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Old Sep 18, 2004, 5:58 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 40

First off, you can't adjust the ISO in manual mode w/o going back into the menu. This is a big hassle b/c if you realize that the shutter and/or fstop combinations aren't working, you will need to change the ISO. This should be able to be done "on the fly". This camera takes almost as much time as a large format camera to set up.

The other major problem, for anyone using the manual mode with an external flash, or esp. with a strobe system, is that the screen darkens when you stop down (going from f2.8---f8). In the other modes you get the full light coming into the camera (which would be at f2.8), but in manual mode the screen acts like the depth of field previews on 35mm cameras. This is a big dilemma, especially if you want to shoot at f8, because the screen is totally dark. Panasonic gives this problem a paltry solution by having the "preset" for external flash in the menu screen, but that fixes the fstop to f2.8--this is their way of ensuring that you see the image. It was an easy way out for them to design the camera this way, instead of allowing the full light to come into the camera, and also it is their way of making it almost impossible to shoot with strobes. Plus most strobe systems are too powerful for you to shoot at f2.8.

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Old Sep 23, 2004, 11:30 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 88

That's a big disappointment to me. I have the FZ10 and was hoping the FZ20 would have fixed that well documented problem. Looks like I will be keeping the FZ10 if that's the case.
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Old Sep 23, 2004, 12:29 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 96

Since Panasonic has patiently explained to us that the dark screenis a "feature" and not a "flaw", my workaround on the FZ10 has been to set ISO 50, shutter faster than 1/500th, f/stop based on the external flash's Guide, and then to temporarily switch back to Program mode. There, I compose the picture, use Manual Focus, then QUICKLY switch back to Manual mode and press the shutter button.

Most of the time, this actually works. Obviously, it won't work for action shots or unexpected opportunities, but using a film SLRalso takessome advance setup time. The biggest drawback is that, when I'm taking pictures of people, they grow impatient while I'm going through this process.

The fast shutter speed avoids having to deal with room lighting affecting the white balance, as well as helping minimize the camera movement from mytrembling hands.

Since the viewfinder showsa histogram and an exposure bar, in addition to the preview image brightness itself, there's more than enough information available to know whether the settings are correct for a non-flash situation. And, since the camera KNOWS when there's an external flash attached, it should also know that it cannot possibly judge what the actual illumination level will be. That's why it's called "Manual mode", and I just cannot understand why Panasonic is unable to grasp this.

And yes, I keep looking for alternatives to the FZ10, but except for this "feature" and the high noise level from the small CCD, I really haven't found anything, at any price, that is a better fit to my personal prefences (maybe the FZ20, but notuntil they provide an override to this "feature").

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Old Sep 23, 2004, 4:52 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 40

Someone (at the dpreview forum, I think) gave me a good idea. Set the camera to aperture priority, and once you have a flash attached it will automatically lock you in at a shutter of 1/60th of a second. Then you just set your aperture to what u need. I am going to hook up a strobe system using this wein adapter (which is under 6v so I won't short these newfangled units out) on my hot shoe which plugs into my pc sync. Then I just have to adjust the aperture. Hope this works with your FZ10, and thanx for the tip, cause if what I just wrote doesn't work I will have to do what u are doing.
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