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Old Dec 17, 2010, 1:12 AM   #1
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Default Lumix zs7 beginners questions

Nobody responded in the beginners forum today, so I thought I might get some answers here. I finally upgraded my digital camera from Canon Pro-90is to a Panasonic ZS7. $250 from B&H photo, hope I got a good deal. Now, I've got to face the learning curve, and have lots of questions.

First, batteries I want to get an extra, don't mind spending a little more to get longer life, but have read stuff I didn't understand about propriatary coding etc... so am not sure what to look for.

Next SDHC Memory Cards, I didn't buy one with the camera, because I'm not sure I understand the classes etc.... I don't want to be having to change them out any more than I have to, I want to be able to record HD video without problems, but I also don't want to buy performance the camera isn't capible of utilizing. So again, I'm not sure what to get here.

Where can I find a good, quick reference, to help me learn to use the menues, settings and software? Maybe a tip/trick or two?

Lastly, are there any must-have or at least super-nice to have accessories I should consider for this new camera?

Thanks in advance, JDBraddy
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Old Dec 17, 2010, 3:24 AM   #2
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Buy the Panasonic Battery at cheapest price...8Gb Class 10 Card in case you purchse a higher end camera in the future the Class 10 will still be sufficient as well as the 8Gb...16Gb if you can afford it...a Cheap AC/DC Charger so you can charge in your car if required...they're like $8-9...
Ripoffs.com CO-129FF Pouch fits perfectly if you like something that clips onto your belt...you can also get it with just a Belt Loop BL-129FF...
You can purchase at Filmtools.com for cheap...
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Old Dec 17, 2010, 3:27 AM   #3
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Read this thoroughly while setting and practicing shots with the ZS7...it will familiarize you quickly for a good start...Fabrizio did an excellent job of putting this together...Many thanks again! ZS7 = TZ10 in Europe...
http://translate.google.com/translat...&sl=auto&tl=en
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Old Dec 17, 2010, 7:23 AM   #4
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Cole did an excellent job with his answers so I won't add anything except: The ZS-7 is an excellent camera. You can stick it in iAuto and get excellent results until you feel you're ready to venture further in the other modes. It's like any other camera - take the time to learn and know it's capabilities and then stay within them.
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Old Dec 19, 2010, 6:43 AM   #5
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Wow! I didn't want to wait two or three weeks for an SDHC card to come in the mail, so I went looking for one today. I went to BestBuy, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Office Depot, and Office Max. All these places sell camera's but not one of these big-box stores had anything above a class 4 SDHC card, and the prices where astronomically higher than what I'm seeing online. They wanted $49 for and 8gb class 4 card, $79 for a 16gb Class 4 card, and $129 for a 32gb Class 4 card. None of wich said that they where HD Video compatable. Amazon has a Transcend 16gb class 10 SDHC card for only $26.99, and a 32gb class 10 card listed online for $54.98 I will probably order one of these, and wait two weeks or more for it to be delivered, simply because I cannot find anything above class 4 and HD Video compatable locally, but before I do, is there something I'm missing here? Now, I realize that's probably more than I need, but why the huge price discrepency? Is there some huge difference in brand or quality? Is there some other factor I haven't taken into consideration here?
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Old Dec 19, 2010, 7:06 AM   #6
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You're not missing anything. Remember, the market is driven by a couple of things: 1. Greed 2. it's close to Christmas. The stores are for those that don't have time to wait, don't have internet access, don't know how to shop for a good price. Buy a cheap to get you going while you wait for the class 10 card.
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 2:13 AM   #7
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Tonight early in the morning of Tuesday Dec. 21 The full moon passes through the earth's shadow, starting around 1:33am EST. Totality begins at 2:41am EST and lasts for 72 minutes. I've only had my new Panasonic Lumix ZS7 for a couple days now, and am not familiar with it. I'd like very much to be able to use it to photograph this event, and would appreciate any help from those here, how best to do that. First, focus, I tried tonight to get the auto-focus to focus on the full moon and it wouldn't do it. How can I lock the focus at infinity? Also, how do I control exposure and apature. I have a small telescope and an old equatorial mount, I think I may attemp to align and set up so I can piggyback the camera to do longer exposures. Since I'm unfamiliar with this camera's fetures, Would appreciate any assistance how best to do this. BTW I found an 8GB class 10 card at a Fox Camera today.

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JDBraddy
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 4:13 AM   #8
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First, sdhc prices are usually lower at computer stores. here's one example:
http://www.compusa.com/applications/...853&CatId=3643

i don't have your camera but reading about it sounds like you'll be able to do what you want. you'll need to practice today tho. i don't see any manual focus mentioned in the write-ups so you could try spot and put it right on the edge of the moon. if it won't focus, that's it. game over. sorry. you're trying to do something which is really at the limits of a p&s capability.

you have a manual setting ( M ). using this you'll be able to get the long exposure you'll be needing for the full eclipse. some charts suggest that depending on the brightness of the moon, you may be up in the several minutes for exposure. i'd suggest setting your camera to M, iso to 200, zoom to where you want, aperture as open as possible and shutter speed to 1 second. take a picture. look at it. probably will be very dark. double the exposure, so, 2 seconds, check again. double again and again until you start to get what you like. somewhere along the way, the length of exposure will start to show blur due to moon movement. you could try increasing your iso to 400 or 800 and accept the noisier image. little choice really.

if you start when the moon is bright, you'll need to increase exposure as it gets more eclipsed. those fiddly buttons will be tough if it's cold where you are. i'd have a heat pack in my pocket. and i hope your camera doesn't dew up on you.

you'll need a tripod. if your camera has timer release, use the 2 second setting.

Last edited by frank-in-toronto; Dec 20, 2010 at 4:40 AM.
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 2:52 PM   #9
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www.costco.com has the ZS7 on sale at $219 through 12/26.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 3:04 AM   #10
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Well, no luck on this prodject. I got all set up, and about the time the eclipse stared a thick fogg rolled in, by the time the eclipse had reached totallity, the moon was completely invisable. I cold hardly see the glow of my neighbors Christmas lights across the street. I guess it's just as well, the few shots I managed before the fogg rolled in, didn't show much detail. This is about the best I could do, you can barely even make out Tycho!





Guess, if I want to do this kind of immaging, I'm going to have to eventually spring for an SLR so that I can image primary focus through my telescopes.

Last edited by JDBraddy; Dec 21, 2010 at 3:16 AM.
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