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Well, I am not going to be so pompous as to tell you what settings you must use, but I do find the following settings work well for me.
This of course assumes that you wish to use the camera in other than a simply 'auto' mode. I have found, for instance, that SR Auto can give some very pleasing images, albeit film simulation is confined to Standard.
Note : If you do shoot Raw, then I also have a detailed set of tutorials, for the supplied Raw File Converter (RFC). There are many examples which step through the process - Click here
Settings for Jpeg :
If you wish to have more control of the camera, and especially if you normally do some post process (PP) work, I find the following works very well. It will also work very well simply for images straight from the camera.
- Program AE mode (P on the command dial) - Using this mode allows for many variables beyond those which the camera would choose automatically.
- ISO - Typically, I set the camera to ISO 400 (Auto) if I am shooting in good light. If I am shooting in low light, I set to 800 (Auto), or even 1600 (Auto)
- Image Size - Normally, I shoot in L (large) 4:3, occasionally in L 3:2.
- Image Quality - Fine (F)
- Dynamic Range (DR) - My preferred setting here is DR 200%. This setting provides for excellent control of highlight and shadow detail. - Note : DR 200% can only be used if the ISO setting is at, or greater than, ISO 200
- FinePix Color - Chrome
- WB (white balance) Fine Tune - I leave this set at 0, 0
- Color (Saturation) - Mid
- Tone (Contrast) - Hard - Note : This is simply a matter of personal taste. If you prefer a less 'punchy' image, then select Mid or Soft. Both will still give pleasing results.
- Sharpness - Hard - Note : One thing I have observed, is that setting other than Hard (high) will mean more noise reduction (NR) will also be applied to the image, and usually selectively. This can lead to 'smearing' in areas which are of uniform colour, or lack contrast, and in particular to those areas which are darker. Since I have been using Sharpness - Hard, I am rarely seeing any effect of smearing
- AE BKT EV STEPS - Plus/Minus 2/3 (I use this occasionally)
- Flash - Minus 1/3. I find the HS-10 flash output can be a little strong.
- I also set Exposure Compensation (EV), to minus 0.33 EV. This helps to give a little more 'headroom' for highlights. This works very well when used in conjunction with DR 200%.
- When using flash (rarely), I use Slow Synchro when I am using it as a 'fill' light in reasonable lighting conditions. This means that the flash will still allow the natural light exposure to dominate. In dark situations, it is best to use it in it's normal mode though.
- Auto Exposure (AE) - I set this to Average for most situations. I use Spot if I wish to ensure that I am exposing for the centre of the scene/subject.
- Auto Focus (AF) - Mostly, I have this set to AF Center. I also use Area, if I wish to control where in the frame I wish the focus point to be.
- Auto Focus (AF) - Update 27th November, 2010. Since writing this post, I have switched to using AF Tracking, but without initiating tracking with the four way controller. Simply, I half press the shutter. This initiates AF Tracking, albeit in the centre of the frame only. Personally, I feel it is faster and more accurate. I now leave this on exclusively.
- Image Stabilisation (IS) - IS Mode Shooting Only
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