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shakey hands Sep 21, 2004 4:26 AM

Ok, I think it is time we bring our complaints directly to Panasonic. Remember, there is power in a union! Please let me know if you have an e-mail address of some bigwig in Panasonic, or a phone #. Something better than a general # or general e-mail would be more helpful. Thanx in advance. Let's get a firmware update to improve on the problems that everyone is having!

m.achure Sep 21, 2004 6:25 AM

What camera ???

What problem(s) ???

Please be more specific when starting a post like this. Thanks

shakey hands Sep 22, 2004 10:40 AM

The Camera is the FZ20, and I have posts going back about a week for the the problems I have experienced. Sorry about not giving all of the info, I was probably just upset about yet another thing with the camera.

JimC Sep 22, 2004 11:59 AM

I'll have to admit that I'm a little confused.

I don't own the DMC-FZ20, but I did read through some of your previous posts to see what you're talking about.

One complaint seems to be that Panasonic should boost the ISO speed to ISO 400 in Auto ISO for faster shutter speeds at longer focal lengths.

Well... with a sensor this small, I suspect most users would not want it that way (I know I wouldn't).

When a camera lets you know that shutter speeds may be too slow, that doesn't mean that you can't take the photos. Many users may want to use a tripod in these conditions. Also, some users can hand hold a camera much steadier than others.

I've seen this one debated before with other camera models (such as the Konica Minolta DiMAGE A1/A2 models). The camera has no way of knowing how steady you are able to hold a camera, and how much shake is going to occur at the instant you press the shutter button.

So, I would disagree with boosting the ISO speed. I suspect that most users would, too (they'd want control over it themselves, versus the camera trying to boost it this higher in Auto ISO).

The other thing I find confusing is your complaints about the camera using an aperture of f/2.8. In one of your posts, you said this:


"You have to understand also that on a sunny day with the overshadowing of the buildings, at ISO 80-200 the camera usually defaults to f2.8, and sometimes that means that the shutter speed becomes too low to hand hold-hence the need for readjusting"
You do understand that f/2.8 is the largest aperture available, right? In other words, this aperture allows the fastest shutter speeds. This is one of the advantages of the Panasonic over many other models (since the Panasonic can maintain a constant f/2.8 aperture throughout it's focal range).

Why would you complain about the aperture being f/2.8 and the shutter speeds being too slow in the same context?

Also, you've got dramatically more depth of field with a camera like the DMC-FZ20 at any given focal length, focus distance and aperture, compared to a 35mm film camera anyway. Heck, even shooting wide open at f/2.8, you've got as much depth of field as you would with a 35mm SLR stopped down to f/19 (for any given 35mm equivalent focal length).

That's because the actual focal length lens is only 6-72mm. See this online Depth of Field Calculator:

The third thing I'm finding confusing is your comments that the Autofocus may find something else to focus on. Panasonic explained how the 9 point Autofocus works. It's also not uncommon for the outside focus sensors to be less sensitive in models with this feature (as I see you found in the manual). I also noticed one of your posts indicating that you tried it and it worked (using the 3 focus points in the center ofthe frame). So, I don't understand how a firmware upgrade would help.

You could also go to continuous focusing with a Single Point Autofocus from what other users have said. I've seen lots of users of other camera brands do the same thing. That's the way I'd prefer a camera to work (I've been used to it for years -- half press shutter, reframe if necessary and shoot)

I just don't see the need for a firmware upgrade from what I've read so far.

bobc Sep 23, 2004 11:28 PM

Shacky Hands,

If you are so unhappy with your FZ20, why don't you get a different camera. I don't mean to be rude, and you are probably better at this photography stuff than I am, but most of your posts are complaints.

I am just a beginner, and trying to learn, and I think the FZ20 is a great camera. I had a Sony W1, Canon S1 IS, and a Canon A85 before this one, and this is the best out of the others by far.

The lense alone puts it in another league.


shakey hands Sep 25, 2004 9:51 AM

For one, I do like the camera. I just find it very cumbersome getting a good shot. And by that I mean doing the candid work that I do. It is a very good camera, I haven't said otherwise, I just have been complaining about a few points. And I am also new to this autofocus. When I was a photographer, about 13 years ago, all of my equipment was manual focus. The only frame of reference I have for autofocus is my Olympus 2100 and C-770. The autofocus just happens to work better on those cameras. Also the automatic metering seems to work better. But, all in all, the FZ20 is a much better camera. I also spent a lot of money on cards, accessories, etc. So just returning it wouldn't be that easy. Plus, I really do like the camera, I just can't stand getting blurry shots and more importantly missing the moment cause I am messing around with metering/focusing modes. I haven't had to do this in a long time.

bobc Sep 25, 2004 10:02 AM

I respect that, and would like to say I'm sorry for jumping the gun. I am new to this whole thing, and never got into taking pictures at all. I know nothing about photography, but am trying to learn. I realy enjoy it, and it is starting to become my new hobby. I too have trouble navigating, but am getting better at it as I learn.

I hope there are no hard feelings.


shakey hands Sep 25, 2004 12:02 PM

none at all, Bob, that's what these forums are about. And I might have been a bit harsh when it came to my criticisms about the camera. It just was very frustrating for me, spending a lot of money and getting a camera that I thought would work a certain way. So that's my fault. I honestly have yet to go out on a shoot. I have just been doing test shoots. I will be posting pics, as soon as I can get to my home computer, of the 1.5 telephoto lens from Panasonic. I just did a few pics in my neighborhood. People did look at me strange. The camera looks like a monster with that tele lens on, but for people with lens envy........

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