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Old Jan 20, 2004, 6:01 PM   #1
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Default white balance for FZ10

I expect to receive my FZ10 in a day or two but would like to know if it is possible to set up any of the 4-way controller keys to scroll through the available white balance settings without going into the menu. And if it is possible, are the changes readily visible in the lcd screen? (The small Casio 4ZU I purchased for my wife allows for this.)

What other functions can the controller keys be assigned, if any?

Shelly
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Old Jan 20, 2004, 7:18 PM   #2
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Default White Balance

The answer to your question is "yes". The UP arrow offers a series of simple selections, one of which is a nine-step white balance (red to the left, blue to the right). By pressing the LEFT or RIGHT arrows, you can select any of these color temperatures.

The camera ALWAYS INSTANTLY shows you the current white balance, whether you do it the way I just described or from the WB line on the regular menu. While you're changing it, this is only visible in the background, between the lines of the menu. It turns out to be more obvious than it sounds, because the strong orange cast of indoor lighting in the U.S. stands out like a sore thumb. Once you've corrected for it, the general backgound becomes realistic. Once you exit the menu modes, the entire image is visible, and you can quickly go back to the color temperature an tinker with it some more.

The camera remembers your WB settings in the different modes in which you set it. That's both good and bad, because one you override the camera's defaults, you have to remember to continue changing them as lighting conditions change.

By the way, WB is the first choice on the regular menu, so its very easy to get to.
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Old Jan 20, 2004, 7:37 PM   #3
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Default Thank you Charlie

I'm new to this forum and to digital cameras in general, although we now have/will have in a day or so both a Casio 4ZU )my wife's) and a Panasonic FZ10. My previous camera experience was with my Canon AE=1, and more recently with my Canon Elan with 28-200 AF lens and a Rollei film camera.

But I hadn't taken a picture in 5 years or so.

So I have lots to learn and am very excited about all of this. One of the firrst ways I learn is to download all the reviews, and to go to the forums and cut and paste everything that applies to the FZ10, and create a little book out of it to supplement the owner's manual.

Which brings me to say that, although I have no idea who you are Mr. Charlie Franklin, I am humbled by your knowledge, your ability to communicate it and your willingness to share it with everyone.

I have printed out almost every one of your posts and replies, and now feel more confident that I am going to learn to use my FZ10 to its maximum.

Thanks again for your input.

Shelly in Carmel Valley, CA
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Old Jan 20, 2004, 8:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: white balance

Thank you, Shelly, but anybody can figure this stuff out by experimenting, just as I do. All of my first indoor photos with the FZ10 were terrible, and unfortunately, they were our Thanksgiving pictures. I didn't understand the camerra's White Balance behavior, saw that it seemed able to take indoor pictures without a flash, and wound up with a bunch of underexposed orange-cast pictures.
Once I started using the flash, both problems went away. Then, I started playing with WB, and eventually discovered that you can WB the camera to the current lighting (the rightmost choice on the WB menu). Since then, WB and color-cast have never been an issue.
All of that is in the book, and I'd read the book, but obviously didn't absorb as much of it as I'd thought.
Fortunately, PhotoShop improved many of the photos, and my sister-in-law had also taken photos with her Minolta S404, which were just fine. (Otherwise, my wife probably would have returned both the FZ10 and the photographer.)
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Old Jan 21, 2004, 10:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: White Balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Howard
The answer to your question is "yes". The UP arrow offers a series of simple selections, one of which is a nine-step white balance (red to the left, blue to the right). By pressing the LEFT or RIGHT arrows, you can select any of these color temperatures.

The camera ALWAYS INSTANTLY shows you the current white balance, whether you do it the way I just described or from the WB line on the regular menu. While you're changing it, this is only visible in the background, between the lines of the menu. It turns out to be more obvious than it sounds, because the strong orange cast of indoor lighting in the U.S. stands out like a sore thumb. Once you've corrected for it, the general backgound becomes realistic. Once you exit the menu modes, the entire image is visible, and you can quickly go back to the color temperature an tinker with it some more.

The camera remembers your WB settings in the different modes in which you set it. That's both good and bad, because one you override the camera's defaults, you have to remember to continue changing them as lighting conditions change.

By the way, WB is the first choice on the regular menu, so its very easy to get to.
Charlie, thank you so much. I read the manual, but you have FINALLY made white balance clear (so to speak). I truly appreciate your intelligent posts.

Joan
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Old Jan 22, 2004, 12:54 AM   #6
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Default

I just shot some basketball with the FZ10's WB set prior; as you can see in the link below, it works pretty nicely. A 420EX speedlight was riding shotgun when the balance was set.

http://www.brrd.ab.ca/nnorway/carrweb/bashaw_fz10.htm

The location was a nightmare but the colors came out okay.
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Old Jan 22, 2004, 10:49 AM   #7
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Default

I spent yesterday learning how to use the many manual features of the fz10.

My initial concern was whether the unit might be defective but it appeared to do everything it should. (Funny how we all have been victim to/heard horror stories of defective expensive products right out of the box. My Panasonic RP-91 dvd player, for example.)

I had no problems using the lcd indoors at night with basic room lighting which was another concern.

I do not have computer with USB connection yet (need another month or so) so just used lcd and my HD rptv for viewing. Did come to have respect for the digital zoom which gave a very presentable picture. Printing will, of course, be the final test.

Question: As there is no Landscape mode on the mode dial, what is the berst way to insure infinity focus? Would I just set to f8 on A or P with program shift?

Question: I asked if the White Balance could be accessed without going into the menu. Charlie, if you read this, you said that the up arrow would lead me to white balance choices. In fact, there is even a white balance +/- icon on the up arrow. But with each press of the up arrow, I just go into EV +/-, flash +/- and braceting. How do I access the white balance screen from the up arrrow?

All in all, I am having fun. Too bad I have to go to work today.

Shelly

EDIT: OK, I just figured out that if the white balance is in any setting other than auto, the White Balance Fine Tuning screen does appear with the up arrow, allowing me to change the tint. I assume that this is what was referred to by Charlie.

But is there any way to change the wb from auto to sunny to incandecent et al without going into the menu?
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Old Jan 22, 2004, 12:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: landscape focus, white balance

To manually focus at "Infinity", push the Focus lever all the way down while pointing at a distant object, and let the camera try to auto-focus, then release the lever and leave it in the MF position. Then, you can try to fine-tune by SLOWLY turning the focus ring just a little bit. It is very sensitive, and when turned SLOWLY, goes from "past infinity" (counter-clockwise) to "closest" (clockwise) in less than 1/4 turn. If you turn it too far counter-clockwise, it actually goes past infinity (but will not show you what lies beyond the universe) and nothing will be in focus. So, you can also deliberately turn it too far counter-clockwise and then bring it back just a little bit. But, it's best to focus on a distant object.

There are only two ways to change White Balance: the WB menu and the up-arrow temperature adjuster. For outdoor landscape WB'ing, put it in AUTO for best results. You can also buy a can of Pringles, and use the lid for WB'ing by placing it over the lens while pointing at the general area you plan to shoot, then using the extreme right setting of the WB MENU to let the camera balance for you. Strange as that sounds, it actually does work, although not every time.
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Old Jan 22, 2004, 4:38 PM   #9
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" ....If you turn it too far counter-clockwise, it actually goes past infinity (but will not show you what lies beyond the universe)....."

Perhaps a future firmware upgrade will fix this obvious flaw in an otherwise fine digital camera.

Thanks again, Charlie. I am trying out a few new (to me) features each day now and must say that it is very easy to learn how to use the FZ10's auto and manual controls, once you experience them.

The hard part will be becoming a better photographer.

Another question: I know that the digital zoom degrades the photo because of how it just enlargens pixels. But will this degradation of quality (sharpness and focus of the picture) be readily apparent with 4"x6" prints, or even 5"x7"?

I am able to view my shots on my hd rptv at a size of 10 1/2x13 minimum to 28x35 1/2 max in 4:3 aspect or partial zoom the shot to fill the entire screen. Some of my digital zoom shots look good at the smaller size which is still considerable larger than the finished print sizes to which I referred. I'm talking artistic snapshots hesre, not fine art.

Thanks.

Shelly
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Old Jan 22, 2004, 5:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly schachter
Another question: I know that the digital zoom degrades the photo because of how it just enlargens pixels. But will this degradation of quality (sharpness and focus of the picture) be readily apparent with 4"x6" prints, or even 5"x7"?
The digital zoom doesnít enlarge pixels. You can think of pixels as dimensionless points. What it does is crop the image, and I find I get results just as good by cropping the image afterward. Some people feel it is a little better because the crop occurrs before the jpg compression, but I donít really understand where that makes a difference. I donít see any.

Digital zoom doesnít degrade focus or sharpness. You just get less resolution, which you would probably translate as sharpness but isnít exactly the same thing.

If you use 2X digital zoom you end up with 1Mp. 1Mp makes a decent 4 X 6 but I think more pixels are better even for 4 X 6. If you use only 1.5 digital zoom you are probably getting as good a 4 X 6 as possible.

I always use the best resolution my camera is capable of as I donít know what I will do with the image in the future. So I just shoot at maximum optical zoom and crop if necessary.
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