Can someone help me understand my aperture priority setting, for example..

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..I have watched a number of tutorials as well as read in my manual (Fuji Finepix S4250) and cannot understand.

For example, if I set my camera to Aperture Priority, and then go to change the Aperture to what I would like, it won't go to that setting. Like F 5.6 for example.
When I put it on A and I go to set my number it only goes to either F 8.0 or F 3.1. The Shutter speed sets at 10 when I have Aperture at F3.1, and Shutter speed auto sets at 1.6 when I have Aperture at 8.0.

I'm obviously a beginner, and I know I am missing something in figuring this out. I am just wondering why I cannot set the Aperture to many different numbers, why does it only allow me 2?

I watched a video here
and when the guy changes his Aperture or Shutter Speed, he is choosing several numbers with his camera. Maybe my camera just doesn't have that ability.

If anyone can shed some light on this I would so appreciate it. One thing I've been wanting to get a handle on, it the clear subject with blurred background. I have taken one or two shots that turned out but only on Auto mode, so I don't know how to set that myself.

Thank you much, Denise
PS This shot I took and just got lucky. I want to learn my settings so I can "plan" my shots better. $my first bumblebee.JPG
 
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It's going to be limited by the focal length of your zoom setting for one thing. Plus you aren't going to see the same numbers on a point-and-shoot camera as on a DSLR lens. The aperture number is the ratio of the aperture diameter to the focal length of the lens, and your camera has vastly different aperture and focal length from a DSLR lens. I don't know what they will be, your manual should tell you, but they will be different.
 
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Ok Scott, wow, I so appreciate you replying. I wondered if I was missing something, I mean besides a few marbles, lol! And I thought this was a DSLR camera too. I could sware the guy told me it was as that's what I wanted. It's got 24X, 14 Megapixels, whatever that is. Well, here is what it says right on the lens: 24X Zoom f=4.3-103.2 1:3.1-5.9.

Maybe that will help you see what I've got here. Thank you again, Denise!
 

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I think the Fuji only shoots at a couple of aperture values...f/3.1 would be a nice, fast aperture that allows in a lot of light, and due to the small sensor size, will STILL deliver ample depth of field at most picture angles. And of course, f/8 is a nice, small f/stop that delivers a LOT in-focus with a small-sensor compact digicam.
 
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I have a few, nice shots I've taken but as I think I mentioned, mostly in Auto Mode. I want to try for a little more control. I do like the camera a lot, it's just that there is so much I want to learn when I see other's photos and how they use light etc. People that know how to use their settings:)
 

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Ok Scott, wow, I so appreciate you replying. I wondered if I was missing something, I mean besides a few marbles, lol! And I thought this was a DSLR camera too. I could sware the guy told me it was as that's what I wanted. It's got 24X, 14 Megapixels, whatever that is. Well, here is what it says right on the lens: 24X Zoom f=4.3-103.2 1:3.1-5.9.

Maybe that will help you see what I've got here. Thank you again, Denise!
No, it isn't a DSLR. It's what we refer to as a "Bridge Camera". Basically an advanced point-and-shoot that somewhat "Bridges" the gap between a point-and-shoot and a DSLR. It doesn't have interchangeable lenses, the one that is on there is the only one it will ever have, and the view you see through the viewfinder is an electronic representation of what is seen through the lens and not the exact same thing. That doesn't mean it's a bad camera, I've heard good things about that series, but it isn't a DSLR.
 
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Another thing I don't quite understand is when I zoom in as close as I can to say, a bird, or the moon. It's blurry, and I can't figure out how to make it appear clear. My thought is, what good is zooming in if you can't see it clearly? That's why I got a camera with more zoom, so I could shoot bugs etc, lol!! But the zoom is blurry so I just get as close to the bug as I can, that's how I got the bumblebee photo, lol!!
 
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Ok, thank you for explaining that Scott. I was probably deciding which to buy and ended up with the "bridge" camera. I know it is good enough for what I am doing now, and I really need to learn a lot so a good stepping-stone. Then again, I am not sure I will ever get way into photography:) Just enjoy it as a hobby:) though, love taking photos and coming home to see if I have any treasures, lol! Denise
 

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Another thing I don't quite understand is when I zoom in as close as I can to say, a bird, or the moon. It's blurry, and I can't figure out how to make it appear clear. My thought is, what good is zooming in if you can't see it clearly? That's why I got a camera with more zoom, so I could shoot bugs etc, lol!! But the zoom is blurry so I just get as close to the bug as I can, that's how I got the bumblebee photo, lol!!
Two things: One, the longer the focal length (the greater the zoom level) the less motion blur it takes to ruin a shot. You cannot punch the shutter button and you must hold the camera perfectly still. That's why many of us use a tripod with long lenses.

Two, read up on "Depth of Field". It defines the distance from the near point of acceptable focus to the far part of acceptable focus within a shot. It varies with focal length, and gets narrower as focal length gets longer. In other words the more you zoom the more precise your focus has to be.

Ok, thank you for explaining that Scott. I was probably deciding which to buy and ended up with the "bridge" camera. I know it is good enough for what I am doing now, and I really need to learn a lot so a good stepping-stone. Then again, I am not sure I will ever get way into photography:) Just enjoy it as a hobby:) though, love taking photos and coming home to see if I have any treasures, lol! Denise
There's nothing wrong with that. I've been doing it for 40+ years. I've shot a few weddings and other events but have honestly never had any urge whatsoever in a career in photography. Photography is one of my outlets and I don't want to be shackled by deadlines and schedules and clients. I get enough of that at work, and want to be able to enjoy photography.
 
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Ok on the first part Scott, I will keep reading, and trying the settings as I go. The second part, yes, exactly, I just want to have fun, I too have enough "work" to do. I really like your photos on your site. I have started a blog too for my photos. I LOVED this photo and have something similar I'll show you. At first, on mine, I didn't like how there was no top or bottom to the plant, but then it sort of "grew" on me, lol!! Then I saw yours a few minutes ago;) http://www.sc-photo-tn.com/wp-content/gallery/2012/foliage/2010-04-10-05.jpg
Here's mine that is sort of similar:) http://i556.photobucket.com/albums/ss2/nwcountry/newforSuzi.jpg

I wish I'd been into photography when I was in Alabama/Tennessee. That was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been! Thank you again Scott! Denise
 

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Lenses can be inter-changed on a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex).

The lens cannot be changed on your Fuji Finepix S4250. The Fuji Finepix S4250 is known as a 'bridge' camera.
It bridges the gap between a point & shoot camera and a DSLR.

Your Fuji Finepix S4250 has the smallest image sensor they make - 1/2.3" and has a 5.62 crop factor, which is a 35 mm equivalent focal range of 24 mm - 576mm.
The actual focal length of the lens is 4.3 mm - 103.2 mm. (4.3 x the 5.62 crop factor = 24.2 mm, and 103.2 mm x 5.62 crop factor = 580 mm.
Digital Camera Sensor Sizes: How it Influences Your Photography

Image Creative Commons use license info is found here - File:Sensor sizes overlaid inside - updated.svg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Commons is a freely licensed media file repository. Image author -MarcusGR)
1000px-Sensor_sizes_overlaid_inside_-_updated.svg.png
 
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thanks Keith, wow, whole lot to look at so I'll wait til the a.m.! Denise
 

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Another thing I don't quite understand is when I zoom in as close as I can to say, a bird, or the moon. It's blurry, and I can't figure out how to make it appear clear. My thought is, what good is zooming in if you can't see it clearly? That's why I got a camera with more zoom, so I could shoot bugs etc, lol!! But the zoom is blurry so I just get as close to the bug as I can, that's how I got the bumblebee photo, lol!!

My guess is that what is happening is you're trying to get closer to something than the closest available focusing distance of your lens.

Lenses cannot just focus on things arbitrarily close to them. There are minimum distances. And usually the longer the focal length (more zoomed in), the further the minimum distance is for a standard lens. This means that you cannot necessarily get super close up photos of bugs that are in focus just because you have a long focal length. If you attempt to zoom in all the way and then aim at something too near the front of the lens, the camera may not be able to focus.

Your camera manual or google searches should be able to tell you what your minimum focus distance is. It may just be one number, or it may depend on how zoomed in you are.
 

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Also, when you are zooming in with the camera do not use the "digital zoom" on it. Only the optical zoom physically zooms the lens in and out. The digital zoom is just a program in the camera that crops in on the image from the lens, and the camera programs to a poor job of that causing images not to be very clear. You will get better results and have more control using the max optical zoom on the camera and then cropping in using software for adjusting images (like Photoshop or other image editors).
 
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I'll respond to each of you when I get back from church today! I really appreciate all the info I am learning!! Denise
 

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