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Record Mode menu

Pressing the MENU button while in one of the record modes (P/A/S/M) displays the record menu (this is displayed over the live preview image but is shown on a black background here for clarity).

The menu is split over three pages, navigation is performed using the jog dial and confirmation using the OK button.

Each of the menu options is described in more detail below.

Drive / Bracket

Allows the selection of several different continuous shooting modes. Sequence mode and Sequence mode AF allows shooting of around 3.3fps for all modes except TIFF, built-in flash is disabled. The next mode is self-timer / remote infrared control. Lastly there is a bracketing option, you can choose to take 3 or 5 shots with exposure adjustment divided within the selected range (+/-0.3, 0.6 or 1.0 EV).

White Balance

Selects current white balance mode:

Auto - camera estimates best white balance based on measured colours in the scene
Sunny - best for daylight
Cloudy - for cloudy overcast and dull days (UK)
Incandescent - good for indoor incandescent lights or night shots
Fluorescent - for use with fluorescent lighting

I was kind of disappointed not to see more than four manual settings, there's no preset option (the ability to measure white balance from a card or wall) and there's no fine tuning facility.

ISO Sensitivity

Allows the selection of camera ISO Sensitivity, the ISO values here are for reference purposes only, a digital camera produces more sensitivity by simply increasing the amplification of the signal from the CCD (of course this has the side effect of also amplifying "dark signal noise" which appears as grain on the image at higher sensitivities).

Auto ISO allows the camera to automatically change sensitivity for dark situations.

Flash Mode / Compensation / Slow Sync

The C-3030Z now features flash output compensation (+/-2.0EV in 0.3EV steps), this allows for better control over the flash (if you are for instance experiencing washed out flash shots).

Slow Sync can be set for the flash to go off at the beginning or end of a long exposure (useful for night shot special effects).

Flash mode can be used to enable or disable the internal flash, the internal flash can be used in association with an external flash unit or disabled.

Digital Zoom

With Digital Zoom mode enabled the current zoom level is indicated as a bar on the bottom of the LCD preview image, a small line indicates when you pass the maximum optical zoom and digital zoom takes over.

I'm not a huge fan of digital zoom, typically if you need to crop and zoom an image you can do so later in a good photo package (mostly)...

Function (Picture effects)

Function allows the selection of various picture effect modes:

Black & White - Image is shot and recorded in black and white
Sepia - Image is shot and recorded with a sepia tint
White Board - produces a highly contrast image useful for shooting black text on a white background
Black Board - produces a highly contrast image useful for shooting white text on a black background

Recording Mode

This menu option alters the current shooting format. The choices are:

TIFF - [custom] @ TIFF image format
SHQ - 2048 x 1536 @ JPEG Very high quality
HQ - 2048 x 1536 @ JPEG High Quality
SQ1 - [custom]
SQ2 - [custom]

Formats marked with [custom] can be set to custom resolution / quality through the record mode setup menu.

Manual Mode

Manual mode selection. When in Manual mode (A/S/M) you choose the desired method of manual control through this menu option, each initial stands for:

Aperture Priority
Shutter Priority
Manual Mode (full manual)

Setup Menu

Mode Setup enters record mode setup (detailed below).


Record Mode Setup Menu

The record mode setup menu allows for setup of various other record mode settings (along with some global camera settings), again navigation is performed using the jog dial and OK button (don't forget to press it or you'll lose all your settings!)


Setup Menu Option
 
Sub-Menu Action / Options
ALL RESET ON Camera functions are factory reset at each power-up
OFF Camera functions are memorized at power-down (all but LCD status) and set on power-up
CUSTOM
[SHOW]
Enters a set of sub-menus for customization of power-on settings, this can be used to set the LCD to be on at power-up.
SHARPENING HARD Camera applies a lot of sharpening to images
NORMAL Camera applies normal amount of sharpening to images
SOFT Camera applies no sharpening to images / softens images
TIFF

Select resolution at which TIFF images are shot:

• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480

SQ1

Select resolution / quality at which SQ1 images are shot:

• 1600 x 1200 / High
• 1600 x 1200 / Normal
• 1280 x 960 / High
• 1280 x 960 / Normal

SQ2

Select resolution / quality at which SQ2 images are shot:

• 1024 x 768 / High
• 1024 x 768 / Normal
• 640 x 480 / High
• 640 x 480 / Normal

BEEP • Off
• Low
• High
FULL-TIME AF

Select whether the camera will continually focus or only focus when zoomed / half-press of the shutter release.

• Off
• On

REC VIEW

Choose the image review mode, On displays the last image taken briefly then returns to record mode, CHECK requires confirmation of each shot before it's stored on the SmartMedia card.

• Off
• On
• Check

FILE NAME Are filenames numbers reset with each removal of SM card?

• Reset
• Auto
LCD BRIGHTNESS (Displays a sliding brightness control)
DATE / TIME Set Date / Time / Date Format
M / FT

Display units selection

• m
• ft

Comments: Sharpening should have a wider range and a definite "NO SHARPENING" option (for the purists). Image resolution and Image quality / format (JPEG/TIFF) should be separate options, the current method makes selection of the correct size and resolution fairly confusing.

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