Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

Started Dec 5, 2006 | Discussions
mikeyw Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

Guys,

I really want tolike this camera but it just doesn't seem to cut it for me. I own a Panny FZ5 which is in a different league. Is my F11 faulty or in Auto mode is it just getting things wrong ?

Here are 3 pics of my daughter in her new coat which should have been memorable not annoying

The first 2 were taken on Auto and the camera chose Flash / F2.8 / 1/64sec / IS0800

The 3rd (outdoor) chose F2.8 / 1/120sec / ISO200 - better but still too soft and overexposed

Can anyone offer me any advice or should I just give up on the F11 and stick with my FZ5

The last pic was taken in similar light with my FZ5 (such a difference !)

OP mikeyw Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

Sorry - don't know what's happened to pic 3 size wise !

SchurWool Regular Member • Posts: 416
Re: Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

You will get some professional advice here later for sure,

but I guess it would be easier if you would have taken the same pic with both cameras under the same conditions. If you still have both cams perhaps you could provide these?

Oliver

SchurWool Regular Member • Posts: 416
Re: Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

Are you missing a picture here? AS far as I understood there should be 4 pics alltoghether?!

Oliver

Paul De Bra
Paul De Bra Forum Pro • Posts: 12,594
focus point selection

Looks like you have the camera in the mode where it chooses where to find focus, instead of the mode where it uses center focus. The background looks sharp, the girl is out of focus.

It is also possible that because of the dark blue coat the camera did not find focus at all. It will show !AF but will still allow you to take the picture, which will not be any good.

mikeyw wrote:

Guys,

I really want tolike this camera but it just doesn't seem to cut it
for me. I own a Panny FZ5 which is in a different league. Is my F11
faulty or in Auto mode is it just getting things wrong ?

Here are 3 pics of my daughter in her new coat which should have
been memorable not annoying

The first 2 were taken on Auto and the camera chose Flash / F2.8 /
1/64sec / IS0800

The 3rd (outdoor) chose F2.8 / 1/120sec / ISO200 - better but still
too soft and overexposed

Can anyone offer me any advice or should I just give up on the F11
and stick with my FZ5

The last pic was taken in similar light with my FZ5 (such a
difference !)

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Slowly learning to use the DRebel (only around 26.000 shots) and now also the Fuji F11.
Public pictures at http://debra.zenfolio.com/ .

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OP mikeyw Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

This should have been the 3rd one :-

jst4fun Regular Member • Posts: 231
Some F11 Tips from my school of trial and error :)

Definitely semes like you have an issue with your pics. my ISO800 shots are not super crisp, but not that bad. I have to wonder if you happen to have HIGH SPEED SHOOTING ENABLED? It will show a yellow camera on the screen, near where the flash status is shown (top middle).

If this is the case, the F11 does VERY poorly with anything closer than about 2M (manual says 1M), and even without this enabled, it's not great for closer shots. I do use the high speed mode, but then you just have to make sure you click the left arrow, and enable MACRO MODE whenever your subject is closer than 6ft.

Macro mode has another GREAT side affect, it limits the ISO to 200, and closes down the aperture (higher F number), and also seems to "warm up" the colors. I have found macro mode to be the ONE mode that exceeds my expectations on the F11.

so try macro mode!

In general, here are some tips for my general use...

1. Set the LCD to -2 brightness

2. Set "M" mode to "shade white balance", -1/3 EV, and AVERAGE photometry. (the WB and EV won't matter if using flash, but will help to avoid overexposure)
3. Set to CENTER FOCUS (someone else already mentioned this)
4. Set scene mode to NIGHT SHOT* with SLOW RED-EYE flash

5. Set ISO to AUTO as default... 400 is great for indoors, and 80 for bright sunny days.

Then here is how I use the settings...

Outdoor super bright = ISO 80, Mode M (try with and without force flash

Outdoor shade = ISO AUTO, Mode M (no flash, try at EV = 0 if result a little dark)

Indoor back light = ISO Auto with Night Scene or...
Indoor w/ some daylight = ISO 400, AUTO mode, or...

Indoor night time = I try 3 diff: ISO AUTO, AUTO mode... or ISOAUTO + Macro to force ISO200... or go to Mode A, and set aperturre to 3.2-4.0 and ISO 200-400 (kinda depends on lighting in the room.

Actually indoors, lately i have been using a slave bounce flash, with F11 in "S" mode, 1/60 shutter to stay in sync with the slave, and set the ISO to ISO80.

Night shot mode will force ISO 200, if shutter is too slow, up the ISO to 400 manually, but don't forget to set it back to auto when done.

If someone could send similar suggestions for the F30... I'd love to see it, cuz my F31 is coming soon (i hope).

any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
take care

Daniel Entin Regular Member • Posts: 358
Re: Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

I have the same cameras. In the Panasonic FZ5, you have one of the best pont-and-shoots ever made. I have used it for everything, EXCEPT for low-light shots without flash. For that, the Fuji is unsurpassed. No camera can do everything.

Pooch2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,610
Re: Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

Mike,

Let me ask you this; do you point your camera and put the cross hairs on the your subject and half lock the shutter and hold it there and then recompose the shot and then finish pressing the shutter button? If not this is the correct procedure, if your not you will have mostly out of focus shots, in my experience! If you do this you should be able to get good shots in the natural light scenic mode, auto mode and manual mode. I mostly used aperture priority mode, but until your getting good pics, keep it simple.

For the first two, 1/64 of a second should be enough speed to hand hold a shot wide open, if it was fully zoomed it might not be. For full zoom the rule of thumb with this camera would be about 1/125, wide open 1/35 for normal non blurry pics. (the focal lenght in 35 mm terms as the shutter speed)

Your shots should be much better then this at 800 ISO. Go thru your menu settings, actually I cant remember if there is a reset to the factory settings, if there is, hit the reset and use manual mode as below or otherwise go thru the menu settings;

make sure you have the AF illuminator enabled
make sure you have center focus selected as noted in the above repsonse
make sure you have auto WB selected (after your a pro you can change it)

make sure you have multi photomerty selected (after your a pro you can change it)
make sure you using fine or normal quality size (f button)
use manaul mode EV -1/3

disable flash (when you use the flash on the F11 indoors try slow sync flash to help preserve background exposures or the red eye for people)
make sure your using the shutter/exposure lock (1/2 press of the shutter)

dont worry about adjusting your lcd, it does not effect exposure, never rely upon the LCD to decide if a shot is exposed or in focus, use your montior lately.
shoot a few shots to be sure you got a focus/exposure lock on the right target.

In low light brace yourself against somethig to help steady yourself when you shoot. Also use the 2 second timer it helps if you have a tendancy to jerk the camera while pushing the shutter button.

Also becarefull not to have bright backlighing behind your subject (ie a bright light or sun shining at the camera, this kind of shot takes special precautions and different camera settings, just move so the backlight isnt stronger then your subject, when your getting good shots you can do these shots too.

I hope this helps, you can see I have an F11 gallery at my pbase site, so I too have some expereince of about 4,000 images on that camera. (not one with average photometry or shade WB, not that they dont have thier place but you dont need to be confused right now, keep it simple and get some quality shots then you can play with settings. (and the wb and photomerty settings are not causing your problems.

Better luck!

Photography; its about seeing the light!
Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/poochdp

dotbalm Veteran Member • Posts: 3,222
Re: Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

Mikeyw,

Good tips here, all I can add is to consider Shutter (S) Priority mode when taking shots of your precious subject. I can feel the disappointment, but don't despair.

I think it's realistic to close the gap between the images posted and your expectation. This should be easily doable with tips above.

Image 2 shows motion blur of her right arm sleeve, but faster shutter speed will help produce/ensure sharper images overall in addition to subject focus. It's true that the background is fairly in-focus so handholding 1/64 isn't the issue, but for your subject it may help to do what I do below.

I strive for 1/125 - 1/250 for shots of my two year old son using S mode, thus I set my ISO to 800 or 1600 if attempting indoor shots without flash.

With flash, I think using macro seems to produce a less burnt out image (it's my unscientific impression) assuming the person is close enough 6ft, otherwise, flash w/o macro. As always strive for as low an ISO as possible. I'm one of those stone age center focus, spot meter guys. I'm trying to break my old habits to be more flexible and improve based on conditions, but that's my default.

I usually use shade WB, because I like warm shots, but I'm not here to counter some of the clear and good instrux previously provided and I said I'd only add Shutter mode...whoops.

Your daughter appears more mature and a bit older than my son, and with her cooperation you may get away with slower speeds. Though he has his solemn moments, my son is cat quick and has the patience of a hornet. Photographing him is like shooting a sporting event. During his solemn moments I can shoot at 1/60, so I don't blame you for trying. Good luck!

danny_only Forum Pro • Posts: 11,115
Re: Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

Hi Mike,

I could not read the EXIF data with your F11 pics, but I could EXIF data of your FZ5. Could you please post again with complete EXIF. I can't provide any opinion without EXIF.

We meet before in Panasonic Forum, I now own a FZ5 (together with 5 Panny:-))

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Best Regards,

Danny

My Albums
http://photobucket.com/albums/a44/yeeonly

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danny_only Forum Pro • Posts: 11,115
Re: Hi Mike, you have the F11 for several months already

does this problem happened lately?

These is about I got from my F30 (a successor of F11) about 3 months after buying it. Some with flash, some without, iso200/iso800 pics.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1012&message=21037299&q=pseudo+dslr&qf=m

Your posted F11 pics are not good. I hope you can solve the problem, I hope they were caused by a careless setting not faulty camera.

BTW, I love my FZ5 too.

FZ5 portrait pic

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a44/yeeonly/Panasonic%20FZ5/2006%20ZhuHai%20Air%20Show/Air%20Hostess/Post-P1000838_fil-ctst-dk-crp.jpg

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Best Regards,

Danny

My Albums
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HotWired Contributing Member • Posts: 622
Re: Hi Mike, you have the F11 for several months already

I agree with danny, it looks like that there is something wrong with these photos. Perhaps you are using zoom? As danny have said, the EXIF info would be a great start. Perhaps you could post more samples.

PS. It looks like there are about 2 or 3 threads relating to the same problem (different models).

...

sla Forum Member • Posts: 94
Re: Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

mikeyw wrote:

The first 2 were taken on Auto and the camera chose Flash / F2.8 /
1/64sec / IS0800

The 3rd (outdoor) chose F2.8 / 1/120sec / ISO200 - better but still
too soft and overexposed

Can anyone offer me any advice or should I just give up on the F11
and stick with my FZ5

The last pic was taken in similar light with my FZ5 (such a
difference !)

Hi mikeyw
I have F10, which is probably quite similar to F11.

I is known, that Fuji has not the best auto control and if you want good results, you have to do some things by yourself.

First of all I must agree, that Fuji overexposes. I have found 2 ways to prevent: 1) set exposure compensation by default to -1/3 ; 2) always use prefocus, control esposure on LCD and set even more negative exposure compensation if necesseary. I sometimes have to use even -1 2/3 EV.

About focus - Fuji sometimes catches wrong focus for instance if you try to focus on large plain surfaces (for instance dark coat). Fuji even writes about it in my F10 user manual . Looks like yours may be the case, the heater in the background or the red backseat, look quite sharp, but your child's face looks not too sharp. You can work it around if you use prefocus and focus on the face, then frame and make your photo (it is also described in user manual).

And ISO: I suggest not to use auto ISO. I use manual ISO and set not higher than 400, unless it is really necesseary. If possible, use 100 or 200.

And finaly I suggest not to use auto white balance. When I use maual white or eventually sunny/cloudy accordingly, I get the best colours.

All the above require some getting used to, but in my opinion it is worth it if you want to get really good results with your Fuji. You really can get good results.

By the way - it looks like you have taken over 1000 photos. Hard to believe, that they all look bad.
regards
s.

andrewD2 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,101
Re: Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

They look backfocused on the stronger edges behind the subject.

Could be faulty might just need you to make sure you are hitting your intended target.
The FZ5 shot is much closer, it can't miss its target.

Andrew

Pooch2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,610
Re: Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

So Mike, still with us or moved on to something else?

Are you usesing the focus/exposure lock as I described above?
--

Photography; its about seeing the light!
Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/poochdp

OP mikeyw Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

Sorry Guys - been some excellent advice here but haven't had chance to implement as yet.

I do tend to use this cam more of a p&s than my FZ5 which I tend to experiment more with. It gets used a lot for nights out when the beer is flowing and you simply want a good result on Auto.

I think that Macro may be the answer for pics of my daughter although thinking about it I may have zoomed in on the 2 really bad ones. I did pre-focius on her face / coat area but obviuosly not well enough. The ISO could have been set at 800 by me so I guess I need to force a lower iso.

I'll post the exif data tomorrow as the pics are on my work pc.

I hadn't appreciated the pic count was already so high on the F11 !! - I'm not anti fuji in anyway and appreciate what this cam should be able to do but I cn't recall any pics where i've been blown away unlike the FZ5 which has given dozens of jawdropping results.

I want to recommend the F30 to friends but whilst I can't get good results with the F11 when I know a little bit about photography i feel a fraud in doing so :-)......i'm even trying to get my Dad to buy the F31 but again am having reservations.

I'll persevere and get back to you !

Thanks for the help.

Mike.

OP mikeyw Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

Just revisited my 3rd pic after what someone commented on and that really suprises me - how can the cam get the red texture of the stroller on the edge of the pic spot on yet my daughters face looks soft and slightly out of focus. There's no way I was focusing on anything but her face and yet the foreground is not in focus. Was she simply to close to the lens and the choice should have been macro ?

I'm guessing she was about 4-5ft away in goodish outdoor light.

dotbalm Veteran Member • Posts: 3,222
Re: Just cant get good F11 results - please help !

He lives! ; )

Yeah, "after further review," my .02 is possibly the camera is too close, and you can try macro as you said. There are so many MP that stepping back isn't a prob. While you're at it though, one of the tips iirc says to choose Center weighted focus for the AF mode - that's what I do. Try that if you're not already doing so and definitely half press, lock in, then fire. I'm inclined to use macro on the F30 moreso than on other p&s' fwiw. Not that it will make you feel better, but my son had pinkeye so no daycare today...instead we went to the park and I took shots of him on the swing - at 1/80th second shutter speed (!), like a bonehead. Poor results. Need to take my own advice. sigh

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