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Old May 18, 2004, 10:43 AM   #1
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I'm having two big issues right now, and they're baffling me:

(1) yesterday, I lost an evening of pictures, because P (auto) mode set the ISO to 400. This was in a brightly lit room - sunlight pouring in from lots full size windows, overhead lights, and I even used the flash (tried without, too). I could tell the photos were bad, but couldn't tell why. When I thought to check the settings on the pictures (too late), they were all at ISO 400. I had it on Auto, so there's no way that should have happened.

(2) Night Portrait mode (and slow sync mode in general) is a big mess for me. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. I've tried several, and every shot comes out yellow and blurred. Shutter speed is 1/4, and I'm trying my darndest to hold the camera still the whole time.

Any suggestions? Thanks.

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Old May 18, 2004, 2:26 PM   #2
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I would suggest that you use "only" manual mode with the FZ10. I would also suggest that you use "full" manual so that you personally control both shutter and aperture. As well, in full manual an exposure indicating line can be seen in your viewfinder so you will have a good idea when you need to either lower shutter speed or stop down the aperture to allow more light in(lower number). If you remember just a few main things I personally think that you will have much better luck.

When it's really light out then stop down the aperture so you will increase the field of focus (DOF). For landscapes you should stop down as close to maximum "8" as possible.

If you need to capture stop action increase your shutter to as much as you can but still keep the exposure (on the exposure indicator line that only comes up in full M mode) at a reasonable level, somewhere close to the middle of the line.

Never use anything but ISO 50 if you want really good product.

Never consider anything but "full manual" or aperture or shutter priority which are all in the M setting.

I have not used any of the preset modes in months with this camera.

Practice in the M mode and learn how to use it. That's how I personally feel one will be able to get excellent shots with the FZ10.


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Old May 18, 2004, 4:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tips, Normcar - I'll certainly try. I want this camera to be a keeper (everyone in the family loves it); I also want as good IQ as I can get (no point regretting the purchase months from now).

You give great tips, and I'll try those tonight.

I am still confused on fstop. You raise it (toward 8) to get more of the picture in focus, right? Is that large DOF?

On the other hand, you lower it (toward 2.8) to allow more light in, is that right? Also to get the Portrait effects?

I understand (somewhat) fast and slow shutter, but need to experiment to see what those values are. I know, when I use a flash indoors, the auto mode goes to 1/60 shutter.
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Old May 18, 2004, 10:44 PM   #4
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I own a FZ1, but by the numbers:

1. I think just about any time I have the FZ1 flash popped up with the ISO set to auto, the ISO ends up at 200 for almost all of my pictures, even when using it in relatively bright light for fill flash purposes. If I turn off the flash, auto ISO will usually end up in the 100 range. Your problem was probably the flash being on.

2. For any nightmode or slow sync function on my FZ1, I have to manually set the white balance to prevent the yellowing, and if you don't have a tripod or other stable surface to sit the camera on, you're probably wasting your time (unless your nickname is "Stone Arms McGee" or something similar).

Hope this helps -- I know we're talking about two different cameras, but the results under the same circumstances seem to be similar.

---

Chris
FZ1Club.com
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Old May 19, 2004, 4:28 AM   #5
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LOL - thanks for the info. No, my wife has much steadier arms than I do, but I'm finding ways to get good shots with this camera now. She and I worked together all evening (and I'm once again up past 3 am - yikes), experimenting.

I am very, very pleased with the results! I need to log what worked for what (e.g. some settings made flash shots highlight only the person, leaving the background dark, but didn't blow out the person in the flash; other settings flashed all fine).

I finally figured out Night Portrait mode - it's really cool. I truly like that, and I truly like this camera!

Thanks to all who have given tips!
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Old May 19, 2004, 4:21 PM   #6
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You can get good pic in P mode, but you must absolutely take it off Auto ISO. Set it on 50 or 100
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Old May 20, 2004, 12:16 AM   #7
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cageyman, you increase the "number" on f-stop or aperture to get a larger area of focus. If you put your f-stop to 2.8, that's the most "open" aperture and allows the greatest amount of light in but the "least" amount of focal length (in other words, you'd better be focused right smack on if you don't want blur). That's why it's best to set your aperture or f-stop to the "highest" number, which is 8 on the FZ10, because that gives you the greatest potential to be in focus. Rather than 2 inches of error you may have 10 feet of error (or something to that effect).

You lower it, as you say, to get portrait effects because all that you want in focus on a portrait is the face, which is about 3 inches at most, and a 2.8 wide open aperture can handle that. It focuses the face and blurs the background because the background is too far away to be in focus at aperture 2.8.

Guaranteed, you will get better photos when you use this stuff.
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Old May 20, 2004, 2:15 PM   #8
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Normcar, thanks so much. I've also been reading up on a few good sites about photography.

I'm really perplexed right now. I like the FZ10, and my wife flat out loves it. I love it, until I take comparison shots with it and the C765 my friend has loaned me (through the weekend), especially indoors.

The C765 seems to automatically change its flash intensity, while I have to manually change the flash and the EV to try to get good indoor shots. Is this correct?

Also, when I took some night outdoor shots, I was shocked when I brought up the C765, because it lightened the LCD so that I could actually see the dark yard and frame my shot. I'd never seen that (the only other digicams I've used are the FZ10 and the 5700).

I really, really want to like the FZ10 and not regret it, but I'm also trying to be objective, so I won't regret it down the line. I'll dabble more the next few days, and will try to note and use suggestions here.

BTW, I did try manual mode, and had some difficulty getting the exposure point to move. Now, if I'm using a flash, isn't the exposure line going to be way off (since I'd imagine it's based on what the camera is seeing, without the flash)?
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Old May 20, 2004, 2:45 PM   #9
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I'm also considering the FZ10, but don't like the fact that it has no "Gain Up" feature like the Oly 765/770. FWIW, the Kodak 6490 Ultra Zoom does have a nice "gain up" feature in low light. I used a friend's 6490 and thought the images were very good and low light AF was very good.

The Oly 765 and 770 and Kodak 6490 are MUCH more compact than the FZ10 (though they lack the range and OIS of the FZ10.)
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Old May 20, 2004, 3:22 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input. Our dilemma is that we like to take indoor and outdoor shots (50-50). I want to capture our kids playing outdoors, but also take the family shots inside, and even more importantly, get the kids when they're on stage at a play or other stuff at their school.


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