01-11-2014 02:25 PM
I am a new member on the message boards. Owner of a Canon Power Shot SX50 HS.
I enjoy nature and take lots of bird, butterfly, deer, etc. shots. Also scenery shots.
I do not understand the setting on this camera and I only use the auto mode.
Question: What are the best settings (Apature and ISO) for the type of pictures I take. Some come out sharp but lots have a blur. Suggestions wlecome.......Thanks!
01-11-2014 04:57 PM
I'm also an amature photographer, but I've learned that there are hardly hard and fast settings. Take a look at this to help you understand how it all works together: www.canonoutsideofauto.ca/ . Work towards getting out of "Auto" and have fun playing with your camera, you're goin' to get blurs, underexposed, over exposed shots, and sometimes some really great shots but the only one who makes no mistakes, is the one who does nothing, and therefore makes the biggest mistake of all! Good luck.
01-11-2014 09:56 PM
You may want to read this older thread & follow the links as you get more curious.
01-16-2014 12:13 AM
Go to this you tube website (http://www.mwest.co.za/blogg/youtbube/). this photographer from South African has lessons on how to use this camera Canon SX 50HS. I too had all the same problems and he gives step by step instructions on how to use it. He is now up to episode 8 or 9. All of the episodes are posted and he is very willing to take questions. He is prompt and concise. Good luck. Pass the good word.
01-18-2014 09:29 AM - edited 01-19-2014 03:39 PM
I'm a new member and long time Canon point-and-shoot user. I currently own the G11, SX40 and SX50. I primarily photograph birds & wildlife. All of my nature photos are taken hand-held with the majority taken at or near maximum zoom. I've never had issues with camera or motion blur as long as the shutter speeds are fast enough. That's why I prefer to shoot in Shutter Priority and Manual Modes. I also have an external flash that I even use outdoors if needed. I enjoy sharing hints & tips with forum members and if you'd like to see what I get with my SX40 & SX50 please visit my photography website. Canon makes superb cameras and a little practice & patience has served me well.
By the way, the "Framing Assist - Lock" located ON the SX50 is really fantastic! Along with the excellent image stabilization performance of the camera pressing this button when composing a shot really gives you that extra bit of clarity in an image, especially at or near the long end of the zoom. This feature is explained on page 57 of the manual.
Here's my main SX50 gallery:Canon SX50 HS
I even have a SX50 gallery that contains straight-out-of-the-camera (SOOC) examples. That is, zero internal camera setting changes and zero post-processing of any kind, including cropping.
Although I don't have a deep technical camera background, through pratice & experimentation I've learned which buttons to push and which dials to spin on my SX40 & SX50 that alow me to consistently capture images I'm very happy with. I'd certainly like to share what I've learned with you and the rest of this forum!
01-18-2014 12:16 PM
Tony your pictures are magnificent. I only hope I can do half as well as I will be traveling to Africa next week. I will definitely look at page 57. Any more hints for my trip.
01-18-2014 05:13 PM - edited 01-19-2014 03:56 PM
Hi ssobel, GloriaS and everyone,
Thanks for looking and commenting. I'm practicing daily and learning something new about the SX50 with each outing. So far, this is what's been working for me.
I believe four main factors have helped me get the type of images I'm very happy with.
1. Shooting primarily in Shutter Priority Mode or Manual Mode so I have control over shutter speed, which I set as high as possible for each scene.
2. Adjusting Exposure Compensation values for each and every shot when using Shutter Priority Mode or Aperture Priority Mode.
3. Using Center-Weighted-Average Metering.
4. Using the "Framing Assist - Lock" feature is extemely effective when using the camera at, or near, maximum zoom. It's a button located ON the camera that you press while composing the shot. The use of this feature is explained on page 57 of the manual. Along with the other strategies I use to obtain sharp hand-held images when shooting toward the long end of the zoom, this extra bit of stabilization the Framing Assist - Lock provides really helps.
I don't use a tripod when I take bird & wildlife photos. With a zoom this generous and especially on a point-and-shoot camera, it's helped me immensely to shoot in either Manual Mode or Shutter Priority Mode because I can increase the shutter speed to very high values and by doing so, greatly reduce hand-held camera shake. Along with the excellent image-stabilization performance of the camera, this combination (fast shutter speed & image-stabilization) gives my photos that extra bit of clarity people often comment on. Many of the photos on my website were taken at near or maximum zoom! Fast shutter speeds must not only be thought of for reducing subject motion blur.
Also, I'm a heavy user of the "Exposure Compensation" features this camera has to offer and this allows me to effectively control the level of lightness or darkness I want in the final image while shooting in Shutter Priority Mode and Aperture Priority Mode and is a good strategy before I'm forced to increase the ISO level thereby helping to keep noise levels to a minimum. In Shutter Priority Mode the camera automatically selects the aperture value. While Aperture Priority Mode is an excellent way to get great photos with this camera, I mostly focus on single subjects in my photography, like birds, so depth of field isn't as important to me and I'm able to control light entering the camera in other ways. I specifically set an exposure compensation value for every shot I take. Although the values might change slightly from shot to shot, and depend on the amount of bright sulight striking the subect, they're usually in the minus range of say, -1.3 to -1.0, or lower in some cases. This is critical to the style and "look" of what I want in an image. I prefer a slightly "darker tone" in my images and along with keeping the ISO values as close to ISO 80 or ISO 100 as possible, this is how I achieve images with such deep and rich color chiefly because I'm preventing the camera from producing an overexposed image. This is especially how I capture fine feather detail in white feathered birds such as egrets. Many small sensor point-and-shoot cameras tend to "overexpose" the image resulting in "blown-out highlights" producing images that often lack nice color quality and sharpness so I intentionally "underexpose" the image a bit and get exactly what I desire. The results simply look more dramatic and naturally sharper, in my opinion. In post-processing the only "correction" I ever really need to make is a one-click "Auto Contrast" in Photoshop Elements. I never have to sharpen an image. Each image on my website will display the actual settings used for that particular photo and is a good way to see the shutter speeds and the exposure compensation settings that were used, as well. Finally, I like the results I get using Center-Weighted- Average Metering.
So far, these are the core settings I've been using:
“Recording Pixel Setting" (Image Size) is set to "L" for LARGE 12M 4000x3000 & "Compression Ratio" (Image Quality) is set to "SUPERFINE JPEG." I use Continuous Auto-Focus, Auto-Focus Frame: FlexiZone, Center-Weighted-Average Metering, Spot AE is set to Center. I stay as close to ISO 80 or 100 as possible, although this camera seems to do quite well with slightly higher ISO values with regard to visible "noise." High ISO NR is set to "Standard" and I NEVER USE AUTO ISO. Image Stabilization is set to: Continuous, and I select the appropriate white-balance PRESET icon for the particular weather condition, and I never use the "AWB" preset icon. I prefer to shoot using Burst Mode. I do not use i-Contrast, Dynamic Range Correction or Shadow Correction, either.
Since I DO NOT use "Custom Colors," settings regarding Sharpness, Contrast, and Saturation remain at their Default (ZERO) points, so therefore, I have not pressed any buttons to increase these values beyond their factory defaults. I shoot all my photographs via the LCD which remains at the factory default brightness. This should cover most of the main settings I use and I'll have to dig deeper into the menus to see if there are some new settings or features in the SX50 I haven't noticed yet.
Hopefully, this introduction will prove helpful if you're interested in trying a different approach with your SX50. To be sure, there are many ways to get good results from this camera and this is simply how I prefer to do it! Can't wait to see the pictures from your trip!