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Old Jun 15, 2010, 12:31 PM   #81
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Skylark-

One more fact: Slave Flashes come in different designs. There even larger Slave Flash that can be used for bounce lighting. I have attached a photo showing one of the larger Slave Flash units.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 1:26 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by GatsbyGlen View Post
You can find sample videos that compare the 2 cameras here.

http://www.vimeo.com/10051035

I downloaded the Panasonic and Sony files and played back on the big screen - to me, Sony looked better, probably because of 1080i. The streaking with the Panasonic camera is bad.

However, the pictures taken by the Sony camera seem much better.

Bahhh. What is the Canon equivalent?
I own both cameras so I don't need to see a 3rd party comparison but thanks. The video is better on the Sony - that was already stated. If you don't mind the laundry list of other problems with the HX5V, then go for it. You have all the facts in front of you.

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The problem with the indoor photo image quality is this: the panasonic Z series cameras have a slow (small aperture) lens and a weak flash combination. That causes the Z series cameras to really increase the ISO setting indoors in an attempt to "get the photo." That also increases the NR, or noise reduction which is an attempt by the camera's firmware to combat the increased noise that is a result of the radically increased ISO setting. The result of increased ISO and Increased NR is that water color painting effect that can be seen in the finished photo.
I can't comment on the ZS3 but this simply isn't true with the ZS7. For one, you can set the camera in P mode and manually set ISO or set Intelligent ISO to a limit if ISO 400. You can also set NR to -2 which nearly removes all NR. I have yet to see one single photo from the ZS7 with a watercolor effect that was not due to user error (shooting a moving target for example). Again, the camera does suck in low-light but let's not attribute problems from one camera to another.
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 1:39 PM   #83
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Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your previous three posts and taking the time to attach pictures to them. Appreciate it very much. I agree with all that you posted.

Our problem is that although I'm willing to use a slave flash with a compact P&S, my wife is a "take out of purse, turn on, press the shutter" person, and the camera is for her. I had shown her comparisons of the ZS7 indoor photos of people and ones from her old SD550. She was a bit surprised and said she wants to stay with her SD550 if I can repair the cracked LCD screen. Amazingly, the SD550 is smaller than the ZS7 but it's flash seems to be stronger.

Decided to wait and see what new compact P&S models will come out by Christmas.

Thanks for your help,
Sky
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 1:58 PM   #84
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There is nothing to be "surprised" about. The sensor is 30% larger. The camera could be 20 years old and that doesn't change the science behind it. Do you think that the law of gravity will change in 20 years? Will a 10 lb object fall at the same rate in 2030 as it does in 2010 or do you think it will fall more slowly? I don't know how to explain it any more clearly. You don't seem to get it.
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 3:35 PM   #85
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Five-O-

I agree that by manually setting the ZS7 some of the water color paiting can be overcome. However, I believe that the truth of the matter is that most Z-series camera users take a different mind-set.

They prefer to use IA or "P" coupled with an unrestricted Auto ISO setting. That is why these folks have that water color painting effect in their photos. So my posts were pointed to those folks. I was able to give them a work-around if that wanted to employ it.

We both know that the built-in flash on the ZS7 was improved a bit. However, that improvement only moved it from "really bad" category to the "not so bad" category. Indoor photos for most ZS7 users are still light deficient. That is why we constantly see repetitive posts, on all the forums, about inferior indoor photos with all the Z-series cameras, including the ZS7.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 6:30 PM   #86
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I should have my new ZS7 in a day or so. I will let you know what I think of it and the indoor shots. Would it be wise to get a slave flash for this?
thanks
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 7:10 PM   #87
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We both know that the built-in flash on the ZS7 was improved a bit. However, that improvement only moved it from "really bad" category to the "not so bad" category. Indoor photos for most ZS7 users are still light deficient. That is why we constantly see repetitive posts, on all the forums, about inferior indoor photos with all the Z-series cameras, including the ZS7.
You've missed my point. I have stated - repeatedly in fact - that the ZS cameras are terrible indoors. skylark refused to heed the warnings and then chose to complain afterwards about a problem that he had already been warned about. The ZS cameras are not for people who shoot primarily indoors. But I digress ...

I have yet to see one photo posted here, on dpreview, on Picasa or anywhere else for that matter that displays a "watercolor" effect with the ZS7 (or any ZS camera) that was not due to the user's own error. If someone has iResolution on, that is their error as we know this "feature" is junk. If someone is shooting a running child in indoors, that is user error. skylark has stated that the problem is due to some uncontrollable NR and I have yet to see any evidence of this. I could take a $2000 dSLR and use the wrong settings or sweep the camera while taking a shot and you will get a "watercolor" effect. That is certainly not due to the camera.

Finally, I go back to the point that I have now stated at least twice. Age has nothing to do with how much light a camera's sensor can gather. Only an idiot would try to compare the performance of a 1/2.33" sensor to a 1/1.8" sensor. That's as senseless as trying to compare a Kia to a Corvette.
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 7:13 PM   #88
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Warren-

As long as you keep the Flash Range (the distance measured in feet between camera and subject) under 10 feet, you should not have any problems. It the Flash Range goes over 10 feet, yes, a Slave Flash will make a measurable difference and prevent escalating ISO and excessive NR problems.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 19, 2010, 8:05 AM   #89
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Slightly off topic but I need the help of the smart people in this thread. On the ZS7, I know how to get the date text stamp to function in playback mode but I'd like to set the camera so that it date stamps every photo automatically. How do I do that?
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Old Jul 19, 2010, 2:06 PM   #90
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Slightly off topic but I need the help of the smart people in this thread. On the ZS7, I know how to get the date text stamp to function in playback mode but I'd like to set the camera so that it date stamps every photo automatically. How do I do that?
You can't. This feature has been phased out on most current cameras.

You can do it easily using various software programs but most of them cost money. If you don't mind spending a few minutes setting it up, there's a tutorial for a free solution here.
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