HS20 EXR Review Pt3. — EXR Settings

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.
Shooting Menu

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)

Setup Menu
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  

  1. That tip about setting the “focus check” to OFF is one of the best tips about the HS20 I’ve read!
    I can’t remember what the default setting is,but it should be “off” I would think,so I must have reset it.
    I’ve just tried it,and you’re right!
    It does improve focussing,particularly at the longer end,when set to “off”.
    Well done,and thanks!


  2. Sir, I came across your rather good site by accident. I am a senior citizen living in the UK. I,ve just bought an HS20EXR and am new to this ‘modern stuff’.

    Could you please tell me if the EXR settings in the ‘shooting’ menu are good for everyday shooting in the UK? I thank you for the valuable information you have given in your site. Kind regards, Mr J.Bakker.


  3. I would use the camera set in EXR Dynamic range to start with as this will give you an initial idea of what the camera can do.
    Just make sure that you set Dynamic range to auto and let the camera do its think. As light is very much the issue for you northern folk at this time of year this setting is a reasonable place to start.
    You then only need to vary the Ev a little to shoot this way. You could try full Auto in the EXR settings if you wished but my experience with this is that it was a bit too hit and miss at times.
    Experimentation is the watch word here, just work your way through the different settings and you will get the hang of it.



  4. Wow what a great blog for the HS20. I just upgraded to this from the HS10. I must admit im pretty basic in my knowledge so im going to be reading up a lot of what youve got on your site. Im planning to take photos at a wrestling event in april but its always hard to know what settings to go with for the best.


  5. Glad you like it.
    Great screen name by the way 🙂


  6. Hi thanks for the tips.
    I’ve changed the settings as above but page 2 of the shooting menu is currently greyed out and won’t let me access WB Shift down to Noise Reduction? Also, could you advise how I access Focus Check please? Thank you.


  7. Ok, it sounds to me like you have the camera set in EXR Auto mode, this would explain the greyed out shooting menus. You need to access the EXR modes and change to one of the other three options. If it still greys out even when you have selected for example EXR Resolution Priority (HR) mode then I think its likely the camera is faulty.

    To turn Focus check on or off access the setup menu and move to page 4, second from the bottom on screen should be focus check. Select it to turn it on or off.
    If you leave it on, when you use manual focus, the image will be magnified a little bit to give a clearer indication off focus.



  8. Great advice! Everything now set up as above and the camera is focusing better with Focus Check off. Changed the default ISO from 800 to 200 as well.


  9. can you please advice whats the benefit of the ‘Focus Check’? I presume since it comes under the ‘setup menu’, the change affects all different scenario of shots including EXR Auto. Thanks!


  10. Focus check is only used for manual focus and zooms up the image area for a more accurate focus.

    I suggest leaving it off in not focusing manually as it seems that it slows normal focus speed a small amount. This was more noticeable with my HS10 than my HS20 although it still seems to help. Why this should be so is anyone’s guess. I asked Fuji but they declined to reply so we will just have to consign to the ever growing drawer full of Fuji oddities 🙂



  11. Cheers Phil
    Good luck and enjoy the camera.


  12. Wow!!! The info I’ve been waiting for since my purchase of my HS20EXR camera, set ‘focus check’ to the OFF. The cameras still photos have improved 10-fold not only in improved focus speed, but in overall picture quality. You should get a job at Fufifilm. I nearly returned the camera as below quality expectations not now!!! Can’t believe I had to wait to get this guidance from you & not Fujifilm. Thanks & Thanks Again R. McKenzie. Frenchie


  13. Hi Frenchie.
    Glad to be of some help.
    Yes the Focus check thing is a really weird thing. Some of the cameras work fine having it on and some dont. My HS10 was one of those that suffered having it on as does my current HS20. I have absolutely no idea what the relationship is between the manual Auto Focus/Focus check operation other than it should be off unless you are actually using manual focus.
    Just one of those odd Fuji Quirks.


  14. just tired focu check off now and im well happy with my hs20 cheers xx


  15. I have just altered the settings as per your advice. I have to say, you my dear are a genuis! Fuji should be paying you! Or at the very least giving you every new camera to play around with! Brilliant. x


  16. You are welcome, I enjoy using the cameras and like to give a little back to the community at large as and when I can.


  17. Newbee in the hiveFebruary 28, 2012 7:13 AM

    Fantastic setting you got there, thanks a lot! It helped me get the best pictures. Nice new site you have here.


  18. Hi Newbee.
    Glad I could be of assistance.


  19. Thank you very much! site is great!Fuji raally should be paying you!I’m sorry, I write through the translator by Google.you’re the first person who explained in detail how to shoot with this camera.thank you very much.Alex.


  20. You are welcome Alex. Enjoy the site and the camera


  21. Thanks, great info to get me started, the DSLR & lens are just too heavy now, this little Fuji is perfect.

    Cheers, Robert


  22. Cheers Robert
    Glad to be of some assistance. Enjoy.


  23. John in KentuckyMarch 16, 2012 6:45 AM

    Great site! Got my HS20 for Christmas and it has been driving me crazy. Your “Focus Check OFF” suggestion fixed 90% of my issues! Thanks, and I look forward to more.


  24. You are welcome John.
    Yeah weird ain’t it? Theres no logical reason I can think of that would make Focus Check interfere with normal AF operation, but it appears to. On my HS10 is was horrendously slow focusing until I turned it off. It was less pronounced with the HS20 and I had to do a substantial amount of testing to actually convince myself it did have an effect.
    And it also seems to vary depending upon batch numbers as well.
    Just another of those famous Fuji quirks.


  25. I was under the impression the pixel binning was only available in the low light EXR mode and was done automatically when that mode was selected. In any other mode, if you select 8MP, I thought that you were just using half the pixels without them being “combined” which would not help with the noise as you would be using the same size pixel as in 16MP mode, just less of them. Am I wrong on that account?


  26. No you are correct, the HS20 only pixel bins in EXR Dynamic mode but the EXR process is still used in the other modes and there is a inherent crispness to the images shot in these circumstances. You could still use any of the other modes but the level of PP required goes up.


  27. Ralph I finally fell of the fence (actually pushed by the wife) and bought a HS30. I’m still in shock the changes from my s6500 are many. So far my main complaint is the zoom barrel is not as smooth as the 6500 and it’s going to be an issue if I use video. The second issue was focus, I was getting worried by focus lag which is supposed to be good on this camera. Your focus check suggestion also works a treat on the 30. It will take a while to come to grips with differences of the 30 but it should be fun.
    From a few basic photos taken from both cameras in low light the 30 wins over the 6500 however I don’t expect this to follow through in better conditions but we will see.


  28. Hi Sol.
    I bet it didn’t hurt too much falling off the fence 🙂
    Don’t worry too much about the zoom barrel, the HS10 & @0 were stiff to start with but they wear in well. Mine’s as smooth as a baby’s bum now, to coin a phrase 🙂
    Shot correctly the HS30 should be considerably better than the older cam, but it will take a while for you to settle on the sweet spot for the HS30.
    Keep us posted on your progress, as I know there a lot of interest in this camera, but people are being very wary of Fuji’s high end cams at the moment.



  29. Good day Ralph, I hope you don’t mind a question or two to assist a HS30 newbie.
    I’ve only had the camera a few days now and by the time I arrive home from work the suns just about down and the light is pretty low. Undeterred by the light I arrived home on Friday I grabbed the camera, hoping that I could test out the zoom. Bit of a disaster, really. I snapped a number of pictures of the house across the road and the park down the street and down loaded them into the PC. On viewing the first thing I noticed was they were all badly blurred, not impressed!
    My old S6500 has a fairly modest zoom 10.7X so I’ve not had any experience with a “super zoom” camera especially the new ones.
    Ralph, can you pass on some of you wisdom and possibly give a few do’s and don’ts for using the zoom on this series of camera like image stabilisation mode?
    One thing I did notice from the exif data was the shutter speeds of the zoom shots were pretty slow. I think I can put that down to the lower light although it still looked fairly light to me.

    Noel (SOL)


  30. Hi SOL
    If your shutter speeds are low, say in the region of 40 to 100/sec bumping up the ISO to about 400 is going to help.
    As to I.S, I run it on shooting only. It saves on power and seems to improve focus time.

    I have fairly steady hands and can shoot down to about 1/60 sec but generally don’t as even with the I.S on it is still likely to blur from movement. Theres an old rule that applies quite well to most telephoto lenses. Simply put , shutter speed should be equivalent or faster than than the focal length you are using. 400mm Fl would be 400/sec for shutter. Faster if the object is moving and in good light.
    You might also try EXR SN mode. This mode is quite good for low-light shooting and you can use either Auto ISO or dial in your own ISO settings. I did a SN Vs P mode test and the SN mode is very good for low-light high ISO shooting.
    Heres the link.



  31. Frustrated Football MomJune 12, 2012 12:38 AM

    Hello, I am desperately looking for help! I am the photographer for my son’s football team and have a HS20 EXR. I am ready to return it!! I have tried everything to get good shots in both daylight and evening and unless I get lucky with a shot, nothing is working for the action shots!! Can you please help me out with:
    action day shots
    evening/night action shots
    How should I set up my camera?
    I have been trying manual lately and my shots are so grainy. I play with my ISO, speed and F stop to keep the bar in the middle but still not working.
    I would really appreciate some help here!!!
    Please and thanks.


  32. Hi FootBallMom,

    I had the same problem, just the sport was hockey and the kids played night and day games.
    Now I don’t know where you are geographically, but football is usually a winter sport so that means light is never going to be that brilliant.

    1/. It may sound silly but where possible try to position yourself with the sun behind you, its going to make things a good deal easier.

    2/. Focus using AF tracking,you don’t need to actually set the tracking to a single object, just half press and hold he shutter, track your subject and shoot when ready. When you have focus the focus indicator will turn green (In this case its a square.) You could also try leaving the camera on continuous focus, this shows as a single cross in the LCD. But tracking is probably best.

    3/. Set the camera in EXR DR mode, with Auto ISO 800 and Auto DR 800.The camera will then select the best setting for the lighting.

    4/. If you are shooting under lights check and set your white balance, Incandescent if under normal household bulbs, or one of the fluorescent modes, and if all else fails leave the camera with White Balance set to Auto.

    5/. Use burst mode for the action shots, I set my camera to 4 frames and the shooting speed to 3 frames per second. If you shoot faster than that framerate you actually risk missing shots you want.

    6/. Change the image size from 4×3 or 3×2 to 16×9, this greatly increases the write times, and shoot Jpeg only RAW will be too slow.

    7./ Format your SD card while in the camera, and if its only a class 4 or 6 card, replace it with a high quality class 10 card, and format that in camera. You format in camera as it uses Fuji’s own formatting routines, which make write times faster.

    8./ If you haven’t got one & can afford one get one of the Fuji flash units, its handy for applying fill flash when shooting at night, the inboard flash is too weak to do this.

    9./ Metering .. One of the most important aspects to the HS20. Under about 200mm (equivalent) which equates to 35mm focal length, primarily use average, over that focal length you will need to vary it between average and spot, long telephoto shots definitely require spot metering. You will also need to adjust the EV up or down quite a bit depending upon the light, probably more on the plus side. If you are not sure about the metering this is a 2 part article that may help

    To start your camera settings off, I would use those above and adjust as I have suggested here.
    Then try some practice shooting. People on bikes, running or moving cars are all good targets for a spot of practice, and will get you more comfortable with the need to balance the metering and Ev values depending upon your focal length per shot.
    Its sounds like quite a lot to remember, but once you are used to it it really is second nature and you will find yourself prejudging scenes before shooting.

    One further item that would be useful is to see some of the results, so if you have a photo album online pop a couple in the album and we can get a better look.



  33. Frustrated Football MomJune 12, 2012 10:36 PM

    Thank you for all the advice. We are in Eastern Ontario and football is outside from May until October so the lighting can be all over the place. What is making it hard is that being a Senior team we generally have our games around 5:30pm so for the first hour I am dealing with the sun starting to go down and then the second hour it is dusky and the outdoor big lights come glaring on. I have never had any camera courses so doing all these adjustments is very new for me. I have in the past always just used preset settings and crossed my fingers. This year with my new camera, I am striving to do a much better job but am finding it very hard and confusing!!! I will try some of your suggestions and see what happens. Reading your blogs I did check and discovered that my camera was set to RAW so I changed it back to jpg in hopes of some improvement.


  34. Good stuff.
    Keep us posted on your progress.
    The HS20 is a very good camera but has a really steep learning curve if you are stepping up from a more conventional point & shot type camera. Stick with it and read as much as you can about photography techniques, a lot of which you can apply to the HS20.


  35. https://picasaweb.google.com/113588280921888334019/Raceday#
    The link above is to one of my Picasa albums and the images were taken using the Fuji HS10, which is considerably slower than the HS20.
    It was a horrible day and not very enjoyable and I’m a race car fan, but at least I got a few shots.
    On the link to the right click the “Full Details” tab and you will see a more in-depth Exif report. Such things as ISO, shutter speed etc will be listed. This will give you a bit of an idea as to what ISO/Shutter speed combinations work well for moving subjects. To put it in context the cars were going past us a 240kpm, that’s about 140mph, so they are moving quickly. I used tracking focus to get these shots, so I know it works well.

    There is also another album entitled “cricket”. In all the photos the ball is on the move. Average speed of a bowled cricket ball at this age group is between 40 and 70mph, pretty quick for college level. The light was variable but you will notice I positioned myself with the sun behind me. This makes dealing with shadows and highlights easier, and you are working with better light. Tracking focus was again used and I switched between spot and average metering to maintain good light and adjusted the EV accordingly. If you set your LCD brightness to +1 you will find that what you see on the LCD is going to be close on most ocassions to what you are expecting from the camera.


  36. I’m so glad I found this blog – after just two months of the HS 20 I was on the verge of going back with it. I’m quite a novice so was using the automatic setting but the results were dreadful.

    I have changed the settings to your advice but found that the photos came out very dark. The focus still seems a little hit or miss with a number of photos blurred.

    Can you give me any advice on how to improve these issues?.

    Sincerest thanks indeed.



  37. Hi Sinniberg
    The first thing that comes to mind is Ev. The second thing is metering.
    For a lot of people new to the HS20, the relationship between metering and Ev, and correct exposure isn’t immediately apparent.

    The short answer is that spot metering usually needs extra Ev as the area being metered is very small.

    With average metering the entire view is metered and generally you reduce the amount of Ev.

    With multi metering there tends to be a bias one way or the other no matter what the scene and lighting conditions. Usually this tends more to blown highlights (white areas being over exposed)

    The other thing is to leave the white balance on Auto. Its pretty good at getting it right.

    If you haven’t had the chance, go to the Main Index and scroll down to the H20 series and look for the title “LIGHT METERING WITH THE HS20”. You will see what I’m talking about more clearly there.


  38. Keep us updated on your progress and if you can pop a couple of pictures in an online album, make sure that it has all the Exif data. Picasa or Flickr would do it.


  39. Hi, and many thanks for your kind reply. I’m afraid I’m encoountering phrases which I’m not too familier with!.

    The first is Ev, then “metering” and I’m not sure where to find the Main Index. Is this on your website?.

    Would raising the ISO have helped with the light?. The conditions weren’t overly poor as such(rather overcast though) but the photos came out very dark.

    If you go onto a website called “Amateur Photographer” and look under help you will see a thread from me with photos.


    Thanks again.



  40. Sorry, it’s under the section “Help Team”.


  41. Yes I was referring to the Main Index tab on the Blog’s menu Bar.

    Once you read that section it will hopefully clear the metering side of things up a little.
    Adjusting the Ev (Exposure Value) is simply adding or subtracting the overall amount of light that the sensor sees when you push the shutter button and take a shot.This is expressed as (-/+) a negative or positive number, negative being reduced light and positive more light. This is view-able in the LCD as you make adjustments.

    Correct metering is absolutely essential in any but the most automated cameras, as is adjusting the Ev levels.
    See here for a pretty good list of the terminology you will see on this and other sites.

    I’ve checked your post on the forums as well, and the last two images look pretty good, however the first one taken using multi metering looks to have been underexposed a little.
    The second image is a little light but is pretty well exposed, so average metering was working well there. You changed the white balance to “Shade” for this shot and that is what has contributed to the slightly washed out look. Had you used “Bright or Auto” white balance the color and tone would be more vibrant, as is the case in the first image which the camera reports as being auto.

    One very interesting thing the ExifGui Tool is reporting is a pretty high shutter speed for ISO 100. Ordinarily I would’nt expect such speeds unless you were shooting sun-ward or at a considerably brighter object than the tugboat.
    Heres an example https://picasaweb.google.com/113588280921888334019/FujiHS20EXR_KiteSurfing#5680201538003121954
    ISO 100 @ 1/1400sec, much more likely to be higher in this situation.

    If you scroll back up to the bottom of this article, just before the comments section you will see a before and after of the dark shot you posted. Being such a small file-size it isn’t as easy to adjust, but the result isnt too bad. It shows that these types of shots are easy to process and correct. In this case the image is very close to what I would expect if I had been shooting RAW.
    I assume at this point you are shooting Jpeg only?



  42. Hi, yes, I’ve found the Ev/metering button and how to adjust it. I’m guessing what I should have done is adjust the metering for taking shots of the tug boat rather than the white balance?. Similarly for darker situations I could adjust the Ev to allow as much light in as possible and have a higher ISO.

    I’m also guessing the ISO is the shutter speed and that a lower setting(100) would be used for very bright conditions, like as you mention shooting sun-ward.

    So with the right metering and correct ISO I should get a better and more balanced photo.


  43. Hi Paul
    As I wear glasses using a view finder is all but pointless. Thats where Live View on the LCD comes into its own. I set my LCD to +1 brightness and leave it there no matter what the conditions. I find it gives the most accurate report as to what the camera sees.

    Yes for now leave the White-balance on Auto.
    ISO is a way to change the apparent sensitivity of the sensor. Just as with 35mm film, the lower the number the slower the film responds to light. The higher the number the faster the film/sensor responds to light. Just as with 35mm film, sensors react accordingly, the higher the ISO the more grain is exhibited with film and more noise is exhibited with camera sensors.

    The trade off is that you use slower shutter speeds at lower ISO, the higher (faster) the ISO is the faster the shutter speed is. This in general terms, there are occasions where this doesn’t always happen.In the HS20 in all modes apart from Manual and Shutter priority the shutter speed is set by the camera depending on how you set, ISO, metering and Ev.

    There are of course times when you will use a lot higher ISO in bright conditions, motor sport comes to mind or any moving object as you will be trying to freeze frame the action.

    As a rule of thumb always try to keep the ISO as low as possible 100/200 for example as this is where you get your best image quality. I’ve shot rock concerts at ISO 400, hand held successfully with the HS10 I had so even then I was trying to keep the ISO as low as possible.


  44. Oops, forgot to say but yes I’m just shooting in jpeg. Also I see the moving Ev graph in the LCD screen but can you tell me what I’m looking for to get a balanced picture?. I notice as I move the dial that the graph lowers and levels out.

    One other thing, can you tell me what setting I should have the EXR in?. EXR Auto, HR, SN or DR?.

    Thanks again for your time and patience 🙂



  45. For now stay with Jpeg unless you have used RAW in the past. Its fairly post process intensive.

    If the Ev gauge is free floating then what you describe is manual mode. Probably not a good place to start with this camera.

    The Ev indicator should be showing as a fixed graduated scale when the Ev(+/-) button is pressed and held down. With the EV button held down you rotate the command wheel to make adjustments. Center scale equals 0 Ev with left being negative and right positive EV. Graduations are in 1/3 Ev increments up to 2.0 (2 stops either way.)
    In brightly lit scenes, assuming average metering you will be reducing the amount of light the sensor receives by reducing the EV one or even to clicks down. This is about right for most brightly lit scenes but in general you could find that you adjust slightly on a shot by shot basis depending upon condition’s. In you dark tugboat shot if you had bumped up the Ev to +0.3 or even +0.67Ev (2 clicks of the dial up) your image would have been brighter. The LCD will sometimes give you what looks to be a false response telling you that the image is too dark or light, whats happening here is the metering has looked at the brighter part of the image and “Dialed Back” the amount of light, but you can either re meter of adjust Ev. It will take some experimentation to get used to how it works with the HS20.

    Theres a rule I use as a general guide for metering. For focal lengths up to 200mmm as seen on the lens rotation ring I use average, from 200mm all the way out to 720 I generally use spot metering. Using spot metering normally means increasing EV into the positive range as you are now dealing with a much smaller amount of available light.

    I would for now start off using EXR DR, with the camera set to Auto ISO 400 and Auto DR set to 400 as well. This is a good starting point.


  46. Wow Ralph, I tried the basic setting of EXR DR ISO 400 and the photos were amazing!. I also tried adjusting the Ev for some shots and it worked fine.

    Thanks so much, oh, and can you tell me if the camera also needs to be on the settings you have posted above?. Mine is still set on them anyway, but I have a friend who also has this camera and he was experiencing the same problems. I will send him an email with this EXR DR ISO 400 info but is that all he needs to do?.


  47. For now its probably a good point to start with until you become more familiar with which settings do what, and your rate of shots that you keep will also increase.

    For most photographic work the EXR Auto ISO 400 settings should cover the majority of situations.
    In EXR HR mode the camera allows more flexibility in ISO, but you are limited to DR 100 only. To compensate you use the Ev settings combined with changing metering settings to protect the image highlights. I predominately use these two modes now with the HS20. For Macro and full telephoto work I switch to EXR HR as I’m after as much resolution as I can get and process any noise on the computer.

    A couple of other settings you may want to check are Tone, I use std.
    Noise Reduction set to low.
    Colour set to med/std
    And Sharpness set to hard. A lot of folks prefer using sharpness set to low as they feel it reduces the likelihood of increased halos and noise. After 15000 images with the HS20 I’ve yet to see any real evidence of this. I myself prefer to use minimal sharpening in Post Processing. The assumption being that the less noise you add to the image helps to retain image quality. Thats my take on it. After a while you may prefer a variation of those settings depending how and what you shoot.

    But for now the EXR DR settings should work pretty well.


  48. Yes, just to confirm I would on the whole just like to be able to “point and shoot”. I photograph mostly shipping.

    I took some photos this afternoon but they have turned out terrible compared to ones I took yesterday so I was wondering if you can tell me what I did wrong between yesterday and today!. Are you abl to access the photos to see the settings?.

    The ferry photo here came out amazing but the tug ones I took today were pretty poor.

    Thanks again.




  49. Sorry about that, I see the photos haven’t worked so I have posted them in my tread on the Amateur Photographer forun as above.

    If only I could get photos like the ferry one(s) I took yesterday I would be home and dry.


  50. Check out the AP forums thread you have, I’ve left a message there.


  51. Thanks so much for the settings, my HS20 seems much better now!

    The only problem I have is that some pictures taken in daylight come out very dark! which setting do I change/adjust to correct this issue? Sorry but I am a complete novice and have been using this camera on EXR mode since I got it!



  52. If you are using the camera in EXR Auto mode most of the time the exposure should be there or thereabouts.

    If you are using the other EXR modes ( which you probably should be) then dark exposure means its lacking a little light. Generally this is a metering issue and the HS20 is very picky about that. Adjusting the EV compensation will sort that out most of the time. Sometimes you have to do a couple of adjustments, metering & Ev. Auto metering is usually good 75% of the time but once you move away from Auto the photographer has to assess and adjust accordingly.

    If you haven’t already, have a read of the following article, it may help with how your exposure look.


  53. Hi Ralph,

    Thanks for the swift reply!

    I am using the camera in EXR Mode = Resolution Priority Settings with your settings above.

    Most shots I did earlier on this evening came out lovely but some were a little dark! Is the EV setting the little -/+ button by the shutter button? Do I increase this when the picture looks dark through the viewfinder? I have adjusted with the dial with some shots indoors but I cannot test as it is now dark outside!

    Also I have been told that I should do multiple shots using the 3 frame capture feature, it will then will take 1 shot normal and the other 2 shots – and + of the normal EV setting!



4 thoughts on “HS20 EXR Review Pt3. — EXR Settings”

  1. Hi,
    I also have the HS20 and love taking shots of night lights, city lights, Christmas lights, but find that there’s a lot of noise on just the standard auto, or even the ADV mode set to pro low light, or the SP set to Night or Night tripod.
    I’m visiting NY this Christmas and want to shoot the Christmas light.
    What suggestions do you have for me getting nice clear shots of the lights with minimal noise?


    1. Unfortunately the HS20 is a poor performer in low light conditions. ISO 400 is pretty much the minimum you can use to get a usable shutter speed. To have any chance of getting some decent shots you will need something like a monopod or tripod, and in busy pre Xmas New York that may not be a viable option.

      Most likely you will need ISO 800 and that can be a little too noisy but with some careful PP work you should still get some keepers. To aid you in getting reliable shots I would not use any focal length that makes the camera choose an aperture above f4:0 which will mean wider angle shots only. I would suggest some experimenting before hand then once you know what settings work best set the cameras EXR high RES mode settings to those settings prior to your trip or use P mode with those settings and shoot using EXR settings for everyday use.
      Thats about all I can recommend for the HS20, its one of the over riding reasons I eventually swapped to the XA2, superb lowlight shooting at high ISO.

      Good Luck


  2. Hi, I’m not sure whether this site is still updated, but I was wondering if you could tell me how to get a richer colour when taking photos with the HS20 EXR. Many thanks.


    1. Hi Sandra, yes the sight is updated reasonably regularly. Perhaps not as often as I would like to.
      Your best option for richer colour with the HS20 is to use the Velvia Film Simulation setting. ( I originally said Provia which was a mistake. Hopefully it hasn’t been an issue for you.) This will give the image more punch especially if you are shooting in winter. In brighter, more summer like weather it can on occasion seem a little too saturated.

      In your camera settings you will also see a setting for Color Tone, I usually leave that set to medium but you could also try setting it to the higher setting and see how you go. If all else fails the changing the colour saturation in post processing is also an option and sometimes its the best method to employ.

      Hope that helps a bit.


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