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Old Mar 3, 2006, 1:21 AM   #1
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Last year before vacationing in Florida I bought a Casio Z750. When the photos turned out - they were amazing. However approximately 80% of my photos turned out blurry. So I sold the camera and am getting ready to go back in a few months. I need a camera that is not going to blur on 80% of the pictures. I dont necessarily need a compact, or ultracompact, but small would be nice. I literally lost hundreds of really good "moments" and I don't want that to happen again.

I have attached two of my better photos, and several of the not so good ones. Literally, in bright daylight, with auto settings, the camera would blur the photos. I changed nothing on the settings and from one to the next - it would happen. As you can see from the photos pics #1, and #2 in order from top to bottom came out good but the rest were pretty much like EVERY other photo I took on that trip.

Sorry im not that good at posting photos.

http://www.onefreegift.com/img/Univ1.jpg
http://www.onefreegift.com/img/Univ2.jpg
http://www.onefreegift.com/img/Univ3.jpg
http://www.onefreegift.com/img/Univ4.jpg
http://www.onefreegift.com/img/Univ5.jpg
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 1:41 AM   #2
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Fortunately for some and unfortunately for others the Z750 has a "quick shutter" option in the menu. It is a good feature for people who are in the habit of pressing the shutter halfway until they get a ready light before taking the picture. For those people it gives an option to get an instant picture with a full shutter press. Of course the picture isn't always in focus but you have it if you need one in a hurry.

The setting is a disaster for people who regularly take pictures by just pressing the shutter all the way. There is a warning in the manual that it will take the picture instantly without focusing if you do that. "Quick shutter" can look like a good deal in the menu, but you can't regularly take pictures by pressing the shutter all the way if you select it. It might have gotten selected by accident.

I don't personally use the option. But a lot of people like it.

Whatever camera you buy will do better with focus if you get in the habit of waiting for a focus indication before pressing the shutter the rest of the way. I rarely get an out of focus picture with my Z750.

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Old Mar 3, 2006, 1:48 AM   #3
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I always held the buttom half way for it to "focus" before snapping the pics. As far as quick shutter goes - I am not sure if that was ever selected.
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 11:36 PM   #4
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Odd they should have come out blurred after waiting for the focus lock light.

Another problem some people have with the camera is that the up button on the 4 way controller is always hot to change focus settings. Many people have gotten out of focus shots by having it in infinity or manual mode. Unfortunately the EXIF doesn't give the focus mode you were in. It is fairly common to have a hot button for that, but it can cause problems. I wish they had put it in the EX menu instead so you would be less likely to hit it by accident. I try to check that there isn't an icon beside the flash symbol and have the camera set to reset the focus to default when I turn it off – default is auto-focus.

I notice all but one were taken in portrait mode. Odd choice for scenery, but it doesn't seem there is any correlation with shots being in focus.


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Old Mar 4, 2006, 12:33 AM   #5
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I really liked the Z750 when the photos came out but I really don't want to get back into that camera again. Do you have any recommendations other than the z750. I like the high-res crisp photos but dont want so many blury pics. I also want something that does good in low-light. I am aware not too many compact cameras are good at this but I open to lots of ideas.
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Old Mar 4, 2006, 4:31 AM   #6
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I have the Canon S1IS and have had a lot of good pics. Low light isn't the best but once you get the hang of the settings I can work with it.

I have a picture similar to your first one of Universal Studios in California.
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Old Mar 4, 2006, 6:31 AM   #7
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If I had to guess, your use of Portrait Mode may have caused a problem.

Or, you didn't have focus lock (or accidently set it to macro focus, which is limited to a max focus distance of around 24 inches).

The camera may have been selecting a different focus point, too (probably influenced by the use of Portrait mode if it saw anything closer in the frame).

You have to be careful of what focus point is being selected (or just change it to spot focus, lock on the subject in the center with a half press, and reframe as necessary before pressing the shutter button the rest of the way down).

As for the last photo in the set, your shutter speed was too slow (1/8 second), which means you got some motion blur from both subject movement and camera shake. Increasing your ISO speed would have helped to get shutter speeds faster (or just use a flash in lighting that low).


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Old Mar 4, 2006, 7:01 AM   #8
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JimC wrote:
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Or, you didn't have focus lock (or accidently set it to macro focus, which is limited to a max focus distance of around 24 inches).
Oops... I looked up the wrong camera. The Casio is limited to 15.75" in Macro mode (at it's wide angle lens setting, not that it matters much for the photos you were taking).

But, the other advise still applies. Using the center focus point may be better with a model like this, versus letting the camera try to find a focus point (which may have been influenced by the use of Portrait Mode for your photos).

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Old Mar 4, 2006, 11:38 AM   #9
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I wasn't suggesting you get another Z750. There was obviously nothing wrong with your camera though. Cameras that develop lens alignment or other problems that affect focus don't usually take some of the pictures perfectly focused at the same distance as others that weren't. Your baobab tree was at about the same distance as the globe. If the camera could focus on one it could focus on the other. Since you have the good habit of waiting for a focus lock before depressing the shutter all the way the camera was in a setting that caused focus problems.

Since you are asking for a camera you can't accidentally set wrong it is significant what setting was causing the problem. Had it been the quick shutter setting most cameras would do fine as it isn't common. Since the globe and baobab were both in portrait mode I don't think putting the camera in inappropriate modes and leaving it there really caused the focus problems. I just checked and mine has a full range of focus in portrait mode even though it warms the WB some. But there are other scene modes that lock the focus at infinity and you might want a camera a little harder to get into the scene modes.

A large number of cameras have a button always hot to switch between focus modes. You could put a dab of epoxy putty on either side of it so it is harder to accidentally press. That would require a separate button rather than one like the Casio on one of the arrow buttons, and those aren't that hard to find. Your best bet IMO is to get the camera that most meets your needs and learn to keep your fingers and thumbs away from the buttons when the camera is on. Also make sure the menu is set to return the camera to default settings when you cycle it off and back on. If you get a camera without manual focus there is one less focus mode to accidentally be in. And be more aware of where your camera is set than to take scenery photos in portrait mode.

Don't wait for another big family trip and buy the camera just before you go. I don't blame you at all for putting a priority on being there and not spending excessive time messing with the camera. But that is why 80% of your vacation photos are blurred.

If you read the reviews from Steve's, DCRP, dpreview and Imaging Resource you will find a few cameras that have focus problems under some conditions. The Z750 doesn't happen to be one of them unless it is broken, and most others focus fine if you learn to use them.

Did you use the optical finder on the Casio or shoot mostly with the LCD? There are a lot of nice cameras without optical viewfinders that have great features like stabilization and high ISO capability lacking in Casio cameras. And some of them have LCDs that are of a higher quality and easier to use in bright sunlight. I don't personally like a LCD only camera but some people do fine with them.

Did you use the movie mode much and how important is it to you? The Casio cameras with MPEG4 and the great past movie mode are hard to beat for movies from a small camera.

Do you want a camera you can carry around in your pocket? Do you want more zoom range? Would wide angle capability give you better scenery and interiors? What features were the motivating factor in getting the Z750 as opposed to something else? Did you feel you would eventually use the full manual controls?

I would refine your requirements. A good place to start is Steve's "Best Cameras" list. Each listing is a link to the full review. http://www.steves-digicams.com/best_cameras.html

There are probably a dozen cameras I could highly recommend with your single requirement of one that gets most photos in focus.

Jim – the macro mode on the Z750 was evidently put there by marketing so they could list it as a feature. It does exactly the same thing as normal auto focus. Both macro and auto are good from 4 inches to infinity, and I see nothing different between the two.


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