Fujifilm S5700 / S700 Guide
As of October 2008 I've been using this camera for 10 months, and I have to say that it's brilliant. It may be small, but it packs most of the features of a dSLR, with a 10x zoom and a macro mode, all for a bargain price.
I thought it was time I pulled together some of the Podcast Instructions I did as well as my hints and tips for using the Fujifilm S5700 / S700 all into one place as an easy reference for anybody who's new to the camera or who wants to learn a little more.
The Official Manual
You can run the S5700 in Auto mode and it'll give you brilliant results, but if you want some artistic control you've got to understand it's higher functions - and the best place to start is with the manual. If you haven't got a copy, download the Fujifilm S5700 S700 manual first.
Update: New Audio User Guide / Manual For The S5700 / S700: DOWNLOAD NOW HALF PRICE!
I've re-recorded and updated my Fujifilm Finepix S5700 / S700 audio User Guide, and packed it all together on one simple download, or CD, all for the bargain price of £10 GBP, (including free postage World-Wide for the CD). LIMITED TIME OFFER: GET THE DOWNLOAD HALF PRICE, GB£5!
Now consisting of over 3 hours of friendly, informative audio, you can listen to the files on your Computer, or transfer them to your mp3 player or Ipod, and learn with me, camera in hand, in the comfort of your own home (or out on a photowalk!).
If you're a bit confused reading through the camera manual (like I was when I first got the S5700), this audio instruction manual will be really helpful.
Including over 200 minutes, (or 3 hours) of friendly instruction, you can listen to the included mp3 files on your computer, or transfer them to your ipod / mp3 player.
It's written to be listened to while you've got your camera in your hands, so as I talk about features, menu options and techniques you can practice along at the same time.
You can download the first chapter for free, Camera Introduction, Essential Accessories and Getting Started, by clicking here.. (Right-click then “save target as” / “save link as”.).
The included chapters are:
1. Camera Introduction, Essential Accessories and Getting Started. (45 mins).
2. Automatic modes. (12 mins).
3. Understanding Exposure, Depth of Field and White balance. (41 mins).
4. Aperture Priority, Shutter priority and Program mode. (30 mins).
5. Advanced Focusing techniques. and Advanced Flash. (13 mins).
6. Manual mode. (13 mins).
7. WIFE and Photography Workflow. (13 mins).
8. Video. (3 mins).
9. Backing up your Photos. (8 mins).
10. Advanced Settings. (8 mins).
11. Corrections, The Next Steps. (8 mins).
12. Panoramas and the S5700. (11 mins).
13. HDR and the S5700. (17 mins).
The Audio Instruction Guide is supplied via download or CD (separated into the above chapters), ready to be played on your Computer, or copy the files to your MP3 player or ipod.
Postage is free world-wide for the CD, surface mail for areas outside the UK, so if you've got broadband, opt for the download.
Download link or CD's will be dispatched with 3 days of payment (Remember to send me your email address for download, or real address if you want the CD!).
To pay for your Audio Guide, simply go to Amazon.co.uk (the link is here), and send me a £10 Gift Voucher OR JUST £5 FOR THE DOWNLOAD VERSION (Non UK credit / debit cards should work too), with the "recipient email" as email@example.com (make sure you get that right!). In the message include your name, email (for download) or real address (for CD), and I'll send you your download link or CD as soon as I get the Electronic Gift Voucher.
NEW: I can now accept payment via Paypal. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you my details to arrange payment. (£10 for CD, £5 for download).
Comments About The S5700 S700 Audio Guide
Great guide! Really glad I bought it now! Cheers! - Ross T
Wow, that was quick! thankyou! - James G
I've downloaded the first part of your audio guide, and I have to say I'm very impressed so far, its idiot-proof and friendly! - Ian S
Quick Look At A Wideangle Converter For The S5700 S700.
Picked this little gadget up at the car-boot sale for a fiver - keep your eye's peeled for one, they're definitely worth having.
Fujifim Finepix S5700 S700 Focal Lengths Explained.
A post to figure out which focal length you're using while out in the field..
Using Your S5700 / S700 To Digitize Film Slides.
Follow me as I convert my Dads Film Slides, shot in the '60's, to Digital.
A Day In The Life Of My S5700
Ok, if I'm going out shooting I have a little routine I follow before I leave the house.
1) I check I've got spare batteries in my camera bag, my polarizer, grad filter, tripod, spare memory and cleaning cloth. I top up my water sprayer if necessary. (See my article on "Whats in my camera bag").
2) I check that my SD memory card is in its slot and formatted (menu, set-up, format) , then I go through the WIFE checklist:
White-Balance. Make sure you're cameras in Aperture Priority Mode, then press the menu button and make sure your White Balance is set to AUTO.
ISO. We always want to be shooting at below ISO 400 to avoid noise, so press and hold the "f" button and change to ISO 64. While you're in the "f" menu, change the colour mode to "f-chrome", it looks better, and also make sure the quality is set to 7m (F).
Focus. Press the menu button again, and check that "Focusing Mode" is "Single AF". Also check that "AF Mode" is "Center".
Exposure. Turn the Mode Dial to "A" for Aperture Priority. Press the menu button and make sure the "Photometry" is set to "Multi". Go back to the shooting screen and press the Exposure Compensation button (the little square with the plus and minus) and knock it one small line (1/3 ev) to the left. Change the aperture to 3.5 then press the Exposure Compensation Button again to lock in these changes.
3) I'll clean my lens, my filters, and the inside of my lens cap, then we're ready to shoot!
At The Scene:
So, I'm faced with something I want to photograph, say a nice landscape shot. I'll have a walk-round to get the best angle and height for a good composition. I'll look for some foreground interest to give some depth to the scene, then I'll think about the Focal Length and Aperture I want to use.
First up, focal length, or how much zoom to use. I may be forced into using wide angle if I haven't got room to manoeuvre, but if say I'm taking a picture of a building and I don't want the perspective to be distorted by being too close and having to look up, I'll walk back and use some zoom. This can also help to "compress" the scene.
It's also a good idea to avoid the extreme wide-angle (zoomed all the way out), because at the extremes the lens distorts the image slightly - your horizon will appear curved.
Next up I think about aperture. This controls the depth of field, or how much of the picture is in focus. The S5700 has a pretty massive DoF anyway, so it only really matters if there's something quite close that I want to be in focus as well as the horizon, so then I'll dial in F6.8 or 13.6 - small aperture, large Depth of Field. If using this small aperture causes the "Camera Shake" warning icon to come on (the little yellow camera) I'll whip out my tripod. If I've got to go hand-held, I'll go up to ISO 200, and if the warning is still lit up I'll start to make the aperture larger until the warning goes off.
Now I'll check the composition. I'll make sure the grid-lines are up (press the "disp / back" button) to get my horizons / verticals right. If the cameras on a tripod I'll use the shutter delay button to minimise shake. If I'm handholding, I'll take a breath and gently press the shutter button in the middle of my exhale.
I then press the review button (the green "play" button"), and usually the "evf / lcd" button so I can review the shot on the eye-piece. I press the Exposure Compensation Button to bring up the Histogram to check for blinkies, or blown out areas. If there are blown out highlights I'll use the exposure compensation button to dial down the exposure a bit more, and check again.
If the histogram looks OK, I'll go back to the main review screen and zoom in to make sure its in focus. Sharp? Great! Now turn the camera on its side and take a portrait orientation shot, or vice-versa.
If while reducing the exposure to avoid the blinkies my close foreground subject becomes too dark, I'll think about using "Fill Flash". I'll go to manual mode, set the exposure to avoid blown highlights, then use the flash to light up the close subject. If the flash is too bright / too dim, I'll go into the menu, go to the flash setting and reduce or increase the brightness of the flash.
If I'm happy I'll try a few different compositions then head on to the next location.
Back At Home
As soon as I get home I copy the photos to my hard drive, burn them to CD and upload them to private Flickr folders for archiving. (See my article on Photo Backup.)
Then I'll start editing with Photoshop Elements / Photoshop or Photomatix - See "The Course" for details. When I'm done I'll upload the ones I like to Flickr or deviantArt, and I'm done!
Light is the problem when trying to take photographs inside - there's not enough of it, and it's the wrong colour.
Handle the lack of light by using a tripod or resting the camera on something.
To sort out the colour of the light, use a custom white balance. Press the "menu" button, "white balance", "custom", then take a picture of a piece of white paper under the light you've got. You'll be amazed by the difference it makes.
Don't forget to change the White Balance back to "Auto" when you're finished!
All digital cameras suffer from noise, those coloured speckles that can appear in your photographs. You can solve the issue in camera by always using low ISO, say 64 or 100, or use software such as Noise Ninja.
If you do go for Noise Ninja you can make it work better by downloading my custom Noise Ninja Profiles For The S5700.
My Top S5700 / S700 Tips:
Shoot in Aperture Priority Mode for creative control over Depth of Field.
Always shoot on the highest quality setting - 7m (F).
Always have the color mode on "fuji chrome" - it will give you nicer looking photographs.
Knock back the exposure by one small line (1/3ev) to avoid blown out highlights and get more saturated colours.
Buy a Polarising Filter. (see my article on Cokin A Filters).
The yellow "Camera Shake" warning is your friend - treat it with respect and you'll have sharper photos - but avoid ISO's higher than 200 if you can. Instead use a tripod, or increase your aperture to let more light in, or zoom out and crop back in later during Post Processing.
Use the gridlines on the evf / lcd to help you get straight horizons and buildings (press the "disp / back" button to cycle through the options).
Always use a custom white balance when shooting indoors.
Get a copy of Photoshop Elements for the best in affordable Post Processing.
Join the Fujifilm S5700 / S700 Flickr Group.
Subscribe to my Podcast!
Take loads and loads of photographs and have fun with the camera!
I hope this article has been useful and helped you get to know your camera a little better.