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Old Feb 25, 2006, 12:01 PM   #1
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This is my very first post here so hi all.

I have just bought my first digital camera, its also my first decent camera - a Konica Minolta Z5. I know that auto focus struggles to get a lock in low light conditions and read that a laser pointer can be used as a sort of AF assist lamp by giving the camera a point to focus on, personally I can't see that this would work withthe small point of light they give out. Is this a sensible idea and are there any other simple methods to get around this problem (that a newbie like me might not be aware of) other than manual focus?

Thanks in advance for any advice (I'm sure this'll be the first of many newbie questions :-) )
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Old Feb 25, 2006, 6:44 PM   #2
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I have zero experience with them, but I have seen it reported that they can help.

As for autofocus with your existing model, don't zoom in any more than you have to in low light (since more light reaches the sensor through the lens at it's widest setting, and camera shake is magnified at longer focal lengths which can also impact Autofocus Peformance).

Focusing on areas with the most contrast will help out, too (lock focus with a half press of the shutter button on a high contrast area at the same distance as your subject, reframe and press the shutter button down the rest of the way to shoot).
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Old Feb 26, 2006, 11:55 AM   #3
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I put one of those small LED lights on my camera with some polymer putty. The kind with an an/off switch work better than the ones with momentary switches. I found one online for around $8 that reaches out to about 12 feet. I used a white one but I think red would give less squinting. My FZ10 has the additional problem of a dark EVF and LCD, so the white light is necessary for framing. For most cameras red would be preferable IMO.

I also have a fairly small laser made for carpentry with a lens that makes a line. I have tried it with the camera and it works fine for focus. There are also cheap kids lasers that have caps to project patterns. That would probably be the best option.


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Old Feb 26, 2006, 3:33 PM   #4
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slipe wrote:
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I put one of those small LED lights on my camera with some polymer putty. The kind with an an/off switch work better than the ones with momentary switches. I found one online for around $8 that reaches out to about 12 feet.

I hadn't thought of that, can you provide a picture or alink to an example of the sort of LED light you mean, I think I know the type you mean but not sure (the type that you put on your keychain???)
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Old Feb 26, 2006, 4:19 PM   #5
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I used one of these because it was cheap – there are slimmer ones: http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...berId=12500226
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Old Feb 26, 2006, 4:30 PM   #6
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Thanks Slipe, thats what I thought you meant. Could be a very handy little thing to have in the camera case for when needed.

Thanks for the replies, very much appreciated
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Old Feb 26, 2006, 7:39 PM   #7
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I keep a smaller Photon III on my watch band. I use it almost daily for something. I can actually aim the camera and focus with the one on my watch holding the camera with both hands, but it is a lot nicer to have one on the camera.
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