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Old Jul 24, 2006, 4:14 PM   #1
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I just got my first digital camera to use at concerts and so far the three I went to I got bad pictures using it so I need help for the next one.

It has a 6X optical zoom and is a Panasonic Lumiz DMC-LZ5.

I have tried putting it on the Sports setting. I also changed many other things on it like ISO 400 and picture size to 3M and AF mode to 1 area and3 area focusing and the AF assist lamp on and slow shutter to 1/8 - and also 1- and I never turned the flash off and tried putting the image stabalization on mode 2 and when I zoom it gets really blurry and the pics are white and not clear and I don't think I just have to be closer because the camera can probably take good one but I need help to set it right.

Please help me before my next(4th) show so I can get better ones this time. It will be my last chance for a long while I think.
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Old Jul 24, 2006, 8:33 PM   #2
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It's tough zooming in dim light with no flash - even the slightest shaking of hands will get magnified to the extent that it looks like an earthquake. Also it is more difficult for the camera to properly focus in low-light situations.

Try not zooming. If you are permitted to use a flash, then use it.

Also, try posting this in the Panasonic portion of this forum. More experienced people there to help you.
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Old Jul 26, 2006, 5:13 PM   #3
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I did post in the Panasonic forum also.

I really just need someone to tell me what to set each thing on so I can get good pictures at the concert because I don't have a lot of the extra settings that more expensive cameras have and the knowledge you all have about the more professional ones. I need basic simple info about each setup on my camera to help me not get blurry white pictures please.
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Old Jul 27, 2006, 11:02 AM   #4
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Well, you might not be able to get good pictures with your camera. Concerts have real bad light and you generally need a camera with good low-light performance (dslr though some point and shoots are getting ok) and a fast lens.
The things you can do:
1. have your camera at it's widest aperture (lowest f-stop number). This lets the most possible light into the lens.
2. set your camera to it's most sensitive setting (highest ISO number). On a digital camera this basically tells the camera to amplify the signal it gets. The downside is the picture will get noisy leading to a speckled appearance in extreme cases. Experiment to find out just how much noise you are prepared to accept.
3. have longer exposure times to let in more light. This will lead to motion blur in your pics, both from the subject moving (sports shots generally need very fast shutter times because of this) and from the camera moving. The latter can be helped by having image stabilization or fixed by using a tripod. You can probably do 1/30 or even 1/15 second if your camera's IS is good. Using a wide angle will also help camera motion blur as a degree of motion across a 90degree view is a lot less than the same degree of motion accross a 10 degree field of view. You're going to have to get closer to take pics with wide angle.

There you go, smallest fstop number, highest ISO, image stabiliser on, wide angle. If you can't get ok pics with this then your camera isn't capable. If you can use the flash then you WILL get better pics with it. If using flash, ignore everything above.
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Old Aug 2, 2006, 1:58 PM   #5
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Good information....thanks!
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Old Aug 2, 2006, 7:41 PM   #6
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In addition to jacks' good tips:

Use the high speed burst mode. You have a much better chance of hitting a moment of null subject or hand movement. And you will find the first shot is probably the least sharp if you properly pre-focused because there is residual movement from pressing the shutter release. You have up to 6 shots at almost 3 shots a second but I would use 3 or at most 4 in a burst unless you are trying to get a sequence.

You are at a disadvantage without an eyelevel viewfinder. Work on pressing your elbows into your body to help compensate for the unsteady hold with the camera out in front of you.

Experiment with the ISO. That camera is extremely noisy at ISO400. I've never had a stabilized camera without an eyelevel viewfinder. ButI find with a steady hold I can shoot a stabilized wide angle shot at 1/6 second and even get some of the shots sharp at ¼ second using the burst. With good stage lighting you might be able to get decent shots at lower ISO if you can work on a steady hold and use the burst.

If you are trying to capture subject motion on stage the stabilization doesn't help at all. Try to capture moments of null movement – the burst helps a lot with that.

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