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Old Feb 6, 2007, 3:13 PM   #1
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The manufacturer's Operating Instructions for the Panasonic FZ30, as for other cameras and manufacturers, are skimpy on important technical detail. Is there available a more comprehensive and detailed source of information for the FZ camera series?

Examples of ambiguity:
The FZ30 Autofocus (AF) features are versatile in providing five distinct methods of autofocus. The gross distinctions between the five methods are evident. It appears that full-frame auto-focus is not an option, nor is Center-weighted auto-focusing. However, the specific functions of the five individual methods are unclear.

Descriptions include such unclear assertions (only partly due to language difference and not from lack of space) as:
" ... 1-area focussing: Adjust (i.e., adjusts?) the AF area to match the subject. " , OR
" ... focus on any one of the left, center, and right of the screen. ",
(Unlike one of the 9-area Positions?), or
" ...
a picture may become still for a moment ... ".

It could be inferred reasonably, for example, that some rudimentary artificial intelligence is used to auto-select sampled areas or their size. Because digicams have such a multitude of features, it is inconvenient or even difficult to decipher the intended or unexpected important functional meaning of all such curt descriptions by trial. The details are often photographically important. Surely, somone has published a more comprehensive treatment of camera features for particular camera models or series.
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Old Feb 6, 2007, 5:13 PM   #2
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I am unaware of any better books for the FZ cameras......but perhaps if you were to ask more specific questions someone here could offer some help;

Daedalus wrote:
Quote:
The manufacturer's Operating Instructions for the Panasonic FZ30, as for other cameras and manufacturers, are skimpy on important technical detail. Is there available a more comprehensive and detailed source of information for the FZ camera series?

Examples of ambiguity:
The FZ30 Autofocus (AF) features are versatile in providing five distinct methods of autofocus. The gross distinctions between the five methods are evident. It appears that full-frame auto-focus is not an option, nor is Center-weighted auto-focusing. However, the specific functions of the five individual methods are unclear.
Quote:
Full frame and center weighted focus.....no that would be some trick...you surely are referring to metering not focusing.
Quote:

Descriptions include such unclear assertions (only partly due to language difference and not from lack of space) as:
" ... 1-area focussing: Adjust (i.e., adjusts?) the AF area to match the subject. " , OR
" ... focus on any one of the left, center, and right of the screen. ",
(Unlike one of the 9-area Positions?), or
" ...
a picture may become still for a moment ... ".
Quote:
one area focus and spot focus , can be set in the center or the left or right and /or the top or bottom of the EVF. whereas 3 or 9 area focus picks the area of focus for you with very little user input ,if you do not like what it picked, release the button and try again.
Quote:
and the still part happens in the fast focus modes.
Quote:


It could be inferred reasonably, for example, that some rudimentary artificial intelligence is used to auto-select sampled areas or their size. Because digicams have such a multitude of features, it is inconvenient or even difficult to decipher the intended or unexpected important functional meaning of all such curt descriptions by trial. The details are often photographically important. Surely, somone has published a more comprehensive treatment of camera features for particular camera models or series.
And it seems I did no better than the manual......but we will be willing to try and clear it up if you wish.
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Old Feb 8, 2007, 5:52 PM   #3
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Thanks, genese, for your response.

It seemed too much to hope that with the myriad of camera models and series flooding the market that it was worthwhile nowadays to devote a specialized book to only one of them. Nevertheless, several kind individuals have been stimulated to elaborate at length in an orderly presentation on obscure features, though not in hard copy publication mode.

1. Full frame/center-weighted focus. No trick at all. Unusual -- certainly. These are only two of several conceivable alternatives for image contrast focusing. Of course, these modes are also now used for exposure in digicams, as clearly described on p. 87 of the FZ30 User Guide, as long-since in legacy 35mm cameras and others. One obvious disadvantage would be the signifiantly longer processing time to consider the full pixel array and additional weighted-decision processing.

2. The User Guide does, indeed, acknowledge that the three single area modes can be directed (by the user) to sample user-selected regions of the field. (As a "grab-shooter" of fast moving subjects, who rarely uses a tripod, I would never have time to select the sampling region, hence the relevance of 3.):

3. " ... whereas 3 or 9 area focus picks the area of focus for you ... " --- genese.
The Guide does state that " ... the camera focuses ... ", as of its own volition, but uses the same form when passively, instead, the user makes the choice. A carefully chosen word here or there could make instructions less ambiguous without being excessively wordy. Too much to expect, I suppose.

I think many would be surprised that the lowly consumer digicam is capable of independently making such critical decisions (and probably unrecognized.) Your answer suggest that, by an act of "low-level artiifcial intelligence" that a much larger fraction of the pixel array must be scanned and added decisions made in these two modes requiring more processing time (just as would full-frame or center-weighted focus.) albeit only of several sub-regions of the image.

4. I had presumed that "the still part" did mean that the frame was "frozen' momentarily, much as in a "review" mode.
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Old Feb 8, 2007, 9:59 PM   #4
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I stand by my version ....you can stand by yours.
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