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Old Jan 13, 2011, 8:27 AM   #1
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Default Horses tomorrow - what settings?

Tomorrow i am giving the FZ38 a run out for what will be the first real serious photos i want to try and take with the camera.

There may be an option of me going to the Heath to get some of the horses on the gallops too, but the main ones will be in the stable, in the yard, etc...

What settings would people advise?

I know the FZ38 isnt a DSLR, but i still want to be able to produce some excellent photos, so i would appreciate any advice on the settings, programs, that i could use to help achieve that.

Thanks all.
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 10:47 AM   #2
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There will be no "special settings" involved. Plan on handling your day with the horses with the Mode Selector in "P," the WB setting to match the weather, and the ISO setting to match the action: normally set at ISO 100 for static or shots with little movement, ISO 400 for shots where there is action involved.

Have fun!

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 10:57 AM   #3
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Thanks Sarah, what is the WB setting?
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 12:01 PM   #4
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WB=White Balance.

Here is also a copy of the FZ35 Beginner's Guide, which I think you already have.

Panasonic FZ-35 beginner’s Guide

The easiest way to get started is to first read completely through the Owner’s Manual and charge the battery. When you are ready to take your first photos, do this:

(1) Set “P” on the Mode Selector. “P” stands for Programmed Auto Mode. It is an Automatic Mode that allows the user to make adjustments to the ISO/Sensitivity, to the Exposure Compensation, the Flash Compensation, the WB or White Balance, the Burst Mode, the Scene Modes, and the Focusing Options.

(2) Set to ISO to “Auto ISO. You probably want to consider limiting how far the camera can increase the ISO/Sensitivity setting by itself. I would recommend that for outdoor photos that you limit the ISO/Sensitivity increase to ISO 400. For indoor use limit the ISO increase to ISO 800.

(3) Set the WB to White Balance to “Auto WB” when shooting out doors. If you are shooting with flash indoors you can keep the Auto WB in place. If you are shooting indoors without flash, use tungsten or incandescent WB, it is indicated by the small logo symbol of a light bulb. Set the Flash mode selector to the Auto Flash position. This is not a perfect mode and there are two instances where the camera can be confused on when to deploy the flash.

(4) Set the focus point initially to center point focus. This allows you to select
exactly where the camera will focus. Focus is attained by gently pressing the
shutter release to the half way point. When the camera locks focus, it will signal
that focus lock to you. Now, while holding the shutter release at the half way
point, re-frame your photo as necessary, using the EVF, or Electronic View

(5) When you at pleased with the photo framing, gently depress the shutter to its full length. The emphasis here is on the word gently. Some users refer to the action as squeezing the shutter slowly. The main thing you want to avoid is jabbing at the shutter, as this will cause sudden camera movement overpowering the IS or image stabilization system and blurring the photo.

(6) After the photo has been recorded, check how the exposure looks on the cameras LCD screen. If it is to light, it is over exposed. If it is too dark, it is under exposed. You are looking for the midway point where the properly exposed photo looks like are properly tuned TV set. A photo that is too light can be correct by using Minus Exposure Compensation. Make the initial Minus Exposure Compensation setting EV-0.7, take the photo, and check the result on the camera’s LCD screen. Then increase or decrease the Exposure Compensation to attain the proper LCD screen appearance. If the photo is too dark, you will have to apply Positive Exposure Compensation. Begin with a setting of EV+0.7, and then again adjust the Exposure compensation again, as required to attain the proper LCD screen appearance.

(7) After the photo is taken, you will notice that a flashing red light will blink on the camera. This is an indication that the camera is recording the image to the camera’s flash memory card.

(8) If you are indoors and desire to take a flash photo using the camera’s built-in flash unit (a) check that the Flash Selector is still selected to the Auto Flash mode. (b) recheck that the WB is still set to Auto ISO. (c) Keep the camera to subject distance at 11.5 feet or less to achieve the proper exposure. If you are photographing a group and you must increase the amount of light projected from the camera’s built-in flash unit so that the Flash Range can be increased from the normal maximum Flash Range of 11.5 feet, to a greater value. The adjustment on the Flash Compensation scale works in the same way as Exposure Compensation did. Positive Flash Compensation increases the flash output and the Flash Range. Negative Flash Compensation reduces the flash output and the Flash Range.

(9) If you want to take a close up photo, where the camera to subject distance is 30 inches or less, you will have to select the Macro or Close-up Mode whose symbol is a small Tulip logo. Again the same photo taking procedure will apply. Gently depress the shutter release to the half way point, the camera locks the focus and give you the focus locked signal. Re-frame your focus as necessary after allowing the camera to focus on the exact point desired. If the photo environment’s lighting is low, select the flash, WB , and Auto ISO, as previously described. The built-in flash unit will reduce the light output of the flash due to the reduced Flash Range between camera and subject in this Macro or Close-up mode. After taking your close-up photo check the camera’s LCD screen for proper exposure. If the exposure is too light or too dark you will use the Exposure Compensation procedures outlined above. If you are taking the Macro or Close-up photo while employing flash, once again check the LCD screen for proper exposure. If the result is too light or too dark, you will use the Flash Compensation feature as described previously.

(10)As lighting conditions change you will have to adjust your camera’s WB to get
the correct color in your photo. There are fixed WB settings for bright sunshine,
cloudy or foggy conditions, tungsten or incandescent lighting, and for fluorescent
lighting (several varieties).

(11)Keep in mind that there are indeed minimum focus distances for each lens
position. In the Macro or Close up mode, the minimum focus distance is 2.5
inches. In the normal focus mode, without any zooming, the minimum focus
distance is 36 inches, or 3 feet. As the camera zooms out further, expect the
minimum focus to also increase. So, if the camera will not lock focus, the
problem is most probably that you are at less than the minimum focus distance
for that lens setting.

(12) The better the light, the better your photos will be. As the light level decreases
measurably you will find the photo quality will fall and the camera will have a
harder time recording your photo. So good light is essential to good photos.

(13) Photographers are like concert pianists: the more you practice and learn, the
better your photos will be.

(14) Take your time and learn how the changes that you make to your camera,
directly affect how your camera records your photo.

(15) Here is a quick review of the options on your Mode Selector:

IA= Intelligent Auto. Keep in mind that the ISO/Sensitivity range can be selected in the camera menu as well.
P=Programed Auto. This works just like Full Automatic only it allows you to make some changes to ISO/Sensitivity, flash options, Exposure Compensation, Flash Compensation, White Balance etc.
S=Shutter Priority. You select the shutter speed and the camera adjusts for the proper exposure by adjusting the aperture.
A=Aperture Priority. You select the aperture and the camera automatically sets the proper exposure by adjust the shutter speed.
M=Manual Mode. You select the shutter speed and aperture and the camera reports if your selection will produce the produce the proper exposure, by displaying the wrong exposure in red color and the correct exposure in green color. So understand that using the Manual Mode will require some manual adjustments on your part.

Important Note: This guide is not intended to replace the Panasonic FZ35 Owner’s Manual. It is only an informational guide to facilitate new owners getting started with their FZ35 cameras.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 12:53 PM   #5
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I think you'll be OK in the stables but given the grey weather in the UK at the moment, action shots will be hard.

I took a few at my daughter's riding lesson with my FZ38 last week as the light was starting to fade and settled on shutter priority 1/250s as the slowest I could use to avoid blurring on even a relatively slow moving horse. I didn't zoom too much so I could keep the aperture wider and the ISO at 200 to keep the noise down which gave dark pictures but light enough that I didn't lose detail and could 'fix' them on the computer. ISO 400 would be better for you if you want to do less work on the computer.

Straight out of camera:

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Old Jan 13, 2011, 1:21 PM   #6
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It depends on the sort of shots you want to get. You can either freeze the action or go for some motion blur by using a slower shutter speed.

With any panning shots, or shots with the horses moving towards or away it is better to pre focus on the position they will be when you shoot.

I personally wouldn't aim to under expose in camera as you are always losing detail, better to get the out of camera exposure nailed.

Now, as I get the impression you are just starting out I would say keep it simple to start with. There is too much to learn or even explain all in one go when it comes to trying to get good action photos. The best thing is to have a play this time and then it will be possible to build on what you've done, work out where things went wrong, see what can be improved etc.

Have a play with some shots in P mode but also go for some in shutter priority (it is either Tv or S on the camera) and set the shutter to slower speeds to see how this adds movement to you shots (only do this on those where you are panning). I would go for shutter speeds of about 1/100-1/160s as a start, that will include some movement.

The below was at 1/160s but very fast action and not sharpened after the re-size so looks a little soft.

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Old Jan 13, 2011, 1:58 PM   #7
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Thank you for your advice everyone.

It has been that helpful, i am actually going to print this thread, and take it with me, to refer to, when i am taking the photos!
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