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Old Jan 15, 2011, 2:37 PM   #1
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Default Indoor shots, new FZ35

Some of you have followed another thread with some "first shots" off the FZ35. Last night, we went to a birthday party, my new FZ35 in tow. The setting was a hall, 50X100 ft, some ambient lighting. People were sitting along tables pulled together.

I regretted having time to spend before we arrived, some time to try to familiarize myself with how I should set up the camera. We had dinner, and then things got rolling very fast, more quickly than I anticipated. I had no time to make some trial shots (my fault for not taking time). I thought the FZ35 had an "indoor" setting, like other cameras. Quickly, I learned there is no "indoor" setting.

I recalled a "scene" mode, with many choices. I found "party" which seemed appropriate for the setting.

I had to get shots of the cake, then some gift opening, and passing out of cake, etc. I had not taken any flash shots, and was a bit uneasy on what appeared to be a very long time to get the shot off. It appeared to fire the flash twice. I looked at the results on the camera screen, and I could see the shots were badly overexposed. I liked what I saw in terms of background, but the near subjects were overexposed. I cranked down EC, but to no avail.

The evening ended quickly, and I came home, unloaded the images. I was right -- badly overexposed, and many with movement. In reviewing the details, I saw the shutter speed was 1/4 to 1/5. Yikes!!! No wonder some were showing signs of movement. I am not going to post any images because all contain images of people (why would I take pics at a birthday party if there were no people...?). Sorry...

I spent time reading the manual today, and also did a search on this section. I found many threads on "indoor shots." I now realize how stupid I was last night.

Now, I wish I had another opportunity. That may not happen for many weeks. My first trials will be with P setting, and changing WB to the lighting scheme, or perhaps leave it at Auto. In reading about "party" I can see the intent is to get images with background beyond the flash capability. This is what happened -- some good background, albeit a little dark, but the very slow shutter speed is what allowed that part of the image to be captured. While that might be nice, I need to get proper exposure on the subjects 10 feet, or less away.

I also see an "indoor" choice under "portraits." I am doubting this would be a good choice for a dinner table setting. This might be for a single subject.

Any other suggestions for trials so that I can gain some experience before getting to the next "real" setting? I guess the good news is that my camera was not here for all the Christmas dinner shots! While my old camera got the shots, they were not great. But, better than the ones shot with my new FZ35.

One of the problems is that these situations only show up a few times each year, and they cannot be repeated. Usually, there isn't much time to make many trials --- people eat quickly, and leave. People open gifts quickly, then move on -- no asking to repeat.

Thanks,
Roger
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 2:46 PM   #2
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Off the top of my head, try 3 experiments:

1/ Stand at different distances from a test subject but zoom so they fill the frame. You'll find that if you stand back a bit and zoom more then you get the same shot more or less but the subject gets a softer light.
2/ From a typical distance (such as you would be across the table from someone at dinner), try several shots at different flash strengths. You can adjust the flash strength in P-mode by pressing the +- button 3 times. First is the ev compensation, second is bracketing and third is flash strength
3/ In settings, try flash synchro 2nd instead of first. I think it's supposed to wait a bit longer before taking the shot so you get a bit more light from the background and a bit less from the foreground.
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 6:28 PM   #3
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Roger-

There is another option that you could have used. I have found the High Sensitivity Scene Mode to be very useful. It is a resolution restricted (3mp) mode, but it works very well indeed. You mentioned that the hall was well lighted, it might have provided a solution for you, as it uses ISO 3200.

Here is a sample photo of my husband, Bradley, taken with my FZ40 using just indoor home lighting and the High Intensity Scene Mode. No flash is used in the High Intensity Scene Mode.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 7:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
taken with my FZ40 using just indoor home lighting and the High Intensity Scene Mode. No flash is used in the High Intensity Scene Mode.
Sarah, you mean HIGH SENS. under scene mode? Otherwise, where is this?
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 1:37 PM   #5
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Alexander-

Thanks so very much for catching my typo. Yes, indeed you are correct. I was using the "High Sensitivity" Scene Mode.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 1:40 PM   #6
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Alexander-

Here is is another sample from the same Scene Mode. It is an informal portrait of a good friend, where the FZ40 again used ISO 3200.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 1:52 PM   #7
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Sarah Joyce are you paying this Gentleman picture royalties...lol he's becoming somewhat of a celeb here on Steves
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 2:23 PM   #8
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Just a suggestion, but I always have an oldie familiar camera in my other pocket. If my dslr starts messing up, GONE! out comes the trustworthy p&s, and everybody is happy.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 3:26 PM   #9
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After some experimentation, I've settled on the following as my favourite settings for flash portraits with the FZ38 in low light -

Auto sensitivity, Max 400
Custom white balance (where you point it ast something white and set it)
Point metering
Flash synchro 2nd
Flash strength -1ev
Subject between 5 and 10ft away

That seems to give me nice, reasonably natural colours and not too much glare.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 4:48 PM   #10
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I don't have an FZ-35, just an old FZ-7, but I almost never use the flash if there is even some decent ambient lighting. White balance adjustment is important, and I agree with what others have said about, if you use a flash, being further away from the subject and using your zoom. Sarah's shots without flash are a great example of what you can do without flash by adjusting the camera's other settings.
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