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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 8:33 pm 
Hi everyone,
There wasn't a general section so i just decided to post here. I just bought a Panasonic TZ5 and i'm still learning how to use it well.

The outdoor shots are great because of all the light but indoors is a little tricky. I've been messing around with zoom, ISO, exposure, flash, options to get the most crisp, color and visibility for indoor photos.

My problem is that with all the Auto settings they usually use a higher ISO to take in more light for visibility but then the quality of the picture gets blurry and I hate that. So I figured out the camera will usually use a higher ISO if I zoom because the flash light doesn't reach the target as well. So I guess as a rule of thumb for in door shot, only zoom if you have to.

So I decided to test a close up shot of my cat and the flash went off causing too much light to be captured for the picture. The picture is sharp but there is just too much light. I decided to lower the exposure all the way down but it still wasn't great. Then I messed with the flash option and i think "slow sync/red eye" prevents the camera from taking in too much of the flash and the picture came out a lot better.

I guess in short my question is, how can I make the camera take in less of the flash? Because it seems like its all or nothing. Sometimes I only need a little light but I'll just get all of it and it ruins the shot. This is my first digital camera so I'm trying to work things out can anyone help?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 7:52 am 
Have you tried using a big cardboard wrapped with aluminium foil as a reflector? Or alternatively do your photography near a window or light-source of some sort. Sometimes, natural lighting gives better effects.

I'm not too sure if flash compensation is available on your TZ5 but if it is, try checking the manual to see how it can help.

Ask away if you have any questions - and the friendly Camera Labs community will do its best to answer :)

SnS 8)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 8:06 am 
Hi Rameneater84,

I'm not intimately familiar with the camera to you have, but you could try to use a gel...which is just photographer-jargon for colored plastic in front of your flash.

It is used to adjust the color cast of a flash, but it can also be used to reduce the effective output of a flash.

You can buy gels in some photo stores, but I'd suggest that you might experiment with cutout from white plastic bags of varying thickness - or even try 2 layers for example. This can give you a very cheap indication of this route is worth pursuing.

Alternately you can try white paper of varying thickness.

In addition you might get the side benefit of diffusing your flash a little, thereby making the light less harsh.

Cheers :-)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 4:18 pm 
Hm thanks for the advice guys. I tried taking two same exact images with my friends cybershot and his camera is able to adjust to the extra flash for some reason.

Do all cameras have this problem of having too much flash? Since I have my flash on Auto I would think that it wouldn't go off if it didn't need it.

And also one other question and I'll try to describe this best I can.

Is there a way to adjust the auto focus point? My camera has options for things like face detection and 9 area auto focus or just center focus. However , say I want to take a picture of a rose close up and I only want that to be focused but I want the rose to be to the left of my picture. My camera sometimes can't find the object I want to focus because I have it all the way to the left.

So what happens is that the background is actually focused more and the rose becomes blurred. It would be great to be able to choose your own area for auto focus. Do some digital cameras have this option? Thanks again =D

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 4:26 pm 
Yes, some compacts will have that ability. Sadly the TZ5 is rubbish from a manual perspective as everything is auto or only selectable through preset modes.

As for flash, in-built flashes are only useful for fill lighting. They're useless for anything else and produce washed out images that you're referring to. That's an all too common issue.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:15 pm 
Ah ok, thanks for the info =D

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