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Old Dec 4, 2003, 7:41 PM   #1
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Default FZ10 not suitable for external flash. Complain about it.

If you want the FZ10 fixed so that one can use an external flash, call Panasonic at 800 272 7033 and complain.

As it now stands, the image in the evf is dimmed in manual control (that must be used) as the aperture or exposure is reduced. So in a low light situation, at say 1/100 sec & F5.6, there is no visible image to frame the shot for flash.

A supervisor explained to me that this was a “feature” so that point & shooters could tell the image was underexposed. No matter that you have a histogram for that.

He suggested using a bright LED to illuminate the subject and said it was quite satisfactory to just point the camera in the general direction as the shot would be properly exposed.

I believe that a reputable company like Panasonic should not advertise the camera as suitable for use with an external flash as it stands. It obviously is not if you can’t see what you are doing.

He suggested that the only way it would get fixed would be if enough people called up and complained. So let’s do that! It should be a simple software fix as the viewfinder does not dim this way when in automatic mode.

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Old Dec 4, 2003, 9:51 PM   #2
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Well, I didn't call them, but I did send an e-mail through panasonic.com contact area. I paraphrased your message as follows (hope you don't mind my 'stealing' your phraseology' :-) :

Regarding your new DMC-FZ10k digital camera: As it now stands, the image in the evf is dimmed in manual control (that must be used) as the aperture or exposure is reduced. So in a low light situation, at say 1/100 sec & F5.6, there is no visible image to frame the shot for flash.

We've been told that this was a “feature” so that point & shooters could tell the image was underexposed. But there is a histogram for that! At least an option should be made available for the more serious users of this camera. It has been suggested that we use a bright LED to illuminate the subject. While this will work, I think it is pretty lame considering it should be a simple software fix as the viewfinder does not dim this way when in automatic mode.
I believe that a reputable company like Panasonic should not advertise the camera as suitable for use with an external flash as it stands. It obviously is not if you can’t see what you are doing.

Sincerely, Charlie
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Old Dec 5, 2003, 8:14 AM   #3
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Charlie,
Emails may be even better as they leave a trail.
Let us know what answer you get ~ if any!

parallel
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Old Dec 5, 2003, 6:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: FZ10 not suitable for external flash. Complain about it

Quote:
Originally Posted by parallel
A supervisor explained to me that this was a ?feature? so that point & shooters could tell the image was underexposed. No matter that you have a histogram for that.
When i was in a software laboratory I heared this sentence:
"If you cannot fix it feature it"
Maybe that this is valid for cameras also!
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Old Dec 5, 2003, 9:44 PM   #5
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Parallel...
In manual mode the camera is just that - MANUAL.
I receive the call from our Call Center and I was the one who explained that in manual mode, whatever you do is shown on the screen.

I've been using it with our external flash and it works just fine.
While I respect your opinion, suggesting that multiple e-mails will change something - will not.

With our flash, I mount it and the camera sets itself to sync up with it. Works just as well with my 15 year old Vivitar unit.
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Old Dec 6, 2003, 12:37 AM   #6
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The only problem I have with what happens with the LCD is that even if I use the FZ10's flash, the LCD is pretty much black, and the picture comes out just fine. Makes it hard to frame a shot when you can't see what you're shooting until after you've taken the shot and reviewed it. I could see the reason for the LCD going dark if I didn't have the flash popped up, but not if it is up and enabled. Maybe it's just to cover the short range of the flash?

Am I correct in my understanding of Panasonic's (the Man, the Myth, the Legend - not the company) explanation that if I use an external flash, then the LCD goes back to normal and doesn't dim anymore? If that's the case, I may have to dig out an old Yashica flash that's been MIA for almost 15 years and check it's voltage, then give it a couple of test shots.


Also, this is my first camera that I've been able to adjust ANYTHING on. All I've ever used are disposables, 110's, a Canon OWL (never was in focus - ever) and a Kodak One Step. I still have close to no knowledge what the f2.8 does compared to f8.2, but with lots of experimentation I should be able to figure it out. Or, I could just ask a few friends who use SLR's....

Tim
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Old Dec 6, 2003, 9:10 AM   #7
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I'm saying that if you are shooting in an area that is dark (with any flash) the LCD sccreen will display an image that some may feel is too dark. The camera does not have any low light assist light so it can't brighten the scene.

In 99% of the times I've used the camera indoors, there has always been enough light to produce an image that allows me to frame the image. I guess that if I were shooting inside a darkened movie theatre or some similar situation this might present a problem.

However, when the picture is taken and the flash goes off, the picture looks just fine.

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.

I have to acknowledge the comments and recognize that it may not perform as this user wants it to perform but that in itself is not a defect.
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Old Dec 7, 2003, 12:21 PM   #8
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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.
If you try those settings in a darkened room or stage, you will find that the image is too dark to see it.

No matter what you say, the camera attempts to show an image as if you were not using flash. You don’t need this “guide” to know it is under exposed when a flash is attached. That is what the histogram is for. I wish the viewfinder did not dim even without flash. As far as I can see, it is only possible to see what you are doing if you use ISO 100, F 2.8 and an exposure slower than 1/60. So it is just possible to use the flash but only with less than optimal settings. This is a pity.

I hope that Steve reads this thread and I will be happy to abide by his decision as to who is correct in this. In passing, the image is NOT dimmed with the Olympus C2100uz or any of their SLRs. Is Panasonic inferior in this regard?

parallel
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Old Dec 7, 2003, 1:08 PM   #9
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>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.
>If you try those settings in a darkened room or stage, you will find that the image is too dark to see it.

>No matter what you say, the camera attempts to show an image as if you were not using flash. You don’t need this “guide” to know it is under exposed when a flash is attached. That is what the >histogram is for. I wish the viewfinder did not dim even without flash. As far as I can see, it is only possible to see what you are doing if you use ISO 100, F 2.8 and an exposure slower than 1/60. >So it is just possible to use the flash but only with less than optimal settings. This is a pity.

I agree with parallel here. An advanced user needs the ability to be able to see what they are shooting at with an external flash. (unless this was a marketing decision to force users to upgrade to the next "new improved model" or switch to a dSLR)

perhaps an option could be added in the external flash menu item to not dim the EVF
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Old Dec 7, 2003, 5:12 PM   #10
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Panasonic wrote. "It doesn't do that - not on the FZ10 - not on our LC5 - not on my old Canon 35 mm SLR."

Which model Canon SLR would that be? In passing all the Nikons don't shut down the iris for viewing either unless you press a button. At least from the mid 70s. I don't know about ones earlier than that.
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