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Old Feb 14, 2005, 9:18 PM   #1
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I just purchased this camera today and can't say that I'm that pleased with it. I bought thiscamera primarily for the IS that came with it but here is what's frustrating with the camera:Itried taking numerous indoor shots (halogenfloor lamp in the room) and to my surprise, the darn red AF light and red camera shake symbol would light up a lot. What gives? I tried keeping still WITH the flip-flash open andIS set to mode 2 and yet the camera still failed to produce crisp shots (the ISO level was set at 80-200, Fz at 2.8, auto balance set at halogen mode). Also, when I use the full 12X zoom to focus on a object, say, a dvd player, the picture tend to come a bit grainy and signs of purple fringing can be found. at leastthat is how it came out in my test. Furthermore, daytime shots looked a bit soft (contrary to what expert reviewers were raving about in terms of sharp and accurate colors); FYI, it was a cloudy day today. Pictures of cars just didn't have that "realistic" feel to them; they looked soft and not razor sharp.The colors were great, but not vibrant. BTW, I don't quite get it that people are rating this camera as a 3.1 MP when the description clearly states it is a 3.0 MP. Regardless, does it make a big difference between a 3.0 MPand a 3.2 MP? (i.e. Canon S1 IS). The Kodak DX7590, which I tested the other day and am still contemplating whether to purchaseinstead ofthe FZ3, for the most part, produced more vibrant colors, close up shots were more detailed, and we're talking about a camera without an IS. Respectively, both cameras seem to struggle to find their focus zones in low-light settings, the Kodak suffering more IMO.

The software, SD Viewer for DSC, doesn't allow me to reduce the size of the image. It only uploads one general size. ???

All my pics were set in either the auto or P mode.

What am I doing wrong? Am I expecting too much for a 3MP camera??
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 9:34 PM   #2
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have you turned on the OIS? mode 2 is recommended. the AF light will come on whether you use OIS or not. it's part of the whole auto-focus system. have you tried letting the camera focus before snapping the shutter? it takes half a second or so, but if you just mash down on the trigger button, you won't give the camera time to fully focus, and you may get blurry shots.most digital cameras, especially the 'ultra-zooms', have a bit of trouble focusing at full zoom in low light. if the Kodak suffers more from this than the FZ3, why would you still be contemplating buying it instead? as fo-r the difference between 3.2MP and 3.0 - for practical purposes there isn't any.

you've only had the camera a day. take some time, read the manual and learn how it works, and keep trying different settings. the FZ series cameras are very good, but you can use them like 'point and shoots' and expect the best results...
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 9:45 PM   #3
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Looks like you've had it about 4 hours. I would sit down read the manual and take your time trying it out. If you want a point and shoot that works right out of the box there are better choices. If you're in a hurry maybe try another brand of camera. Lots of folks here have had good luck.
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 9:53 PM   #4
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mblue1 wrote:
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The software, SD Viewer for DSC, doesn't allow me to reduce the size of the image. It only uploads one general size. ???


What am I doing wrong? Am I expecting too much for a 3MP camera??

On the SD viewer disk is the option to load Photobase and Photo Impression. I use photobase to size andorganize. Photo impression does some processing.

Your doing the same thing "wrong" that I do and did. I've been reading the manual for 3 months now. And asking a lot of dumb questions. And that's OK. Just slow down, take a bunch of terrible pics and don't beat yourself up. You'll get it. I am, slowly though....and I'm blonde!
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 10:06 PM   #5
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I did set the IS to mode 2 but I still get the red AF and camera shake icon. And it's not like I'm moving the camera, I'm actually trying to keep steady when taking the pictures. The green border does come up in the lcd screenfor the vast majority of my shots but I keep getting the red symbols. With the daytime shots, the focus was on target. I haven't been able to test any shots out in a bright sunny setting (like the beach) since it's been rather pretty cloudy out here in San Diego.

I know I just got this camera and probably am being a bit paranoid about the "flaws," so to speak. I do have up to 14 days to return it if not satisfied with the purchase. In the meantime, more practice and hopefully people won't get too annoyed by my "dumb" questions. Any help, really, is greatly appreciated.



p.s. I found the other software that enables me to modify the size of my pic. Thanks!



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Old Feb 14, 2005, 10:06 PM   #6
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Your reaction is fairly typical of people who getanultra zoom camera and start testingit indoors at full zoom and are disappointed.Basically, there is not enoughlight. Wait for the sun to shineto see what it can do underbetter circumstances. If you're disappointed with those results, then either you haven'tappliedthe proper settings orthis is not the camera for you. The fz3 doesn't have a very steep learning curve. Panasonic has done a nice job of giving you the tools to work with. Take the time to learn what they are and where they are and apply them under good conditions. As you've noted, there are alot of very pleased fz users out there. It isn't a hoax and we're not dumb. Don't panic. Tomorrow will be a brighter day.

-Fred
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 10:11 PM   #7
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mblue1,

Sorry to hear about your problems. I have owned an FZ3 for almost 2 months. I love it. An interesting thing that I've noticed. My brother-in-law said that the OIS doesn't seem to do him any good. He just can't hold it steady at anything above 8x. What I have found it it took some practice. I have an slr with a 70-210, and did fairly well holding that steady,but this camera is double that! So I guess you could say you need to be almost twice as careful. OIS is wonderful, but not a miracle worker. As suggested take your time, give it a chance. If you can't get a good clear picture at 1,2 or 4x then maybe there is something wrong with the unit you got. If you get a clear day go outside and just take a bunch of shots in the lower zoom range, then move up. I'm sure you will see the value of the camera if you give it a chance.

-Brett
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 10:18 PM   #8
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I know the FZ3 has an outstanding reputation (virtually everyone, from amateurs to pros, said this camera is in the upper echelon of top cameras in the 10X-12X range). I know I need to just practice and practice until I get used the many capabilities of this camera.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"For a beginner like myself, should I rely predominately on the P mode and set the ISO at 80 for outdoor shots, even under cloudy settings?
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 10:25 PM   #9
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blue,

I started with "P" mode for some time. Now mostly use "A", that is what my manual SLR was, an aperture priority camera, so old habits die hard. Program mode should get you a decent pic in most conditions. The true beauty of digital is you can just take a ton of pics and then delete them. ISO 100 works for me most of the time. It should also help a bit if taking pics in lower light but if you don't use the flash you'll have to go even higher then that.

Don't forget to set autofocus to single area or three area, the nine segment will hunt to much. Turn on continuous autofocus until you get used to the camera. And I know it's been said before but do read the entire manual, it does have a lot of good information. I have read it several times and am still referring to it.

-Brett
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 11:20 PM   #10
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mblue1 wrote:
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I did set the IS to mode 2 but I still get the red AF and camera shake icon. And it's not like I'm moving the camera, I'm actually trying to keep steady when taking the pictures. The green border does come up in the lcd screenfor the vast majority of my shots but I keep getting the red symbols. With the daytime shots, the focus was on target. I haven't been able to test any shots out in a bright sunny setting (like the beach) since it's been rather pretty cloudy out here in San Diego.

I know I just got this camera and probably am being a bit paranoid about the "flaws," so to speak. I do have up to 14 days to return it if not satisfied with the purchase. In the meantime, more practice and hopefully people won't get too annoyed by my "dumb" questions. Any help, really, is greatly appreciated.



p.s. I found the other software that enables me to modify the size of my pic. Thanks!


the red AF light will always come on in low light, unless you disable the aF assist feature. if the green frame lights up, the image is focused. the camera shake warning will always come if the shutter speed is below a certain point, even if OIS is on. don't worry about that.. if the OIS is set properly, it'll do its job. worry about composition, lighting, and exposure.
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