Acceptable 'auto' settings to use for multiple photos

Started Dec 29, 2012 | Questions
PCR Photos New Member • Posts: 3
Acceptable 'auto' settings to use for multiple photos

Hi, recently purchased a Fujifilm F550EXR, and I am looking for the best automatic setting to use to capture a majority of clear shots.

My job is to provide property condition reports for houses, together with photos of the inside and outside, usually 200 - 300 photos per property, which means 2000 to 3000 photos per week.

Photos taken include wide shots (lounge, kitchen, bedroom), medium shots (cupboards, sinks, vanity basins, light fittings), and close ups (toilets, ovens, inside drawers, inside cupboards, power points, carpet). The closeups are usually taken to show dirt, scratches, stains etc. Outside shots include the house, front door, lawns & gardens, meter boxes, pavers, fences etc.

The object here is to show proof of the condition of a property before a tenant moves in, and this is compared to its condition when the tenant moves out.

All photos need to be loaded onto one disk, so I am limited to 4:3 medium normal or 4:3 small fine.

Impossible to manually change settings after each shot, so I have experimented with various settings and the one that seems to give the best shots overall is aperture mode.

Settings are F 3.5, Auto to 800 ISO, DR 400%, AF centre, AE Bkt +-1/3, 4:3 Medium, normal.

I have also set up EXR DR much the same, but with Auto 1600 ISO and dynamic range auto, in case some of the aperture ones come out a little dark.

Wondering if anyone has any comments on the settings I am using, or perhaps can suggest some other alternatives.

What I am looking for is very clear shots, taken in varying light conditions

One day I will find the time to experiment further

Many thanks for any suggestions you can give

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Fujifilm FinePix F550 EXR Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5
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Kim Letkeman
Kim Letkeman Forum Pro • Posts: 33,428
Re: Acceptable 'auto' settings to use for multiple photos

PCR Photos wrote:

Hi, recently purchased a Fujifilm F550EXR, and I am looking for the best automatic setting to use to capture a majority of clear shots.

Follow the settings in the first section of my article and you cannot go wrong. Read the whole article to look a little deeper.

How to Shoot an EXR Camera

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max metz Senior Member • Posts: 2,644
lol

lol

Kim Letkeman
Kim Letkeman Forum Pro • Posts: 33,428
Re: lol

max metz wrote:

lol

The angry man responds with derision to the usual target. You should try to get over it ... the moderators were right.

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Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 17,870
Re: lol

Kim Letkeman wrote:

max metz wrote:

lol

The angry man responds with derision to the usual target. You should try to get over it ... the moderators were right.

Or, when compositional sense is poor, image quality means nothing.

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You don't TAKE a photo, you MAKE a photo.

OP PCR Photos New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Acceptable 'auto' settings to use for multiple photos

Hi Kim

Many thanks for your response and in depth article, which I am still working through, but thought I would give you an update.

I have been experimenting with your settings, and noticed that DR400 produces a lot of shots which are darker than what I want (obviously each room has different lighting).

I found that setting DR to auto and keeping ISO at 400 (in aperture mode), I get a lot more brighter and acceptable shots overall. I prefer lower ISO settings for clearer pictures.

I also have EXR D Range mode set to 800 ISO for whenever the aperture shots are a bit too dark, and when all else fails I use P mode set to 1600 ISO with flash, although the flash tends to produce some false colours.

I will keep at it and let you know how I go, but already feel a lot more confident.

Thanks again

Kim Letkeman
Kim Letkeman Forum Pro • Posts: 33,428
Re: Acceptable 'auto' settings to use for multiple photos

PCR Photos wrote:

Hi Kim

Many thanks for your response and in depth article, which I am still working through, but thought I would give you an update.

I have been experimenting with your settings, and noticed that DR400 produces a lot of shots which are darker than what I want (obviously each room has different lighting).

DR400 drops highlights and flattens the tone curve. I assume that this is what makes them look dark to you.

I found that setting DR to auto and keeping ISO at 400 (in aperture mode), I get a lot more brighter and acceptable shots overall. I prefer lower ISO settings for clearer pictures.

DR400's one job is to flatten the tone curve to give the camera as much chance as possible to avoid crushing either the whites or the blacks.

Now, if you never intend to tweak anything in Lightroom, then you might find the output too flat. In which case I would suggest that you experiment with ASTIA film mode to brighten images, and of course get comfortable with exposure compensation, which is traditionally how exposure should be manipulated.

I would do all that before running AUTO DR, but that's just my personal preference. Many like AUTO DR and do not seem to mind the risk of crushing highlights if the camera chooses less wisely at times.

I also have EXR D Range mode set to 800 ISO for whenever the aperture shots are a bit too dark,

That mode is designed to flatten the tone curve even more. And along with that comes extra smearing as there is a lot of additional software processing.

Perhaps you have accidentally set +EV compensation in that mode, hence they appear brighter?

I would personally use exposure compensation before the EXR modes.

and when all else fails I use P mode set to 1600 ISO with flash, although the flash tends to produce some false colours.

Well, again not much there that has to do with exposure. Just a heavier flattening of the tone curve along with even more smearing. Not sure why that is helping the darkness of your images.

I will keep at it and let you know how I go, but already feel a lot more confident.

That's good. Keep going with your experimentation. It is the only way to get control of the output ...

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OP PCR Photos New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Acceptable 'auto' settings to use for multiple photos

Thanks Kim

Many thanks - another adjustment to consider, but now getting a better understanding of the whole concept, and learning more with every practice session.

I will certainly have a go at exposure compensation, but as mentioned in my original request, the problem is too many photos in the shortest amount of time, so tweaking the settings may not always be an option.

I will let you know how I go with the exposure compensation.

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