Exposure Controls: ISO & Shutter Speeds
Looking at the top deck, we're gonna be talking about exposure in general. So, we're gonna start with the ISO, and on the top left of the camera we have an ISO dial which is reminiscent of traditional cameras, thus the retro style of the Fuji cameras, and it's pretty easy to figure out 'cause there's a lot of numbers, and you just simply turn the dial to figure out where you want to go. In the middle, there is a lock and release, kinda works like a ballpoint pen, you can click it in and lock it into a particular position so it doesn't get bumped, or you can unlock it and freely turn it whenever you want, and if you want, you can leave it unlocked so that you can easily change it at all times. So, the range in ISOs is quite high, you might say. We're gonna start off with a basic range of 200 to 12800, and so you can set your settings in here by just simply turning the dial and that's our basic range. After that, we do have a high setting. Now, the H setting on the dial can mean either ...
or 51200, depending on what you set up in the menu system, so that little shortcut over in the bottom right of the screen, the ISO dial setting for H, that's where you can input which setting you might want to have in there. Next up is the Auto ISO setting, and this is where the camera chooses the ISO for you. I kinda think of this as automatic drive in a car. For simple day-to-day workings, yeah, automatic is perfectly fine, but when you really wanna take specific control, that's when you're gonna wanna take over control of the ISO. So, if you wanna keep things very simple, then yes, you can turn it to the A setting, and what happens is that the camera will be looking at your shutter speeds. If your shutter speeds are quite low, it's gonna wanna give you a higher ISO to get you a faster shutter speed. The ISO does not know if you're on a tripod or what you're trying to achieve in a particular photograph, so it should really only be used in cases where you can see that it is giving you the results that you want. Now, you can go into the shooting settings and you can make some adjustments to the way the auto ISO is working. We will cover that, in more depth, in the menu section as well. We also have a low setting of 100, and what's happening here is the camera is gonna be shooting at a lower ISO and it's not better than 200, it's just different. It has a little bit less dynamic range, so technically it's not as good as 200, so you shouldn't be using 100 on a regular basis, but you might need to use it in a case where you are needing longer shutter speeds, for instance. If you were shooting a waterfall, and you could only get down to a half second, but you really wanted to get down to one full second, well, by changing the ISO from 200 to 100, that would allow you to make that change. And so that's only to be used in special cases in my mind. 200 is the native, or base, ISO sensitivity. Which means, if you wanna get the maximum image quality, the maximum dynamic range, ISO 200, is where you wanna set the camera at. You are gonna lose a little bit of resolution, you might say it's gonna be a little bit noisier as you move up higher in those ISOs, as I will show you an example here in just a moment. But, 200 is where you kinda wanna keep that as your base. Let's take a look at some image quality samples from the ISO test on this camera. And so I like to run a test and look closely at the detail, not gonna see much difference at that low setting of 100 and 200, or any of these low settings, it's very, very clean, I'm starting to see a little bit of noise at 1600, but it's ever so slight. As we look at the higher ranges, we can definitely see that those very high settings of 25000 and 51000 do get very much on the noisy side in here And so, 32, 64 is still looking quite clean, and even 12800 is very acceptable for many different types of subjects. Next, I wanna show you a dynamic range test. So, one of the interesting things about the Fuji camera is that it has a sensor in it that accommodates for low light levels very well by boosting, by being able to boost them up later on . So, I shot a scene at ISO 200, and you can see that one of the playing cards is properly exposed and one of them is very underexposed because it's in the shadows. By bumping up the ISO, I have got the card in the shadows properly exposed, but the one in the brighter light is a little bit overexposed. And so, these are kind of two different problems that you might have with photos that you take in the future is areas that are underexposed and areas that are overexposed. And so, what I wanted to do is to see what sort of adjustments I could make on this. And so, if I have something that's overexposed and I try to darken it, or if I have something that's underexposed and I try to lighten it, what is the effect of this, and what's the better option to do? And so, as I go into these different areas, what I wanted to show you is that this camera is best not to shoot things over exposed. And so, if it's overexposed and you try to recover it, it doesn't look as good, and so you're better off shooting things a little bit dark, and then just brightening them in post-production. And so, as you see here on those highlights, we're getting more color and better color at ISO and the shadows still look about the same. And so, in some cases, it's just better to underexpose rather than overexpose with this type of sensor, 'cause you can recover that information later on. Alright, continuing the talk about exposure control, let's talk about shutter speeds, which would seem very simple, there's a shutter speed dial, you turn it to the setting, and that's it. But, there's actually a lot of little hidden things going on on this shutter speed dial. Like the ISO dial, it does have a release lock that you can turn on and off, and you can leave it unlocked so that you can freely set it, or you can lock it in when you know you don't want it to change. So, with the shutter speed dial, we're gonna have first off an A setting for automatic, this is where the camera will automatically set shutter speeds according to the light levels the camera is seeing. And so, if you wanna make things very simple, you can just set this to A, and it will set the settings for you. Next up, is we have a list of shutter speeds starting off at 1/8000 of a second, and then going down in full-stop increments 'til 250 where there is an x beside it which means that is the top flash synchronization speed for the camera, and so if you wanna use flash, it's gonna be 250th of a second or lower than that. Shutter speeds will continue on down to one full second here. So, those are your kind of main stops, but it you wanna get very exact, there are third stops that you can get to and access in between all of these whole stops, and the way you get to these is by turning the dial on the back of the camera, and so once you go to a particular shutter speed, you can go up 1/3, 2/3, down 1/3, 2/3 from there. Next up is the T setting, and T stands for time, which gives you even more options, long and specific shutter speeds, and so you can get down to two, four, eight seconds all the way down to 15 seconds, and if you wanna just leave it in T, you can change all your shutter speeds with the back dial of the camera at any time, and so that is something that I frequently do, because I like to be able to change quickly from one extreme to the other extreme, and using the dial sometimes is a bit limiting if you wanna go and you wanna hit all those third stops as well as the longer and the faster shutter speeds in a very quick setting. Then, we have a B setting, B stands for bulb, and this is a long time exposure, and this will allow you to keep the shutter open as long as you want. And, the way it works is that when you press down on the shutter release, what happens is it's gonna open the shutter, let's press down, and opens the shutter, and light is being recorded, and it stays open as long as your finger is on the shutter, and then when your finger comes off the shutter, it then closes. So, if you wanna leave it open for 35 seconds or 12 seconds or ten minutes, you can do that. Now, using the shutter release for doing this is typically a bad technique, 'cause you might be moving the camera a little bit, so that's where you might wanna be using a cable release with the camera. Now, this camera also has electronic shutter speeds. All the shutter speeds that we've talked about before are generally mechanical shutter speeds, although they can be electronic as well. We can get up to 32 thousandth of a second with this camera, but exclusively with the electronic shutter speeds which do have some caveats in their usage, and I will explain that as we move along here. But, in order to get these activated, you have to go into the shooting settings, and you have to turn on the electronic shutter with the shutter type, and there's actually three different types of shutters, there's a mechanical shutter, an electronic first curtain shutter, and a full electronic shutter, and I will explain all of those as we move through the class. The shutter speeds, as I mentioned before, are great for stopping action and controlling light. You might use a thousandth of a second to stop an eagle coming into a river, anything moving very fast is gonna probably need five hundredth of a second or faster. If you wanna use a slower shutter speed, to blur the motion, that can be a very effective technique, sometimes you do need tripods in order to do that. The bulb mode on the camera allows you to leave the shutter open for a very long period of time. In this case, I wasn't getting enough traffic lights in the shot in 30 seconds, and so I wanted to leave the camera open for several minutes, and so I was able to do that using a bulb exposure. So, we have lots of different shutter speeds to choose and many different ways to do it, as I mentioned before, one of the favorite techniques for a lot of photographers is just to put it in the T setting and change the shutter speeds with the back of the camera, the dial on the back of the camera, I should say.