SX40 settings - suggestions what works well, what to avoid?

Started Aug 26, 2012 | Discussions
krewzer
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SX40 settings - suggestions what works well, what to avoid?
Aug 26, 2012

Hi all,

Have been reading all the useful information on this forum about the SX40 - I saw enough pros to get one for a cruise to Hawaii next month. I was wondering if anyone has specific suggestions about settings to either use or avoid. For example based on what I've read, a 4:3 aspect ratio seems to be best to maximize future usefullness (I can always crop post processing to whatever size print I'll make).
Thanks in advance for your advice.

Cheers:)

James Cafferty
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Re: SX40 settings - suggestions what works well, what to avoid?
In reply to krewzer, Aug 27, 2012

Here is a link to Tony Britton's smugmug site. His pictures are excellent and he offers many Tips on what works for him - and what doesn't.

http://tonybritton.smugmug.com/Other/Canon-SX40-HS/19547031_B4kL9S# !i=1647765287&k=mT7Hb2S

Hopefully, some of our other excellent photogs will comment.

Meanwhile, I just bought an SX40 and am going thru the learning curve - like everyone else. When I find something interesting to shoot, I'll post it.

Enjoy your vacation.
--
All the best,
Jim

Photographers take pictures; the camera is only a tool.

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pdqgp
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Watch histogram
In reply to krewzer, Aug 27, 2012

krewzer wrote:

Hi all,

Have been reading all the useful information on this forum about the SX40 - I saw enough pros to get one for a cruise to Hawaii next month. I was wondering if anyone has specific suggestions about settings to either use or avoid. For example based on what I've read, a 4:3 aspect ratio seems to be best to maximize future usefullness (I can always crop post processing to whatever size print I'll make).
Thanks in advance for your advice.

My advice will be to use and watch your histogram and exposure, especially on highlights as the SX40 seems to want to clip them.

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-tim

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iAnoop
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Re: SX40 settings - suggestions what works well, what to avoid?
In reply to krewzer, Aug 27, 2012

With excellent zoom with sx40 you can take photograph what ever you see.

to get excellent focus has been a little issue for sx40 owners. So you have to practice it.

I suggest you to use spot metering mode all time. it will produce little bit overexposed surroundings but excellent focus on subject.
Do not zoom too much on subject it might produce little blur.

Always check shutter speed if it is enough fast to reduce blur or use 2 sec timer if possible.

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altendky
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Re: SX40 settings - suggestions what works well, what to avoid?
In reply to krewzer, Aug 27, 2012

krewzer wrote:

Have been reading all the useful information on this forum about the SX40 - I saw enough pros to get one for a cruise to Hawaii next month.

Ooh, that'll be fun! Especially for something like that I'd recommend a polarizer. Does wonders for the water, foliage, and sky... I personally went with Lensmate and a B+W:

http://www.lensmateonline.com/store/sx20sx10sx1.php
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=details&Q=&sku=11370&is=REG

Though this admittedly isn't technique advice.

I was wondering if anyone has specific suggestions about settings to either use or avoid. For example based on what I've read, a 4:3 aspect ratio seems to be best to maximize future usefullness (I can always crop post processing to whatever size print I'll make).

Just to make sure it's clear, it's not really the 4:3 aspect ratio so much as that is the native ratio of the sensor (4000x3000 pixels) so using anything else just crops off data and throws it away in-camera.

As to a direct response to your actual question? I'm having trouble with totally general rules. For my backyard birding I use either manual or spot metering and the small focus box on shutter priority around 1/250s. In general, I think that any sort of blur is the worst thing to have so pushing up shutter speed to whatever you need to eliminate motion and camera shake is important. With CHDK you could do RAW/DNG processing and pick the noise vs. detail tradeoffs after the fact.

Perhaps if you could share your preference of types of shots you could get more focused responses? You'd also be welcome to ask about any particular shots of mine:

https://plus.google.com/photos/117872187871564580367/albums

Not necessarily that they are great photos, just that it can help me to talk about particular scenes. Those are not all SX40, but mostly.

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DonA2
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Re: SX40 settings - suggestions what works well, what to avoid?
In reply to krewzer, Aug 27, 2012
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No one setting works well for everything. I have 3 SZs including the SX40hs. All are set to factory settings with a few exceptions. Leave the dial at 'P' mode unless extra ordinary requirements call for a manual override (Tv/Av) Dial in -1/3 EF to avoid most highlight clipping. Set the focus/ exposure box to medium size. Fix the ISO to 100 (change as needed with the 4 way). Set 'I-Contrast' in the shortcut button but rarely use it. Set one of the 'custom' buttons to a slow shutter, wide aperture, ISO 400 for night shots. SCN modes can be helpful for odd occasions but use sparingly. Don't use digital zoom (do this in post). Use the EVF for most standard shots, breath 1/2 way out- hold, press shutter slowly to get a good green box then all the way. Try for 'medium' zoom, both ends cause problems but they are often required.

The main point is to shoot a lot, 2 or 3 of everything and throw out. Use the 'delete' button a lot. Post processing is necessary on 99.9 %. Use flash sparingly and buy a small external with bounce. Keep settings on 'best quality' (Large/min. compression).

There are a 100 optional settings. For the most part stick to the minimum until you get comfortable with the basics, then experiment. These are P&S cameras so the old KISS principal works well.
Don V. Armitage

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krewzer
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Re: SX40 settings - suggestions what works well, what to avoid?
In reply to DonA2, Sep 3, 2012

Thanks everyone...some good thoughts and feedback. I'm upgrading from an SX10 so I'm excited to see how this will play out.
Cheers

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tocar
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Re: SX40 settings - suggestions what works well, what to avoid?
In reply to DonA2, Sep 3, 2012

I essentially agree on everything you said except for deleting images in camera. I usually don't delete images until I've downloaded everything first. Frequent deletion of images will result in fragmented memory which can slow down writing to it. For a large memory card (16gb) which can take up to 6000 or so images deleting is not necessary.

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tocar
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Re: SX40 settings - suggestions what works well, what to avoid?
In reply to krewzer, Sep 3, 2012

4:3 is the largest file size. I use 16:9 mode which is good for laptop and TV screens. I have a 16gb card and can record hundreds of pictures. I use Center focus on 'P' mode a lot. There are other settings specially the creative ones and it's actually fun to use. Explore and experiment with the camera and you'll find it's very versatile. The only negatives I find is that the focusing doesn't do well on low light/contrast and manual focusing is a pain. For low light situations I use manual mode instead. Lastly, enjoy your vacation and take in the moment other than pictures.

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