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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    18

    Going to Hawaii. Typical settings for FZ-20?

    Hey everyone.

    I have the FZ-20. I've had it for about 2 months now. I think the picture quality outside is FANTASTIC. Indoors is good and bad. Low light conditions are somewhat questionable too. I'm going to Hawaii very soon and I thought I would talk to the experts one last time before the big trip. Can I get some "regular" settings for your FZ-20? There are so many options when it comes to White Balance, Sensitivity, Metering Mode, AF Mode, Continuous AF - yes/no, Picture Adjust, Stabilizer. I'm scared that when I try to take a beautiful sunset picture in Hawaii with the low light condition that it is going to come out NASTY.

    I've also experienced a little bit better picture quality indoors when I turn down the automatic flash to -1. When on it's default setting of "0", I find that the pictures are too bright. Anyone else have any thoughts on that?

    Also, with kids, I can't use the red-eye reduction setting with the flash. It just takes too long to take the picture. I've noticed that when I say, "1, 2, 3, smile", that the lag with the red-eye reduction is too long.

    Please help. I know the camera is awesome, I just wish I knew how to use it a little better.

    Thanks
    Jack

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    403
    not any bit a pro but this might help, i think kuro shared his own settings here...
    My Pics Using FZ20 by kuroneko (DCRP Panasonic Forum)
    good luck on your trip!
    panasonic lumix fz-20
    nikon d200 + nikkor 28-70 f/2.8 "beast" + sigma 18-200 f/3.5-6/3 + nikkor 50 f/1.8

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    2,635

    Talking Take a look at my Hawai'i gallery with FZ10...

    You'll find my Smugmug gallery here. With each photo on Smugmug, if you click the "get photo details" link, you can see the exact EXIF conditions, which should be pretty much the same as what you'd use for the FZ20, given that it's the same lens. I used a lot of Manual exposure with the FZ10, but judging from my more recent experience with the FZ15 (with features much like the FZ20), you should be able to get away with P mode for most shots. The main difference now is that the newer cameras have separated the AF selection from the AE selection. (You can use matrix exposure even with spot focusing, in other words) I'd suggest using your "highlighting" and "Quick Review" features, which will let you see instantly when you need to retake a shot, and doing that, the camera will serve you well, I'm sure. Aloha!
    Let a be your umbrella!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    18
    Thanks for the replies.

    John_reed,

    I don't have my camera manual with me, trust me, I read the whole thing, so bare with me and my ridiculous descriptions.

    When you say the "matrix exposure", due you mean the exposure that shows
    the 9 dots in the box? I thought I read that your best selection for that option was to have the single small dot in the middle. Also, if I use the highlighting option, and I see the "flashing parts", does that mean that I should adjust the exposure down a bit? Even if the flashing white parts are just a small quantity of the overall picture should I adjust the exposure down?

    Thanks Meillana, that link will help me a bunch.

    Jack

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    2,635

    Re: Going to Hawaii. Typical settings for FZ-20?

    Quote Originally Posted by jepjep
    Thanks for the replies.

    John_reed,

    I don't have my camera manual with me, trust me, I read the whole thing, so bare with me and my ridiculous descriptions.

    When you say the "matrix exposure", due you mean the exposure that shows
    the 9 dots in the box? I thought I read that your best selection for that option was to have the single small dot in the middle. Also, if I use the highlighting option, and I see the "flashing parts", does that mean that I should adjust the exposure down a bit? Even if the flashing white parts are just a small quantity of the overall picture should I adjust the exposure down?

    Thanks Meillana, that link will help me a bunch.

    Jack
    The "9 dots in the box" refers to the type of AF (Auto Focus) you're using, as opposed to the single small dot in the middle. When I refer to "matrix exposure," I'm talking about your exposure options, one of which looks like "[()]" - I think it means "multiple", from my manual. When you use the highlighting option and you see something flashing, it means an over-exposed white part of your photo. Depending on the contrast in the photo, you might elect not to do anything about it if reducing the exposure makes other dark areas too dark. If not, it's generally a good idea to avoid "blown-out" whites.
    Let a be your umbrella!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    378
    Quote Originally Posted by jepjep
    Thanks for the replies.

    John_reed,

    I don't have my camera manual with me, trust me, I read the whole thing, so bare with me and my ridiculous descriptions.

    When you say the "matrix exposure", due you mean the exposure that shows
    the 9 dots in the box? I thought I read that your best selection for that option was to have the single small dot in the middle. Also, if I use the highlighting option, and I see the "flashing parts", does that mean that I should adjust the exposure down a bit? Even if the flashing white parts are just a small quantity of the overall picture should I adjust the exposure down?

    Thanks Meillana, that link will help me a bunch.

    Jack
    Not to take away from John at all because his answers are spot on. However, I love taking sunset shots, and I am getting more comfortable with my FZ15 at taking these shots.

    First, do use the review feature as John suggested. I find that I can get great shots of sunsets whether I overexpose or underexpose. In terms of sunsets I tend to use the spot metering "", which is just the dot. Why? because I can choose exactly the spot I want to meter, and it is easy to compensate for a shot I'm not happy with.

    I usually shoot in P mode. I start by spot metering on the sun. My exposure compensation is almost always at -2/3, especially in sunset shots. The shot will usually come out a bit dark as the sun is very bright. You will likely get a flashing sun. It's the sun, you can't really stop that unless it is right at the sunset. If I want a brighter photo, then I start moving the metering away from the sun. Usually as this happens you will get a bit more of the shot flashing (around the sun). It is really up to you how much is acceptable. Sunset shots are a challenge and you are bound to get the overexposed areas. If you want details on the foreground, you are going to have to spot meter on that area, but you will almost surely overexpose the sky. If you use manual mode and set the exposure yourself; you can use a tripod, take 2 photos: one for the sky and one for the foreground, and merge them together using Photoshop. You can also get a graduated ND filter to reduce the contrast with the sky. Perhaps test some of these things out before you go to Hawaii. Lucky for you, the sun sets very similarly all over the wolrd (although mountains can make it challenging).

    Last, on indoor flashes, I find that the flash setting depends on how close the subject you need to shoot is to the camera. I usually use -1 when objects are close, but I've used +1 to get the most out of my flash too. Although, in those situations, I wish I would have had an external flash.

    Ok... I'm sorry for the overload and ramble.

    Good luck,

    Erik

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    2,635

    I agree with you in that sense...

    I also use spot metering (or manual) when I'm shooting sunsets. It's the only way you can "dial in" the kind of color spectrum you want. But when I'm shooting birds or other kinds of scenery, I find that spot metering makes the exposure jump all over the place, even if you just set the spot on dark or light feathers of the bird, you'll get wildly different exposure. That's why I like the "center weighted" method for most shots.
    Let a be your umbrella!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    378
    Yes, I should have emphasized that I only really use spot metering for sunsets. Otherwise I do use that center weighted averaging for most other shots unless I am finding it hard to achieve what I want.

    Erik

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    403
    can't recall what metering i used for these sunset shots but these were taken in p-mode (if my memory serves me right )

    http://photobucket.com/albums/y281/meillana/th_P1020126.jpg

    http://photobucket.com/albums/y281/meillana/th_P1020095.jpg
    panasonic lumix fz-20
    nikon d200 + nikkor 28-70 f/2.8 "beast" + sigma 18-200 f/3.5-6/3 + nikkor 50 f/1.8

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    18

    Thanks for the replies

    Thanks for the replies. I will look at my manual and get some knowledge on the "spot metering". I remember reading about it before but I didn't really understand it. I also remember reading on some forums about spot metering and seeing some over exposed sky's etc. Thanks again.

    Meillana,

    Nice sunset shots. Were those done with a tripod? If so, did you use the timer or how did you do that? If not, wow.

    Jack

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