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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:49 am 
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Posts: 485
intelligent Auto feature on the TZ7
This mode is, in my understanding, targeted to persons that have little or no knowledge about the technical side of photography. So, in order to asses its quality, it has to be used by such a person, even a beginner's knowledge at photography can bias such a test.
The occasion to assess the iA mode came with my wife's 16 day trip to Romania. She is a doctor and, although she aptly uses very complex computerized equipment in the operating room, she has zero patience to learn the knobology of a "civilian" appliance that has more than a power switch. Also, beside the need to focus, zoom to compose, the need to use a flash in low light, she has no knowledge about the technical side of photography.
So, after I showed her where the power switch is, how to zoom, meter, focus and shoot, set the camera in the iA mode, she made a few test shots around the house and I declared her "good to go" :)
She came back with about 400 shots, and here are the results.
1) Framing:
~90% of the shots with tilted horizon in various degrees
Otherwise good and balanced framing
2) Focusing
~20% out of focus due to: camera shake in low light when flash didn't fire, foreground blurred and background in focus, subject movement in low light when flash didn't fire, and some few cases where I don’t have a clue about the reason, maybe she recomposed too much after focusing.
Portraits shots correctly focused even off center, it seems that face recognition works well enough
The rest in very sharp focus, no complaints.
3) Exposure
~90% of the landscape shots with the sky completely blown white. After some tweaking in LR I've found in most of them some blue and clouds.
~50% of backlit portrait shots came underexposed, simply fill flash didn't fire. Even in consecutive shots, a few seconds between them, one with fill flash the other no.
All sunset, sunrise shots came out very good; the camera correctly chose the appropriate scene.
In low light, when some source of light is in the frame, the flash didn't fire underexposing and blurring the whole frame due to camera shake.
4) White balance
Outdoors good, indoors with tungsten light and no flash there is a pronounced yellow cast.
So, what's the conclusion?
All in all I think it works. But there is ample space for improvement. I think that such a camera would benefit from a meter that can show when the camera is held at a right angle. The low light situations caused the vast majority of the problems (as expected, I must say) and of course the high dynamic ranges where the sky was scarified for the good of the rest. But those are problems with fancier DSLRs and more experienced photographers too.

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Radu
Canon PowerShot S100
Canon 50D , SIGMA 10-20 f3.5 ,Canon EF 24-105 L IS USM, Canon EF 100/2.8 macro Canon EF 50/1.4 ,Canon EF 85 f1.8,Canon EF-S17-85 4-5.6 Old Tamron 28-300 inherited from my Canon Rebel G film camera
Canon580EXII
http://www.errre.net


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:52 pm
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Location: The Netherlands
Intresting read, I made 1 shot with the iA mode, checked it in-camera, I though ****!, what has it done?! And never used it any more...
Before I did this I only had used the ASM modes BTW.

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Ruben

Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 3:39 pm
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Hi Ruben, I never use that one too. But Panasonic, and all major camera manufacturers in fact, make great efforts to produce a camera that would work for people that do not know , or do not wish to know how to take pictures, only to point & shoot. I was curious if it really works. I must confess that I hoped it had better results in low light/indoors. It seems that the AI program that governs the iA mode had made little progress in the tougher situations. Almost any p&s camera works well outdoors and good light.

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Radu
Canon PowerShot S100
Canon 50D , SIGMA 10-20 f3.5 ,Canon EF 24-105 L IS USM, Canon EF 100/2.8 macro Canon EF 50/1.4 ,Canon EF 85 f1.8,Canon EF-S17-85 4-5.6 Old Tamron 28-300 inherited from my Canon Rebel G film camera
Canon580EXII
http://www.errre.net


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:22 pm 
great info about how the TZ7 performs,Radu :) still,manual control is always better & ppl should make an effort at least in reading their product manuals


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:52 pm
Posts: 2175
Location: The Netherlands
How do you power on the camera? I dont see a button? :shock:
Heared so much.

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Ruben

Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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 Post subject: Motion blur
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:56 pm 
I'm a newbie with my GH2 and was also trying some IA shots with flash assist. Was there some sort of light source in you scenes with flash that were blurred? I noticed in ones I took indoors, when there was a brightly lit window in the view, that it appeared the camera was trying to expose for the widows being in the scene and using the flash as a fill, rather than going to high synch speed and using flash as the primary light.


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