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Digital Camera and Photography questions


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#1 deidre

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 05:00 PM

Mod Edit: At stevealmighty's request, this thread was split from Different Photos..., as it was getting off topic.


these are neat! what camera do you use? i was thinking of buying a panasonic lumix digital based on reviews. i've never really shot with digital for professional purposes.. just 35mm print.

i guess i'm asking if you recommend the lumix. thanks! :D

Edited by tg1911, 05 April 2006 - 01:04 PM.

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#2 stevealmighty

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 09:28 PM

these are neat! what camera do you use? i was thinking of buying a panasonic lumix digital based on reviews. i've never really shot with digital for professional purposes.. just 35mm print.

i guess i'm asking if you recommend the lumix. thanks! :D


If you could provide me with a link, and tell me what you're going to use it for, I can tell you what I think of it, and let you know if it's worth while or not (if I remember correctly, panasonic runs a little on the expensive side).

I'd be more than happy to help, just post a link if you please :thumbsup:
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#3 deidre

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 09:46 PM

http://www.panasonic.com/consumer_electron...meras/lumix.asp

i REALLY like that it has a leica lens (that's almost pornographic for me!) and i think it's as close to a slr that i'm going to get because i can't spend 1k or more on a camera right now. and i am totally digging that zoom!
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#4 tg1911

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 12:42 AM

Just bought this one a couple of months ago:
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5

$350 at Mwave.com
Great battery life, 12X optical zoom, 5-megapixel, and image stabilization.
Loving it, so far.
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#5 deidre

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 12:51 AM

do you have any pictures that you've taken with it that you could post? or email them to me...?

the model i was looking at was this one: http://panasonic.co.jp/pavc/global/lumix/fz30/index.html
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#6 tg1911

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 01:10 PM

Here's a few of the images I've taken, deidre.
They're not the best, but I'm still learning to use the camera.
If you have any tips stevealmighty, I'm all ears. :thumbsup:

1. This wasp was taken in Macro Mode, at 6 feet.
2. Some storm clouds, building.
3. Rice dryer's taken in Sepia.
4. Three of my cat's, (l-r) Pig, Fuzzy Butt, Not, on the back side of the rice dryer's.
5. Another one of my cat's, Hoover.
6. Fuzzy, again.
7. Dew on a spider web, taken in Macro Mode.
8. Some Blackbirds coming in to roost in my bamboo's, at sunset.
9. A clover flower, taken in Macro.
10. A closeup of a Blackbird.

Edited by tg1911, 03 April 2006 - 01:10 PM.

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#7 deidre

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 01:37 PM

what cute kitties!!

thanks for those pictures. i really like the clarity.

do you have fun with the camera? or is it sort of a pain to use?
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#8 tg1911

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 02:39 PM

Having a blast!
The camera's pretty easy to use, with a little practice.
The controls are all easy to get to, without having to re-position your hands.

Be sure to get a stable tripod, as anything over 5X tends to be blurred without it.
Also useful when taking macro shots.
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#9 stevealmighty

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 07:38 PM

http://www.panasonic.com/consumer_electron...meras/lumix.asp

i REALLY like that it has a leica lens (that's almost pornographic for me!) and i think it's as close to a slr that i'm going to get because i can't spend 1k or more on a camera right now. and i am totally digging that zoom!



Ok, after a quick check on that camera, yes, it's rather nice. It's got a nice zoom on it (12x) and more importantly, it's an optical zoom (stay away from digital cameras with a digital zoom). It's a leica lens, which is "top of the line" as far as cameras and lens are concerned. It's also got the OIS (Optic Image Stabilizer) which is relatively new to the average consumer (but has been out for a while with different names for pros to use). It's a good feature to have, as it will help to steady the camera for you incase of very minor shakes or low light situations that require a slow shutter speed.

It's a 4 effective megapixel camera. Ok, what that means is that in the camera's highest resolution setting, the picture will be roughly 4 megapixels in size. Meaning that it'll be Like 3 feet tall by 4 feet wide....literally. I was unable to find the really technical info on it, so I'm assuming it's like every other camera on the market (for the most part), it only captures an image at 72ppi (Pixels Per Inch). The digital SLR's will capture at 72 ppi or 300 ppi which is great for printing or digital archiving. Don't concern yourself with having a camera that captures a high megapixel. Even a 2 mega pixel camera is good enough to make an 8"x10" print from. Remember that most people (maybe yourself too!) never print pictures from a digital camera, they only view them on their computer. Remember how I said that the camera captures at 72 ppi? Well, computer monitors (again, for the most part, or the monitor that the average consumer would use) only displays at 72 ppi.........hmmmmm.......interesting!

As for the interchangable memory cards....good. Most cameras can do that anyways. I'd reccomend getting a 2 good sized cards instead of 1 huge card....meaning I'd buy 2 cards that were 512 mb each before I'd buy 1 card that was 1gb. Reason being is that you'll forget to empty images off your card, and when you go to take pictures, your card will be full. Sure, you can delete the images off that card right from the camera to make some room, but you'll suck up your batteries in the process. With 2 cards, if you fill one up, you just pop in the "spare" card and off you go!

That camera also has a Mic, which is great, because then your videos that you record with it (yes it records video, and yes you'll use it). Believe it or not, some cameras don't have a mic for video, much like my little camera. It's ok, I just voice over my kids like a poor 1970's kung fu movie :thumbsup:

All in all, it's a good camera, and I'm sure that you'll love it. Personally, I'd see if I can't save some money by dropping down to something a little smaller than 4 mp. It's a personal thing I guess, but there's a lot more to this digital camera stuff that I know which is why I would go that route. Mainly because it captures at 72ppi and your monitor displays 72ppi.

Hope this helps. If I've confused you in any way, or if you have other questions please let me know.

I've just come off a short vacation, and have been on the road for 5 hours, so I'll check the other pictures and posts later on....thx everyone :flowers:
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#10 stevealmighty

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 09:38 AM

My apologies for the back to back posting, as I know it's most typically frowned upon (I hope that the mods aren't looking!! LOL!!!)


Here's a few of the images I've taken, deidre.
They're not the best, but I'm still learning to use the camera.
If you have any tips stevealmighty, I'm all ears. :thumbsup:



Well, most typically, I don't give "tips", just for the sole fact that being a professional, most people take tips as an insult or direct attack on their photographic abilities.....my wife is a prime example (it took me a few years to get her to move her fingers out of the way from in front of the flash and hold the camera correctly). Just know that I'm trying to be helpful and am in no way being degrading or insulting! If you take anything away from this post, have it be that as long as you're happy taking your pictures, that's all that really matters! Ok, here goes;

You've got a good "artistic eye" for pictures. You set up your shots in such a way that they are different from eachother which makes each shot both individual and interesting. Your framing of the subject is good also, just try to remember to position them accordingly; either more off center or centered. If you have them slightly off centered, it looks like you might've moved the camera at the last second, or weren't paying attention to where the subject was. Rule of thumb is to look at your entire frame (when looking through the camera) to ensure that everything is how you want it (usually 1-3 seconds). The rule of thumb on this is "the rule of thirds" where you break down your frame into thirds, basically using a "tic-tac-toe" board to decide where you want to position your subject. I'll include a (poorly drawn) picture below to help demonstrate this point.

One thing I did notice is that some of the pictures seemed to have their subject slightly out of focus. This is not your fault, but rather the cameras fault (assuming the camera is on auto focus) The picture of the gray cat for example, the cat seems ever so slightly out of focus (a little "soft"), while the ground behind her is nice and sharp. It's the same with the cat by the log, the cat seems slightly soft while the log in the foregroung (front) of the picture seems to be the sharpest. With out looking at the camera itself and knowing what auto focus settings it has, it's hard for me to tell you how to correct the focus issue. The quick fix is to put it in manual focus. The other fix is to check to see where the focus points are. Most cameras will have several (well, 3-7) focus points. The might be indicated by a square or a circle that might flash red to indicate where the camera is focused. If you don't like where your camera is focusing, put your hand in front of the camera lens about a foot away and let it try to auto focus, then move your hand and point the center of the lens at the subject and auto focus again. You should check your manual to learn more about auto focus, and where the camera "checks" to gain it's auto focus.

Your macro shots are very nice too. Great detail and choice of shots and colors. Did you know that you can achieve the same effect with the zoom lens? Just zoom out (doesn't have to be all the way, but at least half, should be more) and focus on something close to you: the result will be the subject close to you will be sharp and the background will be soft. Try getting about 10-20 feet away from a cat, then zoom in on her and focus on her head. Put her head in the bottom corner of the frame (left or right, doesn't matter) but leave enough room so that you can see a good portion of what's behind her (so don't shoot her against a wall, but rather an open field). You'll have to be on the same level as the cat or you'll just get the background being the ground!). You'll get the blurred (soft) background because of the zoom and focal points of the lens, and it's quite the neat effect!

Overall, I give you 1 out of 10 stars. You should get rid of your camera right this very second. Mail it to "Stevealmighty at 1234 My Road....." LOL!!!!! Kidding, TBH, your shots are great, and like I said, you seem to have a good eye for photography. Don't be afraid to shoot the same shot with a few different "poses", meaning the a cat in the center of the frame, then in the left side, then in the lower right etc. etc. You'll learn a lot by doing that and won't waste money as digital doesn't cost anything to develope :flowers:

Keep up the good work and you'll end up with my dream job......being that guy that actually gets paid to photograph the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition at exotic locations all around the world while the majority of your coworkers are supermodels.........I'd do that job for free!

Great photos and keep up the good work! I'd like to see more great shots from you as time goes on! Please let me know if I've confused you (or anyone for that matter) and I'll try to explain things a little more clearly.



MAN! Am I ever artistic? :trumpet:
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Edited by stevealmighty, 04 April 2006 - 09:39 AM.

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#11 tg1911

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 12:00 PM

Well, most typically, I don't give "tips", just for the sole fact that being a professional, most people take tips as an insult or direct attack on their photographic abilities.....

If I had "photographic abilities", I might be insulted :thumbsup:, but not likely.
When I ask for advice, it's because I recognize someone has more expertise on a subject, than I do, and I want to learn.

The quick fix is to put it in manual focus.

The one thing I don't like about this camera, no manual focus, AF only.
Camera specs for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5

The other fix is to check to see where the focus points are. Most cameras will have several (well, 3-7) focus points.

My choices are:
9 area focusing
3 area focusing (high speed)
1 area focusing (high speed)
1 area focusing
Spot focusing
I've been leaving it on "1 area focusing".
I start playing around with the different settings, from now on.

Your macro shots are very nice too. Great detail and choice of shots and colors. Did you know that you can achieve the same effect with the zoom lens? Just zoom out (doesn't have to be all the way, but at least half, should be more) and focus on something close to you: the result will be the subject close to you will be sharp and the background will be soft.

Didn't know that.
Would you use "Spot Focusing" for this?
Pre-focus on the cat, then compose the shot?

Overall, I give you 1 out of 10 stars. You should get rid of your camera right this very second. Mail it to "Stevealmighty at 1234 My Road....."

It's in the mail. :flowers:

Don't be afraid to shoot the same shot with a few different "poses", meaning the a cat in the center of the frame, then in the left side, then in the lower right etc. etc. You'll learn a lot by doing that and won't waste money as digital doesn't cost anything to develope

Of the over 2000 shots I've taken, I might have kept 200.
Got to love digital photography.
Your only real expense, is the camera.

my dream job......being that guy that actually gets paid to photograph the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition at exotic locations all around the world while the majority of your coworkers are supermodels.........I'd do that job for free!

That's my dream, too.
You mean they pay you for that? :trumpet:

Thanks for taking the time to critique my images, and sharing your experience.
It is, much appreciated.

Well, back to practicing. :inlove:

Edited by tg1911, 04 April 2006 - 12:06 PM.

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#12 stevealmighty

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 01:14 PM

With your focusing, do like you said and use the spot focus. The spot focus should be right in the middle of your lens (should be the exact center). Just keep in mind that it's the middle of the lens, so point the center of your lens at your subject, lightly press the button to focus the camera, then while holding the button down slighlty (to keep your focus) frame the subject. If you lift your finger from the button after you get the focus, you will refocus when you push the button after you frame your shot. Check to see if the camera has an auto focus lock (AF-L) button on it. If it does, then by pressing and holding that button, you'll get the same effect as holding down the shutter button (shutter release button).

A good tip is that if you're having a hard time focusing on a subject while in spot focus, then cut your subject in half with your lens focal point and then try to focus again.....meaning that the camera will try to auto focus by using the contrast from what's in the focus point ("spot" focus which is the middle of the lens) to what's behind it. If you tried to focus on your gray cat, the camera might not focus good because of the lack of contrast, so move half of the "spot focus" area to the background, leaving the other half of the "spot focus" area on the cat itself (have a little more of the focus area on the cat itself so that the camera knows what the subject is). This works great, and I usually do this method in low light or low contrast situations.

Did that make sense? Or should I punish everyone with a poor stick figure drawing again explaining it? LOL!

Good luck with the picture taking, anything else just let me know! :thumbsup:
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#13 Rimmer

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 06:58 PM

Really enjoying "listening in" to your digital camera workshop Steve and TG, with so many new owners of digital cameras maybe we need a new (sub) forum for this? I vote for Stevealmighty as resident consultant.

There are lots of things I don't understand about digital photography (or indeed photography) despite having done a few courses over the years and I wouldn't mind some help. An open discussion might interest others too but that would be off topic for this thread which is about your "Different Photos". I guess I should just start a new thread. :thumbsup:

As regards the rule of thirds I dont get why the last diagram is okay while the first is not? Got any photos as examples?
:flowers:

Edited by Rimmer, 04 April 2006 - 07:28 PM.


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#14 stevealmighty

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 07:34 PM

Really enjoying "listening in" to your digital camera workshop Steve and TG, with so many new owners of digital cameras maybe we need a new (sub) forum for this? I vote for Stevealmighty as resident consultant.


If you can swing that past the boss (grinler?), then I'm game for that. I have no problems taking on a sub forum. There are lots of smart people here, and the questions that I can't answer (like ones about free software and other programs that I don't use/know) can be answered by the members that do use them! :thumbsup:

As regards the rule of thirds I dont get why the last diagram is okay while the first is not? Got any photos as examples?


What!?! You don't like my hi-def stick figures? :flowers: Kidding! I'll try to post some pictures later on to help better explain the rule of thirds. I'm sure that everyone was simply overwhelmed by my extreme massive wicked mega awsome artistic ability that they completely missed the point! LOL!!! Kidding!
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#15 Scarlett

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 07:38 PM

This thread can be split. :thumbsup:
With the pertinent digital workshop info placed in it's own thread, and re-titled.
Any thoughts on a title?

Edited by Scarlett, 04 April 2006 - 07:39 PM.

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