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Old Aug 3, 2007, 2:31 AM   #1
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I experienced intractable white balance problems recently when I'd just acquired my shiny new Z712is. I attended a high-class choral concert featuring many friends, and I'd been asked to take some pictures.

Actually they wanted me to photograph a presentation to the conductor andalso the whole group, but knowing my limitations I got someone else to do that. But I seized the opportunity to experiment.

The evening started in largely natural evening light through the stained glass windows, moved on to predominantly incandescent lighting, and then suddenly (between 2 shots in a bracketing burst!) strangely & unusually coloured sodium vapour lights high in the ceiling switched on, and progressively warmed up over a long period! In the interval I asked my (retired professional) friend what to use for 'white balance', and he said "Set to auto & hope for the best".

In the end it came to a shoot-out not between my Z712 and his top-flight Nikon gear, but between his recent Photoshop and my antique Paint Shop Pro. Overall, I think PSP won on this occasion.

Here is one of my better efforts. One of the pixels on the white blouse has gone from RGB 254,254,167 to 230,247,250. Neither of us managed to get skin tones right, and many shots make the choir look like the living dead in pallor.

Date taken: 09 June 2007 21:31:12
Exposure time [s]: 1/30
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure bias [EV]: -0.67
Exposure index: 1600/1
F-Number: F3.2
35mm focal length [mm]: 96
ISO value: 1600
Shutter speed [s]: 1/32
Aperture: F3.2
Max. aperture: F3.2
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Old Aug 3, 2007, 2:33 AM   #2
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This one is straight from the camera , just resized, and obviously with the yellow light off for the interval...

Date taken: 09 June 2007 20:46:12
Exposure time [s]: 1/10
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure bias [EV]: -0.33
F-Number: F2.8
35mm focal length [mm]: 49
ISO value: 200
Shutter speed [s]: 1/10
Aperture: F2.8
Max. aperture: F2.8
White balance: Auto
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Old Aug 3, 2007, 2:36 AM   #3
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...and here is my friend Bob in action after the event. My mother-in-law & wife at bottom right. Yellow lights had switched off 50s earlier! All these shots were hand-held, and this one and the one abovearetributes to the "is" bit of "Z712".

There are two big flashguns on tall stands illuminating his subject. He had to get several people to take their music away from their faces.Sometimes he uses a whistle to getattention, and I heard him blow his 'Acme Thunderer'on top of a big ladder in Chester Cathedral once. This event was in a smaller church where he could shout quietly.

Date taken: 09 June 2007 21:41:47
Exposure time [s]: 1/8
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure mode: Manual
Exposure bias [EV]: -0.67
F-Number: F3.2
35mm focal length [mm]: 87
ISO value: 200
Shutter speed [s]: 1/8
Aperture: F3.2
White balance: Auto
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Old Aug 3, 2007, 9:46 AM   #4
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Alan-

Generally speaking the Kodak Z-712 is very reliable when it comes to white balance. However, items like sodium vapor lighting can throw ita curve. That is where photo editing comes to the rescue. PSP is an easy to use and excellent program.

sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 5, 2007, 10:50 PM   #5
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Alan:

Nicely done and that is the best 1600 shot I've seen out a Z712.

A. C.


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Old Aug 5, 2007, 11:20 PM   #6
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ac.smith wrote:
Quote:
best 1600 shot I've seen out a Z712.
Thanks very much. Your reply has prompted me to go back and check the EXIF on the original for the umpteenth time, and yes, it is 1600, and it's the right data!

Here is a full size 800x600 clip from the original. The noise is there, it's just not apparent in the resized image for some reason.

My guess is that it's because it's well lit, albeit in the wrong colour, and deliberately 'underexposed' according to the camera(probably by eye in the viewfinder at the time). Most uses of ISO1600 will be when we're desperate, and be the equivalent of of a 'thin', hard to print negative of the olden days.
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Old Aug 8, 2007, 12:09 AM   #7
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Seems nicely done to me. If you want a white balance of the dead use a sony f707 like I have. About 1/5 of the shots will have people having a dull whitish blue skin tone like they died. Not very flatering. Its far worse with a flash.
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