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08-12-2011, 09:27 PM   #16
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I own the Fuji S1000fd and S1500 (my girlfiend bought that for me) and use them both along with a number of different camera ranging from a simple point and shoot Fuji A700 to my Pentax K-m. Having worked with all of them, I have learning to work around there weak points to get great results from all of them. I find the Fuji bridge cameras focusing taxing at times but I manage to get good pictures in the end. The auto focus can be very picky at times but I have learned make it work for me. The sercet is to learn how to use the shutter to allow the autofocus lock on to whatever you what first then push the button for getting the image captured on to the cameras mermory card. With a bit of practise hopefully you will get this down to a science. All cameras work basiclly the same way. It just works out that even the same model camera behave in slightly different ways.

Just give the X90 a bit of time. I think you will get the hang of it in time.

08-13-2011, 11:57 AM   #17
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Focus problems...

QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxExpression Quote
Focusing With The X90 I saw a squirrel in the garden eating bread. I thought I'd take a photograph of it through a bedroom window. First on automatic but no matter how much I zoomed in and out the camera did not focus well. I took a picture anyway, image was out of focus, no surprise (The window might be the problem here but the focusing seem unreliable outside too)
You would have got a much better shot with the window open, or, if the squirrel was quite far away, by just setting focus to infinity. Also, for that kind of shot go to aperture priority mode and close the lens down to f8 or smaller aperture. Again the focus will be much more crisp and clean.

Also, what focus mode were you using? Center spot would have given a better result that averaged focus modes.

Try and get off the AUTO PICT mode for everything except very well lit daylight scenes with even lighting. I do not find that AUTO PICT mode works well if there are a combination of bright highlights and dark shadows in the image. P mode (Program mode) handles anything other than bright even lighting much better if you still want to stay with more or less automatic shooting.

Many of the settings with the X90 have a "catch" where the camera automatically sets something to a sub-optimal setting, and you are maybe unaware of that unless you have read the manual VERY CAREFULLY! For instance the Dynamic Shadows setting just boosts the ISO. You are better off adjusting the exposure compensation a tad brighter, say +2/3.

Beware of the long zoom at slow shutter speed when hand held. Any camera shake blurs the image and also looks a bit like focus errors. Make sure anti-shake is selected "on" within the menu BUT DON'T SELECT ANTI-SHAKE ON THE MODE DIAL - It instantly reduces the image size to 5MP, changes the ISO to AUTO and bumps the ISO up.

Pity you didn't shoot the squirrel with many different settings. I think you would have got a few which really stood out from the rest and would have learned a lot from the exercise. When set correctly for the subject, the X90 will take some really good pictures, but it needs setting right - its not really that good as a point & shoot except for bright and pretty evenly lit scenes. But the same thing applies to a DSLR as well. Optimum results come only from optimum settings and the combination of long zoom and small sensor make that even more critical. If you don't want to learn the camera and fiddle with settings, then get a $50 P&S.

As I said before, get to know the settings on your X90 really well and then do a lot of experimenting. If you don't do this, and can't spend the time getting to know exactly how your camera works, then I don't think you will ever get the best out of it - and that would apply to any camera. It is equally true that every camera has some limitations. You have to learn to work within those limitations if you want superior results. The more familiar you get with the camera the more amazed you will be with the image results that are possible. Alternatively, if you think the answer is just to buy another camera, then you will end up disappointed with it as well. The only person who is really going to be happy is the camera salesman you buy from...

Last edited by Anton Magus; 08-13-2011 at 12:04 PM.
08-13-2011, 12:11 PM   #18
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Philoslothical Wrote:
QuoteQuote:
Just a suggestion: if you're not ready to make the jump to a DSLR yet, check out the Panasonic Lumix line. You can get good deals on the DMC-FZ40 these days, and it's a fine little camera (even shoots raw). Any of the FZ series are pretty good, but the -40 and -100 seem to really shine (although the latter is a bit spendy, at that point seriously consider an entry level DSLR).
Thanks for the information.
What is RAW?

Panasonic Lumix... I'll have a look.
08-13-2011, 07:14 PM - 1 Like   #19
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I am in the process of working on a year long project of taking a picture a day. This means taking about 50 to 100 images daily depending on what comes up every day. Editing brings it down to at least two images to be used for the project. It really gets you not only to know your cameras but the subject matter you enjoy doing. It also pushes you really think out how to get different looking pictures all the time. You could be doing something like this to learn your camera. Start using the different modes that the camera offers to really learn to get the best out of the X90. The advise about using the programmed mode is great. It really opens up the camera while retaining the feel of automatic. Once you feel comfortable using this mode, move on to the shutter and aperture priority modes explore the camera even more. the best of it well come out this way. Getting to use the manual mode effectively gives you the best it can offer!!

Look into getting a good book on digital picture taking. Tom Ang has some nice books out that help explain getting the best out of without the big language some authers put in. I have one of his books and even with 30 years picture taking, I have picked up tips to help me out. I figure that you have a lot to learn before thinking about moving on to a higher level camera. The X90 offers the base to learn alll the basic picture taking skills.

08-13-2011, 08:44 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxExpression Quote
What is RAW?
Raw image files contain a lot more information than a jpeg. They store dynamic range data that you can use later to correct exposure without loss of quality, and they don't have all the in-camera post processing done to them that jpeg generally do. They're sometimes likened to the digital version of a photographic negative, which isn't technically correct, but gives an idea of their potential.

Looking through the reviews of your X90, it seems to have been well received. The other advice in this thread may be better than to just replace it, at least until you exhaust the possibility of getting what you want out of it. Entirely up to you of course.
08-14-2011, 06:52 AM   #21
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QuoteQuote:
Just give the X90 a bit of time. I think you will get the hang of it in time.
Steve I think I will be keeping the camera.
I have picked up a few tips in this topic, the important ones being... read the instruction book.... and experiment.

I don't think I can experiment with the movie feature, it all seems to be automatic, so I'll need to work out what I will do there.... maybe get a second hand S1700 which I know did what I wanted.

Anton Magus
QuoteQuote:
Many of the settings with the X90 have a "catch" where the camera automatically sets something to a sub-optimal setting, and you are maybe unaware of that unless you have read the manual VERY CAREFULLY.

You have to learn to work within those limitations if you want superior results
I think Anton that is what I have to get used to... the "Catches"!
For every varibale setting other settings are fixed.
I need to work out the advantages, disadvantages why things are done like this.

Anton Magus
QuoteQuote:
Pity you didn't shoot the squirrel with many different settings.
Anton if I had opened the sash window, he would have been off like the wind.
As it was, he didn't hang around to be photographed by an amateur

Philoslothical
QuoteQuote:
Looking through the reviews of your X90, it seems to have been well received. The other advice in this thread may be better than to just replace it, at least until you exhaust the possibility of getting what you want out of it. Entirely up to you of course.
I have taken some great photographs with the X90 for sure.
I think I need to work out why the camera manufacturer designs the camera with so many Fixed/Automatic setting combinations which to me seem a little contrived when all settings could be variable making a good camera great and fully flexible to user experimentation without limitation (well, within the parameters of the adjustments provided).

Thanks for the information regarding RAW and directing me to look at the Panasonic Lumix

The advice and opinions from everyone it's much appreciated.

08-14-2011, 07:14 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxExpression Quote
stevbike
Steve I think I will be keeping the camera.
I have picked up a few tips in this topic, the important ones being... read the instruction book.... and experiment.

I don't think I can experiment with the movie feature, it all seems to be automatic, so I'll need to work out what I will do there.... maybe get a second hand S1700 which I know did what I wanted.

Anton Magus
I think Anton that is what I have to get used to... the "Catches"!
For every varibale setting other settings are fixed.
I need to work out the advantages, disadvantages why things are done like this.

Try working with the X90 video in different conditions see what gives the best results. It should be useable in some lighting conditions. If the Fuji S1700 is anything like my S1500 it gives goods results in videos. I have have use of it in some small videos I have made up. It is nice to have it as a back-up camera as well.

Once you start getting into programmed, aperture, shutter and manual modes you should unlock the various functions of the camera so that experimenting with it becomes possible. Starting to using out of auto ISO will help a lot as well. I use my Fuji A700 in programmed mode all the time get results from that look very good. I set-up the ISO into manual mode so I get better control of the quality of the images.

The most important part of using you camera is just have fun using it. If a small mistake is made or a missed moment goes on by, there will always be another chance to see something even better.
08-15-2011, 01:14 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxExpression Quote
I think I need to work out why the camera manufacturer designs the camera with so many Fixed/Automatic setting combinations which to me seem a little contrived when all settings could be variable making a good camera great and fully flexible to user experimentation without limitation
Amen to that. I looked at a range of cameras before buying my X90 but there was not one I found that allowed manual focus with a focus ring on the lens, as well as auto focus. Plus they all had those "dreaded" scene modes for "portrait"/"baby"/"museum"/"night scene"/"pets"/"food"/ etc etc. Just junk added by the marketing people.

08-15-2011, 06:34 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anton Magus Quote
Amen to that. I looked at a range of cameras before buying my X90 but there was not one I found that allowed manual focus with a focus ring on the lens, as well as auto focus. Plus they all had those "dreaded" scene modes for "portrait"/"baby"/"museum"/"night scene"/"pets"/"food"/ etc etc. Just junk added by the marketing people.
Many of the bridge cameras only have autofocus. My girlfriend had the Canon SX110IS and SX120IS and it had the option of manual focus via a rear rotating ring around the menu/ OK button. That was a nice option. For the most part I have gotten used to auto focus only on my small bridge camera. The other scene settings are never used by myself. The theory is that with preset modes, it makes picture taking easier as most people will not be willing to learn more about basic to advanced picture taking skills. That is a shame. Cameras like the X90 are great cameras to learn on and remain useful long after most people think they have outgrown it.
08-16-2011, 05:04 AM   #25
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SteveBike Wrote:
QuoteQuote:
The theory is that with preset modes, it makes picture taking easier as most people will not be willing to learn more about basic to advanced picture taking skills.
Family and friends I know that are not interested in experimenting with manual camera setting find a one for all setting and point and shoot.
All other settings are redundant from then on!


SteveBike Wrote:
QuoteQuote:
That is a shame. Cameras like the X90 are great cameras to learn on and remain useful long after most people think they have outgrown it.
I cannot at this early stage consider myself to have outgrown the X90 camera as I only purchased it recently.

What I have learnt from the discussion here is that in the world of bridge cameras it produces competitive picture quality at a reasonable price and that I have to investigate all it's features in more detail to get the best from it.

Yesterday
I was looking at Panasonic Lumix and Olympus Bridge and Digital SLR cameras.
Some of them having manual focusing.

I learnt that the manual focus on/off setting was not accessed at the push of a button but rather via a maze of menu navigation.

They were excellent cameras and I have concluded that if going digital you have to accept it's a software maze of settings that have to be mastered to get results from any Digital camera purchase before being able to separate the wheat from the chaff features that produce useful and professional results.

Now that I have that all out of my system I'll spend more time concentrating on what I have .....

The Pentax X90.

Last edited by PentaxExpression; 08-16-2011 at 05:13 AM.
08-16-2011, 07:01 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxExpression Quote
SteveBike Wrote:
Family and friends I know that are not interested in experimenting with manual camera setting find a one for all setting and point and shoot.
All other settings are redundant from then on!


SteveBike Wrote:
I cannot at this early stage consider myself to have outgrown the X90 camera as I only purchased it recently.

What I have learnt from the discussion here is that in the world of bridge cameras it produces competitive picture quality at a reasonable price and that I have to investigate all it's features in more detail to get the best from it.

Yesterday
I was looking at Panasonic Lumix and Olympus Bridge and Digital SLR cameras.
Some of them having manual focusing.

I learnt that the manual focus on/off setting was not accessed at the push of a button but rather via a maze of menu navigation.

They were excellent cameras and I have concluded that if going digital you have to accept it's a software maze of settings that have to be mastered to get results from any Digital camera purchase before being able to separate the wheat from the chaff features that produce useful and professional results.

Now that I have that all out of my system I'll spend more time concentrating on what I have .....

The Pentax X90.
I am looking forward to seeing some of your pictures posted on the gallery section of this site. Have fun getting used to your camera. Create some good memories!!!
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