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Old Jun 26, 2004, 7:27 PM   #1
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Bought the Z2 today. Love how fast it starts up, but all my pictures are blurry. I'm very new to this (plan to take the photo classes). Anyway, I have it in "auto" mode and simply took a picture of my daughter. I didn't open the flash... and it was blurry. I then opend the flash and it fired along with a clear picture. Is there a way to not have a flash and take a clear picture in auto mode? I will not use a tripod all the time. If the kids are outside playing I want to be able to pick up the camera and snap and have a clear pic. I hope I'm doing something wrong.

Thanks for your help in advance! Melanie
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Old Jun 26, 2004, 11:19 PM   #2
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Try Shutter priority. Often in auto mode the shutter will not be fast enough to do a good shot with movement. Setting to shutter priorty and then taking the shutter speed up to close to 350-500 will work well normally. The other settings will adjust automatically as always as with Auto mode.
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Old Jun 27, 2004, 1:27 PM   #3
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Two things come to mind. Either your shutter speed was too slow, or you did not achieve focus lock before you took the picture. Do you push the shutter buttonpartway down and get confirmation of focus lock before you take a picture? (p. 22 of your manual) When you you push the shutter buttonpartway down the focus will lock if it can (a white dot at the bottom right of the screen and a audible beep) and the shutter speed and F stop will be displayed at the bottom left. If the shutter speed is too slow to take a hand held exposure the shake warning (p. 27 of your manual)will appear just above the displayed shutter speed. To take a sharp picture when that shake warning is displayed you need to be VERY steady, use a tripod, use the flash, or zoom the lens towards the wide angle position.You should be able to get good sharp photos in the auto position for a vast majority of your shots if you follow the instructions under "Basic Recording Operation" in your manual.
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Old Jun 29, 2004, 11:40 AM   #4
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Hi Melanie

I would hate to think that you were disappointed with your camera. I like you bought the Z2 to take pictures of my 2 boys, so phaffing around with the manual settings etc. in that situation is really not an option. BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO - I have taken at least 600 shots since I bought the camera - 3 weeks ago, majority of the boys playing, and all using straight forward AUTO or the ACTION SHOT setting, NOTHING ELSE. NO case of blurring except where I had obviously not waited that split second for the camera to focus. So DONT WORRY, from one layman to another... the camera is more than able to take those shots. Just read what PUCK says about half pressing the shutter button and waiting for the focussing and you should be OK !!

There are situations in low light where it can take a bit longer to focus, but for me thay have been few and far between.

Good luck

Lizzy
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Old Jul 1, 2004, 10:51 AM   #5
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What is bright to the human eye, is not to the camera's lens. Chances are, indoors, you only have anEV (Exposure Value) of around 6 or 7. So, this can make it difficult to get sharp photos without motion blur indoors, unless you use the camera's flash.

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. At 200mm equivalent zoom, you'd need 1/200 second, etc. 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 (typical indoor lighting) to insure proper exposure. This is too slow to prevent blur - even at full wide angle, unless you can hold the camera VERY steady. 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.

http://home.earthlink.net/~terryleedawson/dcnotes/tables.htm

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:

http://www.picturecode.com

http://www.noiseninja.com


Of course, the easiest way, is just to use the camera's flash for your indoor photos.


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Old Jul 1, 2004, 10:15 PM   #6
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Hi eveyone,

I am seriously thinking of purchasing the Z2.

I just came back from 2 stores in the NY area: J&R photo and B&H photo.

The 2 salesmen told me the same story about these digicams. they said that I should get only 15 photos from the plain AA batteries the Z2 comes with. I was extremely upset about that. They also said that I should get about 80 photos with a new fully rechargeable lithium ion AA batteries.

My co-worker just bought the Z1 and is very happy with it. He said he took 150 photos and a few minutes of video on the same plain AA batteries the camera came with.



I need to know if the Z2 has a great battery life and if not which camera has a great battery life.



Thanks,

Glenn


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Old Jul 1, 2004, 11:35 PM   #7
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glennshapiro wrote:
Quote:
I need to know if the Z2 has a great battery life and if not which camera has a great battery life.



Thanks,

Glenn

Read Steve's review of the Z2, especially the bottom of page 2 about battery life. Get two sets of high capacity NiMH rechargable AA batteries and a good charger. You will be pleased with the results. I have a Z1 which is very similiar to the Z2 and can shoot all day on a set of NiMH batteries. In the long run rechargable batteries are much cheaper and work much better with digital cameras than alkaline single use batteries!
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Old Jul 2, 2004, 1:01 AM   #8
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glennshapiro wrote:
Quote:
they said that I should get only 15 photos from the plain AA batteries the Z2 comes with. I was extremely upset about that. They also said that I should get about 80 photos with a new fully rechargeable lithium ion AA batteries.
That's preposterous. I've had my Z2 for two weeks, and I've used two sets of alkalines, and one set of NiMH that I've recharged only once. According to that statement, the maximum number of photos I could have taken would be 15+15+80+80, or 190. In reality, I've taken just under a thousand, many with flash. So, I haven't done any scientific testing, but this camera has excellent battery life with NiMH, and okay battery life on alkaline, but I would very strongly suggest that you get a set of NiMH's really quickly. I got Energizer's 30-minute recharger with 4 AA's for under $30.
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Old Jul 2, 2004, 1:18 AM   #9
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My Z1 had (past tense since it's now backup to my D70, and will probably be sent in for repairs) great battery life. Many reviews will urge you to junk the batteries that come with the camera and get rechargeables--I strongly recommend doing just that. One thing that can reduce battery life is having the pics automatically reviewed after each pic--turn that setting off and you'll conserve battery life.

In regards to the original post, I'm guessing the picture was taken indoors? If so, it would be very hard to get a clear pic without using the flash, as the shutter speed without flash would have to be set so low blurring would be almost a certainty.
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