I found an undocumented feature in the Epson 3000z...
When using Aperture Priority Mode, and the Camera detects that you are using too large of an iris for the available maximum shutter speed (1/750), then it will adjust the iris to compensate (to prevent EV Warning), but only to a certain extent.
If you set the Camera (in Aperture Priority to F4), and there is too much light to prevent overexposure with maximum shutter speed (1/750), then the camera will adjust the aperture to F4.9 to try and compensate.... If there is still too much light for the available maximum shutter speed, then it will not compensate any further (EV Warning occurs).
I have not yet determined the exact amount of compensation the camera is willing to perform.. It appears to be based on a preset number of internal (undocumented) steps within the Aperture Range of the camera, before it refuses to compensate further.
Aperture Setting of F5.6 will automatically adjust to an aperture of F6.5, before an EV Warning will occur.
Aperture Setting of F8 will automatically adjust to an aperture of F9.
Since I prefer to take outdoor shots with a greater depth of field, I will probably use this mode, instead of Landscape, since I can't get the landscape mode to work consisitantly (it appears from Bev's test, that the problem is when you are using Zoom)..
With Landscape Mode (when zoom is used), and the camera encounters a shot that would require too low of a shutter speed for proper exposure at F8, then it appears to go into full auto mode exposure mode (even though it still says "landscape") for subsequent shots that do have enough light for an F8 exposure.
Since the camera's full auto mode tends to favor larger irises (smaller F-Stops), this defeats the purpose of the Landscape Mode....This behavior (as if in full auto) will continue, after the cameras encounters a shot without enough light for F8, until it encounters a shot with enough light for a relatively fast shutter speed at F8 (it appears it looking for something in the 1/150 range); at which time, it will revert back to using it's documented Landscape Mode (until it sees another low light shot, then the behavior goes back to full auto again)....
To get around this limitation, the undocumented Aperture Adjustments, when in Aperture Priority Mode may prove very beneficial......
I sure wish that there was a Full Auto - favoring higher F-stops (which would be a great enhancement to the Landscape Mode), but you can't have everything.
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Re: Aperture Priority Mode - an undocumented feature
In addition to the "quirks" of the Landscape and Aperture Priority Modes (neither mode works as documented!)..... The camera also behaves differently in full Manual Mode (it changes the settings, whether you want it to or not to compensate for available light)...
At lower Zoom Levels, the camera will adjust the Shutter Speed Only, to try and compensate for available light...
For example: with the Camera preset to F5.6 Aperture, and 1/48 sec. shutter speed, the camera will adjust the shutter speed between a range of 1/30 to 1/291 sec, to try and "auto expose" the shot for lower or higher light levels, even though you're in manual mode.
At an Aperture Setting of 2.8 and 1/48 of a second, the number of internal steps in shutter speed the camera is willing to take, increases dramatially - for example: shutter speeds up to 1/600 of a second, even though you have the shutter set to 1/48 in manual mode.
The camera WILL NOT attempt to adjust the Aperture to compensate for proper exposure in available light (OR WILL IT??).... It depends on your Zoom settings! It won't if your're near to full wide angle, but IT WILL if you are using the Zoom.
Once you cross some unknown zoom threshold (it doesn't have to be at full zoom), then the camera begins to change both the Aperture and Shutter speed to compensate for available light, even though you are in "Full Manual", versus Auto Exposure Mode.
In Manual Mode, (as in Aperture Priority Mode), the amount of change the camera is willing to make to your settings, appears to be related to a preset number of internal steps, with the number of steps dependent on both Aperture and Zoom Settings, before it gives an EV Warning for Over or Under Exposure conditions....
The type (shutter speed only for wide angle, shutter and aperture for zoom) and amount (number of internal "steps" it takes to increase/decrease shutter speed and increase or decrease aperture), is dependent on the amount of zoom you are using for the current shot.
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I found this for a Sunpak flash which is similar to the G4500dx:
Reading from the "auto555/G4500DX" Manual, you need to:
1. Slide the Film Selector to desired ISO - (that is the same as your camera ISO used - so, make sure you turn Off the Auto ISO feature if your camera has one).
2. Slide the Mode Selector to "A" (Auto position). This will be Auto Thyristor mode on the flash.
3. Slide the Auto F/stop Selecct Know to desired lens openning - ( so use your camera in Aperture priority mode, more in Manual to prevent changes in the camera aperture value during shooting)
Shoot, and be happy with well exposed pictures by the Auto Thyristor features of the Sunpak 555 flash.
The Sunpak 555 works great with Nikon D50, D70 cameras, as you can synchrinize flash practically at all shutter speeds. Excellent for sunny days to get narrow DOF, yet get any ambient light level contribution as desired.
For other cameras, make sure (watch out for) that Aperture Priority mode does not use shutter faster than the camera max X-sync speed - so Manual camera mode could be a better choice for a novice photographer.
In the manual there is also a list of accessories for various brand cameras, How to use Power Ratio in Manual mode, some advice on using wide lenses, how to care of your 555, and Specification section.
Minimal flash duration is 1/450 at full power, so you can safely use Auto Aperture up to 1/500 sec. Flash duration decreases with lower power setting, or lower auto mode need for poser, and the shortest flash duration is 1/17000th sec.
Try the PROGRAM MODE-SPORTS setting. this will keep the shutter speed reletively high unless there is little light. Or use APERTURE PRIORITY MODE with an f2.0 to f2.8 to keep shutter speed high. If pictures were blurry when it went to AUTO then the light had to be low for the camera to select a low shutter speed. If using flash use forced or auto flash not slow sync. Also set ISO to 400 which is >>>. If inside use a larger external flash as the one on-camera is only good for about 10ft. if more than 10ft. away set focus to manual infinity so you don't have to wait for the camera to focus. Hope this helps.
I have found with this camera that when you set the aperture and shutter speed in manual it will display recommended settings and not the settings you had just set. But when the picture is taken and you display the settings in software that the camera used, it actually uses the settings you set and not the ones displayed on the camera. I think the settings displayed are recommended settings. Very strange! Also the camera changes settings on zooming.
I have tried a couple of external flashes on the 3000Z. It is my understanding from reading various Internet posts (and I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong) that, other than triggering the flash to go off, there is no communication between the external flash in the hot shoe of the 3000Z and the 3000Z itself. Settings need to be made manually in the manual mode to set the f-stop and the aperture to get good exposures. The Metz flashes are expensive. Most have opted to use less expensive flashes such as the Vivitar 283/383, or a Sunpak, or even a "Wal-mart" flash. I chose an inexpensive bounce flash with a secondary "fill-in" flash to get rid of the shadows sometimes seen with indoor bounce flash pics. I purchased the Phoenix 82ZBDA Multi-dedicated twin flash from Porter's Photo Catalogue for $37.95. This flash works fine, but is not that powerful (GN 79 ). If you need a more powerful flash, you might consider the Vivitar 383.
t is my understanding that you must use manual exposure (shutter and aperture) with an external flash. This shouldn't be a problem (set the camera to the settings on the guide chart that comes with your flash, and let the flash worry about the strength/flash duration necessary - provided it is an "auto" flash with a sensor)... I'm going to use a Vivitar 273 with my Epson 3000z... There are a few other threads on this forum regarding External Flash use.
bought the Metz 32 Z-2 that was recommended by Epson. I did a great deal of searching/researching on the web, and eventually came to the conclusion (my personal conclusion...YMMV..as well as others) that it was worth the price. I've also had two (non-digitial) pros hold the metz name in very high regard.
I like it so far although I haven't used it much for nice portraiture. I did use it at the beach one night in the *dark* from 10 meters (couldn't see *anything* on the LCD when snapping the picture) and a few turned out really nice. Some were not in complete focus, but hey, it was dark.
I will say it is much larger than I expected. When mounted on the 850 it felt nice. But with the 3000 being a little smaller, it is rather large. With a teleconverter lens and the flash mounted together, the whole ensemble feels rather nice. I'd recommend finding one in person first. It does have about all the features one could want tho...
s I understand it from what I have seen on the Web, the 3000Z can operate in several modes:
1. Fully automatic (camera select both
2. Manual (user sets both aperture and shutter speed).
3. Aperture Priority mode - user sets aperture and camera chooses correct shutter speed to get a good exposure
Apparently there is no Shutter Priority mode (user cannot set only the shutter er speed and allow the camera to set the aperature to get a good exposure). This option is available on the Epson 850Z camera and this seems like a silly ommision to make on a "high-end" camera like the 3000Z.
You may need to use the flash. Make sure the setting is not flash off. If you're using the flash, make sure your subject is within the range of 14 feet for wide angle shots or 11 feet for telephoto shots. Use Image Expert to adjust the picture's brightness and contrast. Try adjusting the camera's exposure or sensitivity settings (use the Manual user mode). If you're taking pictures in the Manual user mode, look for the EV! warning that appears on your LCD screen when you are taking pictures out of the ideal exposure range. If you have trouble setting both the aperture and shutter speed manually, try adjusting the aperture and letting the camera choose the shutter speed with Aperture Priority mode. If you're using the macro mode to take a close-up photo, be sure to provide adequate lighting for your subject. If you're taking a picture at night and you want to light up the background as well as your subject, use the camera's slow synchronized flash mode. If you need more light, attach an optional external flash to the camera's hot shoe.