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Old May 20, 2004, 11:48 PM   #11
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I did exactly the same thing when we first got the FZ10...and used it to takeour Thanksgiving photos. The indoor picturesall came out grainy, orange, and underexposed. My wife was less than thrilled with the situation, especially since our older digicam always took perfect indoor pictures.

An evening of post-processing with Photoshop Elements fixed the color problem (wrong white balance) and most of the underexposure. Later on, I discovered the noise reduction programs (NeatImage, NoiseNinja, Helicon Noise Filter), and they work pretty well up to a point.

Since that near-death experience, I've learned to do the same things that others in this thread have advised: avoid Auto-ISO (and ISO 200-400), use Program mode sparingly (Manual mode is easy and gives better control) anduse Spot focus when taking people's faces.

Getting proper white balance and exposure indoors is tricky, becausethe FZ10's built-in flash is pathetically weak (as arethe flashes on mostrecent models of mid or low-priced digicams), so room lighting provides a significant part of the illumination, and incandescent roomlighting has an orange cast. This wasn't much of a problem with film, because the flashes probably were more powerful, andthe labs probably auto-corrected for it.

There are two solutions to the orange cast and underexposure problem:

1) the FZ10 has marvelous White Balance adjustment capabilities. So, before taking any indoor pictures, do a manual white balance (Menu, White Balance, right-most choice... aim at a white surface like the ceiling,and press the shutter button to set WB, then exit menu mode if it doesn't exit automatically, and start taking pictures). There stillwill be a mix of white flash and orange room lighting,so if the WBstill isn't correct, you can fine-tune it by pressing the up-arrow and moving the WB adjuster left (redder) or right (bluer). When you're done with the session, remember to put both WB settings (menu and up-arrow) back to their normal positions, or your next set of outdoor pictures will have a blue cast.

2) use an external flash, preferably a powerful one, and practice with it in advance to find out how to adjust it for proper illumination at the distance you expect to use. Then, leave White Balance on "Outdoors", use Shutter priority, and set the shutter speed to 1/1000. That fast speed will exclude room lighting, but not the flash's illumination.
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Old May 21, 2004, 12:17 AM   #12
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Here are some recent examples of what the FZ10 can do when used properly:



The FZ10 is a dynamic camera that allows amateurs like myselfto experience the joys of professional photographers in the area of zooming in on a subject. It does an excellent job if it is used properly. It's entirely possible to get excellent shots up to 600 mm with this camera. The firstthing I'd suggestis "experiment!" This camera rocks if used properly.

The FZ10 is a great tool

If I have the FZ10 indoors and I want a photo, I first say "can it be taken outdoors?" My next question is, if the answer to the first is "no," let's find a nice, well lit area that isn't lit with flourescent lighting. I'd also ask them again if we can't take the shot outdoors. If the photo needed to be taken "indoors" and it was not a well lit area, I would immediately say to the person that it is quite impossible to get good shots in this environment. A decision needs to be made, a good photo outdoors or a wishy washy print indoors.

The FZ10 is a tool, like a hammer or a screw driver. One needs to work out "why" they need it, "how" they are going to use it, and "is it going to work?"

Well, I'd sugges that it's going to work if one has a bit of the basics of photography, knows their camera well, and uses both.

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Old May 21, 2004, 7:32 AM   #13
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"The FZ10 is a tool, like a hammer or a screw driver."


When I was very young (40+ years ago now), I watched a guy laying a hardwood floor in the house my parents were building. He was doing it alone. He held the next, narrow (4"?) hardwood strip against the existing boards and started hammering.

Each first hammer strike was just hard enough to stabilize the nail, while held with the fingers of the left hand.

Second strike (harder) drove each nail, bringing it flush with the board.
(While fetching the next nail with the left hand.)

Third strike was to the new nail, now positioned with the point on the first nail head. Countersunk the first nail.

Move on – and repeat.

Smooth, efficient, fascinating to watch.

I am certain that this process is somewhat (or dramatically) different today.

Point being that a hammer is certainly a rather simple tool. But still, for best results, a technique appropriate for the job at hand – and practice – will typically result in better performance.

Just my $.02 worth . . .

- Ray

Still learning how best to use my FZ10. . .

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Old May 21, 2004, 12:54 PM   #14
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Normcar wrote:
let's find a nice, well lit area that isn't lit with flourescent lighting
What's wrong with Fluorescent lighting?

Set the shutter speed to a multiple of 1/60 sec. (1/50 if you are in a 50Hz country) and it should be OK.

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Old May 21, 2004, 1:10 PM   #15
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I've never had any luck with this camera in flourescent lighting. It's simply my own experience. I'm happy to hear that others are getting good shots under that lighting, it gives me hope.

Great analogy Ray.
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Old May 21, 2004, 1:48 PM   #16
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Most of our lights have those curled up floresents in the (instead of tunston). Manual white balance works pretty good most of the time, but I still need to do some post prossesing on some. I suspect floresents are to hardest lighting condition you can have


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Old May 21, 2004, 3:23 PM   #17
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Ok, I'm still confused a little. If I use a flash, I can set the shutter to 1/60, but if I don't, and I set the shutter to 1/60, and stay with ISO 100 or 200, the picture's real dark (even at 2.8f). And it seems, without the flash, if I set the shutter to something like 1/4 (or use P, which often sets it to 1/4), then the picture gets noisy, even at ISO 100 or 200.

Is this correct behavior for the camera?

When you guys are setting the shutter to 1/60, is that with a flash? If so, how does that help you if you're out in the audience?

I got horrible results at last night's performance, from both the FZ10 and the C765. Over 80% of the C765 shots were blurry, and both cameras were horribly noisy (even at ISO 100 and 200) and orange.

After reading comments here, I'm betting the orange color was from the fact that the stage lights were orange (not so blatant to the human eye, but apparently glaringly so to these two cameras).

That was really disappointing. I'm hoping it's a matter of me learning more, rather than limitations of the cameras.

I just got in, we had field day up at the school today. So I'll be comparing the C765 and FZ10 with outside shots of kids as soon as I get a chance.

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Old May 21, 2004, 10:51 PM   #18
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Cageyman, in all of the photographs that I'm happy with I have rarely if "never" shot at 1/4 shutter, that's just way too slow even with image stabalization. Your problem is that you are trying to shoot in low light with a "non" low light camera. The FZ10 simply will not perform well in low light, period.

Even when you mention 1/60th shutter, which is much more acceptable, I personally don't touch that unless I'm on a monopod or can rest my camera against something. Yes, the FZ10's IS can handle this shutter but you need to help it along. I personally don't shoot anything under 1/200th shutter and if I'm a long distance away from a moving object then I try to shut down my aperture as far as possible, definitely somewhere between F4 and 8. I only use 2.8 to 3.7 when the subject is still.

Most of the time my settings are shutter 1/500th or higher and aperture at F4 or lower (e.g. F4 to F8. As I have said before, I never try to do anything with this camera when the light isn't there because I know that I will only become frustrated. But I swoon at it's performance in good light, and so that's what I focus on.

You can try to patch up this camera's "light" deficiencies with a flash and sometimes it will work, but I'd suggest that anyone who uses this camera should first accept it's limits and then monopolize on it's attributes, and it definitely has attributes. Go here to see a few of my shots today that I think explain it's attributes better than words:


I captured a Heron and an Avocet that would have been next toimpossible for me to do with something other than the FZ10 that cost less than $3000.

In any event, you need to give the camera a chance, and at 1/4 shutter or even 1/60th you are not really giving it a chance. Respecting "orange" color, any time I've shot indoors under low lightI've had to "white balance manually" to get acceptable color but even then the image wasn't acceptable, so what's the point? I usually use auto outdoors but sometimes, for effect, play with the other settings, especially "cloudy" which I like as it seems to give a warm effect.

The 12x optical zoom on the Panasonic FZ10 should tell everyone something immediately...it wasn't created to shoot indoors. The zoom range should tell us that immediately.It does what itshould do in the environment it was created for, and at a very reasonable cost.

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Old May 21, 2004, 11:23 PM   #19
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Great points, Normcar, and those are really the reasons we kept coming back to this camera. I've tried only the C765 and 5700, in addition to the FZ10, and each has its strong points. Indoors, we got better results with the 5700, but my wife and I both just enjoy the FZ10 more - so easy to change settings and experiment.

And now that I've tried NeatImage, noise isn't quite the issue it was.

I did try the C765 and FZ10 yesterday and today - last night, in a dark auditorium; today, at Field Day at the school. Here's my "report"

Not understanding the limitations, I was so disappointed in both cameras. Turns out I'm probably asking too much of them for those conditions, and I have much to learn.

[also, after using NeatImage for the first time, I'm now pretty excited about the results]

Unfortunately, I didn't have a tripod last night. I guess that's fair, though, because no one else there had one, and it's not likely I'll usually have one. Both my wife (who is much steadier than I) and I took pictures.

Sadly, I don't think either camera would win any rewards in that situation, but then, maybe these were tough conditions. We were in the dark, out in the audience, and the stage had this orange/red light. And we weren't very close, unfortunately.

CAVEAT - when reading this, please understand, I'm not saying anything about either camera. My wife and I are complete idiots, uh, novices, when it comes to photography. So, all I'm reporting is what happened in this one circumstance, under these conditions, and with us using the cameras.

Basically, almost none of the shots from either camera would be very impressive. Many were blurry (especially the C765, where probably 80% were blurry) and all were noisy as heck. Again, no tripod, so that's a big part of the blurriness.

Having said that, going into the performance, in my eyes the C765 had the edge (for us). Now the edge falls solidly for the FZ10, because it was able to take more shots.

Granted, those shots were very noisy (I still don't understand noise - if I use a high ISO, I get it, sure, but if I lower the ISO and then have to slow the shutter, I still get the noise), and I would be so disappointed if not for NeatImage.

BTW, my friend's Nikon 5700 seems to do better. I didn't have it with me, but he's taken lots of similar pictures. Of course, I've seen photos in the forums here, where people with all cameras have taken great auditorium pics.

I went back up to the school today, for Field Day, and used the FZ10 and the C765. Both did great. Sometimes one took a better shot; sometimes the other would. Both please us greatly on the outside shots.

Bottom line, I personally believe any of the cameras I've tried (C765, FZ10, and 5700) would be great. I've chosen to stick with the FZ10 primarily because we find it simpler to experiment with the FZ10, and I prefer its outside results.

But I sure wouldn't plant my flag on that mountain. A good friend has the C765 (I borrowed his), and another has the 5700 (ditto), and they're great cameras. We're now happy to have made a decision, and will learn to use the FZ10 to maximize our shots!

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Old May 22, 2004, 1:56 AM   #20
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Granted, those shots were very noisy (I still don't understand noise - if I use a high ISO, I get it, sure, but if I lower the ISO and then have to slow the shutter, I still get the noise), and I would be so disappointed if not for NeatImage.

If you lower the ISO and lower the shutter you won't get more noise. If you lower the ISO then you lower the noise, period. You are experiencing blur from a slower shutter, not noise. Neat Image is a great tool as long as it's used sparingly and doesn't turn your work into a plastic looking fake mess. Be careful with it and use it sparingly is my suggestion.

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