Record Screens & Menus
In iAuto mode, camera settings are fully automatic, except for the flash (which you can choose to pop up and use) and self-timer. The camera chooses the scene mode for you, in addition to exposure settings.
In all shooting modes, pressing upward on the four-way (labelled "info") alternates the display to one of three configurations: only the shooting mode icon (at top right), some menu icons and data (as pictured above); or, all menu icons and data, plus grid lines, a histogram, and an anti-shake setting icon (pictured below in Program mode).
When pressing the shutter button half-way, a focus box will appear in the middle of the screen. It will turn green if the camera has successfully locked onto your subject. If unsuccessful, the box will turn red.
In iAuto mode, autofocus is Face/iESP by default and cannot be changed.
Program mode allows you to make additional settings changes, compared to iAuto mode. Here you can employ exposure compensation and change the white balance, ISO, and drive mode settings.
In addition, you can select one of three autofocus modes: Face/iESP (the default), Spot, and AF Tracking. This translates into four actual focus modes, depending on what the camera detects: Face Detection AF, iESP Auto, Spot AF, and AF Tracking.
An additional press of the info button (top position on the four-way control) adds a histogram, anti-shake on/off status, and grid lines to the display.
When not pressing the shutter half-way to lock autofocus and auto exposure, the camera displays only the shooting mode in the top right corner.
When focus has locked, a green AF box appears. If the camera can not determine focus, a red box is displayed. Note the top left camera shake warning, and the exposure settings the camera has chosen along the bottom.
The SZ-12 allows you to adjust exposure compensation from -2 to +2 stops, in 1/3-stop increments.
In Program mode, ISO sensitivity can be set manually, from ISO 80 to ISO 1600.
If you are shooting in low light, but do not want to commit to a particular ISO setting, you can minimize blurring by setting the camera to ISO High and letting the camera set the light sensitivity. Just remember what noise will be higher in photos taken using High ISO settings.
A standard assortment of 16 scene modes and 10 digital filters are available. However, you need to select the magic filter before taking your shot - you can't apply it in editing mode after the fact.
- Night Scene
- Night + Portrait
- Self Portrait
- Beach & Snow
- Pet Mode - Cat
- Pet Mode - Dog
- Pop Art
- Pin Hole
- Fish Eye
- Soft Focus
- Water Color
One of the 10 digital filters (called Magic filters) is Pop Art, which appears to somewhat flatten depth of field, oversaturate colors and skew them toward primary shades.
One of the latest scene modes is called beauty mode. This serves both as a scene mode you can shoot with, or you can apply the effect in edit mode later. Three options are offered in the edit menu: clear skin, sparkle eye, and dramatic eye. As you might expect, the clear skin processing (you can choose soft, average or hard) uses face detection to determine where to blur wrinkles, smile lines and blemishes. The effect tends to be artificial and airbrush-looking.
Shooting menu selections:
- Image size: 14M, 8M, 5M, 3M, 2M, 1M, VGA, 16:9 L, 16:9 S
- Compression: Fine, Normal
- Shadow adjust: Auto, On, Off
- AF mode: Face/iESP, Spot, AF Tracking
- ESP/Spot: ESP, spot
- Digital zoom: On, Off
- Image stabilizer: On, Off, While Exposing
- AF illumination: On, Off
- Recording view: On, Off
- Picture orientation: On, Off
- Icon guide: On, Off
- Date stamp: On, Off
Movie recording menu:
- Image size: 720p, VGA, QVGA
- Image quality: Fine, Normal
- IS Movie mode: Off, On
- Audio recording: Off, On
Camera settings menu:
Page 2 of the camera settings allow you to adjust sound settings, reset file naming, and perform pixel mapping, which is recommended approximately once a year.
- Eye-Fi: On, Off
- USB Connection: Auto, Storage, MTP, Print
- Playback Power On: Yes, No
- Keep Camera Settings: Yes, No
- Power On Setup (opening screen display): Off, On
- Sound Settings: Three sound types, playback volume, master volume
- File Name: Reset, Auto
- Pixel Mapping: Start
- Monitor brightness: five degrees of brightness
- TV Out: Video Out (NTSC, PAL), HDMI Out (1080i, 720p, 480p/576p), HDMI Control (On, Off)
- Power Save: On, Off
- World Time
- Reset Database
Page 3 of the camera settings menu is where you set date/time, your location, and reset the database, which may be necessary if the photo surfing function is malfunctioning. This will, however, delete groups created with the included PC software, which you will need to import back onto the camera from your PC.
Using the dedicated movie button, you can record movies at 720p, VGA or QVGA resolutions, with a fixed frame rate of 30fps. The zoom is active while recording video, as is auto focus, though the focus can be a little slow to adjust. You can also turn on or off image stabilization and audio recording.
Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.