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Old Nov 7, 2003, 3:14 AM   #11
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 22

Finally we're getting somewhere! I don't expect this focus lock bug will ever be fixed and that doesn't really bother me. It appears that Panasonic neither has the capacity or desire to fix minor bugs after a cameras release..... which is dissapointing.

Nevertheless, the FZ1 remains a great camera regardless. After months of frustration I'm just looking for some acknowledgement... nothing more.

After a lot of testing it seems this bizzare fault only appears in a narrow range of conditions. In general it does not appear to be dependant on light level but instead on the proximity of the framed object and the extent of zoom. To make the fault appear you need to focus on an object 2-3m away at full zoom in night portrait mode. With the flash up focus lock is achieved very promptly as normal... with the flash down it won't focus lock the very same scene. Any other mode will focus lock the same scene with no problems.
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Old Nov 13, 2003, 11:21 AM   #12
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Join Date: May 2003
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I have only just spotted this posting.

I agree that the manual does a poor job of explaining how it works, and I only sussed it after trial and error. I think what happens is that in Night Portrait mode with the flash down, the camera doesn't try to focus at all. What it does is to close the aperture down to F6.5, and compensate with a longer exposure. Then it goes for maximum depth of field, and this is achieved at wide angle. If you do that, the background should be in focus from 5m to infinity. Normally, you would be using a tripod, of course, but I tried it handheld looking through the EVF to see if I could work out what it was trying to do. Half pressing the shutter, the camera did not bother trying to focus on the subject, but seemed to wind itself back to a fixed position. I also found that, if the zoom was not at wide angle, the little green light kept flashing to warn me that the DOF will not be wide enough. (Not a lot of use if the camera is on a tripod, of course!) In short, I don't think this is a bug, but a feature which enables you to take pics at night where focusing is going to be hard.

Note that it will always do this in Night Portrait mode, regardless of the actual light available. So in theory (I haven't tried it myself), you could use it in broad daylight, and if there is enough light to allow a shutter speed of 1/8th or faster with the F6.5 aperture, hand held too. In effect, you have a fixed focus mode you never knew you had!

If anybody knows better, I will stand corrected!
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Old Nov 14, 2003, 3:23 AM   #13
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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What your saying makes sense. and I suspect you are right about it being a deliberate 'feature'. It's a pitty neither the manual or Bob could explain this.

The evidence is mounting .... there is a massive communication problem between Panasonic in Japan and Panasonic anywhere else and I would guess this stems from the language barrier. Understandable but dissapointing.
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