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Old Apr 6, 2006, 6:05 PM   #1
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Hi everyone,
I have just upgrade from a Canon A70 to the Panasonic FZ7.
I'm off to Kenya on Safari in a couple of months, and constantly fail to get good close up action shots of my daughters football team, so the FZ7's 12X Zoom and other features seemed like a good idea.
I hope you can confirm this is a good choice for the above situations, though I'd be happy to hear not, as I'm able to return the camera in the next two weeks.

Despite the A70 having quite a few manual options, I never really used it for more than point and shoot photo's, so I'm a complete novice. Could any of you please advise on the best settings/modes to use for the football action shots, as I have chance to try them this weekend, the Safari questions can wait a while.
Thanks in advance
Nigel
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Old Apr 6, 2006, 8:10 PM   #2
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There is a Sport setting on the FZ (if it's anything like my FZ30) which automatically chooses the fastest available shutter speed. I have not been too lucky with keeping fast moving subjects in focus. You got to use High Speed 1 Area Focus mode, focus on the face and then shoot immediately before the subject moves. Do NOT use C-AF since it would readjust the focus to another subject in the background which might be in the spot where your daughter was a split second before. Then you'd have the fence in the background in focus and your daughter blurred.

For best sports shots, its best to have a DSLR with auto tracking and predictive focusing which enables youto focus on a fast moving subject and the camera keeps tracking its movement and can even "predict" where it is going to be from the time of focus to the time of shutter release. This is great for kids running toward you or race cars, etc. I don't think any consumer digicam has that. Most DSLR's do, even the budget Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, which I own in addition to the FZ30 and which I now use exclusively for sports shooting.
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Old Apr 6, 2006, 8:26 PM   #3
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Is this Soccer in the daytime? If so it will be a piece of cake.

I also think you should use 1 area fast focus or perhaps spot mode.....You really will need to practice a bit as the delay of the EVF can be a pain but it is easy to adjust to,but it takes some practice.

And I have seen wonderful safari photos with the Fz 5 and 30 and I am sure the FZ7 will do as well.
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Old Apr 6, 2006, 8:34 PM   #4
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For Safari pictures, I agree that the FZ will serve you very well.
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Old Apr 7, 2006, 10:32 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tips so far,
Yes the soccer shots will be mainly daytime so fast shutter speeds should not be a problem. Camera arrived today and the delay time from pressing the shutter button to things happening seem noticably faster than my A70, so this will help, would a very high speed SD card also speed things up for me? or is this just the time before the camera is ready for the next shot ie burst mode.
With my A70 the focus was not really a problem as most things happend to far away for it to matter much, and focus seemd to be pretty stable on the main subjects.
It was just that if you did manage to get a good action pose within a shot, by the time you had zoomed and cropped, the image quality was too poor to print a reasonable size photo. I'm thinking that the larger zoom capabilities will pose new problems for a little while, but thats the beauty of digital, it costs me nothing more than a missed oppertunity, until I master it.

Thanks again.
Nigel.
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Old Apr 7, 2006, 11:14 AM   #6
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If you have not changed any settings yet....try the 1 area fast focus setting, it will be much faster than what you are seeing now. The three area is also faster but I have trouble with it...maybe you will not have a problem with it.



Practice getting use to the delay on the EVF... its not a big delay but you need to understand its there to be able to track moving subjects.

It takes some practice but its very doable.
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Old Apr 7, 2006, 12:36 PM   #7
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Congrats, on your new cam. Share your experiences.


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