Just bought a Fuji S9600. Looking for a few basic steps to set up non auto shots with my camera. An idiots guide to setting aperture and exposure. Really need step by step instructions as I am a novice. Iam reading the manual but a few tips from the "Pros" would be of great help.
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It sounds like you are using wrong settings.
S9600 produce 3488x2616 pixels with the highest settings, which should be more than sufficient to produce 11x 8" prints.
To change picture settings, press the F button, choose Quality, select 9M F (or N, if you can live the more aggressive JPG comprimation)
Put the camera on auto and it will set all those for you. By exprimenting you'll find the right settings for each occasion. To perfect this may take years. The settings depend on the weather, clouds, buildings nearby, water, target (moving/stationary/speed etc.). With digital camera it's easy to take pictures with different settings and immediately be able to compare and find the right ones.
have you set it to macro mode? (little flower icon on the right cursor) this function will allow you to get within about 2cm of the subject, however do not use the zoom as the lens cannot focus close enough. To get results any closer you will be looking at an slr and a budget on a few thousand! If enabling macro and not using zoom to allow the lens to focus doesn't get you close enough in you can always enlarge and crop images. have a look on www.picture-skew.blogspot.com i've taken some macros of flowers and bugs, this camera can capture the hairs on an ants back or the individual lenses of a flys compound lens eye.
persevere with this camera, for a very small budget you will get amazing results, ISO refers to the speed of 'film', it comes from the dark old ages of 35mm film cameras. Basically a low ISO is the lowest sensitivity to light and gives the best image quality, however as the ccd is less responsive to the light the camera holds the shutter open for longer. The higher the ISO the more sensitive the ccd but the greater the noise and lower the quality of picture.
Books, try looking for more photography orientated books and less digital camera based books. An upto date photography book will tell you all the technical information about how to take a good picture for any given senario.
if you would like any further advice email me (address on the blogspot)