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Old Jul 7, 2004, 10:15 PM   #1
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I have just bought the FZ10 camera and a novice on digital camera. I've been trying to use the nightshot mode to take some night pictures but the images produced are blurred particular on long shot photos even though the image stabilization mode is already turned on (mode 1 or mode 2). I had kept the subject still for a while after taking the picture.

I suspect the image stabilizer of my camera is not working. Could anybody, please advise me?
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Old Jul 7, 2004, 10:50 PM   #2
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You need a tripod for night shots with any camera. Stabilization isn't magic, it just give you some help in shooting at lower shutter speeds. Some people claim solid shots at ¼ second at full wide angle. The best I have been able to get really sharp shots with is 1/6 second at wide angle. Without stabilization you would need around 1/30 second to get sharp 35mm equivalent shots. For longer zoom shots you need more shutter speed. Night shots typically keep the lens open for a full second or longer and there is no way you can do that without at least bracing the camera on something.
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Old Jul 8, 2004, 3:19 AM   #3
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IS is aimed more at making the long zoom length usable - because camera shake is magnified - than it is at long exposure length.

With long zoom lengths, you need quite a fast shutter speed normally to compensate for shake. However, you might not have enough light to use high speeds. So the IS enables you to use slower speeds, and hence get more light.It seems to work well in the 1/8 sec to 1/60th range. But at the low speed you still need steady hands.

See my long exposure night shot here - made by resting the camera on a balcony rail. This was for 8 seconds. No way IS could cope with that.


I guess quite a few novices expect the IS to stabilize full stop. Unfortunatley, this isnt the case - its usefullness is quite narrow really (if there's plenty of light you can use a fast shutter speed anyway on any camera to overcome shake, and in very low light, the IS cannot compensate for too long exposures)

BUT, it is extremely useful in that narrow band, and saves you having to carry around a tripod for most of the time.
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Old Jul 8, 2004, 11:31 AM   #4
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When using IS lenses on a digital SLR like a Canon Digital Rebel it is advised to turn off the lenses IS function when shooting long exposures. I would imagine that the same is true on the FZ10. Turn off the IS and make sure you have the camera on a tripod and use the selftimer to trip the shutter.

Image stabilization is only good for use with handheld shutter speeds to counteract camera shake at longer focal lengths. Use of a tripod is always recommended when the shutter speed is slower than 1/30 second. The more you zoom out to telephoto focal lengths the more succeptable you are to camera shake which leads to blurry pictures.
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Old Jul 8, 2004, 8:01 PM   #5
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I just checked my FZ10 manual and indeed buried in this (indexless) document is a description of the "OFF" setting for the stabilizer: "When image stabilization is not desired or when using a tripod".

Now that doesn't give us much to work with. Is this a manufacturer's recommendation to not use OIS with a tripod? Or simply an acknowledgement that if you use a tripod then OIS is not much help?

I've taken all my night shots with a tripod AND stabilization on and they seem fine to me. Would they be better if I turned stabilization off? Panasonic may or may not be telling me "yes". I wish Panasonic would say clearly whether, with a tripod, OIS is either good, bad, or just pointless.

(Edit: spelling)
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Old Jul 9, 2004, 12:57 AM   #6
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The general hand held zoom rule is that the shutter speed number is about equal to the 35mm focal length.

e.g. When shooting at 200mm you need about 1/200th of a second for a reasonably sharp image. if you have 28mm then 1/30th second would be ok.

When you have an image stabilizer, you can usually get 2, maybe three stops extra.

So at 200mm you can shoot at 1/50th, maybe 1/25.

That means at 420mm on the FZ10, you could shoot at 1/100, maybe 1/50th.

Or at 35mm, at 1/8th maybe 1/4 sec.

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