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Old Feb 16, 2004, 8:33 PM   #11
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Ok. I have played around with this some more. One thing I noticed is that I get the "jitter alert" when the flash isn't open. I put the camera on a table and just held the shutter button down 1/2 way to get it to focus and when the flash was open, no jitter alert. When it was closed, jitter alert every time. Is this normal??

I looked at the information for the pictures too. BTW, I figured out that you can view some of the EXIF data within iPhoto. The shutter speeds range all over the place, from 1/8 to 1/60. The Aperture stays the same at 2.8 and a Max Aperture of 3.0. The ISOs also vary, from 100 to 400.

Here's another thing, on the LCD the pics look fine, it's only when I view them on the computer, they just don't look crisp.

Maybe I'm just not looking at these images right. I could use someone else with a more trained eye in regards to FZ10 pics to take a look at them for me. I'd be happy to post some of them on Ofoto if that may help.
dainga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 17, 2004, 12:26 AM   #12
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 96
Default Re: FZ10 focus

Here are several things to consider:

1. Autofocus uses vertical lines only, so the camera may be focusing on something behind your subject. Try using SPOT instead of AREA focus, and consider turning off CONTINUOUS AF, as Genece suggested.

2. Make sure OIS is in MODE 2, not MODE 1. While composing, you'll see more jitter, but when taking the actual photo, OIS will work better.

3. The shutter speeds you mentioned are fairly slow for handheld photos, even with OIS. Raising ISO above 100 IS NOT A SOLUTION, because "noise" becomes fairly apparent at ISO 200 and can be very severe at ISO 400. It's far preferable to use a flash, including an external flash, to make sure there's enough light to allow the shutter to be VERY fast. Some people say they're able to get sharp handheld photos at 1/4 second, but my hands shake so much that anything slower than 1/100 is likely to be blurred.

4. When using a flash (internal or external), you still want a fast shutter speed (1/500, for example) for two reasons: 1) to minimize/eliminate both subject movement and camera movement; 2) to overcome the difficult White Balance problems that arise when mixing the flash's white illumination with the room's yellow-orange illumination. A fast shutter doesn't stay open long enough for the room lighting to become a factor. AUTO WB seems to be able to handle this situation. To get the fast shutter speed, switch to ASM mode and use the menu to select "S", then the Exposure button to select the fast shutter speed.

4A. Comment: step 4 sounds like a real hassle, and it is; but I've found that many digital cameras seem to have trouble with indoor auto white balance, with or without the flash, unless you help them. You can check the "face" samples from many cameras (not Panasonics, unfortunately) at www.imaging-resource.com . Steve (here) provides superb reviews, but doesn't use the same live subject with every camera; IR does.

5. To really find out whether the camera can focus, try doing all of this (only for this test, not all the time):

5A. use a stationary target that has well-defined vertical lines and/or edges. Ideally, it will not be a black & white object, but a colorful one with details you'll be able to use when judging the sharpness of the result;

5B. use SPOT mode, ISO 50 or 100, good room lighting or a flash;

5C. set the zoom level to 2-3x, and have the camera between 5-10 feet from the target;

5D. turn OIS OFF (just for this test);

5E. check the three "Picture Adjustment" settings on the menu, and make sure all of them are set to "Normal". Personally, I like to use Contrast=Low, Sharpness=Low, Saturation=Normal (or High), and do the sharpening on the computer; but for this test, you want everything in "Normal";

5F. put the camera on a table or tripod;

5G. press the left-arrow button twice, to set the delay timer to two seconds;

5H. half-press the shutter button to make sure you get focus lock, and if the image looks too dark, increase the lighting or switch to flash;

5I. press the button the rest of the way and take your hands off the camera. The timer will let any vibrations dissapate before the image is recorded;

5J. possibly, take a few pictures this way;

5K. transfer the pictures to the computer and check them; as you said, the little LCD won't show you what you need to know in this situation. You also may want to print one or two of them at 5x7 and 8x10.
Charlie Howard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 18, 2004, 7:49 PM   #13
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Three things will cause the jitter alert icon to turn red. Low light, long shutter speeds and long focal lengths. Try this...go outside during daytime with good light, put the camera in full auto (P) and zoom back all the way. Focus on a well defined object, not something "soft" like a cloud. If you still have a red jitter icon, exchange the camera. You're doing the right thing by depressing the shutter half way first, but also after the shutter button is all the way down, leave it there for one second. If you still have an out of focus picture, exchange the camera.
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