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Old Feb 27, 2008, 5:16 PM   #1
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Hi folks,

I've had my trusty FZ3 for a few years now, but during a recent hiking trip the camera seems to have died. The zoom lens makes a small noise on startup, but the lens does not extend and the camera then tells you that the lens cap is on (which of course, it isn't).

I'm assuming I'll be up for nearly the cost of a new camera to repair? Has anybody had any similar experiences?

I wonder if I wouldn't be better off springing for a new FZ8 or FZ18 instead if it came down to a little bit of extra cost. Would I expect a big improvement in picture quality if I made the jump to the newer models?

I'd certainly be concerned about the reliability of my camera if I did get it fixed - I often go on multiple-day bushwalking trips and having a camera die on the first day would be a bit of a tragedy. Should I trust a repaired camera?

Any thoughts / advice?
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Old Feb 27, 2008, 7:38 PM   #2
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If you think you will not mind the NR on the FZ18.....it is some camera.....The NR does bug me but I guess to have an ultrazoom at this time you must live with that.

Look at the examples at a couple of the reviews.......the operation of the camera is top notch........But I hate the extending lens.....the NR, and the small size but you are accustom to a few of those already
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Old Feb 28, 2008, 12:08 PM   #3
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FZ3 was a great camera when it was introduced. If you can get it repaired at a reasonable cost, say within $50-100, I suggest you go ahead. The problem seems to be a minor one, something like an obstruction in the lens barrel. I have had the same problem once. I was adviced to switch on/off with the camera facing up once and facing down once. I did so and - touch wood - the camera came alive and is functioning well till now, producing very good results. However, in this age of 8+MP and18X optical zoom, if you feel 3MP is a limitation (as I have begun to feel sometimes), just forget FZ3 and go for a new one.

P.S: How is it that you are a member since 2004 and this is your first post? This Pana Forum issaid to be the most 'talkative' one! We would certainly like to see some pictures out of your camera.
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Old Mar 17, 2008, 8:59 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies genece and Raghu.

I didn't think I would get it fixed for less than $100 down here (More than likely that it would cost that much to have it looked at) so I found a page on the instructables site showing how to take apart an FZ7. I went through the instructions, and it was almost the same, to the point where I was able to do it without breaking anything. I checked the cogs on the zoom lens barrell and cleaned everything I could. Put it all back together, and hit the button.

YES! The zoom lens moved out.

But NO! The camera still thinks the lens cap is on and now the lens won't go back IN. :? Not sure if that's progress or irony.

I had a brief moment of hope, but it looks like the old girl is history. Time to bite the bullet and buy a new one.

The more I read, the more I think you are right - I'm probably a tad below the level of person who baulks at the noise reduction, and overall the reviews suggest a pretty good level of performance for the money. My two big criteria are:

- Must take excellent scenery photos and be able to zoom in on skittish wildlife from a distance with good results.
- Must fit in my pocket when hiking (bearing in mind I'm happy to wear pants with big pockets.) The FZ3 just fit, and I think the FZ18 is slightly bigger, but should still do the job.

Of course, I wonder if I am being silly to go for the superzoom if I can get almost the same zoom and better pictures from a different setup, but I'm not sure the returns are there in terms of image quality for the same dollars (Yep, I'm on a budget before anybody drops the d-word).

I'm also suspicious that a new superzoom from Panasonic is likely to be released the day after I buy the FZ18 (Happened almost like that when I bought my FZ3) and I'll miss out, but I guess that's going to happen eventually anyway, and at least I'll get mine cheaper.

I'm nearly sold, and with a mate heading to the US next week I might just put in an order.

As for my low post count, I'm sure I posted something way back, but maybe it got removed from the list for lack of insight? To be honest, I'm not the world's greatest photographer and I'm a little bit out of my depth around true photography buffs. I've been a bit lazy with my FZ3 and taken most, if not all, of my shots with the heart setting and not really learned much beyond that. Perhaps with a new camera I might decide to get into the whole photography thing a bit more and start learning what all those settings do. I like the idea of having them there in case I get motivated, but still having a safe option if I can't get the hang of it straight away.

Now that's an embarrassing admission on a photography forum.

That said, I'll happily post a link to a few pics I took in Canada a couple of years ago. Some of them turned out pretty well for a dud photographer, but my first rule is that average photos of breathtaking scenery usually end up being at least good overall.



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