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Old Jan 12, 2009, 1:50 AM   #1
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While pure shutter lag (press-to-capture time with pre-focus) comes in at a reasonably if not particularly noteworthy 0.08 seconds, AF times were all over the map – mirroring a phenomenon we've experienced with Lumix cameras in the past. In the FZ28's default multi-area AF mode, the camera wants to go all the way to infinity and back before locking focus, resulting in a press-to-capture time without pre-focus of 1.25 seconds. By any measure, that's an eternity these days. Switch the camera into single-area high speed focusing, however, and you can drop your focus acquisition times by more than a second: our best press-to-capture tests without pre-focus in this mode came in at a lightning fast 0.16 seconds. That's easily DSLR speed, and faster than many consumer SLRs.
The problem is, the FZ28 isn't at all consistent in this regard. In one-area high speed AF mode (ironically, with the Quick AF setting – which attempts to lock focus before you press the shutter release – disabled) the camera is usually this fast, though at some working distances and with some subjects it will still run the entire focus range before locking in. Days and days of testing with different combinations of settings have yielded nothing in the way of consistency: there's simply no clear logic to when the FZ28 will fire quickly, and when it will take its sweet time.

Thus, while we're thoroughly impressed with the "best case scenario" numbers that this camera's capable of, it's hard to wholeheartedly sing the FZ28's praises in this area. Maybe a firmware update will correctly some of the hit-or-miss fishiness we experienced, and the fact that the camera seems to behave 90 percent of the time in single-area AF has us cautiously optimistic, but potential purchasers should definitely take note just the same.
I had this problem with my old FS5. I am thinking about getting the FZ28 because it seems to be the best choice out of the group I was looking at. Can anyone confirm on this problem? Has it been fixed with firmware update?
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Old Jan 12, 2009, 7:19 AM   #2
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I do not own a FZ28 but I own several other FZs and IMHO it is dependant on the focus mode you use.......some scene modes change the focus mode and then the multi- purpose default mode is a poor choice to use .....I always use 1 area HS focus and never use the scene modes and my FZ cameras focus very fast.....almost as fast as my DSLR's....

I avoid the multi area mode and avoid face detect like the plague.......What a silly mode. Tell your camera what you want it to do...... do not let it tell you.
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Old Jan 12, 2009, 9:12 AM   #3
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The times I see the FZ28 taking longer to focus, and going through the entire range as you noted, are when it is set to macro focus. As long as I have the camera set to single-point focus, it doesn't take that longto me to focus.

If I need it to focus faster, I set it to manual focus and I will pre-focus by pressing the "Focus" button on the top deck. That will set the focus and you don't have to continually hold down the shutter release to keep focus locked on one spot. At that point, I can press the release in to take the picture and there's virtually zero delay. Due to the smaller sensor, as long as the distance doesn't radically change after focusing this way, the depth of field is such that you'll pretty much stay in focus unless you zoom the lens to another focal length. That is how I focussed when I took my camera to this NHL game earlier this season..


I am taking it this evening to another NHL game and will be doing the same thing, except I do plan to see the difference using it in JPEG capture vs. the last game where those were all shot using RAW capture.
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