeInColour" site has a lot of good and very readable guides, as a start.

While you don't need to buy the "hundreds of dollars" polarisers that the DSLR folk put on their precision-lenses - don't buy a "cheapy", either. I have the Hoya Std "PL-CIR", which was $75.00 here in Sydney, and works well. I did have a "cheap" $27.00 one - and that's exactly what it did for the images - "cheapened" them...

Dave.


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