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Old Sep 22, 2004, 3:27 PM   #1
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I have the minolta z1 and I use the Auto selection on the dial. It doesn't seem to matter where I take a picture I have to open the flash in order to take the picture. If I don't that little white shaky hand appears and the picture is horrible. Once I open up the flash it doesn't show up and the photo takes. It even wants it when I'm outside? The when inside I have the flash up and set to auto. I'll press the button half way down and wait for the white dot to appear, sometimes it is red and sometimes I get the light just right and turns to white and I snap the picture...then the flash is so strong the whole image is white. What am i doing wrong. How to you take close up pictures of a baby inside with the flash and not have the whole thing come out looking like a lightbulb exploded.

Also, if your still reading this...when outside on a bright day I don't have the flash up and I go to take a still shot, that little white hand comes on and the photo is bad... open up the flash and try again, this time it takes it fine.



please help or tell me go buy a point and click since those always seem to work.
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Old Sep 23, 2004, 10:36 AM   #2
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fedorov_rocks wrote:
Quote:
I have the minolta z1 and I use the Auto selection on the dial. It doesn't seem to matter where I take a picture I have to open the flash in order to take the picture. If I don't that little white shaky hand appears and the picture is horrible. Once I open up the flash it doesn't show up and the photo takes. It even wants it when I'm outside?
That little white hand is telling you that the shutter speeds the camera will need to prevent motion blur from camera shake are too slow for the lighting conditions you are in.

When you are using a model with very high Optical Zoom (as in your DiMAGE Z1), faster shutter speeds are needed to prevent blur, as more zoom is used. This is because camera shake is magnified greatly at higher optical zoom settings. So, even a tiny bit of movement or vibration can cause a problem.

As a general rule of thumb (and some people can hold a camera steadier than others), you want shutter speeds of 1/focal length or faster. So, at a 35mm equivalent focal length of 40mm (near your cameras wide angle position), you'd want shutter speeds of 1/40 second or faster. But, if you are shooting at full zoom (380mm equivalent), then you need shutter speeds of 1/380 second or faster. Again, this is because camera shake is greatly magnified as more zoom is used.

So, when the camera is unable to set shutter speeds fast enough for the amount of zoom you are using, and the lighting conditions you are in, it lets you know it with the little white hand.

Inside, it will be virtually impossible to take photos without blur from camera shake with most cameras, unless you are using a tripod or flash (or set your ISO speed very high, which will increase noise levels).

Outside, it depends on the light. What is bright to the human eye, is not to the camera's lens (especially if you are using a lot of optical zoom). When long focal lengths (amount of zoom) are needed, a tripod is often required in lower light.


Quote:
The when inside I have the flash up and set to auto. I'll press the button half way down and wait for the white dot to appear, sometimes it is red and sometimes I get the light just right and turns to white and I snap the picture...then the flash is so strong the whole image is white. What am i doing wrong. How to you take close up pictures of a baby inside with the flash and not have the whole thing come out looking like a lightbulb exploded.

The red dot is probably telling you that the camera could not lock focus. It will need a certain amount of contrast in an image to focus.Your camera does have a manual focus mode, but it's probably more trouble than it's worth. Try finding something close to the same distance from the lens as your subject with more contrast in it. Then, half press the shutter button to get focus lock. While keeping it pressed half way down, reframe the subject in the display where you want it to be, then press the shutter button down the rest of the way to take the photo.

You may also be trying to focus closer than you camera allows in it's Normal Autofocus Mode.

In Normal Autofocus Mode, you must be at least .5 meters (1.6 feet) from your subject at the wide angle zoom position. As you use more zoom, this distance will increase up to 2 Meters (6.6 feet) at full zoom.

So, if you are trying to focus closer, you probably need to switch to your camera's macro focus mode. In macro mode, you can focus as close as 10cm (3.9 inches) at the camera's wide angle zoom position, or 120cm (47.2 inches) at the full telephoto zoom setting. The button with the flower on it is used to change Autofocus Modes (you have Normal Autofocus, Macro Autofocus, and Super Macro Autofocus Modes).

You can find the specifications for focus distances in your camera's manual (or they are also in the review here on this site):

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_.../z1.html#specs

Quote:
Also, if your still reading this...when outside on a bright day I don't have the flash up and I go to take a still shot, that little white hand comes on and the photo is bad... open up the flash and try again, this time it takes it fine.
What time of day is it, and how much zoom are you trying to use? Again, your camera hasmuch more optical zoom than most models, so you need to be aware of it's limitations (since camera shake is greatly magnified as more zoom is used, and faster shutter speeds are required when you use a lot of zoom in some light to prevent blur from camera shake without a tripod).

Also, are you trying to use any filters (like a Polarizer) on your camera? A typical Polarizer filter can block a lot of light (meaning that you'll get much slower shutter speeds).

You may also want to try and reset your camera to factory defaults, in case you've accidently changed a setting that could be causing slower shutter speeds than normal (like the ISO speed setting).

Each time you double ISO speeds, the camera can use shutter speeds twice as fast. You can either let the camera select the ISO speed with it set to Auto ISO. Or, you can set this yourself. The downside of higher ISO speeds is increased noise (similar to film grain). The benefit of higher ISO speeds is faster shutter speeds to help prevent motion blur from camera shake or subject movement.

To reset your camera back to the factory default settings, go into the Setup Menu (it's the tab on the far right when you enter the menus). The 3rd page of the Setup Menu has a "Reset Default" menu choice that will put everything back to the way it should have shipped from the factory (in case you accidently changed something).

The camera will probably boost ISO speed to around ISO 200 in low light (a guess, since I don't own your model). If it doesn't when you reset it back to defaults, you can always set it higher yourself if you must use a lot of zoom in lower light (with the understanding that when you do this, you will have more noise).


Quote:
please help or tell me go buy a point and click since those always seem to work
I suspect that you are just not used to a model with this much Optical Zoom. So, if you use less Zoom (unless light is good enough for a lot of zoom without using a tripod), you should get much better results. This would be like a "point and shoot" model with less zoom.

Also, make sure you are not trying to focus too close for the mode you are in (as described above). Again, you may have been trying to use too much zoom (which will impact focus distances).

Let me know if these suggestions help, or if I can answer any questions about what I've described (I tend to be "long winded" sometimes in my responses, but I wanted to try and give you enough detail so that you understand some of the limitations of a model with a lot of Optical Zoom like yours).
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Old Sep 23, 2004, 10:52 AM   #3
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THANK YOU SO MUCH. This is my first digital camera and I'm sure I'm guilty of zooming too much. I don't use a tripod, or filters. Just kind of "Oh thats a cute photo op...zoom in a little, point and shoot. I have jsut started to monkey with the other options, outdoor settings, night, sports, etc.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I'm so glad you posted all that information, I'm going to print it out and tape it to my head. I'll reset my camera setting to see if that helps things out, I'm sure I hit something when I first got it that I wasn't supposed too.

Most photos I take are of an object that is an arms length away, usually the baby, and usually indoors.

One theplus side, I have take some reallyclear and crispphotos with the camera so I know it is user error and not the camera.
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