It became apparent very quickly that the default settings for the HS20 were not particularly good, so some experimentation was required.
There are two main modes I have settled on for use with this camera with a third less frequented set as a backup. I will go a little more in depth for each of these modes as there is a lot to be aware of.
EXR Mode = Resolution Priority Settings.
Image size = Medium 4:3 @ 8 mega pixels.
Image quality = Fine
Film Simulation = Provia (Standard)
WB Shift = Default
Color = Mid
Tone = Std
Sharpness = Hard
Noise Reduction = Low
ISO = 100 (change as required)
Focus Check = Off (When not using manual focus.)
The AF lag appears more pronounced with the HS10 but firmware updates have seen this now become for the most part no longer a problem.
External menus & Buttons
White Balance Auto ( change if under lights)
AE ( Photometry) average (changed as required)
AF mode= Center
AF Focusing = Continuous (for most shots)
EV = variable depending on light and location. (More to come on this)
This is most likely to remain as my primary shooting mode as the images at ISO 100 and 200 especially are very quiet and do not exhibit a great deal of noise, so it appears that the Pixel Binning system works as advertised. The resulting Jpegs from the camera a generally very good and exhibit much less noise and better detail direct from the camera and also exhibit good sharpness if proper focus is achieved.
|Fuji HS20 EXR mode @ ISO 100|
In this mode I can dial up whatever ISO I think appropriate for the shot, and this gives a good degree of control and flexibility. When shooting this camera in EXR mode it is extremely important to watch the EV settings as the setting can literally vary from shot to shot. Fast moving cloud cover can make correct exposure tricky, so watch the EV settings all the time. If you get the shot over or underexposed by half or even a full stop dont worry too much though. I have found that there is a great deal of freedom and headroom in the Jpegs so PP work can still make the shot “Pop”. I will do a separate section on this later. In point of fact the resulting Jpegs in EXR mode are very similar in nature to the RAW output of this camera, more on that to come as well.
You will note that I have suggested turning off the Focus Check setting. I did this on the HS10 as well as it slows the AF down something dreadful. In some cases four or five seconds passed before focus was achieved. Of just as much importance is the mode of AE used. Multi and spot are more the norm in EXR mode with spot and average in P mode. Like the EV the AE is also extremely important to this camera. Use the wrong AE mode and the camera can refuse to focus, change the mode and the camera focuses immediately, its a way of the camera telling you that the setup is wrong and you wont achieve a properly exposed image. I haven’t seen anything to suggest that this is a design function, I rather think its just the way the different modes handle the light metering. Use this link to view shots taken in this mode. Several of these images shown have before and after shots with minimal PP used.
An example of slightly incorrect EV/metering, that is easily salvageable with post processing.
So don’t be tempted to throw those darker images away until you have them in your favourite Image Editor.
Thanks to our reader Sinniberg for the image.
Posted by R. McKenzie at 10:44 PM