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Settings on camera

nadia6 4 2
16 Jul 2013 9:11AM
Hi, I've just joined this site in the hope that someone could help me out with understanding camera settings. I bought a Sony HX300 last week and have quickly worked out how everything works, however I just cannot get my head round the 'non auto' settings like ISO, shutter speeds, aperture settings Does someone here know of a very easy to understand instruction sheet that I can sit and read without my mind going blank? It would have to be very simple Wink I have owned previous point and shoot cameras with these functions on and never understood them, but now I really want to branch out and take photos that are custom made by me for a change. Many thanks.

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adrian_w Plus
10 3.7k 4 Scotland
16 Jul 2013 9:22AM
This might help . There are a number of similar sites on the web which explain the effects of aperture/shutter/ISO. I'm sure someone will post other links for you.
16 Jul 2013 9:24AM
Hi and Welcome!
The short instruction sheet, while can be found, will not help - as there won't be instructions brief and full enough to cover every circumstance the camera may be used in. Some good online info on digital photography can be found however. I like Cambridge in colour site for it's comprehensiveness and reasonable simplicity of explanations.
Gundog 4 629 Scotland
16 Jul 2013 10:46AM
Basically, to obtain the photograph you envisage, you have to control two things:

1. How much light hits the camera sensor (the equivalent of the film in the olden days)

2. What the electronics inside the camera then does with the image.

Two factors control 1. - the shutter speed (actually a misnomer, it should be shutter duration but don't worry about that) which controls how long the shutter remains open to allow light through; and the aperture, which is the size of the hole through which the light passes. The longer the shutter is open and the bigger the hole, the more light will reach the sensor.

Shutter speed and aperture also affect other aspects of the picture, though. For example a fast shutter speed will freeze movement while a slow one will allow motion blur. A small aperture will (all other things being equal) provide more depth of field than a large aperture. So you can be creative by varying those settings to suit the effects you want.

ISO is one of the electronic things the camera does after you have exposed the sensor to light. Basically, the higher the ISO, the more the electric signal produced when the sensor is exposed to light will be amplified. So, again all other things being equal, you can shoot in poorer light with a higher ISO.

So, to give a very simple example. If you want to freeze movement you might select a fast shutter speed. If you want long depth of field (everything sharp from near to far) you might select a small aperture. But selecting those settings might mean that you need a high ISO to produce a satisfactory photograph.

I thought I was going to explain all that in two sentences but I seem to have rabbited on a bit. Sorry.
llareggub 7 825 United Kingdom
16 Jul 2013 12:22PM
The most basic description I like best is:

Aperture: How big is the hole (bigger is a lower f number and allows in more light)
Shutter speed: How long is the hole open for (longer you let more light in)
ISO: Is purely electronic and is at its most basic an amplifier (the higher the number the greater the amplification)

You have to balance each of these to get the exposure you want, so if you increase one you need to decrease one or both of the others to maintain a balance Smile
nadia6 4 2
16 Jul 2013 3:15PM
Thank you for your help. I'm going to print your comments out, sit down with my camera and try the different settings, trial and error till I get results. I'lll keep you posted, thanks again.Grin
Mollycat Plus
4 11 2 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2013 2:18PM
I am a bit like nadia6. I too am a new member and have a Fuji SL300.At the moment I am using it on automatic, but would like to use it properly. However I am frightened to start. Should I be bold and go for it. All help gratefully recieved. Many thanks.
saltireblue Plus
7 7.0k 33 Norway
2 Aug 2013 2:27PM
@ nadia6 and Mollycat.

Don't be efraid! The camera won't bite you.Grin
One of the best bits of advice I have heard is to take many variations of the same static object, using a different aperture / shutter setting every time.
Set up something as the object with something else nearer and something else in the background. That way you can see how different settings affect depth of focus

When you review them all on your pc, you will see the exif data and see what effect the different settings have.

KevSB 13 1.5k 5 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2013 2:27PM

Quote:I am a bit like nadia6. I too am a new member and have a Fuji SL300.At the moment I am using it on automatic, but would like to use it properly. However I am frightened to start. Should I be bold and go for it. All help gratefully recieved. Many thanks.

Just go out in the garden and try different settings, keep a note pad of the settings if your unfamiliar with the exif data and try to understand what works and doesn't .
Then go to your local libery and get a basic photographers book, by trying it before you will have a little understanding why what does what. I'm afraid without the research you won't learn a lot.
Mollycat Plus
4 11 2 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2013 3:49PM
Many thanks to you both. I'll take the bull by the horns. Thanks again.
nadia6 4 2
2 Aug 2013 3:59PM
Hi, I'm back after a few weeks of trying out the different settings. However, apart from the picture getting darker or lighter, I can't seem to take a photo that I think "wow" . I've got a Sony HX300, which for me is very advanced, when I select either setting, s, a or p I get the same line of numbers along the bottom of the screen. To change each setting I have to press the jog wheel and turn the value up or down. The thing is, I don't know what the OEV means. All in all I'm getting there but I feel for me, personally, I need to sit with someone and go all through the different settings. I've never been good at reading instructions Sad anyway will report back again. Thanks for your help
SteveCharles 14 2.3k 18 England
2 Aug 2013 5:08PM
I did this for a colleague, don't know if it helps at all. ISO/aperture/shutter speed is the holy trinity on which exposure is based. Change one and another has to be changed to keep the same exposure.


Gundog 4 629 Scotland
2 Aug 2013 7:11PM
Unfortunately another (albeit well-meaning) example of the shutter speed/aperture/ISO myth.

ISO is not part of the exposure. It is what the camera does after the exposure.

Exposure relates to the amount of light reaching the sensor. Only aperture and shutter speed contribute to that.

ISO (in a digital camera) determines how much amplification is given to the electrical signal created by the sensor when it is exposed to light.

But, for the original poster, changing the exposure mode should not make the image "get lighter or darker" if you are in Program (sometimes called Auto), Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority. Those are all Auto-AE modes which should give you the correct exposure as long as there is sufficient light for the setting you have selected.

As Saltire Blue said, the camera won't bite you and it can't be broken by incorrect settings. One of the advantages of digital cameras is that it does not cost anything to experiment, so get out there and take a lot of photographs, using all of the modes your camera provides. Above all, have fun.
Jestertheclown 8 7.5k 251 England
2 Aug 2013 8:10PM

Quote:Unfortunately another (albeit well-meaning) example of the shutter speed/aperture/ISO myth.
For years people have taken images following the belief that these three are related and that getting the correct exposure of an image is based upon finding and using the best/correct correlation between the three.
Your recent insistence that that's not the case, despite just about every tutorial or book that they look at saying the opposite isn't going to do any favours to people like the OP, who admit to knowing very little just want some straightforward advice on how to get the best results that they can.

SteveCharles 14 2.3k 18 England
3 Aug 2013 10:46AM

Quote:Unfortunately another (albeit well-meaning) example of the shutter speed/aperture/ISO myth.

ISO is not part of the exposure. It is what the camera does after the exposure.

What myth? I'm well aware that the ISO isn't an exposure control in as much as it doesn't doesn't determine how much light hits the sensor, but being a pedant on this technicality doesn't really help a novice explain the basic correlation between ISO, aperture and shutter speed, which is what my diagram was intended to do. The OP wants to learn how to shoot manually using the ISO/aperture/shutter settings. The ISO setting is still part of the equation, is it not?

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