Panasonic ZS19 ???

Started Nov 28, 2012 | Discussions
KayC
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Panasonic ZS19 ???
Nov 28, 2012

Hello. I hope someone can help me out. I have been reading on the forum for a couple if days and can't find my answers. I know nothing about settings but would like to learn but need some direction. What would be the best setting for photos of birds? I have tried the ia mode with a tripod and they come out dark in the scenery mode they are lighter and better but not "crisp". If I go to "m" on my camera what and how do I set it to the right setting. I would like to save this as a c1. I also need the same answers for Christmas trees and Christmas lights. Last night I was taking photos of my Grandbaby in baby scene and ia and they had shadows behind her head. What was I doing wrong? I am sorry to sound so stupid. If someone could put it in steps for me so I can print it out and practice. I will also need to know how to get back to original settings. I have loved looking at everyone's beautiful photos and hope I can get there with this camera. Erik's reviews/posts help me decide to buy it.

Thank you sooooo much.

KayC

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 (Lumix DMC-TZ6)
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John Beavin
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Re: Panasonic ZS19 ???
In reply to KayC, Nov 28, 2012

Taking shots of birds is never going to be easy with this camera, my advice is to concentrate on easier subjects, as for your shadows, when using flash the only way to avoid it is to leave plenty of open space behind your subject. Try using P or A, if your shots are too dark, or light adjust to suit, above all hold that camera rock still and gently press the shutter when it is focussed, and NOT before. If you have the manual keep referring to it, good luck.

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Erik Ohlson
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Re: Panasonic ZS19 ???
In reply to KayC, Nov 28, 2012

KayC wrote:

Hi, Kay,

I guess I HAVE to try to help, since I got you into this. 


Hello. I hope someone can help me out. I have been reading on the forum for a couple if days and can't find my answers. I know nothing about settings but would like to learn but need some direction. What would be the best setting for photos of birds? I have tried the ia mode with a tripod and they come out dark in the scenery mode they are lighter and better but not "crisp".

Wow. You are starting out with a very difficult subject. First, although iA is great for general work if you are - as you say - just starting out.

John has said some good stuff., If I may, I'd like to add that he is entirely correct that the camea needs time to focus - sort of hesitate at "1/2 press" before completing the shot: don't "stab" the button. It's also a good idea to get in the habit of having your thumb under the camera so you are "squeezing" the camera so it doesn't 'twist' clockwise as you press down on the button.

For birds I'd suggest, first, use "P" mode and forget the tripod but be SURE the stabilizer is "ON". That will do fine in lieu of a tripod in any sort of decent light, The stabilizer is AMAZING, trust it.

Use 1-Area AF. for increased "crispness" I would suggest iResolution. "Burst" mode really helps with birds but you wind up with a LOT of pictures to choose from!

If I go to "m" on my camera what and how do I set it to the right setting.

In the "M" mode you can just set the exposure you see the camera choosing in "P" mode. It displays the Aperture & Shutter speed in the bottom center of the screen - set those into "M" mod.

Better, though would be to use Aperture mode for general outdoor shots, setting the aperture to ƒ3.3, this will take maximum advantage of the lens, and the camera will decide on the shutter speed.

If the resulting picture is too dark or light, try a different +/- EV setting until you like the result. I like to use about -1 or -2/3 EV and then 'bring the shadows forward' in Post Processing - my Photoshop Elements8 has a "Lighten shadows" setting that works wonders. PSE isquite cheap, and can be bought used on eBay "for a song". I don't know about free onlinr PP like Picasa, but I'll bet they have this, too.

For birds, I'd suggest using a high shutter speed in "S" mode. I generally leave my "S" mode at 1/2,000th second for wildflowers which always seem to be swishing around in the wind.

"I would like to save this as a c1."

These "A" & "S" modes save the setting, so saving as a c1 isn't necessary.

I also need the same answers for Christmas trees and Christmas lights.

Christmas trees and Christmas lights should be good in "Handheld Night Shot" - be careful to hold your body & the camera as steady as possible - handheld night combines a string of burst shots and apparently compensates for a little bit of movement, but help it out!

Last night I was taking photos of my Grandbaby in baby scene and ia and they had shadows behind her head. What was I doing wrong? I am sorry to sound so stupid.

Not stupid at all. The shadows are from the flash, which is right next to your lens and makes these really annoying "dark haloes" as John said, if the background is farther away, that helps a lot.

With on-camera flash it's pretty well unavoidable.

"If someone could put it in steps for me so I can print it out and practice. I will also need to know how to get back to original settings. I have loved looking at everyone's beautiful photos and hope I can get there with this camera. Erik's reviews/posts help me decide to buy it."

Thank you sooooo much!

I hope some others add their suggestions.

KayC

I hope this helps, it's a LOT to cover in a single post. Feel free to send a Personal Message if you'd like, either through the forum, or to the yahoo address below.

-Erik

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danielsonkin
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Re: Panasonic ZS19 ???
In reply to KayC, Nov 28, 2012

Hi Kay.  Congratulations on your new camera.  I own the ZS15 and have been using it to photograph birds at my backyard feeder lately.  That was the job of my FZ50 for many years, but the ZS does a great job too.  First of all, I have it mounted on my tripod and have it focused on the perches on the seed holder or the hummingbird openings of the hummingbird feeder.  I just wait until they come to me and I shoot away.

For birds out and about, I find that having a viewfinder really helps in both stabilizing, but also searching for them in the trees.  You may be asking, but the ZS19 doesn't have a viewfinder.  That's where the Clearviewer comes in handy.  I highly recommending getting one if you want to shoot birds while out and about (as opposed to using your tripod).

All the suggestions that Erik and John made are very good and I wholeheartedly support them.  BTW, the ZS has a very, very smart iA mode.  I would say, except for tricky lighting situations, it is spot on 80-90% of the time.

Speaking of time.  A great time of day to shoot is early morning or late afternoon; also referred to as golden hours.  The light from the sun is nice and golden and not to harsh.  During mid-day, the sun can be so harsh that you run into high contrast situations and blown highlights.

Looking forward to seeing your photos. Keep shooting; the more you do, the better you will get to know your camera and the better you photos will be.

Take care,

Daniel

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Erik Ohlson
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Re: Panasonic ZS19 ???
In reply to danielsonkin, Nov 28, 2012

Very good point about the tripod ata fixed location.

My bad.

I should have mentioned that I've seen folks dragging a tripod around trying to get the right angle on a moving subject: doesn't work very well. The stabilizer is perfectly fine in anything like decent light for birding, but having everything ready for feeder shot & the like is fine, too.

-Erik

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KayC
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Re: Panasonic ZS19 ???
In reply to Erik Ohlson, Nov 29, 2012

John, Daniel and Erik Thank you so much. Your replys will really help me out. I have had my Gandbaby all day and been pacticing in burst mode. Erik LOL Thank you. I did make note of your email LOL. I am wore out and off to bed. I am sure I will bwe back soon. I also have the FZ28 and the ZS19 was a replacement for my F20 (smaller, I always like to have a camera with me too) as the photos don't seem as clear as they used to be. I have always just shot in IA mode but do want to learn about the "other" settings to get better photos.

Thank you all again so much.

KayC

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Erik Ohlson
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Re: Panasonic ZS19 ???
In reply to KayC, Nov 29, 2012

Keep us "posted" - post a phot from time to time !

-Erik

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