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Old Jan 15, 2008, 8:48 AM   #1
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Just bought FZ8, and have some mixed feelings. Got a couple of questions to ask.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"1. What settings do most people with same camera shoot? What do you find most useful? (P, scenes, etc?)

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"2. I know noise is an issue, I keep iso on 200 or below, but still notice noise, any suggestions?

If there is anything else I should know about this camera please let me know.
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Old Jan 15, 2008, 9:21 AM   #2
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I always use program mode. If I want to adjust the aperture/shutter combination I use the program shift option.I would make sure you have the live histogram turned on so you can monitor what's going on exposure-wise and be ready to use exposure compensation to keep the highlights under control. Exposed correctly, I have few issues with files fromthe FZ8. I also change up the metering mode when appropriate. There are times spot metering is the better option. It's a cool little camera with every adjustment a user could want....you just need to use them to get the best possible results. The Simple Mode isn't what you really want to be using with this camera. Instead of looking at yourfiles on the monitor at 100%, make a few prints. The files print beautifully.

Here are a few FZ8 files I've uploaded to my website..

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/gallery/3704284#212224300

And a fewshots my girlfriend took with her FZ8 while we were on our last trip to Paris..

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/gallery/3638230#207384261
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Old Jan 15, 2008, 11:16 AM   #3
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Thanks for your advice! Appreciate it very much. Do you do anything special in poor lighting conditioins? I know that noise is somewhat a problem.
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Old Jan 15, 2008, 8:22 PM   #4
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Low light is tough. It depends on what type subject you're trying to shoot. To be honest, if you get into low enough light that you need to use ISO 400 or higher, you need to be shooting RAW and processing the files via the included Silkypix software where you can cancel out a lot of the noise.

These small sensored cameras are going to get noiser the higher up the ISO ladder you go unless you're willing to do something extra at the higher sensitivities. There are some subjects, especially fast-paced low light, that simplyare nota good type subject to try and shoot with the FZ8, but still subjects are fine as long as you either have really good hand holding skills, or are willing to shoot RAW at a higher ISOand process out the noise in software.

This is a ceiling painting at Versailles I shot for my girlfriend with her FZ8...



The light was very low and multi-segment metering was overexposing some of the details, so I switched to spot metering and metered off the horses in the painting.

Often low light subjects have dark areas around the main subject. Average metereing will overexpose the highlights in sucha subject, so you compensate by using spot to correctlyexpose the hightlights and leave the shadows IN THE SHADOWS where they belong, such as this sword of Napoleon Bonapart on display at the Invalides in Paris, just to the side of his crypt, again, shot with the FZ8, spot metering on the sword itself so the dark background didn't cause the sword to be terribly overexposed...






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Old Jan 15, 2008, 10:32 PM   #5
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That was very helpful. I used to have a canon g6, and I am used to shooting everything in raw! I think I am going to enjoy this camera. Thanks again.
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Old Jan 15, 2008, 11:01 PM   #6
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Look seriously at the Silkypix software. I've been using Adobe Camera RAW in Photoshop CS2, but Silkypix has done a much better job for me on Panasonic RAW files.

The noise reduction filter is very, very good. There are 6 different noise sliders you can adjust, but the top two are the important ones. The very top slider under the noise reduction tabis the color noise reduction slider, and the second is the noise reduction slider. I pretty much leave the bottom four set to what the system automaticallysets when each image is opened up, but playing with those top two, I've been able to really improve noise characteristics in images shotwith both the FZ8 and FZ50.
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