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Aperture Priority Mode

Aperture priority is where you designate the aperture and the camera calculates the best shutter speed, if the exposure is outside of the cameras range (either over or under exposing) the nearest shutter speed will display in red on the LCD screen. Used properly Aperture Priority can be invaluable as it has a direct effect on depth of field (the distance in front and behind the focal point which will be in focus when taking the shot).

The 4900Z has fairly good range of available apertures:

  • F2.8, F3.2, F3.6, F4, F4.5, F5, F5.6, F6.3, F7, F8, F9, F10, F11

Aperture Priority is an exposure mode is accessed by turning the exposure mode dial to A. You can change aperture by rotating the command wheel. A basic example of aperture priority is shown below for more read my digital photography glossary:

F2.8, 1/21s
(Less depth of field)
F11.0, 1/2 s
(More depth of field)


Shutter Priority Mode

Shutter priority is where you designate the shutter speed and the camera calculates the correct aperture, if the exposure is outside of the cameras range (either over or under exposing) the nearest aperture will display in red on the LCD screen. For more read my digital photography glossary. The sample below was shot at 1/1000sec in Shutter Priority mode with an external flash (the onboard flash will only sync up to 1/250s).

1/1000s, F5.6, External Flash (Nikon SB-28DX)

(Phil's now infamous frozen water droplet shot.. I really should find something new)


Bracketing

Bracketing is the automatic exposure of an odd number of frames, typically three or five, over and under exposed by equal steps to enable the photographer to select the best exposed frame at a later time. The 4900Z supports bracketing of three shots at either +/- 0.3, 0.7 or 1.0 EV from the metered exposure, it takes the normal shot first followed by the under then over exposed shots. This option is available in P, S (Shutter Priority) and A (Aperture Priority) exposure modes. The sample below was shot with 0.7 EV bracketing.

1/4s, F5.0
(Normal exposure)
1/2s, F5.0
(+0.7 EV exposure)
1/6s, F5.0
(-0.7 EV exposure)

The 4900Z shoots all three images very quickly without the need for continuous mode or a prolonged press of the shutter release, immediately after the three shots are taken they're displayed side by side on the LCD screen (if preview is enabled).


Macro

The 4900Z limits its zoom range as soon as you press the Macro focus button (limits to equiv. of 35 - 80 mm), the manual quotes an effective focus range of 10 cm to 80 cm. I found the maximum possible magnification at full zoom (equiv. 80mm) as close as possible to the subject as focus will allow (using manual focus and the focus confirm zoom).

Frame cover at the best possible magnification was about 2 inches.


Internal Flash

The 4900Z's internal flash is rated at 4.5 m at wide angle and 4.0 m at tele (all at ISO 200). This a fairly standard range for a digicam internal flash unit. As the samples below show coverage at wide angle was very good with almost no visible drop-off at the corners. Skin tones were also accurate, well exposed and "pink" (thank goodness, I look healthy for once).

The 4900Z also allows you to alter the flash output by +/-0.6EV in 0.3EV steps. This allows for a fine degree of compensation (see example below).

Flash compensation: 0 EV Flash compensation: +0.3 EV Flash compensation: +0.6 EV


Wide Angle Conversion Lens (option)

When attached to the 4900Z the optional WL-FX9 wide angle conversion lens (x0.79) gives a widest angle equivalent to 28mm on a 35mm camera. It's weighty piece of kit and the glass is obviously of very high quality. The lens and adapter ring are two separate items, the first screws into the back of the lens barrel (just inside the manual focus ring) to provide a 55 mm thread just beyond the tip of the extended lens, the wide angle lens itself screws onto this thread. Obviously this could also be used to add additional filters to the 4900Z.

Fujifilm recommend the wide angle conversion lens is only used for wide-ish angles (28mm - 46mm on a 35mm camera) as at full telephoto some distortion would be introduced. Some of the samples in our samples gallery were taken using this lens, overall I was very pleased with the build quality of the lens and there was no discernible degradation of image quality when in use.

The panorama below was produced by stitching four wide angle shots taken with the WL-FX9 on the camera.

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