Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Panasonic FZ20 offers challenging options to the digital photographer

In preparation for my upcoming trip to Italy, I have been studying up on the features of our new Panasonic FZ20 Luminix digital camera. I've taken a few shots with it but it seemed to require quite a bit more "fiddling" than my reliable Sony Mavica FD-81. Today, however, I think I identified some of the default settings that may have been causing me some trouble. I noticed that the Auto Focus Continuous setting was not set to on. This meant that there was a slight delay once I pressed the shutter before the camera began it's auto focus routine and may have resulted in some of my earlier images being a little fuzzy. I'm used to the Mavica being focussed almost instantly. I'm hoping that my setting this feature to on will help. I also noticed that the Auto Focus feature was set to only a single point even though the camera is capable of using a nine point focus system. In some of my earlier images, I noticed that the focus seemed less sharp as the image radiated out from the center. I thought it was a result of a shallow depth of field but this may not be the problem after all. I set this feature to the maximum of 9 point focus so we'll see how this affects the overall sharpness of the picture.

I also set the programmable Scene 1 setting to "Party" a setting for obtaining sharp focus in a low light condition. I set the programmable Scene 2 setting to "Scenery" for instant maximum depth of field and sharp focus. These are the majority of types of shots I think I will need.

I have also called our Museum of Art and requested permission to come over and photograph some of their ancient art objects in their exhibition setting so I can determine the best settings for focus and true color reproduction.
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