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Old Aug 24, 2007, 2:52 AM   #1
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As there seems still to be lots of discussion here & elsewhere about the Z712is, I'll postthis quickpreliminary report froma 2-week trip on & near the W.cost of Scotland from Ayr in the SW to Cape Wrath at the NW tip, and back via Edinburgh andmany lonely minor roads. Conditions were very good overall, astonishingly so for W.Scotland in August. There was some dullness & rain, but the camera still did well.

Below is a quick specimen,first a full-size, 1:1, 800x600 unaltered crop from a full 3072x2304 frame, and below that the full frame resized only. There are more specimens in the current 'Biweekly shootout' 'backlight & silhouette' challenge forum here, and I'll be putting more around Steve's Digicam Forums, especially in 'Landscape Photos'.

I continue to be delighted with the machine; it's by far the best camera I've owned,even thoughI remain happy with with the three previous good digicams I've used heavily. It has an astonishing range of high-quality facilities with low bulk, weight & price.

I spent a lot of time twidddling to get things right, but since seeing them on computer at home, weeding bad shots outfrom the approx 1400 shots I saved has proved difficult. Most of my multiple shots of many subjects are satisfactory in some degree. I threw away the worst of them as I went along, especially definitely overexposed ones.

Mostly I used 5Mpix, 'basic' quality (except for ones where I hoped for something top-class), but the results are often very good when cropped & enlarged. Routinely I used aperture priority, ISO100, letting IS take care of slow shutter speeds.

Of course I used all adjustments fully when necessary. Usually I adjusted the exposure by eyein the electronic viewfinder (with an easy thumbwheel) to cope with extreme contrast, retaining at least some of the required sky tone, without losing too much shadow. I almost never used zero EV correction; generally it was -0.3EV at least, but occasionally much more or less. The only fully automatic function I used was 'panorama' mode, but whenever there was something really special, I also took separate shots for stitching later, for top quality or wider than the three shots allowed width. All auto results were a little overexposed for my taste, but then I think that may be fashionable, as I see it on other cameras. I like my clouds to look like clouds. About half-way through I realised that 'high colour' would give better results than 'normal', especially in dull conditions.

Image stabilisation & EVF are the big breakthroughs, and essential with the big zoom. ISO of 200 & 400 was often very useful.

I used a pair of CR-V3 rechargeable Li-ion batteries sequentially, generally charging one overnight, or on the move after heavy use. To my relief, this worked very well, and Ihad to change batteries in a hurry only twice. I used 3512MB cards, and that was plenty (Don't put all your eggs in one basket.)

Hope this helps, Alan T

Date taken: 10 August 2007 08:32:56
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure bias [EV]: 0.0
35mm focal length [mm]: 432
ISO value: 100
Shutter speed [s]: 1/128
Aperture: F5.7
Metering mode: Multi-segment
White balance: Auto
Contrast: Normal
Saturation: Normal
Sharpness: Normal
Image width: 3072
Image height: 2304
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 2:56 AM   #2
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Full frame, resized only...
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 11:22 AM   #3
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Good results! I look forward to your other posts.
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 11:55 AM   #4
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Nicely done, Alan-

We will look forward to more photos from your holiday.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 14, 2007, 11:57 PM   #5
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Nice results! I am a new digital camera user and owns a Z712is...

Its great.... but normeally i use the standard modes...do not set any settings .... could u please guide me about different settings when to do in and how to do in different modes...

Thanks

Sanjay
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Old Oct 16, 2007, 3:16 PM   #6
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sanjaygupta18 wrote:
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.... could u please guide me about different settings when to do in and how to do in different modes...
See my reply a few threads earlier in this forum...

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...810787#p810787

There I describe how I use the camera, the main feature being inspecting the 'preview' before I take the shot.

The key to it is to have the settings displayed in the electronic viewfinder, so you can see what effect altering one setting has on the others. I use aperture priority (A) mostly, S occasionally, and P sometimes when using flash. I find that I often have EV-0.3 exposure compensation set, to avoid 'blown' (too bright) highlights.

Have fun! Experiment, take lots & lots of shots, and inspect them later, and expect to throw lots away! The camera records the settings you used in the EXIF data stored inside your image file, and can view them in many image editors and the file 'properties' in Windows Explorer.

Good luck, Alan T


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Old Oct 19, 2007, 8:36 PM   #7
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I've found my new Z712 also tends to "blow out" the white parts such as the sky on an overcast day. I use mine mostly on multi-pattern auto exposure. I'll have to remember to notch down the exposure compensation.

One thing I find a little disturbing is sometimes I get these semi-transparent purple vertical streaks on my LCD (EVF too, taking up 40-60% of the screen) when I press and hold the shutter release half down. It almost seems as if during the half-pressed state (AF, AE, IS are all active), there's not enough current to power the LCD. More notcieable on a bright day when pointed at the sky. If this gets worse, I'll definitely post about it, but hopefully it's just an intermittent thing.

I have the latest firmware btw (ver 1.03).
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Old Oct 20, 2007, 6:59 AM   #8
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whyzor wrote:
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...new Z712 also tends to "blow out" the white parts ...notch down the exposure compensation.
Yes, I have mine set by default to -0.3EV. It was just the same on my last digicam (Casio EX-Z750, still used regularly for pocketability)and several others I've tried. I think it's fashion & taste. The levels may be set for the majority of users, shooting on sunny holidays with lots of bright things around that turn their exposures down for them. The other thing for us to try is centre-weighted or spot metering instead.

The metering breakthrough for me on this camera is the facility tojudge the exposure and set the EV compensation by eye on a preview (after half-pressing). The EVF allows this to be done reasonably reliably. If in doubt I bracket exposures as well (6 quick presses on thetop panelmultiple exposure button). If you have an EV offset as well, make sure the camera has enough stops or speeds available to do the bracketing!

I seldom use any of the fully automatic modes, apart from 'Panorama' scene mode, and I find it annoying that I can't do an EV offset in that. I usually take separate shots for stitching later as well, in case it overexposes bit as usual. That's a nuisance, though I can use it guess from the in-camera effort what exposure to use.

At least 'P' mode allows you to set an EV offset, I use that when I think I need flash, as I find flash exposure hit & miss otherwise.

whyzor wrote:
Quote:
One thing I find a little disturbing is sometimes I get these semi-transparent purple vertical streaks on my LCD (EVF too, taking up 40-60% of the screen) when I press and hold the shutter release half down. It almost seems as if during the half-pressed state (AF, AE, IS are all active), there's not enough current to power the LCD. More notcieable on a bright day when pointed at the sky....
I see vertical purple streaks a lot as well, whenever there's a light source anywhere in or near the field of view; it's rather like the flare one would see on any such unhooded shot in a TTL viewfinder. I used to see that a lot because I took so many dramatic silhouettes with the sun as a starburst in one corner that my friends called them "Tyson specials".

I think it might be the imaging system overloading locally somewhere in its chain, though I don't see why the lines are vertical. I note that it doesn't appear in the finished image, curiously; only when previewing it. I hope it doesn't do any damage to the sensor. Perhaps some imaging experts round here have an explanation.

I'd be surprised if it's lack of power, because generally I run in a minimal power mode of single IS and AF with the LCD off.

Have fun! It's nice to see some more detailed technical discussion of these cameras starting up.

BTW, I've just noticed you asked ages ago about firmware version. I upgraded mine from 1.00 to 1.03 on 26July, and I haven't noticed any change in anything. So I'd like to know what they did change. I'm not interested in using it for sound or video.

Alan T
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Old Oct 20, 2007, 7:21 AM   #9
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On 24Aug07 mtclimber wrote:
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Nicely done, Alan- We will look forward to more photos from your holiday.
I posted a list of links as the third message in the thread...

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=18

...to a few of the Z712 images I've posted recently in the 'Biweekly Shootout' forum here in Steve's Forums. Most of them were from the aforesaid holiday. The last link is the best.

Are you still using your Z712at all, Sarah Joyce?I notice here & there that you've moved on to more expensive machines! Or do you have a whole room full of cameras to which you've given test flights over vast stretches of ocean?

Best wishes
Alan T
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