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-   -   True Confession: I hate my FZ30 (

Capella Mar 5, 2006 10:02 AM

I wanted this camera since I first found about it last July. I saved for it. I bought it in mid-December. I have never been so sorry in my life that I sold my FZ10 to fund it. I printed the manual long before I bought the camera. I've read it to death and beyond.

I don't consider myself unskilled or dumb, but this camera has beaten me down. I think the image quality is poor, many shots turn out soft and it's default point and shoot mode is awful. It is forcing me to learn backward. I've made a pretty firm decision to ditch while I can still get some of my money back out of it. However, I'm not sure what I do want.

I don't want an FZ20, it's not threaded. I do want a fairly good number of decent shots right out of the box. I would like to feel that "awed and amazed" feeling I felt with the FZ10, but I'm not sure I want to go back to the FZ10.


Who would rather not be shot at sunrise for this true confession:), but *this* camera is not for me.

matt_xyz Mar 5, 2006 11:59 AM

Hi Debbie,

I'm sorry to hear that you're disappointed with your FZ30. It's hard to know quite what to say since it's hard to know quite what the problem is. I've been very pleased with many of my shots taken in good light. I'm aware it's not great in low light so I try to take as many of my shots at ISO80 (or 100), which often (although not always) requires good light. Have you taken your shots in poor light? Is that the problem?

I don't ever use the automatic setting, but use aperture priority which is just as simple. I picka small aperture if I want good depth of field and a large one if I want background blur.

Maybe you could be a bit more specific about your problem? Isjust the soft focus that you're concerned about or arethere other problems with image quality? I don't find the focus to be particularly soft. It often benefits from a bit of sharpening inPhotoshop but no more so than any other digital camera I've ever used.


Capella Mar 5, 2006 12:42 PM


I'll try not to babble. I think I expected a ramped up FZ10 (which is what I had) with the same out-of-the box ease of use. I don't feel like this camera performs well in it's mult-area focusing mode or it's auto focusing mode. I have had to struggle and struggle trying to find a combination of those things that work.

As you mentioned, lighting is a huge area of difficulty with this camera. Dare it be less than nice natural sunlight, things starting deteriorating rapidly. Although I feel like it some times, I'm really not the village idiot (but this camera is making me feel that way).

In a nut shell, I guess my frustration level has far exceeded my happiness level with the camera. It's *not* what it was hyped to be. I took a large batch of shots at an indoor garden show. Used the flash, the shutter was at 1/30th which I can hand hold. Only a few of about 50 shots were clear and sharp. It was *not* movement on my part. I've had half a dozen people look at that bathc. Soft edges on almost everything. And it isn't just me. I have a photog buddy at work that is just baffled by this camera. Maybe the bottom line is that it's learning curve exceeds my ability to tolerate it. I just don't know.


matt_xyz Mar 5, 2006 1:48 PM

Hi Debbie,

It sounds as though you may have a faulty camera, it really does. I had moderate camera experience before I bought the FZ30, but I was no expert, yet I have produced shots that I am happy with from the word go (sharp, good colours, etc). I consider myself to have fairly high standards so I don't simply think I'm easier pleased than you. I can't believe the performance of the FZ30 should be that much different from the FZ10 (although I've never used the latter).

Try moving away from the auto settings - nothing complex, just try aperture priority and one or two of the other focussing modes. If your shots don't improve I would take the camera back and swap it for another.


Dave In LA Mar 5, 2006 2:08 PM

Hi Debbie, also be sure you are getting good focus lock. What the sensor locks on can be tricky as well as pushing the shutter too fast and the cam never auto focusing.

genece Mar 5, 2006 2:50 PM

I had a FZ10 and felt it was a great camera...but nowhere near what the FZ30 maybe you have a bad camera......It would help to see a couple photos with the exif included.

I for one would be glad to try and help you through this....if you would tell us more about how you use the camera.

If I could make a suggestion.....I find the one area fast focus to be a very reliable focus mode and I also like the center metering mode.....those 2 things are very different than what I used on the FZ10.

I also leave the ISO on automatic, despite what everyone else says.

And if you used the -2/3 exposure compensation on the FZ10 at least try it with no compensation....And do not use that Red A mode.....

Maybe you want to set the camera back to factory defaults before trying my suggestions.......Also If you have a filter on your FZ30 remove it for a while.

A few photos would help.

And the FZ30 is a much better out of the box camera than the FZ10 was and it handles low light much better than the FZ10 are either trying to force the camera to do something it can't do or you have a bad camera.

kenmck15 Mar 5, 2006 3:00 PM

hey debbie

yea it also sounds to me as if you may have had a faulty cam on your hands. i have owned my fz30 for around 4 months now and i love it. every shot i have taken with it has turned out far better thn i had expected. i have never run into any isssues in reference to soft images. in fact with the sharpness wound up in the menu the image often appeas to sharp. I just leave mine on normal.

like everyone else said its a shame the fz30 ddnt work out for you and to my knowledge this is stil the best cam currently running from pana.;forum_id=23

KENNETHD Mar 5, 2006 3:35 PM

Don't give up until you have had and tried some input from us. Your description is unique. I haven't heard the FZ 30 described as a dud yet. I have read all the comments and for the moment have nothing new to add for there is plenty here for you to start with. Keep us posted...


Capella Mar 5, 2006 4:09 PM

All of you are so great. I'm guessing it's not a faulty camera. When I was scouring around, I do have somedecent shots to be proud of. If I work up the steam for it, I'll put together a web shots album and call it: what's in focus??" I have whined about the camera often enough to realize it's "multi-area" focusing is a problem.

Maybe I am firing too fast. Maybe I need an external flash. Maybe I'm thick as a brick:) I don't know.

How I use the camera: First I work on compostion. Then I generally shoot in the program mode which allows shutter and aperture changes on the fly. What I expected was a totally clear shot throughout. It's what I got with the FZ10. Sometimes I get that and a lot of times I don't. It just surprises me with choices of it's own. I guess what I expected was the camera to give me clarity throughout "automatically", then let me decided when I wanted to change that. This camera appears to me to be doing that backward.

I shoot in the 7mp 3:2 ratio, in fine jpg. I think I must have went back to the defaults. My settings currently are: WB - auto, ISO 80 (pics outdoors lack color depth any higher), metering mode - multi, AF mode multi. Cont. AF - on, digital zoom - off, all pic adjustments set to high.

Also I'll give in another area. I think it's all about the light. Great outdoor light, great shots.

I don't really want to give up, because I'm not sure there is anything better out there, but this is the second weekend in a row I've seriously debated throwing it out on Ebay and calling it good. That is after spending a couple of months wondering why every thing was so hard and drilling through the manual. I've had it since Dec. 14. Well heck, now I know where all the controls are and I'm down to "better the devil you know". Maybe I need to just rebuy a used FZ10 and keep them both.

Again - my thanks to *everyone*. A part of me thinks I can do it and another is at war and says, why work this hard...sigh.


sunstorage Mar 5, 2006 4:26 PM

I do not have FZ30 (I have FZ20) but I think this is your problem:
AF mode multi. Cont. AF - on !!!
Multi Segment AF -> try to set it to 1 Area
Cont AF - On -> Try to set it OFF

I am 99% sure this is your problem !

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