I don’t care for the factory default settings of most digital cameras, so I change them as soon as I get a camera. These are the settings I generally use for the Panasonic FZ18.
- Shooting mode: P
- Image quality: 8MP/fine (or 5MP if I want to use the Extended Optical Zoom)
- Focus mode: single area (center)
- Metering: Multiple
- Image Stabilization: Mode 2 (Mode 1 when when shooting at long tele)
- Sensitivity: ISO 100
- Exposure Compensation: -2/3
- Picture Adjust: Contrast -2, Sharpness -1, Saturation 1, Noise Reduction -2
- Continuous Auto Focus: OFF (I like to control where the camera focuses)
- Auto focus assist lamp: ON
- White balance: AUTO
- AF/AE Lock: AE
- MF Assist: MF1
- Play on LCD: ON
- Mode Dial display: ON
- Dial Display: ON
- Power Save: 5 minutes
- Digital Zoom: OFF
- Auto LCD Review: One second; turn OFF when taking photos in rapid succession
The filter size for the FZ18 is 46mm. If you buy a polarizer, a “slim” one is recommended to avoid vignetting.
Important: I use these settings most of the time but change them as needed. Changes are made according to the subject, quality and direction of light and whether photos are taken inside or out.