Monthly Archives: March 2012

Program Shift with the Fujifilm X10 Camera

I have just posted another video to YouTube.  This one provides a brief demonstration of using the Program Shift feature with the Fujifilm X10 camera, though the operation of this feature is quite similar on many other cameras.

The Program Shift option works only when the camera is set to the Program shooting mode, in which the camera evaluates the lighting conditions and sets both the shutter speed and the aperture.  You can then use Program Shift to force the camera to use an alternative pairing of shutter speed and aperture that gives an exposure that is equivalent to the original pairing.  With the X10, you do this by turning either the command dial (at the top of the camera’s back) or the sub-command dial (the round dial on the right side of the camera’s back), unless the camera is set to manual focus mode.  In that case, you have to use the sub-command dial for manual focus, so you would have to use the command dial to select other pairs of shutter speed and aperture using Program Shift.

The alternative values appear in yellow; if you scroll back to the original values, they will be in white.  You can cancel Program Shift by popping up the flash unit, then retracting it again.

Here is a link to the video on YouTube.

Best Frame Capture with the Fujifilm X10 Camera

Today I uploaded a video to YouTube to demonstrate how the Best Frame Capture feature works on the Fujifilm X10 camera.  I’m in the process of finishing my book, Photographer’s Guide to the Fujifilm X10, which is due to be published in April, and I thought it would be helpful to supplement the discussion of this feature in the book with a video demonstration.

For this video, I connected the camera to my computer and recorded the view from the X10’s LCD screen, so you can see what you would be seeing while using the camera. With this feature, you start by pressing the Drive mode button, which is the top button in the array of direction buttons at the four edges of the sub-command dial on the back of the camera.

After pressing the Drive button, select the third  option down on the Drive menu, which is called Best Frame Capture.  Then you can select the shooting speed, the number of frames to be shot, and how those frames are divided up.  One group of frames will be recorded from what happens while you are holding the shutter button halfway down to evaluate focus and exposure, and the second group of frames will be recorded from what happens after you press the shutter button all the way down to take the burst of shots.

For this demonstration, I selected  Super-High speed, which can be as fast as 10 frames per second, provided lighting conditions permit a fast enough shutter speed.  I then selected 16 frames (rather than 8 frames) for the total number of shots, and I chose to divide them by having 10 frames recorded while the shutter button was pressed halfway, with the other 6 recorded starting when I pressed the shutter button all the way down to take the burst of shots.

Here is a link to the video demonstration at YouTube.

HDR with the Fuji X10 Camera

I am working on my next book, Photographer’s Guide to the Fuji X10, and today I was finishing up some of the last photographs for the book.  I was making some HDR (High Dynamic Range) images, and I ended up with one that is not going to make it into the book because of space limitations. So, I decided to post it here for anyone who might be interested.

The Fuji X10 does not have a built-in HDR capability as some cameras do, although it does have a Dynamic Range adjustment that works with its special EXR sensor.  The built-in DR adjustments can even out the contrast between light and dark areas of an image to some extent, but I have found that I can get better results using software that creates HDR images.

In other words, in order to create images that can present a scene’s lightest and darkest areas without blowing out the highlights or losing details in the shadows, I have gotten the best results with the X10 by taking multiple images with different exposures, some highly overexposed in places and others highly underexposed in places, so the images can be combined in HDR-processing software to create a composite image with the distinctive HDR appearance, which can seem surreal and somewhat unnatural because the entire scene is evenly illuminated, even though that does not seem possible.

In this case, I took several shots of this scene looking outdoors from a dimly lighted room on a bright afternoon, using Manual exposure mode, varying the shutter speed from very fast to quite slow, capturing a wide range of exposures.  I’m not including all of the shots I took here — just three that are representative of the variety of exposure values. As you can see, none of these three images is evenly exposed; the top one is very dark, the middle one has severely blown highlights, and the third one is too bright in the outdoors area and too dim in the indoors area.



Finally, at the bottom of the page is the composite image, which I processed using Photomatix Pro, an excellent program that is available for download (purchase or free demo) from hdrsoft.com. With this software, I was able to tweak the result in many different ways to achieve various different “looks” for the final composite image. This one that I ultimately chose was a fairly standard look, but it has the fairly distinctive HDR look of unreality, at least in my view.