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Old Jul 21, 2011, 6:23 PM   #1
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Default Just bought a FZ35 and looking for some advice

Hi Everyone,

After much research I finally bought the FZ35 which I think is one of the best bridge cameras out there, or atlest was, my budget was tight so I couldnt afford a 0-day model.

So far quite pleased with the camera but really need some advice on setting it up to take really nice photos, I do know some things about photography but its been a long time since I was serious about it.

I did read the great post by Sarah Joyce but it left many questions unanswered for me, was hoping someone could help fill in the gaps. I read through a good porition of the manual but found it very poorly done and really didnt get much out of it.

Firstly what are the optimal settings for taking noise-free photos with this camrea? I think ISO 400 is about as high as you can take it without alot of noticeable noise but are there any tricks?

Question about the custom sets, when you choose one of thoes are thoes settings then camera wide or do they only apply in the Custom mode?

The on the fly exposure - didnt seem to work, on screen the photo would change but the actual pictures were identical, what am I doing wrong?

Speaking of the display, the default setting is really dim and hard to read so in the main setup I changed it to whatever the [*] indicated which seems to keep it at a stead, high brightness, however the problem here is that the on scree "live view" and the actual photo are completely different.


Question about file format - I know RAW is the best to shoot in if you intend to edit the photo later, does the raw had any processing aplied to it by the camera at all or is it just straight from the sensor? Do Raw have any of the options like sharpness applied to it? Is it always best to shoot RAW or is JPEG acceptable?

In general I would really like to get some settings for the camera that yield nice photos both outdoors and indoors, clear noise-free photos

So far my experiments havent yeilded very good photos, the IA mode likes to go to high ISO's which give you really bad pictures indoors, did some of the manual sets and even at IS0 400 indoor photos are a little too grainy for my taste, not sure if Im doing something wrong here.

If anyone could help me get everything straightened out that would be great,

Thanks guys!

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Old Jul 21, 2011, 6:56 PM   #2
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Hi Dave, I think you made a good choice to get the FZ35, I think it's a real gem for a bridge camera, and under the right condition it will give you quality shots that equal a DLSR. I will try to address some of your questions. Low-light photography is the big problem with these bridge cameras with a small sensor. It really suffers indoors (and even outdoors if your light is limited). I try to stay under ISO 400, there is no other way of getting around noise, unless you use flash.

Display - I think if you look at your pictures in the Review mode, the image on your display should be very close to the actual photo.

I only shoot in JPG because that's fine for most PP software (I use either PS or PS Elements), and the file size is much more manageable.

I have my PICT ADJ set to: Contrast 0, Sharpness +1, Saturation +1, Noise Reduction -2

I stay away from iA mode and typically use P mode so I can select the lowest ISO value, changing to A or S mode as conditions and subject require it.

I know this was pretty elementary information, but hope it helps a little.
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Old Jul 21, 2011, 9:45 PM   #3
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Hi Saly,

Thanks for the reply, Im definitely happy that I chose this camera, its feels good in your hadn, feels well built and Panasonic is #1 for reliability from the research I did. Also this camera has the best scores for noise, most bridge cameras seems to fall apart at ISO 400, some even at 200, but the FZ35 is even acceptable at 800 as far as they go.

Ill adjust my picure adjustmet to your specs, you dont find too much noise if you reduce noise reduction to -2? Or do you de-noise them yourself in PS?

Also what are the best metering and WB modes? any tips with any of the other settings as to what works well and what not so well on these cameras?

Question about the panorama assist, does it not actually stich the photos together for you into a panorama like other cameras? I tried it out and it just seems to take individual photos and not stich them unless I am missing something.

Also what AF modes do you find work well?

Any tips and tricks you could give me with the camrea would be a great help.

Thanks again Saly!
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Old Jul 22, 2011, 10:23 AM   #4
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Dave, nothing really helps too much for noise if there is limited light available, that is just the limitation of this camera. There are several good software out there to remove noise in post processing, I use PS and PS Elements and there is a free plugin called MiMagic that works well, although I rarely use it (too lazy to do much post processing ).

I toggle between the 3 metering modes to match the scenery and subject, but usually on spot meter. And I'm usually always on spot AF. Auto WB balance works well for me, Cloudy and Shade settings tend to be a bit too yellow for me, but you can try them on cloudy days to add more color to your images. Some people like the rich, yellowed cast.

I've never tried panorama (yet), so can't help there.... Other tips I can think of is to stay away from digital zoom (anything above 18x is digital zoom which looks terrible). There is a setting in your camera to prevent you to go beyond 18x, but I have mine off just in case I see something really cool far away and is worth going into digital zoom. The rest is practice and getting to know your camera and finding the sweet spots in the various settings. Once advice is, when you start playing around with personal settings, sometime you inadvertently mess up something and your images start to look really bad. If this happens, reset (in the setup menu) your camera to initial settings to clear and start again.
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Old Jul 22, 2011, 10:50 AM   #5
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Thanks again Sally,

for AF, do you find the high speed AF mode works well? also for Pre AF is that best left off or Q/C?

Also what about I.Exposure?
Which metering modes are best for which situation?

Lastly are the color settings best left at default or are some tweaks a good idea?

Oh and still curious about the custom mode, do thoes settings apply camera wide or just in custom mode? and is Custom mode just P mode with selectable sets? also with P mode do you have to save your settings to one of the custom memory sets?

Sorry for all the questions!

Last edited by Dave3; Jul 22, 2011 at 10:58 AM.
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Old Jul 23, 2011, 4:52 AM   #6
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You have to stitch panoramic shots on the pc using the software , the camera doesn't do it like some others
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 10:59 AM   #7
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Thanks Forzahibs, would still love to get the answers to my other questions if anyone knows.
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 11:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave3 View Post
Thanks again Sally,

for AF, do you find the high speed AF mode works well? also for Pre AF is that best left off or Q/C?

Also what about I.Exposure?
Which metering modes are best for which situation?

Lastly are the color settings best left at default or are some tweaks a good idea?

Oh and still curious about the custom mode, do thoes settings apply camera wide or just in custom mode? and is Custom mode just P mode with selectable sets? also with P mode do you have to save your settings to one of the custom memory sets?

Sorry for all the questions!
Sorry, but I haven't really played with many of these settings. For metering, I toggle between the 3 settings to see what give me the best result in the preview screen. If you subject has very high contrast (like a bug on a bright white flower), then you MAY need to use the multiple metering mode. When in doubt, and if you have the opportunity, you want to try different settings of the same subject. Lot of trial and error! Other than the PICT ADJ, I pretty much leave other setting to default.
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