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Simonaus

Newbie.. Trying to get shutter speeds slower than 1/4 or 1/8 in P or A

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Simonaus

I didn't see an intro section, so sorry to ask questions straight away.

I will be honest upfront, this question relates to a business and I have a dozen workers using x30's, so I understand people may not reply to this, as its not for personal usage, which what forums are usually about.

So to contribute to this forum before I take, in my initial testing of the x30, for those worried about x30 usage in the rain with the openings behind the LCD, my x30 was regularly placed on a tripod for up to 30 minutes of heavy rain with no coverage over it at all. No problems at all, except for the obvious water on the lens which was fitted with a filter and was wiped between shots. I've also had them on a tripod in the hot Aus. sun for up to an hour with no heat problems.

Still early days is my weather testing but a big thumbs up so far, so dont be afraid to get the x30 out in any conditions !!

I'm having trouble getting consistent low light autofocus with flash usage.

The picture I am trying to take is a night shot with people in front of a city skyline with low to dark lighting.

I realise the low contrast is affecting the af and also that the af assist light does not stay on long enough to get a clear focus point.

In P mode or A mode it seems I can't get a slower shutter than 1/4 of a second with forced flash or 1/8 with slow flash.

The image will be what I consider underexposed instead of choosing a slower shutter speed once F2 is reached in P mode.

In A mode it says my aperture is whatever I dial, but the shutter speed never goes slower than 1/4, and the image will underexpose.

Even if I use exposure comp up to +3 it has no affect once the camera reaches iso800' f2 and 1/4 sec.

I find the grain past iso 800 is too much and the camera is on a stand to allow for the slower shutter speeds, but the fuji wont allow them in these modes.

My work around for poor af in low light in the past for point and shoots is usually to increase aperture in A mode to get a bigger DOF and improve the AF tolerances on a small sensor. A brutal solution I know, but it works generally.

This doesnt seem to work as the shutter speed wont slow past 1/4 a sec to give me the DOF I need.

Does anyone know if A and P mode is capped to a 1/4 of a second and not slower.

Anyone got any tips to help low light AF.

For reasons too complicated to explain S or M modes are not practical for me.

I've tried face detect, chosen focal point, and most other settings, it just seems that contrast based AF seems a bit unreliable on the X30 in really low light.

I've scanned the 240 odd page manual and cant find a way to increase the AF illuminator time or a statement of these restrictions.

Ready to try just about anything..

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gryphon1911

If the light is too low for AF, I always have a flashlight/torch with me. Shine that on the subject, acquire focus, then set focus to manual and leave it there.

As far as the other issue - this is a good example of when using manual mode would solve all your problems. Set the shutter, aperture ISO to what you need/want and then pop in the flash as required.

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Simonaus

Agree with you there..it's on my list as the last resort.. The flash light generally solves these problems on the ground, but the camera is used at heights and all equipment needs to be tied to the photographer. Hoping not to have to carry an extra piece of equipment tied off and it would be handy for the photographer to have one free hand for safety at height if possible. The AF assist is ridiculously quick on the x30.

After spending a bit more time with the manual i think it's a fixed length of time (a fraction of a second )and non adjustable.

The other problem is the flash is a first curtain sync and a people photo at 3/4 to a full second exposure at night would be better suited to rear sync, but it doesnt seem to have that ability. ( people always move after the flash goes off

The reason I need P or A preferably is I have a hard enough time teaching exposure comp combined with flash and then flash comp to staff. Trying to teach manual mode via metering as well, might make their heads explode, and the customer generally loses interest in smiling after the second shot, and smiles sell

I realise using flash, shooting people into the sunset or a lit city night skyline and sharp focus in only 2 shots is hard ask and thats why I'm trying to at least nail down focus and metering in the first shot, as I find the x30 has about a plus or minus variance of up 2/3 of a stop at this time of day as the light is also changing so quickly. Whether I'm in auto , P, A or M, that first shot is always at the mercy of the cameras "idea" of correct metering and it has to be evaluated and fixed in the second shot.

Shutter priority is also an option, but P mode would be my first option if I can figure out how to get it past 1/4 of a second.

Staff take photos in full daylight and night as well.

With the last cameras I used, not fuji, P mode had a good chance for first shot in most conditions, which equals more sales but the weather conditions destroyed them too quickly..

Guess I'm hoping for the easy answer of someone saying got to this menu, then this, then this and change that and your good.

In the real world I may have to teach staff how to actually use a camera enough to shoot all modes from P to M..

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exakta

Does anyone know if A and P mode is capped to a 1/4 of a second and not slower.

I have the X10 not the X30 but in P mode it does stop at 1/4 at full wide angle and 1/8 at full tele. This is probably intended as a protection feature, although the camera still lets you shoot...it just indicates the shot will be underexposed.

This is one of the quirks of X10/20/30 exposure control that gets glossed over in the manual.

You have to switch to a different mode to get the slower speeds. On the X10, A mode will set slower speeds (requiring a tripod).

Hope this helps.

PS: out of curiosity what is this work application?

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Simonaus

Yep..

The manual glosses over a lot of stuff..

A mode does go longer but as soon as flash pops up those restrictions come in.

The work application is for guides at height and the cameras go on a pod arm, so manual focus is a bit tricky, as most staff cant get their eyes close enough to the camera. They just use the LCD for framing.

The subject distance varies as well from the arm so unless I manual focus by hyperfocal distance range, before the camera gets placed in the pod arm, manual focus is not really an ideal option as I want to shoot at f2 to keep ISO down if possible.

The torch as listed above is slowly creeping up my possible solution list..

If only that AF illuminator stayed on during focus..

And i realise I am really pushing the x30 past its limits and what it can do in my situation.

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K1W1_Mk2

P is for Program. It is a mode that allows users to essentially let the camera do all the thinking. I have no idea why anybody who was inclined to wanting to let the camera do the thinking would expect that the camera would know that it was connected to a tripod and would know that the user wanted to do long exposures.

If you want to do long exposures take control and do it yourself. Do not blame the tools when you are not using them correctly.

As far as the flash is concerned once again that is 100% logical. If you want to use a flash for some sort of fill light in a long exposure use an off camera flash and trigger it yourself during the exposure. It's not hard to do.

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Simonaus

If you want to do long exposures take control and do it yourself. Do not blame the tools when you are not using them correctly.

As far as the flash is concerned once again that is 100% logical. If you want to use a flash for some sort of fill light in a long exposure use an off camera flash and trigger it yourself during the exposure. It's not hard to do.

kIWI_Mk2 can you explain how I am not using the tools correctly ??

I'm following the manual to the letter, as far as I can tell, in relation to its listed capabilities and specifications.

If the manual said it couldnt do it, I would agree with you..

But the manual says it can..

and the flash thing.. I'm not sure what youre referring to when you say "100% logical" all i said/ meant was I wished it had a rear curtain sync option. Thats fairly common with most slow sync flash modes for the reasoning I listed.

In P or A I would expect either mode to evaluate the lighting, realise its dark and once it hits F2, to adjust the exposure length and ISO if ISO is variable programmed.

Its a pretty simple logic for a decent P&S camera.. And thats what it's already doing.

I'm saying restricting it in low light down to 1/4 or 1/8 of a second, is not slow enough for my needs, when the manual says it can go to 30 seconds.

If it could go down to 1 second I would get the exposure I need.

Slower and I could pull the ISO back.

I've already explained why Manual mode or extra equipment is not really suited to my needs.

The manual says all modes except auto can go to 30 seconds, but it has no mention of restrictions when using flash. If it did I would acept it and move on.

It's not like I'm asking it to make me a coffee..

Flash down it goes past 1/4 but I need flash on.

It even has a slow synchro mode for flash that should "tell" the camera it will be a long exposure, so in my mind it has to be a firmware issue differing from the manual.

It's not like i'm shooting in the middle of the day with an ND Grad and remote flash, hoping the camera can read my mind for what options I want.. I could understand the cameras confusion then.

I'm not "blaming the tools"

I'm trying to find out if anyone knows a menu setting I may have missed or work around to suit my needs, as the manual clearly says one thing, but the real world usage is telling me another.

To me it just seems the firmware doesnt match the manual in its listed capabilities.

It takes a good picture during the day, but the af illuminator and restrictions in P and A mode let it down at night, as thats a firmware issue and not hardware one.

If it was a Canon I would just search a CHDK for it, rather than hope for a firmware update from Fuji for the x30. ( the canon g can do all the above needed except I've had 8 of them fail in the last 2 years - thats not a good strike rate..)

I've been a canon user for 10 years and a Nikon user for 30. I'm not new to photography and what peoples perceptions of what modes should be used for what situations. I realise my situation is very specific. My photographers dont have time to shoot manual or the physical ability.

I'm trying to be a Fuji user as well, I'm just struggling with the fuji way of manuals, menus and firmware.

I gave up on my four x20's quickly, as I got them just before the x30 came out and got 12 x30's for uniformity, as I also run canon and nikon DSLR's as well.

The less cameras staff get confused by the better.

I thought the x100 was awesome when I used it, it's just that I found the x30's smaller sensor better for DOF in low light during my testing of both side by side.

Sure, small sensors will go the way of film, but they do have their benefits if the ISO is reasonable.

Thanks exakta for your advice on fuji manuals and cameras. Appreciated. least I'm not going crazy and realise now it's the Fuji way. canons and nikons both do similar things but i'm used to their way of "logic"

Still hoping an answer is out there...

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GDamen

Hi,

How high is your iso? To get to 30 second limit your iso should be as low as 100.

Gino

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dem

With ISO set to 800 as above, the X30 (and all other 2/3" Fuji cameras) cannot have SS slower than 4 seconds in any shooting mode. The cap is 30s for ISO100, 15s for ISO200, 8s for ISO400 etc... That is one issue.

The problem the OP is having is that the A and P modes never select SS slower than 1/4 s at any ISO. In low light they choose to underexpose rather than to go to slower SS like 1/2s, 1s.

I can replicate this problem on my X-S1.

Simon, is it worth trying using the S mode (SS set to 1s) in combination with ISO set to AUTO800? You are risking more motion blur but at least the background will always be well exposed.

My second thought is a bit mad but giving your customers some stripy or checked safety jackets might solve the AF problem. ;)

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GDamen

Dem,

The X30 does go as slow as 30 sec also in A and P mode, but you have to set the ISO to 100 to get there. I have tested it with my X30 after my earlier post in this thread.

Gino

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Simonaus

For Gino,

The problem I have is when I have the flash on, if the flash is up/on and set to slow synch it restricts the shutter speeds. If the flash is off/down it allows slower speeds but I need the flash for the shot.

For Dem, I have tried S mode which may be an option, but P or A in theory for me would allow the quickest shutter speed possible to help in the reduction of motion blur. But it is a possible solution.

(staff really can't see the metering on the screen due to the cameras position and may lengthen shutter speed when it's not really necessary depending on light)

If I have to start getting them to predict light and shutter speed I may get unnecessary ISO increases.

(the staff aren't super keen photographers like everyone here, but they soon may have to be !!)

As staff shoot from day through to night over about a 2 hour period, the x30 always hits f2 first in it's choices. Shutter speeds needed in this time frame vary from over 1/60 to 1 sec.

And with the AF, more contrast would help with AF, but we also shoot in the rain and the customers then put on a rain jacket. a hack for the AF illuminator would really help. I really don't know why Fuji restricts it's length.

A torch as listed above may help this but it is quite difficult for staff to carry extra equipment, hence my original A mode thought, to increase DOF to cover the AF issue, but this does increase the Shutter speed and hence grain.

I still may have to go a predicted M (shutter for exposure , aperture for DOF with the AF issue) with auto ISO covering the exposure.

People will buy grainy if they have to, they won't buy blurry....

Choosing an unnecessary sacrifice in my opinion, to cover my issues, is a tricky choice still to be made.

It's frustrating when 2 tiny firmware programming parameters (illuminator length and P restrictions of shutter speed with flash) can cause such a huge impact in the end result of the shot.

But if Fuji keeps moving from strength to strength in it's products like it is, we may see the eventual development of a Fuji hacking community like there is for canon.

I've noticed I'm not the only one looking for hacks for fuji cameras on the forums I read

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dem

Thanks Gino. There seems to be a difference between the way the SS caps are implemented in the X-S1 and the X30. I can not go below 1/4s in the P mode whatever I do. If I raise the flash, the SS cap changes to 1/30s for forced flash and to 1/8s for slow flash mode.

Focusing first and then raising the flash didn't work for me as the flash didn't fire. But worth a try on the X30.

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Simonaus

Will try the focus first and then raise the flash tomorrow at work, I'm ready to try anything at this stage, if theres a chance something will work, or is an accidental work around.

But most of my testing so far shows as soon as the flash is up, all the "restrictions" come in.

I also realise moving off P into other modes and the pressing of other buttons may open up a weatherproofing issue perhaps in the rain. But as I stated earlier I've had the flash up and down, the zoom in and out and the release button all work fine, in up to 30 minutes exposed to constant heavy rain. I haven't ventured too far into the other controls and their weatherproofness, but so far I'm impressed with its durability.

Thanks guys for all your help and testing / double checking of this stuff for me as well. Nice to get some help being so new to Fuji's.

Its appreciated.

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Alaskanjon92

Why doesn't Fuji just update the firmware on the x10 x20 and x30 with a bulb mode setting in at least manual mode??? I'm not understanding.

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