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Old Dec 12, 2005, 3:15 AM   #11
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Jusak, don't drive yourself crazy. Your camera is fine. The picture of the cat was taken in an non contrasty situation, hence the lack of contrast. The camera doesn't have an auto contrast where it adds contrast on a non contrasty day, and takes away contrast on a contrasty day. This is done in PP. In your first photo it was a question of the camera underexposing the white of the image. The cat photo was taken in a non contrasty day (looks like late afternoon, maybe partly cloudy? Just a guess). Try putting your cat in direct sunlight (on a sunny day) and put the pictures side by side. And I agree with Slipe, you should leave your settings on normal and play around with the image afterwards. If you want contrast shoot on a beach or the snow when it is sunny out, you will probably have to tone down the contrast. When I shoot with my Canon EOS 20D the picture looks terrible right out of the camera. Very little contrast, much too soft etc. But once I fix everything in photoshop I have a great image. Since my first digicam (Oly 2100) I always found that I had to play with the image, then when I toggled back to my original it always looked so flat. While it would be great to get the perfect image out of the camera every time, it is amazing that we have the technology at our fingertips to correct contrast, and sharpness. What would we have done if it was a color negative? Not much. Contrast would have to be changed by leaving the paper in the developer longer, but that would throw the colors off, so it would take forever to rebalance to get the color shift to look normal (this is from what I remember of color developing). Now a little USM (unsharp mask) a little slide on the contrast/exposure bar and we are good to go.Not to mention other tricks that everyone develops, I have to try that defogging thing... Good luck, just keep shooting!
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 6:02 PM   #12
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At the beginning of this chaining I raised the question whether FZ30 family have a contrast problem or is it only a malfunction of my camera alone.

After learning from Nancy and other people here, I understood it's not a "problem" or a flaw. Still, I think I canname it 'A weird default contrast settings' (entire scale – Low-Standard-High, i.e. you can't change it within camera functions).

That's because I believe that FZ30 Contrast ability do suffers from a relative amount of haziness, meaning that by default, photos come out with a kind of gray layer on it.

I attached8 photos here for your judgement andin order to demonstrate more of this Contrast issue.

No problem to fixthis though – it takes about 30 seconds or less for each photo, but it's an essential! Otherwise your photos will look pale.

Btw, the printed results is much worse then the attached images here !

Trying to summarize my feelings, FZ30 is not a cheap camera, and for its price it should have done a better contrast job,both contrast /non-contrast conditions ! (As for the cat photo's conditions – Nancy your guess was accurate

So, I was thinking of return the camera and cancel the deal, but then I read Nancy's message:

"When I shoot with my Canon EOS 20D the picture looks terrible right out of the camera… Since my first digicam (Oly 2100) I always found that I had to play with the image, then when I toggled back to my original it always looked so flat".

From my experience, much cheaper digcams can produce much better contrast results.

Do you think that FZ30 competitors can produce better contrast results ?

Thanks a lot Nancy and thanks everybody,

Ju
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 6:08 PM   #13
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same photo, after a bit of Auto Contrast correction:
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 6:08 PM   #14
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Original:
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 6:09 PM   #15
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after a bit of Auto Contrast correction:
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 6:11 PM   #16
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original (inspite of the strong Zone-System effect)
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 6:11 PM   #17
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after a bit of Auto Contrast correction:
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 6:12 PM   #18
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original:
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 6:13 PM   #19
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after a bit of Auto Contrast correction:
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 6:21 PM   #20
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Lower quality cameras have smaller CCDs that pick up a smaller dynamic ranger, and therefore the images are of higher contrast. This is not really a good thing if you want to take high quality photos.

If you don't know what dynamic range is, it refers to the the amount of detail a camera can pick up in the dark areas and light areas of a scene. For instance, if you took a picture of a person standing in front of a sunset, a cheaper camera would display the person as nearly black and the sun as nearly white. A higher quality camera would pick up more detail and color in both the dark areas with less of the scene being completely black and completely white.

This is part of the reason why shooting in RAW is so important on a high quality camera. If you take a picture that has very low contrast and it is saved as a JPG, a lot of detail is lost and you can sometimes see compression artifacts when you incrase the contrast. A RAW photo stores many more subtle differences in shade, and therefore can be increased in contrast without any real loss of quality.

On the other side of the coin, if you start with a very high contrast photo where portions of the photo are nearly black or nearly white, those details are lost forever.

If you're not the type of person who likes to take your photos into the computer and tweak them to perfection, then perhaps a cheaper, simpler, point and shoot camera is really what you need.
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