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Old Dec 28, 2010, 2:58 AM   #1
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Default ZS7 - newbie questions re slow sync flash

This is an awesome site! I bought the ZS7 about a month ago, and with all the great info available here, I think I'm starting to understand the 'personality' of this camera.

One feature I'm still struggling with is the Slow Sync Flash. I'm trying to get more light in the pics without also getting the deer-in-headlights look, but the shots always come out very orange. I'm taking the pics in my kitchen which has compact fluoresent lighting. The camera is set to Program mode with AWB or White Set white balance, Intellegent Exposure = Standard, EV = -1/3, ISO=200 - 400.

What am I doing wrong? Are there other settings I should be using?

Thanks!
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 3:01 AM   #2
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I should add that the pics without flash turn out OK, pics with full flash are OK also but the lighting does drop off past 6-7 feet like everyone said. It's really the Slow Sync flash mode I'm wondering about....Thanks!
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 10:26 AM   #3
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Leia-

The Slow Synch Mode is unique and generally used with moving objects where you want to record a trail of say tail lights on cars. Firstly Slow Synch is best used with the camera on a tripod.

Here is what happens: The camera opens the shutter and begins to take the photo based on the existing light in the photo environment. Then, it finishes the photo with a flash just as the shutter is closing. So it would not be effective for the photos that you are taking in the kitchen.

About your photos in the kitchen:The "orangish" coloring that you are seeing is due to the improper WB being set. The Auto WB just cannot deal with those fluorescent lights. You must set the WB for the lighting in the kitchen, which is fluorescent. The flash photos are turning out OK, simply because the flash is overpowering the fluorescent lighting. But do please keep in mind that the ZS7 has a very short flash range when NOT used with Auto ISO.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 1:28 PM   #4
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Hi Sarah Joyce,

Thanks so much for your explanation. I took a look at my camera and it looks like it only has an incandescent setting, but no flourescent setting.

I'll give the incandescent setting a try and see how it goes.

Thanks again!
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 4:18 PM   #5
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Leia-

I am sure that your ZS7 WB has fluorescent light settings.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 8:39 PM   #6
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Hi Sarah Joyce,

Sadly, the ZS7 doesn't seem to have a fluorescent setting. I just checked the manual and it recommends using AWB or manually setting the white balance when shooting under fluorescent setting. This does seem rather lacking in a new camera...even my old Canon A540 had a fluorescent setting. Any tips you have for me would be greatly appreciated!

Leia
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 8:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Leia-

I am sure that your ZS7 WB has fluorescent light settings.

Sarah Joyce
Pg 99. She's right. No fluorescent setting.
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 11:56 PM   #8
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Sarah the same tutorial for the FZ35 would work for Leia...I had it so I please give thanks to Sarah as she did an excellent job of compiling this valuable 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, 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 setting by itself. I would recommend that for outdoor photos that you limit the ISO 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
Finder.
(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 photo will be.
(14) Take your time and learn how the changes that you make to your camera,
directly affects your how your camera records your photo.
(15) Here is a quick review of the options on your Mode Selector:
P=Programed Auto. This works just like Full Automatic only it allows you to make some changes to ISO, 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.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Dec 29, 2010, 12:11 AM   #9
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Thank you LTZ470 (and to Sarah) - it sounds like the FZ35 has more flash features than the ZS7, but I will definitely try out the recommendations.

I've read here that using a slave flash may give me much better results when the lighting is low. Thoughts? Are they easy / convenient to use? Are there preferred makes and models I should consider?

Thanks.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 9:59 AM   #10
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Leia-

Your statement about using a Slave Flash is correct proving that the Slave Flash being used has sufficient power. Some cheap Slave Flashes have only the power of your ZS7's built-in flash unit which does not make them very effective.

Here is an example of what a good Slave Flash can do: this photo was taken from 35 feet away using a powerful (Metz CS28) Slave Flash.

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Sl...0_RCQqv-XL.jpg

Slave Flashes can also be used to provide bounce lighting. Keep in mind, please, that Slave Flashes will work with any camera that has a built-in flash unit to trigger the Slave Flash. In this case a Digital Concepts Slave Flash was used.

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...1_wefsi-XL.jpg

Here is a photo of the Canon SD 4000 camera and Digital Concepts Slave Flash unit together, that I used to take the side by side photo above.

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Sa...3_3eHJr-XL.jpg




Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Dec 29, 2010 at 10:11 AM.
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