Need tips on how to make a TZ3 take good, CLEAR pictures!

Started Jul 17, 2007 | Discussions
bgstewar New Member • Posts: 3
Need tips on how to make a TZ3 take good, CLEAR pictures!

I just bought a TZ3, mainly due to the high review it got on this site along with lots of user support for the camera. Overall I'm impressed with the wide angle lens, the zoom, the speed, and the LCD (beautiful!).

I am having one major problem though...I can't for the life of me get this camera to take good, crisp, vibrant pictures! Even my five year old Sony takes better pictures. I'm so disappointed in the picture quality that I could literally cry. Every picture, because of the noise reduction, has blurred detail and dull, lifeless colors. I've tried different settings, and I still get the same response.

The best pictures turn out in close range with no flash. The lower the ISO, the crisper and cleaner they turn out. Anything over an ISO of 200 seems to turn out hazy with fuzzy edges.

I'm really anxious to get some tips on how to make these pictures look like they were taken from a $350 camera instead of a $10 disposable camera! Any clues?

TEBnewyork
TEBnewyork Forum Pro • Posts: 11,337
Re: Need tips on how to make a TZ3 take good, CLEAR pictures!

First post some problem shots with the exif data so we can see what is going on. Also

what settings are you using where you get good and bad...you say over 200 iso. are you looking at these at 100% on your screen? how will you use the output? big prints? little prints? remember at 100% on your screen it is like 40 inches wide!
--
terry
http://tbanet.zenfolio.com/

stemcell Regular Member • Posts: 338
What size on screen?

Terry:

If 100% + 40 inches, what size approximates 16 x 20?

Thanx

Stemcell

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ericN2
ericN2 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,104
Re: Need tips on how to make a TZ3 take good, CLEAR pictures!

You say "over ISO 200" as though this is some regular thing with you. Crikey ! - even in this dreadful UK conditions recently , I've found that it is really quite rare .. well in outdoors of course .. to get anything over ISO 200 .. it pushes it in a lot of cases to have to use '200' .. so maybe something is not 'best' in the way you've got your camera setup.

Post detailed setup as you use it - AND pics with EXIF , as otherwise the pics show very little to judge by or comment on ...
The camera , in anything near decent light , should be no problem.

For starters , in case you find it difficult to post EXIF or details - set it in i-ISO mode with ISO max at 400 (there's a position in Menu for this) - set EV to -0.3 at least as a try-out - some find EV 0.0 quite OK but it's a thing you need to try .. max resolution of course and AF set at the Menu position which is a black small rectangle inside an outer rectangle but with 'H' by the side.
Use that for trials and see how you get on.

You could even set (in the Menu) Burst Mode to '3' at High Speed .. and LEAVE it there. If you just press shutter once , you get just one pic exactly as usual - but if you leave your finger pressed, it will do you THREE Shots - one may be better than the others - worth a try anyway.

-- hide signature --

eric-UK
I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday.

OP bgstewar New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Need tips on how to make a TZ3 take good, CLEAR pictures!

I posted some pics here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/bgstewar/TZ3K

If you look closely, you can see all the details are fuzzy, and the colors appear completely washed out.

These were taken on default settings, ISO reached 500 max I believe.

TEBnewyork
TEBnewyork Forum Pro • Posts: 11,337
Re: Need tips on how to make a TZ3 take good, CLEAR pictures!

What mode were you on? Auto ISO?

Too much flash but I don't see the blurry. Pictures below the cat have reflections from flash. How far away were you from the armoire?
I know that you can't adjust flash baby mode cuts it back a bit.
--
terry
http://tbanet.zenfolio.com/

OP bgstewar New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Need tips on how to make a TZ3 take good, CLEAR pictures!

I'm about ten feet from the armoire. The flash on this camera completely washes out all color! I mean, it's impressive, but almost too much. I guess I need to start getting into PP to get some good pictures out of this camera. It's the first camera I've had that has really required PP, unfortunately...but I have Elements 5.0 (though I don't REALLY know how to use all of its features yet), so I guess I have some learning to do. This forum is great though!

steve woznicki New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Need tips on how to make a TZ3 take good, CLEAR pictures!

I'm having the exact same problem. I just got the camera yesterday, and honestly, my 5 year old 2mp Kodak takes much sharper, crisper pictures than this.

What am I doing wrong?

Mwahaha Regular Member • Posts: 253
Re: Need tips on how to make a TZ3 take good, CLEAR pictures!

steve woznicki wrote:

I'm having the exact same problem. I just got the camera yesterday,
and honestly, my 5 year old 2mp Kodak takes much sharper, crisper
pictures than this.

What am I doing wrong?

Im sure if you post pics with exif then one of the trizzy guru's will set you straight

ASADragon Forum Member • Posts: 56
Re: Need tips on how to make a TZ3 take good, CLEAR pictures!

I am no PP expert - teaching myself Lightroom (among other programs). I opened one of your files and just did a real quick adjustment (exposure, etc.). Room seemed pretty bright as it was, I am not overly familiar with the TZ, did the flash fire automatically?

original : http://picasaweb.google.com/bgstewar/TZ3K/photo#5088277016309683618

Quick adjust :

dfrost Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: Need tips on how to make a TZ3 take good, CLEAR pictures!

I'd suggest turning off the flash unless you REALLY need it.

The flash on the TZ3 is probably the biggest disappointment for me, but more then compensated usually by the excellent IS in the same situations, assuming that your subject is static. The Auto WB with flash seems too 'blue' and there doesn't seem to be much in the way of flash output auto-control. To its credit, the Pana's anti-red-eye for flash seems much better then Canon's.

Coming from the Canon G3 when I used the flash for virtually every indoor shot (and with the fast f2.0-3.0 lens, it is a decent flash as built-ins go), it took me a while before figuring out this tradeoff. If flash is needed, others have suggested an add-on slave flash like the Metz 28-CS2:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/352521-REG/Metz_MZ52822D_28_CS_2_Digital_Slave.html

And as has been stated many places, the TZ3's excellence is best observed in outdoor shots or other situations where you can keep ISO low.

Also, set EV to -1/3 and auto-bracket when possible (doesn't work with flash). It is surprising to me how often one of the bracketed shots will be more pleasing.
--
David Frost
Loving my new Trizzie; Gee Three has moved on.

dfrost Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: Need tips on how to make a TZ3 take good, CLEAR pictures!

"It's the first camera I've had that has really required PP, unfortunately...but I have Elements 5.0 (though I don't REALLY know how to use all of its features yet), so I guess I have some learning to do."

I'm also a PP newbie, and Picasa (free download from Google) seems extremely easy with great results.
--
David Frost
Loving my new Trizzie; Gee Three has moved on.

EY2 Regular Member • Posts: 486
Re: Need tips on how to make a TZ3 take good, CLEAR pictures!

Like someone else said, I suggest you turn the Exposure Compensation down a notch or two when using the flash(see page 38 of the manual).

Other things that might help:

  • On page 37 there is a chart of the flash ranges at the different ISOs. This might explain why some shots are going too high up the ISO range.

  • Try turning the EV up and turning off the flash. Many times this gives a more true-to-life picture than you can get with a flash.

  • One reason people with older cameras get "better" pictures is that they aren't used to the various "modes" available on the new models. I suggest pages 25 ("Adjusting the Focus"), 53 (Metering mode-for brightness issues) and 54(AutoFocus) A little reading and a little experimenting will go a long way.

  • The AF assist light is great - but is limited to 5 feet according to page 56 - although I think it's a little longer than that.

  • If I'm not mistaken, the AF uses contrast differences and tends to use strong vertical lines for focus (and no face detection on this model). I think that may be why the cabinets were more in focus (strong vertical line) than the cat in the pictures posted by the OP. You can change the focus to spot or (as I do) 1-area and force the camera to do what you want instead of the best it can figure out from everything it sees.

  • Try using one of the Scene modes (pages 40 - 45) and see if that solves a particular problem. If so, you can figure out what that mode does (in the chart) and make those adjustments yourself in the future.

I hope that helps (someone).

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