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Old Jan 29, 2005, 3:38 PM   #1
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Hi all. I just received my FZ-20 yesterday and I'm in love already. Tonight I'm going to a couple of Mardi Gras parades here in Mobile and I thought I'd take the camera along and try it out but I'm a total newbie with digital photography. Does anyone have any tips they care to share with me in order to get the best out of this camera in such an environment? Thanks very much in advance.
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Old Jan 29, 2005, 3:48 PM   #2
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This is a tough one. Here's the best piece of advice I can give. Digital is not film. Shoot a ton of pictures. Experiment with a range of settings and pre-settings. Don't become discouraged if your results aren't there on any particular shot, and become discouraged and stop taking pictures. Resign yourself to a high "spoilage" rate, and shoot, shoot, shoot. At the end of the night, your efforts will pay off, and you will have several keepers, and possibly a few gems. I say this because your shooting conditions will vary greatly, too much so for general advise other than the obvious. More often, after a few taking a few shots, people give up on it, and lug their camera around without taking pics. I'm guilty of same. If you do that you miss out on some great shots, and should do just the opposite... shoot even more.
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Old Jan 29, 2005, 4:01 PM   #3
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NickTrop wrote:
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This is a tough one. Here's the best piece of advice I can give. Digital is not film. Shoot a ton of pictures. Experiment with a range of settings and pre-settings. Don't become discouraged if your results aren't there on any particular shot, and become discouraged and stop taking pictures. Resign yourself to a high "spoilage" rate, and shoot, shoot, shoot. At the end of the night, your efforts will pay off, and you will have several keepers, and possibly a few gems. I say this because your shooting conditions will vary greatly, too much so for general advise other than the obvious. More often, after a few taking a few shots, people give up on it, and lug their camera around without taking pics. I'm guilty of same. If you do that you miss out on some great shots, and should do just the opposite... shoot even more.
First, thanks for the advice. After reading it I'm sure glad I purchased a 1GB SD card! I don't think it will be possible for me to lose interest and stop shooting anytime soon-I could hardly stand it two days ago waiting for the FedEx guy to deliver the camera and I stayed up way too late last night playing around with it. It really is a fascinating device.

So tonight I guess the plan is just to take a boatload of pictures using every reasonable setting. Here is a related newbie question; if I do capture a gem among the stonesis there any way to determine after the fact what the settings I used were for that shot. I apologise if this is in the manual. I'veread through most ofit but it issomewhat of a difficult read, IMO.
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Old Jan 29, 2005, 5:07 PM   #4
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The camera comes with Photobase which has an exif reader. You can use this to view the settings of your shots. There are other exif programs and most image editors have them as well.
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Old Jan 29, 2005, 5:20 PM   #5
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Remember that a flash won't do much unless the subject is within 10-15 feet. Any time you are in a large dark arena (like a sports event), everyone seems to use a flash, even though it only lights up the people's heads 10 feet in front of them. (i guess most of them don't know how to turn off the flash...)

Oh, and take lots of and lots of pictures. Test out ISO 400 right now and see if you can live with the noise it creates, if you can, use it, if not, try to keep the ISO 200 or below. Try doing burst mode when taking a shot (odds are one of them will come out good). And remember the OIS can't do miracles, and that if you can lean against something, do that.

Some people find it helpful to use the EVF up to your eye so you can hold it steadier. I personnally don't find this all that helpful, but it might for you.


Anyway, take lots of shots and show some of them here

Good luck



EDIT: oh, to view the EXIF data, you can (if you use windows XP, not sure if/how you do it in other operating systems) right click the pictures, select properties, click on Summery, then click on advance. And of course most photo editing programs will be able to show it.
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Old Jan 29, 2005, 7:55 PM   #6
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beernutz wrote:
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First, thanks for the advice. After reading it I'm sure glad I purchased a 1GB SD card! I don't think it will be possible for me to lose interest and stop shooting anytime soon-I could hardly stand it two days ago waiting for the FedEx guy to deliver the camera and I stayed up way too late last night playing around with it. It really is a fascinating device.
I still haven't had a full nights sleep after 2 weeks. :yawn:

Quote:
So tonight I guess the plan is just to take a boatload of pictures using every reasonable setting. Here is a related newbie question; if I do capture a gem among the stones is there any way to determine after the fact what the settings I used were for that shot. I apologise if this is in the manual. I've read through most of it but it is somewhat of a difficult read, IMO.
The software that is supplied with the camera is okay and other programs show the EXIF data as well, or at least parts of it.. It will show speed, aperature, focal length, flash used or not. I've found however that it doesn't display accurately on all things however. The lack of accurate white balance reporting is what I've found most diappointing with the Arcsoft software. Another that I don't see reported reliably is the scene settings (snow, portrait, landscape, etc). With a 1 gig card, you'll have plenty of room. Leave the images ON the card and your camera, in playback mode, will show you every setting used. (I don't know about windows XP btw).

There's a freebie EXIF reader on Steves under digicam software that I'm playing around with trying to see what everything that gets saved really says, once downloaded to the computer. Like I said, still on the camera, you can see everything.

Continue to enjoy your new toy. Remember what Nick says, Digital does not equal film. You've already paid for the media, processing, and with nearly zero wait, shoot away!!

Jeff
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Old Jan 29, 2005, 10:01 PM   #7
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Ok, I gave it my best shot (heh)--I ended up taking about 50 shots and maybe 8 were viewable. I resized some ofthese down to 600x450 pixels but otherwise they are unretouched. What is interesting is how much better the pictures looked before they were resized. Oh well.

It was interesting trying to shoot the parade. For one thing it was slightly sprinkling at times although it was more of a very, very lite mist. In addition,parades don't stop. I hadn't realized how hard it was to shoot moving objects at night. Also I was standing on the ledge of a 4 foot wall with a wrought iron fence at my back. But it was a blast and I may have actually learned something. I know looking through the exif data later will be a learning experience.

Thanks again for all the info and encouragement.

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Old Jan 29, 2005, 10:02 PM   #8
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2nd one
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Old Jan 29, 2005, 10:03 PM   #9
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3rd
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Old Jan 29, 2005, 10:03 PM   #10
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4th
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