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Old Dec 8, 2003, 8:13 AM   #11
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[quote="parallel"]With a powerful flash, it would be desirable to use ISO 50, F 5.6 (say, in order to get good depth of field) and an exposure of less than 1/60 second in order that movement is truly frozen and one doesn’t get blurring due to movement shown by the ambient light. In trying it, I found that the camera would sync to the flash even at 1/500 second.

I can appreciate your comments, especially after you explain the desire to set the camera at 1/500. I've experimented with several flash units and would have to disclose the fact that some units will not sync at speeds that fast.

The feature set was designed to work at 1/60th, though as you've discovered it's often possible to go faster. This weekend here in NJ were were burried in snow. I was out shooting at night and when the FZ10 was used as we suggest I had absolutely no problems shooting in low light. Granted, some photos were a bit dim on the LCD, but always enough light to frame it up.

What we want is one issue.. what its designed to do is another. I respect and appreciate the feedback and will share it with our factory. I honestly do not expect any change to be made as this is not a malfunction.
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Old Dec 8, 2003, 12:26 PM   #12
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Recap of external flash situation:

In my office, if I set the FZ-10 in manual at F 5.6, ISO 50 and 1/100 sec, which is what I would like to use for flash, I cannot see anything. (On auto the settings are F 2.8 and ¼ sec.) It is possible to see well enough to frame the image at F 2.8 ISO 200 and 1/30sec at which point the viewfinder is almost as bright as in auto. So if you have an automatic flash that can be set down to that lower light output you can use it.
I do not have much need to use less than 1/100 sec for flash. Syncing to 1/500 sec was just an experiment to see what happened.

For comparison, the Olympus C2100uz on auto shows F2.8 and 1/8 second. If I set that on manual to F 8.0 and 1/800 sec the image is just as bright as on auto. The image is not as bright as the FZ-10 on auto. Steve tells me that the C2100 is one of the exceptions and most consumer cameras do not keep the image bright. But then few of them have a hot shoe and it only for flash that this is needed.

I can sort of understand why the image is dimmed on the FZ-10 as the aperture is reduced, as it is simpler than stopping down just before the shot is taken. What I don’t understand is the decision taken by Panasonic to dim the image as the ISO and exposure time is reduced. There may be some argument that this is desirable for newbies on manual without flash, but it is a poor decision for photographers who know what they are doing. So it seems the FZ-10 is designed as a “consumer” grade camera, rather than for semi-pros or keen amateurs. I think this is a pity as the camera is could well cater for the latter. Having a hot shoe should be a great advantage and selling feature, but here it is not as much good as it could be.

parallel
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Old Dec 10, 2003, 11:16 PM   #13
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Followup on my e-mail to Panasonic. The following reply was sent to me today: " Thank you for your inquiry. To obtain operational assistance, please call
the support line for the product (800) 272-7033 or you may send a message
to [email protected]

Thank You,
Panasonic Consumer Support"
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Old Dec 11, 2003, 9:34 AM   #14
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Charlie,

I’m not surprised. Right now Panasonic is treating the problem as a “feature.”
As I was told, it would take many hundreds of such comments before Panasonic will sit up and take notice. Each one helps a bit though.

parallel
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Old Dec 16, 2003, 11:15 AM   #15
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Default EVF problem with FZ10

I am very unhappy to report that the FZ10 EVF is quite unusable when shooting indoors with an external flash.

To get the correct exposure under external flash conditions, I set the FZ10 to A=5.2 and S=1/600s ... the FZ10 EVF goes completely dark. You therefore have to frame the subject before-hand. Moreover, because it cannot see, it will not auto focus on the subject.

In order to take a picture under ext. flash conditions ... here is what you will have to do.

1. Use a tripod (for reasons explained below).

2. Set the FZ10 in auto mode.

3. Frame the subject and half-click shutter button for focus.

4. Lock the focus by moving switch from Auto Focus to Manual Focus.


5. Switch to A/S/M and set to proper aperture and high shutter speed (eg. 1/400s).

6. When you set the shutter speed this high ... the EVF will go completely blank. You will no longer be able to frame the subject. So its important that you frame the subject in step 3. A tripod will ensure that the subject stays within the frame. Also remember that you are in manual focus mode. Stay away from the focus ring. Its way too easy to turn it accidentally and you will know only when you review the pictures ... remember you are shooting blind.

7. Take the picture.


Panasonic, you need to fix this problem real soon. Do not wait for 6 months to issue a updated firmware. Six months is too long in the world of digital cameras and your competition will cash in on that.

I also own a Sony DSC-F717 and it does not exhibit this problem.

The FZ10 is not an inexpensive P&S camera. A majority of people who buy the FZ10 are unaware of this serious flaw. I am sure you will hear from others on this forum.

Forum folks - I hope you will use your response to encourage Panasonic to fix this problem.

Please change the subject line to reflect the nature of your response.

Thank you.
Max

This issue is also discussed here

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=6970429
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Old Dec 16, 2003, 8:20 PM   #16
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Default Panasonic - all manual modes not this way

Panasonic
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This thread started when Parallel suggested that while in manual mode the iris and any other camera settings should run "wide open" so as to allow the most viewable image to be displayed. It doesn't do that - not on the FZ10 - not on our LC5 - not on my old Canon 35 mm SLR. In manual mode if for whatever reason I set the aperture to f8 than what I'm viewing will be displayed using that setting.

Manual mode is designed so that any setting you make will show on the LCD screen in real time. I honestly can't see how this normal operation in any may suggests that it can't be used with an external flash. I along with countless people are using an external flash and I've had great results.
Well, this does not seem to be quite the case. For example, if one is in the manual “aperture preferred” mode, the screen does not darken as the aperture is reduced, even to the smallest size, until the moment that the shutter is half depressed. This allows one to frame the picture. This is done (presumably) by not setting the shutter speed and/or iris until the moment before it is needed. You can hear something change as soon as you half depress the shutter and again when you release the shutter. Why can’t something like this be done in full manual?
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Old Dec 16, 2003, 8:32 PM   #17
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Default Eureka!

Eureka! There maybe a work around. Following the previous post, I thought I would try using the external flash on “aperture preferred” and it works. At least on the one sample shot I tried, the viewfinder was bright enough to see in order to frame the picture at F5.6 and the flash worked. It looks like the exposure time is set to 1/60 second at any aperture. There is hope yet!

parallel
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 4:35 PM   #18
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Default parallel

Thanks for the great workaround! Now if you can only hack into the firmware and give the camera a "super fine" jpeg setting (or better yet a RAW setting) this camera will sell like it should.

Can you recommend a great external flash for the FZ10? Is the Panasonic DMW-FL28 a full featured flash in your eyes? I've had the Sunpak 383 recommended to me so far. I don't want to cut any corners with the flash so I'm asking for advice from people in the know.
Thanks!
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 5:33 PM   #19
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I still want the option to turn off what the camera figures how the image would look like. If there were a menu option called "Exposure assist" or something like that, that I could disable when I know that the camera is incorrect, I would be happy.

Even at f5.6 1/25s in a 12 x 14ft. room with a two 60 watt bulb ceiling mounted light fixture, the LCD is black when I take a pic of a wall (just an example), yet the pic only comes out slightly underexposed. The camera is flat wrong, and there should be some way to bypass it.


I also noticed that if the white balance is off that it can actually make the LCD gain brightness a bit, and the pics actually look brighter than what I saw myself. I wonder if I can figure out exactly what I did to get it that way, since the colors weren't off much at all.


Tim
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 5:41 PM   #20
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Chris,
I don't know enough about flash units to recommend one. I am using an Olympus T32 from my film SLR days. Sunpack have a good reputation. I would "google' if I were you.

MasterOfNone,
I believe the answer is to stay in aperture preferred mode and adjust the brightness of the picture with +/- ev. At least that is what I will be doing in order to keep the image bright in the evf.

Anyway, keep an eye on the histogram. That is the best way of seeing if the exposure is right. Nice to have that available in the viewfinder

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