Question about Epson PhotoPC 3000Z Digital Camera

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Spot metering on the Epson 3000z

I am working in the spot metering mode, trying to photograph isolated bright objects like a rising moon. Sometimes the spot meter mode yields good results and sometimes not. When the 3000z is in spot focus mode, about how large is the spot meter area (for example, in terms of how many square pixels) and where is it on the CCD (located in the center?).

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The spot meter area is small because I have photographed 2 people side by side many times, focused on ones chest then found that the "spot" had slipped into the little space between them, the bad focus not really showing up when I checked the LCD. (My eyes are old and so are my glasses.) Got home and found useless pictures. Sometimes I was outdoors in the sun and couldnt check the LCD. Some of the threads say the focus spot is "off center" with no acccurate way of finding it when using the viewfinder. I take some beautiful, wonderful pictures but these errors really tear me up. I've got to get the LCD box viewer with the 2x lens viewer I guess. All those years as a 35mm Canon F1 user I would long for a spot meter almost daily. Now I see that a matrix meter AND a spot is the real choice. I hope eventually to learn to outwit my 3000Z because it does give me such excellent pictures. Sometimes there is noise on a face, sometimes it is the focus and at functions it is so embarassing to ask a principal subject to wait because the *** or ***H procedures take so long. A wedding, other than the reception, would be near impossible in *** or higher. Good Luck, Dav.

Posted on Sep 13, 2005

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I would like to be able to take a good picture of a full moon on a clear night.


You're going to face two separate problems here.

One, the moon occupies a rather small portion of the night sky. Even fully zoomed in, the moon is going to be not much more than a bright spot in the sky.

Two, the camera is designed to assume that almost every scene is an average brightness. Given how much of the scene is a black sky, the camera will attempt to render the sky as average (what photographers call a "medium gray"). This will result in a picture with a gray sky and a featureless white blob for the moon.

If you think about it, the full moon is nothing more than a really big rock under a midday sun. Thus what you want is the same exposure as when taking a picture on a clear sunny day. Unfortunately the camera is going to be fooled by all that dark sky and try to compensate for it. What you really need is to be able to bypass the camera's light meter and set the proper exposure yourself. The C195, unlike more sophisticated cameras, doesn't allow you to do so. Sorry, but that's just the way it is.

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Can I take clear good pictures of a full moon on a clear night?


You're going to face two separate problems here.

One, the moon occupies a rather small portion of the night sky. Even fully zoomed in, the moon is going to be not much more than a bright spot in the sky.

Two, the camera is designed to assume that almost every scene is an average brightness. Given how much of the scene is a black sky, the camera will attempt to render the sky as average (what photographers call a "medium gray"). This will result in a picture with a gray sky and a featureless white blob for the moon.

If you think about it, the full moon is nothing more than a really big rock under a midday sun. Thus what you want is the same exposure as when taking a picture on a clear sunny day. Unfortunately the camera is going to be fooled by all that dark sky and try to compensate for it. What you really need is to be able to bypass the camera's light meter and set the proper exposure yourself. The C195, unlike more sophisticated cameras, doesn't allow you to do so. Sorry, but that's just the way it is.

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should be a spotting telescope, a smaller lens that you use to spot what you want or at least a peep site to align it. Then you look inside the lens and see if what you pointed at is there. If not, you adjust the spotting scope until it does. Use the moon (careful on a night as tonight or the next few as the moon light at this stage is going to be very bright and can cause damage to the eye) so you see a close up distance relative at first. Then you can spot on just about any object up there and you'll be very close. The planets are a good object to begin with. www.skyandtelescope.com is a good site to start with and they have monthly magazine as well. Happy Gazing :)

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learning to use light metering correctly can have its challenge.
the manual will guide you on how to set up to read light from the subject. spot metering a dark area will cause general overexposure, or a washed out look. spot metering a bright area will cause a dark image. if you are on spot meter and shoot two people standing together against a bright lit background, your meter will see between them if they are centered, and read all that bright background, setting the camera to a less sensitive combination of aperture / shutter speed, resulting in a dark image. use field averaging meter setting and be sure you are metering the subject and not the background. try shooting a wall that is fairly clear of other colors and uniform it light hitting it, you should have a correctly exposed image. since it works in other modes (at least 1, anyway) then it is unlikely you have an exposure compensation issue. that is the only other non defect issue that would cause your problem.
once you confirm that you have these settings correct and still get a dark image, its time to have it serviced.
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You also may have a faulty hot shoe adapter or pc cord. Check them with an ohm meter, or with an old 35 mm camera. Or just short out the hot shoe contacts with a piece of metal and see if the strobes flash.

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1 Answer

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Sounds like you have a dust spot on the CCD, you should send your camera in for cleaning.

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They make an LCD cover compatible with the Epson 3000z. In addition, there is a lens on the hood which magnifies the LCD by 2.

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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.

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1 Answer

What should I do if the picture is blurry or out of focus?


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