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Old Nov 22, 2010, 8:16 PM   #1
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Default DMC-ZS7 -- Low Light Problems

I could use some help here...
I recently purchased a Panasonic DMC-ZS7 to replace my 5+ year old Canon Powershot S2IS. However, I've been encountering a lot of issues with extremely dim images when I'm in even mildly low light situations.

In Program mode (P), the ZS7 keeps the shutter open for a maximum of 1/4 second, and because this camera appears to not have the best light sensitivity, this results in extremely dim, almost blacked-out photos unless the space is very well lit. Of course I could switch to a higher ISO, but I find that often only very high ISOs do the trick, and I hate to settle for a grainy image in what I don't consider to be very low light. Even if I try to instead use Aperture-Priority mode (A) on my ZS7, it will tell me that same shot I'm looking for will take 5 seconds (just an example) to capture at my ISO!

My old S2IS caps the exposure time at 1 second in its Program mode (P) and Aperture-Priority mode (Av), which is still hand-holdable, and the camera seems to be sensitive enough to light that it captures the image I'm looking for. If not, a slight bump in ISO often fixes things.

I'm not totally clueless, but I could definitely use some help here. Does the ZS7 just not perform that well in/have a lower tolerance for low lighting? Is there a setting I should be taking advantage of? What attribute of my old Canon S2IS allows it to perform better in low light conditions?

Thanks for your help

Last edited by MrKao; Nov 22, 2010 at 8:29 PM.
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Old Nov 23, 2010, 12:49 AM   #2
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Max ISO for ZS7 is ISO400 and still requires decent lighting...the widest Aperture it has is f/3.3 which is also limiting...you will never handhold anything photo more than 1/3 of a second and get quality results...
The f/3.3 Aperture is at the widest setting (zoomed out)...when you start zooming in the Aperture starts closing and this will increase the Shutter time significantly as the camera is getting less light to the sensor...
These are inside a Museum with good lighting and no flash, but a few were taken in the darker areas...you will have to have good technique for keeping the camera still during long exposures which I am sure you know...
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