◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0

Started Jan 17, 2012 | Discussions
max metz
Senior MemberPosts: 2,643
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◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
Jan 17, 2012

Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. Beta 1.0
Beta for another article on the x10, feedback appreciated.

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PREAMBLE

Pic 1A

This article is for the beginner, wanting to be an enthusiast or pro with an x10.

Aperture priority is the underlying skill most likely needed and this attempts to be a simple guide to get you started.

This is my method, others will likely have theirs, some better some worse, in time you will develop your own – as you progress if you get stuck, you can always return to this.

Pic 1B

The aim of aperture priority is simple; you are aiming at the brightest possible image without blown highlights . You also want to be able to get the stuff you want, in or out of focus.

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APERTURE PRIOITY

Pic 3

Your Task

In aperture priority, you control the aperture – the amount of available light being let into the camera through the lens. The camera will automatically select a shutter speed to balance that for a well exposed photograph.

Pic 4

The aperture is opened up and closed down by turning the little control wheel top right on the rear of the camera. The changing value will show on the rear screen, along with the accompanying shutter speed as selected by the camera.

Selecting a wide aperture like f2 will let in a lot of light with less in focus.

The white bars either side of the red line on the bottom of the rear screen, will show you what distance band is in focus. As you focus on a different spots in the frame this will change, the red line will show you the distance to that point at the half shutter press from the camera – you control this.

Pic 5

Selecting a tight aperture will let in a lot less light with more in focus.

Again the graphical bar on the bottom of the rear screen will tell you what distance band is in focus (white bars) and the distance from your camera to the point you focused on (red line).

Pic 6

Cameras Task

While you are change the aperture to let in more or less light and change the band that is in focus by focusing on different points in the frame, the camera will be changing the shutter speed to achieve the best exposure.

You need to watch what the camera is doing, if the shutter speed drops too low then the photograph will be blurred because you cannot hold the camera still enough.

Usually 1/60th of a second is as low as you want to go initially, some with steady hands will be able to go lower, perhaps 1/30th second.

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APERTURE PRIOITY – Setup

Pic 7

Select the letter A on the mode dial.

For this exercise set the camera up as follows:

Select Medium resolution (M), Select manual iso100, select manual Dynamic range 400, Select image quality Jpeg Fine (F), Select Provia Film, Set focus to AF-S, Turn the EV compensation Dial to 0, Set the AE-L/AE-F button to AE-L only, Set the metering to Multi, Set the rear screen to show the review image until you half press the shutter button and Turn off anything automatic or digitally enhanced except focus.

Pic 7A

Press the green play button on the rear top left of the camera, the last image you took appears. Press DISP BACK on the rear bottom right of the camera; keep pressing until you see the play screen above.

Shoot in bright light to start with so you can initially use the camera in aperture priority at its best and become familiar with the controls in very good light.

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APERTURE PRIOITY – Shooting

Pic 8A

With the EV dial on 0, frame your subject; focus on your subject by half pressing the shutter button. Keeping the shutter half pressed will keep the focus locked.

The red line on the bottom bar in the rear screen will show you how far away the focus point is and the white bars either side will tell you the distance band that will be in focus.

Change the aperture until you get what you want in focus, refocusing each time with a half shutter press, locking focus with keeping the shutter half pressed.

Shoot.

Pic 8B

After shooting the review image will appear on the rear screen, magnified on the focus point to show you if you achieved good focus.

Press the DISP BACK button rear bottom right of the camera to see the full frame if you wish.

Press the green Play arrow button top left of the camera back, the play screen will appear with all the shooting information and if there are any blown highlights they will flash on and off in the small review image.

If there are no flashing highlights and you believe this to be the lightest possible image, with everything you want in focus then you are done .

Pic 8C

If there are flashing highlights, half press the shutter to return to shooting mode, lower the EV by turning the EV dial one or two values down with your right thumb – re frame and follow the same procedure as before then shoot again.

Pic 8D

After shooting again, press the green Play arrow button top left of the camera back, the play screen will then appear. If there are any blown highlights they will flash on and off in the small review image, you’ll need to lower the EV yet again and re shoot.

That’s all there is too it.

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ANY PROFESSIONAL CAMERA

The process is long winded at first, it gets much easier and quicker with practice; you begin to get a feel for what settings (aperture and ev) work best in different situations which streamlines the process.

As long as you are achieving the brightest possible photograph with no flashing highlights, with everything you want in focus, you’ll know you are pretty well in full control of your professional little camera.

After learning the above, the control available in the other X10 EXR and Advanced modes will be a sub set of this procedure and you should quickly be able to master those modes equally well.

The X10 offers excellent professional control, with the included accurate live view and range scale displayed on the bottom of the rear screen, I have used none better. This with all the other quality features; make the x10 an excellent camera to learn with, while being rewarded in working toward and possibly achieving excellent photographic results. The camera is up to the task, you only need put in the effort needed.

Once you have mastered Aperture Priority on the X10, you should be able to pick up any professional camera and within short order be on the way to getting the very best out of it, so for the keen this initial learning will likely be time very well spent.

Note: The exposure graph at the bottom of the review play screen can be complex to use, after a time you will notice it often doesn’t resemble the examples in the x10 manual, don’t worry about this for now.

In time you will learn that the graph shows warning signs when the shaded areas are cut off at the sides and or the top; by then you will have mastered stuff enough to find out ways to correct this, if you feel so inclined – once proficient you may eventually want to turn on the graph when shooting as a way of helping you pre-empt problem exposures, though you don’t need too.

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Caution: Use any of the above, drawn and or written, shown and or implied, at your own risk.

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Fujifilm X10
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nicador
Forum MemberPosts: 95
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to max metz, Jan 17, 2012

Good day Max!

Thanks a lot for posting this tutorial, I wouldn't have thought of approaching a shoot the way you explained it. Next time I turn on the camera I'll give it a try!

Regarding feedback:

Maybe you could add some words on why choosing A mode rather than P for example.

And also how one should choose the aperture in A mode. I understand that there are obvious reasons like the DOF, but there might be less obvious ones like the sharpness of the pictures, flaring, specular reflections...

Kind greetings

Nick

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Danny Chua
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to max metz, Jan 17, 2012

When you said "lightest image without flashing highlights", are you talking about ETTR (exposed to the right) technique?
Danny

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Timur Born
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to max metz, Jan 17, 2012

Nice work for the community, thanks Max!

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ekimneems
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to max metz, Jan 17, 2012

Great post. Look forward to more like it!

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Brian5701
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to ekimneems, Jan 17, 2012

Nice guide, I really like your graphics.

I'm a bit puzzled at the "aim" though. I have always thought of aperture priority as a way to manage in focus/out of focus elements of a photo. The way you've described it, it sounds like a method to avoid blown highlights. Blown highlights are an exposure issue that you can address in several ways - aperture, shutter speed, iso, etc.

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max metz
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to nicador, Jan 17, 2012

Thanks Nick, your feedback is most welcome. I may take up your suggestion about mentioning, in short, the benefit of aperture priority; being it is the one mode that gives excellent control while maxing out the camera capability.

The beginner is least likely to benefit from allowing for sharpest apertures for any given lens (if the info is available) and simular attention to detail, rather an overall beginning would seem best. Live view, flashing blown highlights and the distance scale make most of the big challenges visible and manageable. Thanks mate.

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max metz
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to Danny Chua, Jan 17, 2012

Danny: Expose to the right of the histogram is a proven technique used by many, my technique is simular but doesn’t rely on being able to read the graph, if indeed the graph is readable. Most of the info captured in digital is in the lights, the noise also lives mostly in the darks – that’s a simplified version of the expose to the right argument.

My technique aims for a simple approach by anyone, that’s why I deliberately avoided the technical terms like hyperfocal length and histogram – they are not necessary, you just have to expose the brightest image without blown highlights and you can see the result, you don’t need to interpret anything just look at the final image.

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max metz
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to Timur Born, Jan 17, 2012

Thanks Timur!

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max metz
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to ekimneems, Jan 17, 2012

Thanks very much ekimneems.

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max metz
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to Brian5701, Jan 17, 2012

Thanks very much Brian.

Aperture is your part in getting a good exposure in aperture priority, while watching what the camera is doing with the shutter speed – it’s the ev compensation that you adjust for the blown highlights, blown stuff is usually the exception (not always) to an otherwise good exposure (and the bit you can’t rescue later).

Most cameras operate best at their native or lowest iso, it’s important for the beginner to see and hopefully achieve a result of the camera at its very best – to know what that looks like and repeat it.

Even the latest Canon and Nikon top dslrs are at their best at lowest iso; particularly for dynamic range, which falls off very sharply long before the any noise is noticeable.

So it would seem important that we be able to operate at a selected iso value, if you want glow from dynamic range then this method will allow the maximum chance of getting that – even if it means grabbing the tripod.

As people progress, need will lead them to other knowledge and technique, if they get confused then they have something that works to return to before again relaunching into another round of technical discovery.

The hopeful guide being: I want to take that which I see, how can I do that?

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John WFH
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to max metz, Jan 17, 2012

Thanks Max yet again you come up with exactly what I need. If you have the time any more tutorials along the same lines would be greatly appreciated.

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max metz
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to John WFH, Jan 17, 2012

Thanks very much John, anything that seems odd or confusing report back here so I can see if any adjustments are needed before publishing this as article. All the best, I hope you enjoy it.

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Claudia P
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to max metz, Jan 17, 2012

Thank you very much for this, I'm sure I will refer to it many times.

I find as I continue to age my brain keeps deleting things without my permission so I need to use them many times before I really remember.

Claudia

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John WFH
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to max metz, Jan 17, 2012

Will let you know once I've had a play, Max. I bought the X10 to learn as much as I can about photographic techniques. Absolutely loving the camera and the results so far. Your positivity about the X10, rising above all the nasty points scoring negativity, and your creative advice is just the ticket.

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Luego
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to max metz, Jan 17, 2012

Hi Max,

Great Stuff!

However, reading your instructions gives me the impression that you are trying to describe "aperture priority" shooting specifically with the X10 and at the same time you want the user to get the impression that it is generic with DSLR's.

I would prefer that you approach your guide in two steps:

1. - X10 specific
2. - DSLR's

Whereby you could add for the first step (X10 only) the following:

  • Guide is applicable for wide angle shots only

(any use of the zoom function could be described in a different paragraph,
as you know changing focal length, also changes DoF and might affect (f stop)
aperture setting)

  • Also the X10 has display custom settings and you might mention to turn off

framing guideline and electronic level

  • You might also mention the AF focus point adjustments (size and location)

in your settings using main- and sub-command dial

Just some suggestions, but it all depends how much detail (help) you want to provide to the user.

Cheers mate

Luego

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max metz
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to Claudia P, Jan 17, 2012

Thanks Claudia.

As for your memory, perhaps as we age we become more aware of the perceived correlation between forgetfulness and age; when in fact we always are somewhat forgetful at any age.

I had this discussion with an older lady recently, she was terribly concerned about her forgetfulness, I reassured her that I was just as forgetful of the same things that concerned her but the difference was I took little notice of my shortcoming. lol Be well and enjoy your camera – my very best to you.

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max metz
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to John WFH, Jan 17, 2012

That makes my day John, what a lovely thing to say.

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max metz
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to Luego, Jan 17, 2012

Thanks Luego, very insightful, I will return to your suggestions in the next revision – including what I think appropriate for someone starting out.

Your point about dslr’s is something I mused over, many dslrs don’t have the control of the x10 – depth of field button instead of good spontaneous live view, no distance scale or hyperfocal length shown and so on. I might mention that at the end.

The lens aperture changing as the zoom changes, indeed the camera changes the shutter speed too – good stuff mate.

The custom setting would be better turned off – another really good point!

Not sure about getting the beginner to change the focus point without moving the actual camera around; perhaps this would be a good meaty topic in itself for another article.

Your suggestions are excellent and very well considered, the article is for a beginner so needs to be as simple as possible, though there are things you mention that would not place any real extra burden on a beginner.

Many thanks, its feedback like yours that make stuff like this a lot better – enjoy the week mate.

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Lyle From Canada
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Re: ◄ Novice 2 Enthusiast: X10 aperture priority. ► Beta 1.0
In reply to max metz, Jan 17, 2012

I would strongly suggest any beginner with this camera use auto iso 800. The difference in IQ is minimal at best and would also allow for higher shutter speeds in lower light situations. This will remove a lot of frustration associated with blurry images.
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