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shannonsnan says:
Really frustrated
Can anyone tell me how I am going wrong. When I try to take a close up of say a flower, more often than not, the flower will be blurred and the background, leaves or grass are beautifully focused. I am not very technical and have a Lumix TZ5 x 10 zoom. It has an automatic setting and a manual one with which I can use macro. I have tried all I can think of. The most fustrating thing is that occasionally I have a sharp photo but don't know what I did to achieve it. Any help please. Lesley x
May 3, 2009
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MaggieM says:
Hello Lesley,

You have a nice camera. I believe what's happening is when you take a macro/close up photo, on auto or on the macro setting, your shutter speed is dropping (to get enough light). It's probably dropping too low for you to hand hold steadily. That's one reason. Solution is to set it at a shutter speed you can hand hold, like 1/250 to 1/400 of a sec. if you have Shutter priority. If as you say, the background is sharp and the flower is blurry you are missing the point of focus. In this case, set your camera to "SPOT" focus. (you will find that in your manual). Then when you focus make sure you press your shutter button partially down until it registers "focus". This means that a little lite will turn green. In your viewfinder if you have one. When you see it grab the focus then push the button all the way.
Digital cameras need to be prefocused by pushing the button partially down / locking the focus/ then push all the way. It's really a very fast procedure.
May 3, 2009
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MaggieM says:
It sounds like it will take a while but it all happens in microseconds. lol. If you can brace your camera on something or on a tripod this will help eliminate any camera shake. I usually set the shutter speed and then take the picture, by zooming in close. (If I have a long zoom) Usually this gets the flower sharp and the background blurry. If you have no shutter priority, then I suggest you use a tripod. (you can get nice ones that aren't very expensive). But set the camera on spot meter. Then when you pre focus it will catch just the flower. Let me know how it turns out. Maggie
May 3, 2009
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shannonsnan says:
Oh! Maggie, I have taken some lovely close-ups. Couldn't find shutter speed in camera's menu (can't find instruction book either)BUT I changed some settings and most close-ups are much better. I changed AF mode to Spot Focus on the manual setting and I think that what has made the most difference. Really must find the book!. Thanks once again for your time and help. Lesley X
May 6, 2009
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kezcreates says:
Glad it's working better for you! I am still learning my new camera and have a hard time with the macro on manual sometimes, then end up saying naughty words and getting frustrated lol. On automatic it doesn't always want to work for me either, prob for reasons like Maggie mentioned. Maybe you can also find the instruction book or tips for your camera online. Just try googling it :)
May 6, 2009
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MaggieM says:
Lesley, Kezcreates is right, sometimes the camera's website will have the manuals there for you to download. Go to their support and/or download site and see if your model's manual is listed. Good Luck.
May 6, 2009
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MaggieM says:
For informational purposes....I rarely shoot on Manual. However I usually adjust either the Aperture and/or shutter speed if available. I also adjust the focus options to either spot or normal/average. If you have no shutter speed setting and need higher shutter speeds you can set your scene mode to action/kids and pets or something similar. If you have a long zoom lens you might try zooming all the way out to get your close ups, as opposed to using macro. It's a little easier than having the flower inches from your nose. However beware of your shutter speed dropping when you do that, unless you have a bright sunny day.
One other tip...don't use your digital zoom. This cuts your resolution way down on your photo. I suggest shooting with your camera set at it's largest size and highest quality or resolution and then if necessary do your cropping on the computer rather than with the digital zoom. At least you won't have shaky hands to contend with. Hope this helps. Maggie
May 6, 2009
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tulip_designs says:
Also, if your camera is on auto focus it will not always focus on what your eye wants it to focus on. Most cameras will allow you to push the shutter down halfway for focus then all the way to take the picture. This will help prep the camera. Also, many cameras have focus areas, check your manual to see where these are. Then, make sure your subject is in one of those areas. You last option is to use manual!
May 23, 2009
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