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Old Aug 29, 2005, 9:53 PM   #1
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All pictures I've posted were taken using the full 12X zoom. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


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Old Aug 29, 2005, 9:57 PM   #2
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surfer
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Old Aug 30, 2005, 10:31 AM   #3
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Are you talking about the exposure? You switched to Spot Metering in the second photo. That's why the highlights are blown. You probably had the camera focused on the surfer (wearing black). As a result, the camera tried to expose only for this point (leaving the waves in the foreground overexposed).

Unless you are familiar with using Spot Metering (finding a neutral place to meter on, making sure you are aware of the dynamic range in the scene), you're probalby much better off sticking to the default metering.

On the other hand, thesurfer's exposure is nottoo bad (perhaps a tiny bit overexposed). So, given the dynamic range limitations of the camera, unless you want to post process with software, sometimes that's what you have to live with (picking what you want to be exposed properly within a scene).

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Old Aug 30, 2005, 2:30 PM   #4
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Hi,

Thanks for your feedback. Well, I followed the advice given by some Panasonic forum users that, according to them, spot along with high speed AF mode will give you better odds of landing that "sharp" picture. I believe also if you use the spot mode and high speedAF modein conjunction with the burst mode, will enable you to get great result. I'm obviously a newbie but after having followed their advice, I did manage to score a series of great shots, especially when using the burst mode. I hope I made some sense here.

Taking your suggestion into account, are you saying I should use the default metering mode when taking general pictures, meaning no action or moving pictures? But shouldn't I still rely on the high speed AF modes, namely the 3 point and 1-area-focusing modes? These are the two predominant modes I've been experimenting with.

A little OT, for some reason I can't seem to figure out as to why when I transfer over pictures to this website that my photos tend to be less sharp and detailed. I mean when I view them on the equipped software that came with the FZ5, photobase 4.5, the pictures come out very sharp with lots of details. And it's not just this forum (dpreview.com, pbase.com).
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Old Aug 30, 2005, 2:44 PM   #5
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John Boy wrote:
Quote:
Hi,

Thanks for your feedback. Well, I followed the advice given by some Panasonic forum users that, according to them, spot along with high speed AF mode will give you better odds of landing that "sharp" picture. I believe also if you use the spot mode and high speedAF modein conjunction with the burst mode, will enable you to get great result. I'm obviously a newbie but after having followed their advice, I did manage to score a series of great shots, especially when using the burst mode. I hope I made some sense here.
Spot metering and using the center focus point (which is usually more sensitive) are two different things, and your focus speed is probably not impacted by your metering choice. Focus modes and choices are one thing. Metering is something else entirely.

Spot metering can lead to a lot of underexposed and overexposed photos, unless you meter on a spot that is very neutral.

If you meter on something dark, the metering will tend to overexpose thescene. If you meter on something light, the metering will tend to underexpose thescene. It's only looking at the exact spot you're focused on for exposure purposes. You can have huge variations in exposure, even when focusing on the same subject wearing two different colors of clothing (since it only meters on a very small spot).

For most users, I'd suggest sticking to either Center Weighted Metering (which places more emphasis on correctly exposing the center of the frame, while still taking the rest into consideration), or Matrix (a.k.a., Pattern or Multi-Zone) metering (which takes the entire scene into consideration).

Quote:
A little OT, for some reason I can't seem to figure out as to why when I transfer over pictures to this website that my photos tend to be less sharp and detailed. I mean when I view them on the equipped software that came with the FZ5, photobase 4.5, the pictures come out very sharp with lots of details. And it's not just this forum (dpreview.com, pbase.com).
How do you "transfer" your photos to other websites? Are you downsizing them using software, or saving them using a JPEG Quality setting that may be too low?

Downsizing algorithms can impact photo quality, especially if you have JPEG compression set too high (lower JPEG Quality settings).

Also, when you view photos that are downsized for you by some photo sharing sites for viewing purposes, their algorithms can impact quality, too.
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Old Aug 30, 2005, 4:16 PM   #6
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The surf picture is tough. If you meter the surf you are likely to get the surfer and background too dark. It is very difficult to get texture in the surf and also get the rest of the picture right. If you use burst mode in those situations you might want to have it auto-bracket the exposure. None of the shots will be perfect, but you will have a choice of getting the surf or the surfer right. Most people prefer to not blow the highlights and bring out the shadows in post processing. Blown highlights are just gone, but you can usually bring up the shadow detail – albeit with some noise.

These are your two shots with just a few mouse clicks in Photoshop. There is nothing that can be done with the lack of texture in the surf.




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Old Aug 31, 2005, 10:35 PM   #7
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I just need to keep on practicing, I guess. Question to either one of you, or anyone else for that matter, as a general rule of thumb, is it best to leave the picture quality mode to natural (soft)? I hear for night shots it would be best to use natural mode to prevent a lot of noise from appearing in your picture, true?
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Old Aug 31, 2005, 11:18 PM   #8
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I think it has a lot to do with whether you want to post process your images. I shoot with all of my cameras in the lowest setting for sharpening and contrast. That gives me the fewest sharpening artifacts and widest dynamic range. I think natural is probably -1 on saturation, contrast and sharpening, but I'm not sure. My FZ10 has separate settings for those.

But I have an action in Photoshop to bulk process an entire folder for normal viewing. I use the original soft images for post processing.

You seem to still be in film mode. Don't take just one or two photos of anything unless you are on vacation and have to husband your memory. Go out on several nights and fill the card using different settings. Do the same in the daytime. Look at the EXIF and decide what you like better and how you got that shot. You might decide that what is best for you is to leave everything in default modes. You might find you like the EV at minus 0.3. You might find you prefer vivid to natural for your use.

Play with the spot meter and find out what it does for you. I use the spot meter to bracket a scene by pre-metering on different parts of a scene. I find my white balance varies along with my exposure. Compare the images using the spot meter on different parts of the image to multiple and center weighted for the same shot. Set your burst mode for various bracketing. Learn what the histogram is telling you and adjust the EV to keep from blowing highlights. I can guarantee your histogram was bunched on the right side for that surf shot. Panasonic makes it clumsier than any other camera I have used to quickly shift between metering modes and adjust the EV. But it is useable.

If you don't want to post process most of your images I would say your best bet is probably standard. But decide what you like by taking a couple thousand pictures – they are free.


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