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Old Jul 19, 2010, 1:39 AM   #1
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Default Indoor Pics with lumix zs6 disappointing

Am I doing something wrong?

Am trying to shoot a picture of a pet indoors and having poor results. Pictures are soft and noisy.

This is a white rabbit, so he is hard to shoot. Flash is bad because it will wash him out... so I try to get as much light in the house as possible (not much) and turn on lights.

I'm shooting on automatic as I don't have a book to consult and can't recall too much about manual settings. Maybe someone has a suggestion?

I really thought it would do better than this. I can send someone a picture copy if they'd like to look at it. Or it looks as if I can "embed" a pic here (will try that). Thank you! Oh, never mind, can't insert, apparently unless you have a website.

Thanks for any ideas.

I gather the FZ 35 would take much better pics but is twice the size, correct?
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Old Jul 19, 2010, 6:14 AM   #2
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To be able to post a photo from you computer, check out http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ge...oto-forum.html

Just make sure it is no larger than 1024 pixels or 249kb, if it is then use software to re size it first.
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Old Jul 19, 2010, 12:54 PM   #3
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Indoor shooting is always tricky, no matter what camera you use. The very first issue just about every camera faces is white balance. Most cameras have a hard time adjusting the WB for indoor tungsten or florescent light. Thus, is it always recommended that one sets the camera to the appropriate WB when shooting under these types of lights to prevent the yellow/orange cast. The camera will meter much better also. The second issue is the amount of light. Unless you have lots of light (natural or not), the camera will struggle so you either set the ISO to at least 800 or use flash. Now, let's look at each option starting with the high ISO. The higher the ISO, the more noise and less details you get. With low ISO, the camera will most likely select the widest aperture possible (which happens to produce the softest images) in order to keep the shutter speed to minimum acceptable values to prevent blurriness caused by camera shake. The slow shutter speed will also cause blurriness if the object is not still. So, capturing an active rabbit indoors with low light w/o flash and low ISO will be difficult. Now let's move to the second option, which is the use of flash. Those little compact cameras have very weak built in flashes (with vary few exceptions). Not only that, some have difficulties adjusting the intensity based on FL (the distance between the camera and the object), producing either very dark or washed out images. Since the flash is weak, I always suggest forcing the ISO to 400 to increase depth. The ZS6 allows the flash output to be adjusted. So, if you are too close to the subject, you may not need to set the ISO to 400 or if you have the flash mode saved in one of the custom settings (like I do), then reduce the flash output in case the images look too bright. My last suggestion is not to use iA mode. Most of the time you will obtain better results in P mode. Besides, iA mode does not give you any flexibility in terms of changing settings.

If you can post an image or two, that would be helpful as well.
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Old Jul 19, 2010, 2:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemma View Post
Am I doing something wrong?

Am trying to shoot a picture of a pet indoors and having poor results. Pictures are soft and noisy.
ISO 800 is the absolute limit I would for this camera, but I won't go above ISO 400 unless the situation is pitch black. ISO 800 and above simply start to lose all detail and color.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemma View Post
Flash is bad because it will wash him out... so I try to get as much light in the house as possible (not much) and turn on lights.
I've never had the flash on my ZS7 wash anything out. The flash is very weak actually. Perhaps you are standing too close. However, I also prefer to avoid flash if possible for other reasons. Keep in mind that even with all your lights on, the ambient sunlight outdoors provides about 200x more light.

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Originally Posted by Clemma View Post
I'm shooting on automatic as I don't have a book to consult and can't recall too much about manual settings. Maybe someone has a suggestion?
My first suggestion is to read the manual. You have the manual - you are simply being picky about it not being printed. That said though, the instruction manual won't teach you how to take better photographs. It will only teach you how to use the camera.

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Originally Posted by Clemma View Post
I really thought it would do better than this.
Why? These cameras were not designed for use in low light (indoors for example), especially without a flash. The tiny sensor size and available aperture are the giveaway. When you first posted that you were looking for a camera, I informed you that it might be difficult to find a current model under $300 that would perform well in low light.

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I gather the FZ 35 would take much better pics but is twice the size, correct?
The FZ35 certainly does better in low light, but it is not exceptional in low light either. It goes to F2.8 but it still has a 1/2.33" sensor. If you want a low light camera that fits in your pocket, check out the Canon S90, Panasonic LX3, Panasonic LX5 (coming soon) or the Samsung EX1/TL500. They are all more than $300 however.
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Old Jul 20, 2010, 12:14 PM   #5
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Thanks for your suggestions.

I do take good photos, shooting stuff for magazines and TV in the past (back when I shot regularly, as opposed to now). Yes, it would be helpful to know how to use this camera. Like where to set ISO, etc. If I was certain I'd keep this I'd have the book printed out for sure. I, for one, need such a reference.

It is not a problem with the color, just soft focus and noise. I'll try to upload if I have time and can follow the posting details.

Appreciate your suggestions for other cameras... just in case. I gather they are much larger but much better.
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Old Jul 20, 2010, 12:41 PM   #6
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Appreciate your suggestions for other cameras... just in case. I gather they are much larger but much better.
They are actually about the same size but you lose the zoom and in the case of the S90 and Samsung, you lose the HD video as well.
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 12:19 AM   #7
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Samples from Canon S90:
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ca...ml#post1120450
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 7:18 AM   #8
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OK, got a photo up.
It is a new thread called, Photo Example: Rabbit / lumix zs6.

See what you think.
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