Question about Epson PhotoPC 3000Z Digital Camera

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3000z Landscape Mode Broken!

The Landscape mode appears to have a firmware bug.... Even though there is enough light to set the aperture at F8, the camera is setting it at everything EXCEPT F8 -- as though it's in full auto mode: Examples of shots I just took, AND YES, I'M SURE IT'S IN LANDSCAPE MODE -- SAYS SO RIGHT ON THE BACK WHILE TAKING SHOTS: Program Landscape, ISO >, W/B AUTO, Normal FRame, x1, ***, etc. F6.3 1/190 F4.6 1/153 F6.3 1/150 F6.3 1/163 F4.6 1/186 F6.3 1/126 I reformatted the card, and repeated the experiment with similiar results, just to make sure I was in Landscape mode... Had anybody else try Landscape with their 3000z yet?

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Anonymous

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With the camera in Landscape mode, if I point and shoot a landscape picture that is well lit, I have no problems achieving a f8 reading as described in the user's manual downloaded from http://www.epson.com (US). Since I'm standing from my apartment's balcony, I now recompose my shot's view so that it is partially in the shade. The my aperture reading is now reduced from f8 to f5.6. I tried this many times over, and what I described above is consistent. I reckon the program mode is intelligent to realise that it doesn't have enough light to set the camera to an f8 reading, so instead it selects the next best aperture setting. As along as the camera is aperture biased for high f values, it's reasonable to assume the camera's landscape functioning correctly. Remember, in landscape mode the Epson's metering is set to matrix mode. The Japanese documentation states that matrix metering takes 256 different readings from view. This would seem to support my shade theory, where the view is partially well lit, therefore a f8 setting might not be optimal. If the Epson was forced to f8 in overcast conditions, surely taking pictures would become a nightmare. It would make more sense for each program to have an ideal setting (say f8 or f2 etc.) if conditions are met, otherwise an optimal setting is given for a particular composition. The US user's manual also states that in low light conditions the Epson will be set to an f2 value. Again I had no problems achieving this when in low light conditions (indoors, dark areas outdoors etc.) and camera set to landscape mode. I would tend to agree with Bev, in that Epson have been a little casual in their documentation, therefore leading many of us to suspect that there is a fault with the Epson. I have a Japanese version of the 3000Z (serial number - CCY0007454, firmware ver. v321-78), its documentation, which I asked my Japanese wife to translate for me, does not state specific f values for each program mode, but instead describes the nature of each program mode. For example: Sports - biased for high shutter speeds Portrait - biased for low f value to achieve a shorter DOF Landscape - biased for high f values to achieve a longer DOF Based on theses descriptions, I would say my Epson is functioning correctly.

Posted on Sep 13, 2005

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Anonymous

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I looked at the recorded details of 10 of my landscape photos (in the Image Expert 2000 software that came with the Epson). All were taken on a very bright, sunny day at my local golf course. F settings indicated on each photo in the details section of the software were as follows: 8.6, 8.2,6.9 (in some shadows),9.1,8.0,8.0,10.1,10.1,9.1, and 8.6. All photos were excellent, with no fringing, or any other abnormalities when viewed full screen on my 21" Sony monitor. I printed out an 8x 10 copy of one of the best ones on my new Epson 870 printer and the results were outstanding. Exactly the same colors as on the monitor and the print quality was the best I have seen from an ink jet printer.

Posted on Sep 13, 2005

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Anonymous

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If you are thinking you need to get to minimum aperture to maximize depth of field, keep in mind that the depth of field is determined by the PHYSICAL size of the iris, not the RELATIVE value (which is what the f-stop measures) -- for example, on a 35 mm camera, a 28 mm lens at f5.6 will have much greater dof than a 200mm lens at f5.6 - because the actual iris opening is effectively 5 mm on the wideangle, but almost 36 mm on the telephoto. The physical apertures on digital cams, with their MUCH shorter real (not 35mm equiv) focal lengths, range from effectively about 7 mm at max telephoto wide open to *less than 1mm* at wide angle stopped all the way down. The issue with digicams is not that you have too little dof, but that it is a real pain in the a$$ to try and not have too much dof for portraits and such. I'm guessing the Epson firmware deliberately tries to avoid the max aperture for two reasons - to avoid camera shake at slow shutter speeds (are you shooting at telephoto zoom lengths?) and to avoid essentially turning the camera into a pinhole Brownie, with the inherent edge distortion that will occur. You seem to have written off the epson and are looking (really hard, IMO) for reasons to make sure that you've made the right decision. If you are unhappy with it, it will be hard to swing the pendulum in the other direction (speaking from personal experience after I bought a Kodak 240 and decided I wanted something "more"). You might as well return it and move on to the next contestant.

Posted on Sep 13, 2005

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