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Top of camera controls

At the top front of the camera is the new shutter release button which is now surrounded by the off / play / record button (much more convenient). Behind this are three settings buttons for exposure compensation, flash and drive mode. To use these buttons you must hold them and roll the command wheel which can be found just overhanging the rear of the camera (right under your thumb). The chunky (rubber coated) record mode dial has also moved to be directly above the zoom controller.

Record Mode Dial

Movie Clip mode

Record movie clips in AVI (Motion JPEG) format with audio. The S602Z has definitely the best video recording capability of any digital camera. Not only does it allow you to record 30 fps video at 640 x 480 (VGA), but that you can record movies limited only by the amount of storage space available. This means using a 1 GB IBM Microdrive you can record up to 15 minutes of 640 x 480 video or 37 minutes at 320 x 240 (both with audio).

 • 320 x 240, 30 fps with audio (unlimited length)
 • 640 x 480, 30 fps with audio (unlimited length)

SP

Scene Position Auto Exposure

Each pre-programmed automatic scene exposure mode is selected by rolling the command wheel. An example of the display at the bottom of the LCD is shown below. (Macro is unavailable in all these modes except Black & White).

Portrait Uses large apertures to create soft backgrounds (narrow DOF).
Landscape Uses the smallest possible aperture to create a large depth of field. Flash cancelled.
Sports Attempts to keep shutter speed as high as possible for shooting movement.
Night Portrait Gives priority to slowest shutter speeds. Flash can be used to produce a 'slow sync' flash effect.
Black & White Produces a black and white image by 'desaturating' the image (no particular channel mixing).


AUTO

Full Auto Exposure

Camera automatically controls exposure and white balance, you cannot override white balance, no exposure compensation or flash modes. The only menu options are to change self-timer length (2 or 10 seconds) and additionally choose voice memos to be recorded. This is the camera's point-and-shoot mode. Minimum shutter speed is 1/4 sec.


P

Program Auto Exposure (with Program Shift)

Very similar to AUTO exposure but you have access to all the normal manual controls, access to menus, exposure compensation etc. Minimum shutter speed is 3 seconds. The command wheel allows for flexible selection of equal exposures, eg:

 • 1/5s, F6.3 (wheel rotated anticlockwise)
 • 1/6s, F5.6 (normal)
 • 1/8s, F5 (wheel rotated clockwise)


S

Shutter Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will attempt to select the best aperture for a proper exposure. Selected shutter speed and calculated aperture is displayed on the LCD, rotate the command wheel left or right to select different shutter speeds. If the exposure is outside of the cameras exposure range (for instance trying to take a shot at 1/500s in darkness) the aperture will appear in RED. Available shutter speeds (36 total):

3, 2.5, 2, 1.6, 1.3, 1, 1/1.3, 1/1.6, 1/2, 1/2.5, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10, 1/13, 1/15, 1/20, 1/25, 1/30, 1/40, 1/50, 1/60, 1/80, 1/100, 1/125, 1/160, 1/200, 1/250, 1/320, 1/400, 1/500, 1/650, 1/800, 1/1000 sec


A

Aperture Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will attempt to select the best shutter speed for a proper exposure. Selected aperture and calculated shutter speed is displayed on the LCD, rotate the command wheel left or right to select different apertures. If the exposure is outside of the cameras exposure range the shutter speed will appear in RED. Minimum shutter speed is 3 seconds. The LCD view changes to reflect the look of the final image at this exposure. Available apertures (13 total):

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

Just like the 6900Z the S602Z allows you to select (and shoot at) F2.8 at full telephoto (where the lens is specified as having a maximum aperture of F3.1) - this is plain wrong.


M

Full Manual Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above. Rotate the command wheel left or right to select shutter speed, hold the exposure compensation button (+/-) and rotate the command wheel to select aperture. A metering display such as the one below is displayed, it indicates the exposure compared to the ideal exposure as calculated by metering system.


SET Setup Menu

Setup menu is described later in this review.

Buttons

All of the buttons below are used in combination with the command wheel. To change a setting you hold the button and roll the command wheel at the same time.

Exposure Compensation

Set the exposure compensation (+/-2 EV in 0.3 EV steps), a metering bar is displayed on the LCD (or EVF) to indicate current exposure compensation.

Flash Mode

Select flash mode (only with flash open):
 • Auto Flash (Auto exposure mode only)
 • Flash with Redeye reduction
 • Flash On
 • Slow Sync
 • Slow Sync with Redeye reduction

Drive Mode

The S602Z has a new unique "Last 5" continuous shooting mode, in this mode the camera will take up to 25 frames but records only the last 5 frames (which appears to be its buffer maximum). This mode could be very useful at sporting events allowing you to predict the action and stop shooting just after it happens, thus capturing the moment.

Select drive mode:
 • Off (Single Frame)
 • Continuous (5 fps up to 5 frames)
 • Auto Bracketing (3 frames)
 • Continuous "Last 5" (5 fps, up to 25 frames, records last 5)
 • Continuous 1 mp (1.8 fps up to 40 frames at 1280 x 960) *
* Only available in Auto exposure mode (???)
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