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MrE May 19, 2004 11:30 AM

HI I got my Z2 and love it, the outdoor photos are ace. However indoor light doesnt seem so good. MMMmmmm let me re-phrase that I havent got a clue how to take good photos inside :-) Can anyone recomend a good manual set up for taking good pics indoors say in a factory which is well lit with strip lights. When I try the pre set options ie auto I often get the blur alert. Plus if I use the flash the flash is overkill. Other than that I am over the moon with this camera I love having all the manual controls I took some nice outdoor pics on option P with progressive shutter and ISO 50 yesterday, but now I want to get clear results indoors in ok lighting and no more blur alert :-) Any help would be greatly appreciated, ta people MrE

JimC May 19, 2004 12:02 PM

What is bright to the human eye, is not to the camera's lens. Chances are, your "well lit" factory only has an EV (Exposure Value) of around 6 or 7.

Also,as a general rule, you want to use a shutter speed of 1/focal length or faster. In other words, if shooting at100mm equivalent zoom, you'll want a shutter speed of around 1/100 second -- just to help reduce blur from camera shake. When using flash, slower shutter speeds can be used, because the flash is freezing the action. So, keeping the camera at nearer to full wide angle can help a little.

You can increase ISO speed to help compensate (but this increases noise).

For example: if shooting near wide angle for your lens, at ISO 100, with an Aperture of around F2.8, you'd need a shutter speed of around 1/8 second at EV 6 to insure proper exposure. This is too slow to prevent blur - even at full wide angle. If you're trying to shoot at ISO 50, the problem will be even worse (because you'd need an even slower shutter speed of about 1/4 second to get proper exposure).

Your Z2'swidest aperture at wide angle is F2.8

Here is a useful chart. Again, what your eyes tell you is bright (indoors), is not to a camera. Note that this chart is based on ISO 100. So, each time you double the ISO speed (settable in camera), you can also double the shutter speed. However, increasing ISO speed will add noise to the photo.

Note that there are a couple of products that can be used to reduce noise, should you decide that increasing ISO speed is the only way to get shutter speeds fast enough for proper exposure without too much blur from camera shake. Noise Ninja and Neat Image are probably the best two. Here are the download links:

[edit - download links corrected]

MrE May 19, 2004 12:23 PM

cheers looks complicated, but I guess this is where I start learning, great stuff, thanks for the info and the link, it makes some sense and I am sure after reading more I'll get the hang of all these F values, shutter speeds and other thingys :-)

Thanks again MrE :-)

JimC May 19, 2004 12:51 PM

To simplify -- if you change your camera to use a higher ISO speed, it's autoexposure algorithms will automatically try to use faster shutter speeds. Try this (higher ISO speeds), along with keeping the camera's zoom set to as close as possible to wide angle (the "longer" the zoom setting, the moreblur from camera shake will be noticed).

But, you may not be satisified with the results (higher ISO speeds will increase noise).

In other words, your best bet indoors is to use a flash. Otherwise, photo quality will degrade rapidly (either due to blur from camera shake/subject movement, or noise from trying to use higher ISO speeds).

MrE May 19, 2004 1:55 PM

trouble with the flash on the z2 is its so bloody bright lol, I think there may be settings on it just to turn it down a bit, all I want is a touch of flash ie a bit of a fill :-) and not a full on light house!

JimC May 19, 2004 2:13 PM

Well, the camera is automatically squelching (i.e., "throttling down") the flash, to insure proper exposure, based on the range to your subject, lighting conditions, etc.

So, if you attempt to reduce the flash strength, you'll most likely end up with underexposed photos. Again, what you think is a "full on light house", is what the camera's metering believes is the correct amount of light needed for proper exposure of the image.

For a softer flash, you may want to try going to one of the external models with the ability to use a diffuser (to soften the light), or with the ability to bounce the light from a ceiling.

MrE May 23, 2004 9:12 AM

I now have managed to set some manual settings that give good pics in low light (No flash or tripod). Also when using the flash I placed a very thin piece of white paper over the flash and that worked a treat. By far the best thing on this camera are the manual settings, I just hope that with practice I can set them fasted based on past experience of certian lighting conditions. Also the bracketing feature is good. Again thanks for the info, its so much to take in when you've never had a good camera before :-) I've only ever owned a £50 point n shoot film camera :lol:

slash May 31, 2004 8:45 AM

Hi! I'd like to buy such a camera (or Olympus c-765UZ) and I'd like to know what quality pictures can be made INDOOR! You've spoken about the noise, but if I'm not mistaken there is a noise reduction option in the menu which can be used on all the photos. Isn't is useful? How does the result look like? Olympus is better, maybe?

MrE May 31, 2004 2:09 PM

yep noise reduction is on, I dont know how it compares to an olympus. I am happy with the indoor quality. The manual settings really help in that department. Also remember that if the camera is placed on a tripod or on a small bag of rice in my case, then the indoor pics are perfect. But for hand held, it varies depending on how much light there is, that is if your not using the flash. There are a few indoor pics posted here, have a hunt around :-) Hope it helps :-)

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