FZ200 - When in doubt about lighting use the P mode

Started Oct 24, 2012 | Discussions thread
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RudyPohl
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FZ200 - When in doubt about lighting use the P mode
Oct 24, 2012

Hi fellow FZ200 pioneers:

Here is a shooting strategy that has really been working for me lately when the lighting is less than optimal and I'm not happy with the results of my photos when played back on the camera's LCD. This has been a frequent occurrence here in Ottawa lately as we've had a long string of cloudy rainy weather which shows no sign of letting up.

So here's what I do... I switch to P mode and invariably I get much better photos.

Think about for a minute, Panasonic has spent huge amounts of time and presumable bags of money working out a series of very sophisticated algorithms so that in P mode the camera produces maximum quality photos under a wide variety of conditions. In poor lighting situations, do we really think we can do better choosing our own camera settings than the camera's engineers? Anyway, I personally have not been able to and I have a delete bin full crummy photos to prove it. However, in the last week or so, most of my keepers in cloudy rainy conditions have been shot in P mode.

I find no shame in shooting in P mode whenever the conditions are poor, I still have lots of other photographic challenges to get a good shot so there's still plenty of skill involved. The FZ200 really is supposed to be a point and shoot camera, and by that I think the makers mean that it's a point and shoot camera when it's in P mode, not the other modes.

So what I am doing these days is using my own settings in Aperture and Shutter speeds priority and sometimes Manual mode when I've got the light and I've got the time and my initial test shots are looking good...., otherwise it's P mode for me, and the shots are great!

For the newbies out there here's how I do it:
1)  Select the P mode.
2)  Point camera at your scene or subject and half-press the shutter button.
3)  Observe the settings that appear at the bottom of the LCD, if the aperture and shutter speed numbers show in red, your camera is not getting enough light on the sensor.
4)  Raise the ISO until these number are no longer red and start shooting. The camera will work out the optimal combinations of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO for each new scene or close-up subject under changing light conditions... I love it!  

P.S. I know that others have reported that the camera in P tends towards F2.8, but for some reason when I use the technique above I am not finding this. Maybe, if you give it enough ISO to play with it can be more flexible, I don't know.... Many of my P shots have resulted in F3.5 to F4.

Cheers,

Rudy

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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