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Old Aug 25, 2008, 3:51 PM   #1
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Hello everyone. This is my first post here. I got the Panasonic Lumix FZ-18 in early June and it's my first "real" camera. I'm just beginning to learn about the different settings, etc.

My biggest problem so far has been getting a clear, sharp, stop-action shot. When I take a picture of something that is moving, the moving object/subject is blurred. Grant you, I have mostly been shooting in iA mode, but I have tried a few of the other settings (High Sensitivity, Sports, Pet, Panning). I have yet to venture into the "manual" settings mode, as I have almost no clue as to what setting would be best. Faster shutter speed? Slower? :?

Any tips or advice? Thanks so much!


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Old Aug 25, 2008, 4:49 PM   #2
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Well this is only my opinion but you need to find some settings that work for you.....and get away from the dummie modes......I feel knowing how the camera is going to meter and focus is the most important thing in taking nice photos......and all those modes change the metering and focus modes to what it feels is best.... ( if you can remember those settings) you may be able to get better results than I can with the modes....

I am pretty sure me knowing if I am using 1 area focus and perhaps CW metering is much more useful to me than , having the camera guess as to what I want.....

usually to freeze action you need a SS of about 1/250th sec. And here in PA that means opening up the aperture and perhaps raising the ISO.

But I feel if I use P mode with auto ISO and 1 area HS focus along with eith CW or spot meter I can control what my photo will look like , without me understanding the exposure completely.

I would practise some in P mode......and see what you think.....I have no doubt some people can do much better than me by using full manual.....but my system works well for me. And when I hand the camera to someone else ,it seems to work well for them also.

What I am saying you can set the camera up the way you like but as soon as you switch to IA or some scene mode, the camera does not pay any attention to your settings.
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Old Aug 26, 2008, 8:38 AM   #3
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In addition to what was already mentioned, you might try setting the camera to Auto ISO and Shutter Priority and see what happens. I change my settings a lot for the different conditons and find (as mentioned already) a shutter speed of 250 works well for many situations. Start there and change the speed up and down and see what you get.
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Old Aug 26, 2008, 12:48 PM   #4
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Thanks guys! I'll take your advice and see how I do.
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Old Aug 26, 2008, 1:42 PM   #5
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Auto iso works fine for those who are shooting in mixed lighting on the go but if you are shooting sports with white jerseys and such you will most likely get overexposed shots.

I refrain from referring to pre-set modes as "dummie" modes since it may be all that an individual may need or want from a camera and those with limited knowledge or experience can use them and get some reasonble shots, if not exceptional.

Using manual fully with a P&S can be a bit tricky as you need to find out what the camera tendencies are. Consistently overexposes, blue or red shift in the tint, white balance if not shooting in RAW. Panning takes practice, practice and for some even more practice. A good way to work in that is cars passing by in your neighborhood or someplace where you can get some practice, or a pet that is quite active.

Keep in mind the shots posted or put to print is not something that is perfect every time a shutter is released. Many, many shots are taken to produce those select few exceptional shots. Some choose RAW for complete control in the production of the final product. Others, like me learn the cameras tendencies and adjust it to suit my preferences for the final product for minimal Post Processing.

Shoot in continuous mode as well as the other suggestions. Follow your subject in your viewfinder (panning) shoot and then check, shoot again, check again, tweak the settings and continue to shoot until you feel you are getting the desired results. This takes time. Well worth it if you are wanting to capture those shots you have envisioned you will be getting. The camera is not magic, none of them are. They are a computer imaging tool. Learn about it inside and out. Get an exif reader that gives you the information you need to learn about what settings were used to get that exceptional shot.

Learn about the histogram.

Also, use spot metering for action shots. I found this to be getting my average up for the keeper rate. It may work for you, it may not. Work with S priority at 1/250th and adjust the iso if the shots are underexposed or dark. If you can go faster then do so.

Using the A priority will give you control on the depth of field or blurring of the background. This is the one I prefer. Shoot as wide open as you can. 2.8 for example.

Get the faces in your action shots. The emotion exhibited says much more than action with their backs to the camera. Fill the action if you can with 2/3rds of your frame. Shooting loosely and then cropping will degrade the final product for print.



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