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Old May 24, 2004, 11:59 PM   #1
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I bought this FZ10 primarily for my wife, as our anniversary present. She likes it a lot, but commented tonight that she never wanted to have to mess with aperture, shutter, and all, and why should she have to know about ISO. She said it's pretty overwhelming (in fact, though I preferred the image quality of the Nikon 5700, she had said it was too difficult; in retrospect, though, if she intends to mainly use Auto mode, the Nikon is probably more fitting for her).

What I don't understand is why the FZ10 has some of the default settings it has. Whenever we pull the camera out to take an outside shot of our kids in P mode, the aperture almost always defaults to 2.8, and we wind up with much of the photo being blurry or soft. Since the kids are running around, several of them wind up soft/blurry as well.

Why doesn't P mode default to f/8 or at least f/4? If I wanted f/2.8, wouldn't I pick Portrait mode?

Granted, I can set the A/S/M to Aperture priority for herand set the aperture to f/4 or f/8, but then I notice the shutter speed is all over the place, even outside (often way too slow).

And indoors, why is the camera so often setting the ISO to 200 or 400, even when using the flash in a lit room?

I realize I'm totally a newb, and she's even more so, but these settings confound me, and they make us change settings every time we want to take a shot. That's great for people who are good photographers, but for those of us who just want to be able to catch a spur-of-the-moment shot, and don't know all the ins and outs, it's not so great.

Just asking - are these settings the same the rest of you are seeing in P mode?

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Old May 25, 2004, 6:29 PM   #2
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Almost all of the outdoor image I've taken are f4 or 4.6
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Old May 25, 2004, 7:32 PM   #3
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If you use a smaller aperture, you will get a greater depth of field, but you'll have to use a slower shutter speed. So if your kids are running around, they'll be even more of a blur with a smaller aperture (higher numbers mean smaller aperture).

cageyman wrote:
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What I don't understand is why the FZ10 has some of the default settings it has. Whenever we pull the camera out to take an outside shot of our kids in P mode, the aperture almost always defaults to 2.8, and we wind up with much of the photo being blurry or soft. Since the kids are running around, several of them wind up soft/blurry as well.
thanks
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Old May 25, 2004, 8:27 PM   #4
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D'oh! See, I told you I'm totally new to this. Wife does love the camera, though - I just hope I can figure out why my pictures generally aren't as sharp as my friend's 5700.


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Old May 25, 2004, 11:13 PM   #5
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Don't feel bad, it's a dumb way of assigning values and it's easy to get confused. The 5700 has an additional million pixels to help sharpen-up the pictures. Also, I've always felt the FZ10 produced soft pictures, but I've gotten used to it now. If Panasonic would cure the noise problem and give us a better compression scheme, or RAW, I'd be extremely pleased. I've always liked the camera, but I feel they slipped is a few areas. It's still one of my all-time favorite cameras though, and there is nothing as good in it's price range.



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D'oh! See, I told you I'm totally new to this. Wife does love the camera, though - I just hope I can figure out why my pictures generally aren't as sharp as my friend's 5700.

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Old May 25, 2004, 11:35 PM   #6
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One other thing I've noticed which may be happening is the settings all don't go back to auto on the P-mode.

For instance, If on A/S/M you change the ISO to 200, take pictures and then change the dial back to P, it will still be on ISO 200, not Auto. Perhaps that's why your settings were "off."
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Old May 26, 2004, 9:54 AM   #7
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That's certainly possible, too.

Yeah, my only concern with this camera is whether it's defective, or if I'm truly getting FZ10 shots.

For example, last evening, around 7:30, it was very cloudy, and my kids were playing in the backyard. I put it on Auto/P and took some shots, then put it on Sport and took some more.

All the shots were very poor - noisy and soft. Surely I can take non-flash pics of kids playing on a cloudy evening? Or is that really just asking too much of any digicam (without the flash)?
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Old May 26, 2004, 10:31 AM   #8
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to really determine if your camera is defective (there have been a few out there that couldn't take sharp pictures for the life of them and had to be replaced) you would have to take a few shots in bright sunlight, at ISO-50

Though, in all honesty, the FZ10 is regarded as a more "serious" camera because it doesn't really have a full auto option and it does't perform anywhere near its best using any auto settings.

A few tips. It is very easy to change the ISO. I generally use ISO-50 for outdoor shots in bright sunlight, and ISO-100 when it gets darker out and indoors. Rarely I use ISO-200 when I have limited light in order to take action shots, and I almost never use ISO-400 because it is too noisy.

If you are willing to learn, the FZ10 is great for you, but if you or your wife simply want an automatic camera that you won't have to change any settings at all, you might want to look at something else.
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Old May 26, 2004, 12:13 PM   #9
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At ISO 50, in bright daylight, the photos are very nice (though still softer than I'd expect, but acceptable).

Indoors, if using the flash, and close to the subject, there's not much noise.

I don't mind setting the ISO, though when my wife uses it, she'd probably want it on Auto.

But my concerns are - (1) why I got very bad pics when trying to photograph the boys under an overcast sky (auto mode and then me playing with ISO and shutter), and (2) why the photos of them riding bikes are all soft-focused.

Still shots, outside in bright light look great. It's those less than perfect conditions that concern me. I really, really like so much about the camera - that's why I'm trying to figure out how to make it work for us.

thanks for the tips.
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Old May 26, 2004, 1:10 PM   #10
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cageyman wrote:
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At ISO 50, in bright daylight, the photos are very nice (though still softer than I'd expect, but acceptable).
Quote:
Try a closeup photo and see if that looks sharp. The further away you are from the subject, the less sharp it will appear because the camera has less resolving power.
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Indoors, if using the flash, and close to the subject, there's not much noise.
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The flash on the FZ10 is weak, so this is normal.
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But my concerns are - (1) why I got very bad pics when trying to photograph the boys under an overcast sky (auto mode and then me playing with ISO and shutter),
Quote:
What "bad results" did you get? Did you try setting the camera to the Overcast mode?
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and (2) why the photos of them riding bikes are all soft-focused.
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It's not easy to get good focus on a moving object. You may want to set the camera to Panning mode, (the race car symbol). That changes the way the IS works. Also, you may want to turn the IS off and see if that works better when panning. Above all, read the manual.
Quote:

Still shots, outside in bright light look great. It's those less than perfect conditions that concern me. I really, really like so much about the camera - that's why I'm trying to figure out how to make it work for us.

thanks for the tips.
Quote:
I don't think there is anything wrong with your camera, you just need to become more familiar with it. Is there a way you can post some of the pictures you have concerns with?
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