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(MPG4) Sanyo Xacti (all models)
A compact 720p MPEG4 digital media camera recording to SD Card.

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Old June 11th, 2006, 04:58 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: sheffield, england
Posts: 2
hello board, my first impressions

hi ive been reading the this forum for the past month or so in the run up to buying the hd1. i must say thankyou to everyone for the information, i knew what i was getting into with this camera and have learnt alot about how to use it.

so about the camera, im really enjoying it. sometimes the results are really amazing an others just acceptable but then we all know that. i have found the auto settings not too bad really in good light but found manual setups essential for low light especially white balance. I would like to point out 1 advantage auto settings have over manual which im sure ppl will be aware of but i havent read it anywhere. the manual settings arent variable so u set it up perfect for the condition ur in an thats great but if you moving through different levels of light then the camera cant adapt like it would in auto mode ie from outside to inside.

i noticed something strange while shooting the other day which is that the colours arent always that accurate. i took a still of a flower which was a deepish purple but it showed up as a really bright blue, not sure if this was down to the way i had set the cam up but i did try few other options all with the same effect. it was the same in video mode too. however when i looked back at the still on my pc the colour was much more accurate so it must of been the way the screen displayed it, i found this very odd. has anyone else experienced similar things?

i was wondering if anyone ever used the exposure correction?? i found that instead of having the shutter speed right down at 1/30 when indoors i could up it to 1/60 or 1/100 then with a small amount of positive exposure correction make the picture appear lighter, now this does increase the noise slightly but i found it was worth it to get a sharper picture of moving objects, opinions anyone?

id have read a lot of ppl use the nd filter regularly, i really dont like it even in bright sunlight i think it spoils the colour of the picture and looks really un-natural. so far ive been experimenting with increasing the shutter speed ad apature to let less light in meaning there isnt as much glare but the colours look better well to my eyes anyway
James Athesberg is offline  
Old June 11th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles - California
Posts: 114
Hello James,

Well clearly you have made a number of discoveries with the camera. Im not sure it will be helpful for me to coment on them all. But there is a coupe which is beggeing for a thought.

1. Aggred the automatic exposure works pretty well most of the time. One of the main reasons for using the manual is to prevent the camera from changing its general exposure durring rapid light changes, such as a beam of light passing through leaves in a forest shot. one would not want the rest of the forest to go black for a flash of light. same thing if you are capturing a person walking and talking to the camera, then you generally want to lock the exposure to the person so that a white or black van passing through the picture will not change the exposure.

2. About the purple flower, my guess is that you was using automatic white balance. whenever capturing colorful objects or scenes, ALWAYS either pick a manual color setting - OR use the custom color balance to set a WBL I prefer using the grey side of a Kodak greycard which gives a very pleasing color balance to my taste.

3. Hmm, yeah, well, the exposure compensation is not really meant to be a tool to change your cameras sensitivity. By default nudging the Exposure compensation to get higher ISO rating... well. if the alternative was 1/30th shutter, you are likely better off at the slower shutter speed. By rule of thumb, you will always get the best quality images from the lowest ISO rating. Personally I prefer to lock my ISO rating manually to prevent it from being changed automatically, and instead apply what I feel is appropiate for the shot. So the more predictable way would be when you are indoors to pick what you feel give a good result and go with that for the event. But I would not use the exposure compensation to nudge it. (smile) As thats a bit unpredictable depending on what the camera is seeing when you set it. ;-)

4. The ND filter is mostly for controlling DOF Depth of Field when shooting in bright sunlight. The advantage being that when the filter is applied the apperature will open up a few stops and prevent the background from becomming razor sharp... well at least a bit, its all a bit of a "blur" when talking focusing on such a small chip in the first place. Apearently applying the ND filter in bright light also brings the exposure into a more comfortable working range for the chip, which some people feel bring a better dynamic range, meaning the amount of data captured from the highlight to the deep shadow. As you observed with the colors. again its highly recomended to do a custom white balance once you have applied the filter as its not entirely "neutral".

Well, there you have it. my two cents worth. naturally your mileage may vary.

Sincerely Bo Lorentzen

Bo Lorentzen is offline  
Old June 11th, 2006, 01:19 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: sheffield, england
Posts: 2
thanks for a reply from someone more learned than myself

you say do white balance after turning on the nd filter not b4 this sounds like it might be just what i was looking for as i noticed it did seem to add a hint of something

think i'll go outside an have a play now, cant seem to put this camera down. its performed great today at a family party with some lovely stills an being at my finger tips all the time it was great for catching those quick flash moments. my brother in law with his mini dv panasonic missed all but the most orchestrated shots. i think the stills have a lovely tone an feel to them an the 10x zoom means u can pick things out more discretely and not be so intrusive with the camera. i love the more natural shots as opposed to the say cheese style pose lol
James Athesberg is offline  
Old June 14th, 2006, 11:40 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 42
Originally Posted by Bo Lorentzen
One of the main reasons for using the manual is to prevent the camera from changing its general exposure durring rapid light changes,
I'll second Bo's ideas. There are many things that can cause the exposure or focus to "hunt" briefly in the auto mode(s). It's always a risk and I got tired of having clips ruined by excursions in focus or exposure. So I use manual focus (locked or manual). I also found that AP mode seems to eliminate the exposure hunting so I tend to favor it over full auto. I'm usually more interested in controlling dept of field rather than shooting high motion scenes. There are some situations where manual and AP doesn't work and I avoid them. I try to stick to ISO 50 or 100 conditions and set it manually too.
Calin Brabandt is offline  

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