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Old Jan 4, 2008, 6:08 PM   #11
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mtclimber wrote:
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...own the Z-712....teaching the folks with the Z-812
So, Sarah Joyce, having had your expert hands on the joysticks of both, is the poor press round here of the 812vs the 712 justified? You may be uniquely qualified to comment. Have Kodak pushed the design a bit too far, and over-cooked the pixel wars? I'd love to know what you think!They are very cheap cameras compared with the competition. and could therefore open up better photography to lots of people.
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Old Jan 4, 2008, 6:16 PM   #12
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Alan-

You are very correct! The Z-712 is a bit better than the Z-812, there is no doubt about that. However, there are a good variety of "work arounds" that do make the Z-812 an effective camera. It has to do with the "menu tree" more than anything else. Otherwise, the two cameras are relatively similiar, with the Z-812 having a few more pixels.

The key question remains however, where, oh where, did the P, or performance seriescamera go to???

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Old Jan 8, 2008, 2:59 PM   #13
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Alan T and Sarah (If you haven't left yet.)

I'd like to get your thoughts on a bit of my speculation. Both the Z712 and the Z812 replace the Auto of the Z612 with Smart Scenes. The Smart Scenes of the Z712 doesn't seem to have caused the issues that it has with the Z812. Reading Kodak's literature the difference between the Z712 and the Z812 Smart Scenes is Face Detection. Speculation, it is the Face Detection that is making unexpected (by the user) changes in focus and exposure. Thoughts?


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Old Jan 8, 2008, 6:27 PM   #14
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acsmith-

Face detection seems to be a large portion of the problem is obtain poor focus. The lack of FD clearly makes the Z-712, the better camera choice. Kodak still has a few kinks in their FD, I believe, though I cannot be absolutely sure.

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Old Jan 9, 2008, 7:01 AM   #15
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ac.smith wrote:
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Alan T and Sarah ....your thoughts on a bit of my speculation. Both the Z712 and the Z812 replace the Auto of the Z612 with Smart Scenes. ....is the Face Detection that is making unexpected (by the user) changes in focus and exposure.?
This seem quite possible, though I'm not suitably qualified to comment. This is because I was so hugely unimpressed by 'Smart Scenes' on my Z712. Most of them I've tried once, and never used again, feeling I'd do as well or better myself (principally using the live preview to adjust exposure, etc.). The same would apply to anyone who'd attended one of Sarah-Joyce's courses or read a book or a 'how-to' article and applied a bit of brain power, or had some experience of the olden days.

The exception is 'Panorama' mode, but even thatinvariably overexposeson my specimen, resulting in washed out sky & other blown highlights, unless I fool it by setting the initial exposure while pointing at the sky. So even then it's not as 'smart' as me. The stitching is brilliant, but I wish it would do more than 3 shots. I attach a specimen from my summer holiday, resized & sharpened only from a 6542x1872 original.

I also use 'P' (programmed) mode for flash shots (if I agree with its shutter speed), because it tells you roughly what it's going to do, and allows exposure compensation and flash adjustment.

For other readers of this forum, I must emphasise that I still see my 712is as the best all-round camera I've ever had in over 47 years of photography, including OM-10 SLR plus many lenses & gadgets. I shouldn't complain too much about poorly-finished dumbing-down automation in pursuit of the mass point&shoot market,as I've benefited from the consequent ludicrously low price. That's for a fine machine that weighs 868g including small (6"x6"x5") case, 2 spare batteries & cards, mini-tripod, lens cleaning materials and even tiny USB card reader.

Sadly Kodak seems to have carried it even further with the 812. I was trying to buy a 612 like ac.smith's when I got my 712, so I was just in time, perhaps.

I'm wondering whether I dare upgrade my 712 firmware from 1.03 to 1.06, in case they've 'improved' it (cf. XP+SP2 to Vista). Given that the original poster became panasonically disappointed, so that we're talking largely to ourselves, I'll enquire in the Kodak forum.
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Old Jan 9, 2008, 12:21 PM   #16
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Alan and Sarah

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the issue.

Alan

Nice pano and excellent application of that feature. Reading comments on panos from users of many different camerasI see a fairly consistant recommendation to lock exposure before starting the series so auto exposure seems to be an issue across the board.

When you post a thread in the Kodak forum I'll jump in with some additional comments.


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Old Jan 9, 2008, 1:29 PM   #17
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ac.smith wrote:
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....consistant recommendation to lock exposure before starting the series...
Yes, it's essential. but easy on any camera with full manual control. When doing non-'Smart Scene' ones (i.e., wider ones) for stitching later, I often try and set the exposure somewhere in the middle of the scene, and then lock it manually. Clearly if I'm fooling the camera anyway, that's the right thing to do with 'Smart Scene' as well, I now realise.

Sadly, the full Z712 potential for panoramasquite isn't realised, because of vignetting at max zoom, as we've discussed before.

See you over in "Kodak"!
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