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Old Sep 15, 2009, 1:46 PM   #321
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Default Panasonic

I would definately look at a Panasonic. I love mine, although it is an older model now but it takes great photos, little lag time and easy to figure out. I bought it when my son hit Little League for sports photos and now he is in a Babe Ruth travel team and it still is a great camera. Many people don't look at Panasonic because Kodak, Nikon, Canon put big money into marketing so Panasonic is less well known but I haven't had a single problem with it and have taken it to the Grand Canyon, Mexico, etc.
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Old Sep 15, 2009, 3:14 PM   #322
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Hi there, T-

Yes, the super zoom cameras like the Sony H-20 and others suffer from the fact that their usable high ISO speed is usually much lower than a DSLR camera, and the fact that their small imager forces compromises with lighting.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 15, 2009, 3:19 PM   #323
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09/15/2009

Getting Used to Your Camera

All too often folks, are too fast in judging a camera. At least for me, the process takes about a month. I have to (1) Read through and thoroughly understand the camera documentation. Often, I have to read things through several times before everything sinks in nicely. Keep in mind that these terms and camera functions are not new to me. The key thing is that I have to really and thoroughly understand how my new camera makes use of those key and important camera functions. Every camera implementation is just a little different.

I have to actually get used to shooting with my new camera in a wide variety of photo situations, so that I can always depend on good results from my new camera. That too, takes some time. I always express it this way. You have to make a “friend” out of your new camera and like it a lot. Why, you might ask? And that is a logical question. Simply because, if you don’t like your camera, and it is not your “friend” so as to speak, you won’t use that camera very much. When you avoid your new camera, and don’t use it very much, you have wasted your investment in that camera.

(3) Therefore, when I purchase a new camera, I want a 30 day, no questions asked
return policy, with no re-stocking fees. It is as simple as that, because I know
that it is going to take that initial 3 week+ period to make an honest evaluation
of that new camera.

Here is a factor that is sometimes overlooked. How does the camera feel in hand? Is
the camera good for the size hands that God gave you. Are the controls
conveniently with in reach. Does the button layout fit your mindset and
expectations? If the placement of the control buttons on your new camera are a
constant hassle to you, you won’t use that camera very much. So, once again the
selection of that camera was a poor investment for you. I won’t buy a camera
until I have had an opportunity to handle and actually think out and determine if
that camera really works well for me.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 15, 2009, 3:24 PM   #324
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Silverfish-

You are correct, Panasonic has produced a number of very fine super zoom cameras, such as the FZ-28. However, even the very excellent, FZ-28 becomes ISO limited, when compared to a DSLR camera when operating in very low light level conditions.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 15, 2009, 3:27 PM   #325
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Default The Sony A-230Camera at ISO 1600 in REAL LIFE Shooting

The Sony A-230 DSLR Camera at ISO 1600 in REAL Life Shooting Conditions

Consider these two shooting or photo situations. (1) You are shooting Test Shots. Everything is relaxed and easy. You take as much time as you want, no matter what, to set-up the shot exactly the way you want it, so you can evaluate your new camera’s performance. (2) You have to go out and shoot a stage performance in REAL time. Well, it could be your son or daughter’s Music Recital, or Dance Performance, or even the School Play. They are not going to stop and pose for you. They are not going to wait for you to set-up your new camera. And there we be none of this: Let’s take another shot please, business. Those two photo situations, as you can easily see, are entirely different.

That was what I faced last night. I challenged myself so shoot an entertainer on stage. I could not use flash, and had to capture photos that please me in REAL TIME. So, let’s use what I actually did as a learning situation for you.

Well in advance of the entertainer ever appearing on stage, I carefully went over my camera. Here is what I checked and/or seta) I made sure that I had a FULLY charge camera battery. (b) I made sure I was using a memory card with space for at least 100 photos (c) I changed the WB, or White Balance to the pre-set for incandescent or tungsten because I knew there was not going to be any daylight in that darkened theater. (d) I manually and numerically increased the ISO setting to ISO 1600. (e) I set the camera focusing options to Continuous Focus. I knew that see those little, tiny focusing lights in the viewfinder was going to be at least difficult, and most probably and realistically almost impossible (f) I familiarized myself with the camera controls, once again, as I knew that I was going to have to operate that new camera in a darkened theater. When Bradley and I walked into that theater, I had to be ready to begin shooting. Yes, I also knew and was at peace with the well know fact that I would most probably have to adjust those camera settings to adjust myself and the camera that I was using to the actual condition that I found on the stage of that theater.
OK, the entertainer is introduced, comes on stage, I wait a few minutes evaluating the stage lighting. I was particularly looking for the use of colored stage lighting. Why, you might ask? Because colored lights, in some situations, can act just like color filters on your camera’s lens. Colored lights can add way to much red, or if they are blue lights, it will make the entertainer look ill in your photos.
After carefully evaluating the stage lighting, I take the first couple of shots. Then I stop to evaluate those shots. I want to know if the exposure was correct, and if the camera’s shutter speed was sufficient to stop the action going on up there on the stage. So the attachment to this post is of one of the very first photos that I took last night. Notice that those initial photos were visibly over exposed, when I viewed them on the camera’s LCD screen.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 15, 2009, 3:30 PM   #326
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Default Making Camera Adjustments to Match the Photo Environment

OK, let’s move on with how I had to adapt my camera settings and shooting style to meet the conditions that we taking place on stage. Remember that our initial or test photos, were overexposed. The entertainers facial tones were all washed out, and chalky white. So I had to reduce the amount of light my camera was taking in for the photos. How did I do that? I used the Exposure Compensation feature. Then, through a trial and error procedure, by taking a photo and viewing the result on the camera’s LCD screen, I nailed the exposure.

Happy with the changes that I had made to the camera, I looked up once more to the stage, only to realize that the stage lighting had changed measurably. So I had to shoot another test shot and determine how my incandescent WB would handle that new stage lighting. The main problem was that the stage lighting now had different colored lights now being employed.

The attached photo is my test photo to determine is the WB was OK. Well, it was not, as you can easily see from the attached photo. So I knew that I had to make another camera change.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 15, 2009, 3:33 PM   #327
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Default Setting a Custom White Balance

OK, let’s move on. To get the correct WB I was going to have to set a custom WB. I had to quickly think about that procedure from the time I had read about it and learned it in the camera manual. I set the custom WB and began shooting again.

Here is a photo from the Custom WB group. I hope these detailed discussions on shooting techniques are helpful to you. Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 15, 2009, 3:41 PM   #328
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Hi there, Rita-

Thanks for posting the photos. I see two issues in your photos. (1) There is the over exposure issue that JimC discussed, (2) When any action is involved, you have to get sufficient shutter speed to stop or "freeze" the action in your photos. And that shutter speed is usually measurably more than is required to just to take the photo.

Think of it this way, whenever you have action involved, and you are in the "P" for Programed Auto Mode, the easiest way to increase the shutter speed is to do one of two things. Either go to the Shutter Preference Mode in place of the "P" Mode or to increase the ISO setting manually and numerically.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 15, 2009, 8:50 PM   #329
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Thanks to all of you for your feedback. I was not used to knowing where to look for that info on the image you all were referring to. So, I'll have to figure that out. I agree with more time to get to know my camera I can get better. I believe I did not recognize the overexposure since it was so very bright outside.

Overall I think I could be very happy with the Sony H20 for the limited in between use, only the lack of viewfinder really hindered my ability to follow the action.

Unfortunately I did not buy with a 30 return period with no stocking fee. So I need to decide in 14 days and perhaps incur a restocking fee if I decide to try something else.

Rita
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Old Sep 15, 2009, 10:18 PM   #330
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[QUOTE=JimC;1001051]ritap

Unfortunately, the editor you used to downsize those photos stripped out the EXIF information. So, we can't tell what camera settings were being used.
QUOTE]

Where do I look to see this EXIF information you are referring to on the original files?

Rita
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