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Old Sep 30, 2010, 5:14 AM   #1
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Default Part 2 of my FZ100 'testing' - Warning Picture Heavy!

I took the FZ100 out again the last few days. Tried out the burst mode a little more, took pictures of my kids, including some burst/action shots, worked with the flash a little more, and tested out exposure on a sky with clouds (my first try was a cloudless, bright sunny day). I didn't PP on any of these, I tried to throw this together quick. I'm tired...and have to study for a test this weekend.


Burst mode: Here are my thoughts/experience. For relatively slow moving subjects, like a flag in a gentle breeze, it does pretty well (I tested out each speed, and even the 60 fps looks okay). For faster moving subjects, like kids running in the park, it's more difficult to focus and comes out a bit soft. This is increasingly so the further out you are zooming. I imagine that it doesn't help matters that the further out you zoom the smaller aperture you're getting, so less light, probably more ISO (at least that was my experience…I have it set at max 400), combined with a faster shutter speed…the results that I got were a lot of soft images, or totally OOF, more noise, and an overall decrease in IQ. However, they weren't all bad, I still managed a few keepers that were at least good enough.


Here are a few burst shots:


1 & 2: Here are 2 consecutive bursts using the 60 fps. I have to admit, it was fun testing out the different FPS speeds. Made the camera sound like a machine gun!









3: She was quite a bit away, so it didn't do too bad considering. I'm finding that with burts, or even just action shots, there just isn't a lot of time to compose the shot and check exposure. I had a lot of blown skies today. Kind of makes you really appreciate sports photographers!






4. Another running shot, I was closer this time, I don't think it's quite focused all the way. My husband didn't even know what I was talking about. But his answer is always, it looks fine, or so what if it's blurry :P






5. I tried a couple where I prefocused where I knew she was going to end up… I can't be certain if this is one of those, it should be…






6. BIF (my first ever). This is really not what a P&S camera was made for so my expectations were low. It's not geographic material, but better than I expected.







Flash: I need to read the manual on the flash a little more I think. I struggled with just tinkering at it today. I couldn't figure out how to force flash on for a bit. Finally managed to figure it out, I think. It still seemed to flash sometimes but not others. Tried to use it outside for fill-flash (as well as forced on indoors), and just wasn't very happy with the results. But this could be user error. I'm still learning on how to effectively use flash. So far I still think my Sony H5 does better indoors.


7. She refuses to look at the camera about 99.9999% of the time.






8. This one has the lit-up facial hair effect that I really don't like. I thought I was standing far enough away, about 6-8 feet. Maybe this is where I should use - flash compensation?






9. Fill flash outside. I was trying to decrease the shadows on her face…it helped a little.






10. I forgot the flash was still on for this one. It helped with the shadows on her face in the shade, but it has that weird shadow, almost ghosting like effect on her one arm and on her face. Is there a way to fix that in PP?


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Old Sep 30, 2010, 5:15 AM   #2
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Metering: In my other thread it was very sunny and no clouds so I wanted to see how it did on a sunny day but with some clouds. I struggled a bit more getting the exposure right today than I did on the clear sky day. I tried at the beach and then the pictures of the kids are at home and at the park. I was using spot exposure when I was doing flowers. For high contrast scenes I thought I read that it was better to use pattern exposure? I was in spot when my daughter is in her black dress, but the background is white-ish and it was bright out and this didn't work out so well so I changed to pattern. But then in another shot it was on pattern and half my sky is blue and the other half is white but there is a slide dividing the two halves of the sky… and more clouds in the white portion of the sky so those could be factors. Sorry, I'm rambling….



11. Half blue/half white






12. More clouds, I think this one did a better job but is still rather bright. (It was about 1pm though, and it was blindingly bright out today…I got a wee bit burnt)






13. The clouds were really fantastic at the beach yesterday. The contrast of the rocks made this a bit more difficult I think.






14. More clouds (my favorite one).






15 Hotel Del Coronado






16. Another shot of the Hotel Del Coronado






17. Cloudy sunset






18. This dress gave me issues. I think I was in spot and either got an over exposed or underexposed image.






19. HA! Finally got her to look at me… On a focus note, I've found that with moving subjects, it's much more difficult to do the half shutter focus lock then reposition for composition on this camera than with other camera's Ive used. It could just be me though. It worked pretty well when I was doing things like flowers though…






20. Last one…sorry, this is just a, "look how cute I am" moment. Too bad about 5 mins later I noticed that she mashed a huge chunk of lip balm onto the cap and was smearing it all over her face and in her hair…






So in conclusion to part 2 of my personal testing (thanks for sticking it out btw), these photos are areas where I need more practice with the camera and improving my technique. I'm still not quite happy with indoor flash photos. And I'm still struggling with exposure.



On a somewhat unrelated note. I'm a little annoyed with my sister. For those of you that read my other thread, this isn't my camera. My husband got a discount and my sister decided she wanted to get the FZ100. I talked to her about the different options (like the FZ40). I also told her that Panasonic had a 15% restocking fee, and that Amazon did not. Well, she convinced herself that she wanted the FZ100 and that she didn't want to get it on Amazon. That she was sure she'd love it. So we used my credit card and got my husband's discount and we ordered it for her.


I did all this initial fiddling and experimenting and gave her a little run down of what settings would probably work the best to start with. Like P mode, setting a cap on ISO, etc. She put it in auto and didn't like it. She couldn't get the flash to work. (I told her she had to hit the button to open it). She was convinced that if it was on auto flash that it would just work. (Even though it says on the LCD screen to press the button to open the flash). She doesn't like having to put it in P mode. She thinks a camera should perform just fine in auto. (It's not that bad in auto, it's just better in P).


I swear, I didn't think she was like this about cameras or I would never have let her seen the threads on the FZ100, lol. She's the one that always takes a camera with her to every family event and is taking pictures. So anyway, she doesn’t want the camera. She doesn't want to pay for the camera… or rather pay me back! She told me to send it back. I explained the 15% restocking fee. She said I didn't tell her about that (but I did), so she says it's my fault and she's not reimbursing me it.


So I can either eat the 15% or just keep it for myself. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. That's kind of what spurred the 2nd round of testing, to see if I'd be content with it as a replacement for my Sony. I still want my DSLR. If it was smaller, I'd say it would make a decent vacation camera, but this is not really a purse/pocket type camera…


Ahh, family. Gotta love em..right??


Diana
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 9:53 PM   #3
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Oh my god! My condolences. I'm an IT person and that sounds like someone who wants a mac because they don't want to spend time configuring windows to the right settings.

But that's really mean about the restocking fee. Anyways I'm curious what dslr and lens will you be getting? And were there any more reasons you didn't like it?

P.S. I really liked the pictures. A lot of effort you put in.

Last edited by Jyaku; Sep 30, 2010 at 9:55 PM.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 10:40 PM   #4
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Well done, Diana-

You can easily see the improvement in your photos, between this group and the previous group of photos. Congratulations! this new series looks very good. I am not saying that the FZ-100 is your camera at all. Instead I just wanted to acknowledge your improved photos.

Your photos are very good, it shows that by sheer grit that you have come very close to mastering the Big Fuzzy, the FZ-100. That in itself is a REAL accomplishment.

Yes, you have moved ahead! A DSLR camera, based on the photos posted, is surely in your future.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 10:57 PM   #5
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Jake,

Yeah, I'm annoyed. I'm trying to sell it on craigslist so I don't have to pay the restocking fee, but I think it's a hopeless case.

Were there any more reasons why I didn't like the FZ100? Well, I wasn't really happy with the indoor flash results. And I think I got better people pictures with my Sony H5. It could just be that the 7mp camera I'm use to is more forgiving. The zoom is nice, but how much of is it actually usable? Unless light is super bright, you can't use full zoom without IQ issues (but this could be me, maybe others get better results). Oh, and the price. It has a lot of improvements from the camera I already have, but I don't think those improvements measure up to $400.

I'm leaning towards a Sony A-500. Amazon has it for 399 body only. That seems like a pretty good deal. As for lenses, I am not sure yet. When I made my choice initially, I think I went overboard and overwhelmed myself and talked myself out of the Sony in favor for a Canon because of sports. But I've pretty much given up on sports. I think I'd rather just let my hubby video tape the sports and I will relax and watch. It makes me kind of dizzy to try to keep up.

So I'm thinking about just getting the kit lens. I have really been enjoying the landscape shots at wide angles. I like Sony. I liked it the best out of all the cameras I held. So I'm thinking I will go with my gut.

Haha, but we are also thinking of getting the Panasonic TS2 as a rugged/waterproof camera. We are active around water a lot! And we are planning either a cruise to mexico, or some beach resort.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 11:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Well done, Diana-

You can easily see the improvement in your photos, between this group and the previous group of photos. Congratulations! this new series looks very good. I am not saying that the FZ-100 is your camera at all. Instead I just wanted to acknowledge your improved photos.

Your photos are very good, it shows that by sheer grit that you have come very close to mastering the Big Fuzzy, the FZ-100. That in itself is a REAL accomplishment.

Yes, you have moved ahead! A DSLR camera, based on the photos posted, is surely in your future.

Sarah Joyce
Sarah,

Thank you for your kind words! I've been a little worried about whether or not I could handle a DSLR. But let me tell you, as much work as Big Fuzzy has been given me, I think it would at least be worth a try!! And now that the A500 is at 399 (albeit body only), a basic setup is not going to break my back as much as I thought. I want to start with 1 lens and a flash, and learn my camera as much as possible and really figure out how to use lighting to better advantage. I think that will go a lot further in better pictures than worry about all the lenses I want etc. So my FZ100 testing was insightful. And in that short time also helped me narrow in a little bit more exactly what kind of pictures I like to take.

Diana
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 11:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by purpleehobbit View Post
Sarah,

.....I want to start with 1 lens and a flash, and learn my camera as much as possible and really figure out how to use lighting to better advantage. I think that will go a lot further in better pictures than worry about all the lenses I want etc.....

Diana
i think this is a well thought out plan, and a very good one at that.
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Old Oct 1, 2010, 10:52 AM   #8
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Diana-

That is a good plan. The A-500 body continues to impress me. Not only is it fun to use, but capable of very good image quality as well. In the past week a friend of mine who liked my A-500 decided to purchase the body only and asked me to find the Sony 18-55mm and Sony 55-200mm lens for him as cheaply as possible, but still quality.

On E-Bay I picked up the 55-200mm as a Best Buy open box item for $107 delivered, and the 18-55mm lens from Henry's a large Toronto Camera dealer for $72 delivered. So there are a couple examples of what you can do in finding lenses.

Yes indeed! An external flash will go a long way toward improving your indoor shots.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 1, 2010, 12:55 PM   #9
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Well, I'm glad on I'm heading in the right direction!

Sarah,

You seem to be a great bargain hunter!!! I think I need to be more patient or search harder or something, lol!

Is there a problem with warranty's when you buy out of Canada or for $72 it's just not an issue?
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Old Oct 1, 2010, 3:24 PM   #10
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Diana-

There is just not much that can go wrong with Kit lenses. You test tem as soon as you receive the shipment. If they are bad, you send them back immediately. That is why it is important to purchase from a Seller that has like a 7 day return period.

So with lenses, it is simply a matter of them working and being sharp, or you return them immediately.

Sarah Joyce
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