Sunday, September 5, 2010

Best Frame Capture_A Detailed Look

Click image to enlarge and examine this ACDSee frame grab.
If you are thinking of buying a Fuji FinePix HS10 to shoot sports because you heard that it can crank out ten frames a second, think again.

I tried an experiment. I set my HS10 to the sports photography auto setting, put the camera in Best Frame capture mode, and shot some pictures of joggers. I learned a lot and a lot that I learned was not good.

I found that my camera was not good at following focus. In fact, it was poor. With fast action approaching the camera, the best images were captured immediately after depressing the shutter button. The longer the button was depressed, and the closer the subject was to my camera, and the longer the zoom in use, the more out-of-focus my results.

I am still going to try and shoot a football game this fall, but I have no illusions. It will be tough.

Click image to enlarge: Endpoints set, colour corrected, USM applied, all in Photoshop.
The Fuji Finepix HS10 can deliver the goods when it comes to sports photography but at a high cost in missed pictures. But, if like me, you do not have the money for a proper DSLR, nor the desire to carry a larger camera and all its associated lenses, the Fuji is still a good little camera.

One note: I am finding the best program for enhancing my images is Photoshop. Mostly I use Levels to set the endpoints, and curves to modify contrast and do colour corrections. Often I select areas and apply selective correction --- I think of this as similar to burning and dodging in the old wet darkroom days. For instance, I tweaked the face of the runner in the enhanced image. I always sharpen using USM (Unsharp Mask).

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