Your shopping cart is empty.

Photography Notes

These are notes I have put together to help better use the features of my Fuji S602Z digital camera. While some notes may be specific to that camera model, others are general in nature and may help other amateur photographers with some basic concepts.

Please feel free to add notes to this page if you feel information is missing or inaccurate.

Shutter Priority (S)

In this mode, you can set the shutter speed, and the aperture setting will be automatically determined to give you optimal exposure. A fast shutter will freeze all motion, and a slow shutter will give the impression of movement.

Aperture Priority (A)

In this mode, you can set the aperture, and the shutter speed will be automatically determined to give you optimal exposure. A large aperture will place the background out of focus, and a small aperture will keep all objects in focus.

Manual (M)

In this mode, you can set the shutter speed and aperture independently. You have more control over the shutter speed in this mode, but you must find a balance between shutter and aperture that will not cause exposure problems. For a fast shutter, use a large aperture (and vice versa), and for a slow shutter, use a small aperture.

Programmed (P)

In this mode, you can change any of the camera settings except shutter speed and aperture (these are automatic).


In this mode, the camera determines all settings.

Scene Position (SP)

Has custom settings for:

Portrait - Shooting portraits and skin tone.

Landscape - Daylight scenery, buildings, mountains, etc. Crisp and clear.

Sports - Faster shutter speeds to freeze motion.

Night Scene - Slow shutter speed for low light conditions. (Use tripod)

Monochrome - Black and white.


ISO is the light sensitivity of the "film." Low ISO values require more light to set an image onto the film. High ISO values are good for taking photos with fast shutter speeds or low light conditions. As ISO increases though, photos tend to be more "grainy" (I.E. have "noise") and have poorer colour response than slower values. 100 or 200 is the "normal" value.


Auto Flash - Flash fires when the camera determines it is needed.

Red Eye Reduction - Flash fires a "warning shot" to dilate pupils and reduce red eye.

Forced Flash - Used for backlit subjects (person in front of window), when the auto flash may not fire. Also used under fluorescent lights to ensure proper colours are captured.

Slow Synchro - Forces a slow shutter speed (and therefore a small aperture), allowing night time pictures to have the subject and background in focus.


Auto focus will focus on the object in the centre of the frame before a picture is taken. For control over the focus, use manual focus.

For manual focus, when the object you want in focus is off centre:

Put the object in the centre of the frame, set the focus, then move back to frame the picture correctly, keeping the original focus.

In order to help with manual focus, use the "one touch focus" button. When pressed, this will auto focus one the objects in the frame, and then allow manual focus for fine tuning.


Photometry is how the camera determines the exposure level to use when taking a photo. It is determined by examining the light levels within the current frame.

Average - Exposure tends not to change for different compositions or subjects. Good for people/scenes with patches of light or dark (I.E. someone wearing a black shirt).

Spot - For strongly contrasting light and dark areas, where you want to achieve correct exposure for the center of the photo.

Multi - Automatic, used for everyday photography.

White Balance

White balance is the definition of what is "white" under certain light conditions. All white balance settings except for custom 1 & 2 are ignored when a flash is used.

Auto - Shooting to show the ambience of the light source.

Custom 1 & 2 - Pre-defined, custom white balance.

Sun Symbol - For shooting outdoors in fine weather.

Sun & Clouds - For shooting in the shade.

Preset 1 - For shooting under "Daylight" lamps.

Preset 2 - For shooting under "Warm White" fluorescent lamps.

Preset 3 - For shooting under "Cool White" fluorescent lamps.

Light Bulb - For shooting in incandescent light.

Custom White Balance

You can use this to set the custom 1 & 2 values. Hold up a white sheet of paper under the light source you're going to use to set the custom white balance. Using coloured paper will change the white balance setting.


Hard - Emphasizes the outlines. Best for subjects such as buildings or text, where you want sharp images.

Soft - Softens the outlines. Best for subjects such as people, where a softer image is desired.

Normal - Provides an edge sharpness that is idea for ordinary shots.


Multi-exposure allows multiple shots to be overlapped. During this mode, each shot that is taken will be exposed over top of all previous. In order to end up with the correct brightness, the exposure compensation should be adjusted to match the number of shots that are overlapped.

Flash Brightness

Flash brightness allows you to adjust the amount of light emitted by the flash to suit photography conditions. Works only for objects within the range of the flash.

Exposure Compensation

Use this where optimum brightness is difficult to obtain, such as high contrast between subject and background. Some examples of where exposure compensation is useful:

Using a + exposure compensation:
* black text on white paper
* backlit portraits
* snowfields and highly reflective objects
* shots with a large sky background

Using a - exposure compensation:
* spotlit subjects
* subjects against a dark background
* white text on black paper
* scenes of low reflectivity, such as woodland shots


Used for close up photography. A tripod should be used to reduce camera shake.

Macro - 10-80cm

Super Macro - 1-20cm (flash and optical zoom cannot be used)

Brightness Histogram

When viewing pictures in playback mode, the Info button will show a brightness histogram. Generally the histogram should be a bell curve, with the majority of pixels in the middle. If the majority are at the left end, the picture is generally underexposed, if the majority are at the right, it's overexposed.

AE-L (Auto Exposure Lock)

Use this to set and lock the exposure. When taking pictures of people, focus so a subject takes up most of the frame. Set the exposure lock, then zoom out/pan and take the shot. The exposure will be optimized for the subject, regardless of the ambient light.

Continuous Shooting

Top 5 - Will take up to 5 shots when holding the shutter button. After 5 shots, the mode stops.

Auto Bracketing - Will take 3 shots: one under exposed, one correctly exposed, and one over exposed. Amount of over/under exposure can be set. Used to determine proper light conditions. The "info" button will show the brightness histogram for these shots allowing you to select the correct exposure level for conditions.

Final 5 - Will continue to take shots as long as the shutter button is held down, and keeps the last 5.

Long Period Continuous Shooting - Allows up to 40 continuous shots, but at a forced resolution of 1280x960.