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Old Jan 4, 2004, 11:26 PM   #1
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Default ATTN: Bob Kozlarek

Bob, I really hope that you had a marvellous vacation but, when you decide to surface again, I have some technical questions about the FZ1 that nobody is better qualified to answer than you.

In other words, I miss you... :-)

Best wishes,
Alex.
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Old Jan 5, 2004, 9:00 AM   #2
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Hi Alex...
I'm back and ready to attack all your question!
Happy New Year

Bob
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Old Jan 5, 2004, 1:56 PM   #3
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Default 1st Question: FZ1 / FZ2 dial modes

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Originally Posted by Panasonic
Hi Alex...
I'm back and ready to attack all your question!
Happy New Year

Bob
Hello Bob, glad to have you back.

First, just to let you know, I got myself an FZ1 and have lots of fun playing with it. I came to the realization that no camera can be an exact fit to all of my (sometimes conflicting) wishes so I chose that one that I consider to be the closest compromise.


Now, for the main course. This time I am sticking to asking questions about technical details of shiping cameras... :-)

My first set of questions concerns the FZ1's dial modes. Specifically - the Sports, Portrait and Night Portrait modes (and to a lesser extent, the Panning mode).

I've asked on Phil's forum whether the added manual settings of the FZ2 make these modes redundant and was told that they offer more than setting parameters to predefined values and avtually involve some intelligence on part of the camera in deciding what parameters to use. However, nobody was able to tell me what exactly this "intelligence" consists of.

I understand that the Panning mode is special as it also limits the IOS to the vertical axis only.

Unfortunately there is almost no technical information in the manual regarding these modes in the user's manual and on the Panasonic site.

I remember talk about some sort of guide for the FZ1's modes but I cannot find any mention of it.


So the questions are:

1) Are the special modes just a convenience feature that sets some parameters to predefined values and can be mimicked on the FZ2 by adjusting the Shutter or Aperture priority, ISO sensitivity, EV adjustment and/or White balance settings?

2) If so, what are the exact settings that correspond to each mode?

3) If not, how exactly does the camera decide what setting to apply in each mode and each situation? Is there a calculation or a set of rules that can be explained?

Thank you in advance,
Alex.
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Old Jan 5, 2004, 2:52 PM   #4
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Default FZ1

I noticed at Panasonic's website the NA, FZ1 contains the same manual features of the FZ2. Can anyone tell me when it was upgraded?
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Old Jan 6, 2004, 10:21 PM   #5
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Default 2nd Question: focusing

My next question concerns the focusing behaviour of the FZ1.

Specifically, on what distance is the lens focused then the AF fails to lock? Is it infinity? The lost distance that it was focused on? Some specific distance?

Also, on what distance the lens is focused when the camera is turned on?

These questions may sound weird but there is a reason I'm asking them -- it may give me a way of "manually" focusing on infinity:
Set the AF trigger to "focus", turn the camera off and back on (or just point it at something with no vertical contrast, like the sky, and get it to fail to focus) and voila! focused on infinity.
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 12:23 AM   #6
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Default FZ1 with the FZ10's Manual Features? Nope.

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Originally Posted by ellewis
I noticed at Panasonic's website the NA, FZ1 contains the same manual features of the FZ2. Can anyone tell me when it was upgraded?
I received the following response from Panasonic Customer Support (in less than 24-hours -- very quick!):

Quote:
Thank you for emailing Panasonic. We appreciate your taking the time to contact us.

I apologize unfortunately it is a misprint. It's the FZ10 that has those features.

Sincerely,
Leah
Panasonic National Diagnostic Center
Panasonic Ideas for Life
They've mixed up stuff before in the camera descriptions. I had to get them to clarify whether or not the FZ10's video mode was 30fps and they also initially listed the MSRP of the FZ10 at $999 whereas their press release stated a MSRP of $599. It's just a little cross in communications between the production departments and the website department.
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 8:41 AM   #7
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So the questions are:

1) Are the special modes just a convenience feature that sets some parameters to predefined values and can be mimicked on the FZ2 by adjusting the Shutter or Aperture priority, ISO sensitivity, EV adjustment and/or White balance settings?

For the most part these features can be thought of as "mini batch files" or macros that set several parameters with one selection. For example, the panning mode uses a slower shutter setting. If the user is able to pan and the approximate speed of a moving object the subject is in focus and the background is blurred. I also believe that when possible the depth of field is decreased. With the original design of the FZ1 you didn't have the ability to manually adjust all these parameters so these adjustments would not have been possible. And what adjustments that can be made would not have been done as quickly as selecting one of these modes.


2) If so, what are the exact settings that correspond to each mode?

I suspect that some other parameters may also change, but I've never seen such a list. From the consumer stand point, why would anyone want to make several manual settings when it can be done with one predefined feature setting?


3) If not, how exactly does the camera decide what setting to apply in each mode and each situation? Is there a calculation or a set of rules that can be explained?

I do know that there is some "fuzzy logic" involved and I have some info on what parameters are monitored. Unfortunately, this info was never included in any public documents and I'm not permitted to discuss these.




Thank you in advance,
Alex.
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 8:47 AM   #8
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Default

I noticed at Panasonic's website the NA, FZ1 contains the same manual features of the FZ2. Can anyone tell me when it was upgraded?

<RESPONSE>
Panasonic in Japan released firmware that updates the FZ1 to most of the features ofthe FZ2. "Most" as in what could be offered by way of a firmware update. Here in the U.S. the firmware was not released, nor is there any definite decision if we will.

We are aware that the firmware was posted on several websites and U.S. customer's have installed it.

At this time I'm not permitted to comment on this issue, though I will say that doing so may void the warranty.
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 8:53 AM   #9
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Specifically, on what distance is the lens focused then the AF fails to lock? Is it infinity? The lost distance that it was focused on? Some specific distance?

Also, on what distance the lens is focused when the camera is turned on?

The alignment procedure uses a focus chart and a built in calibration system. This sets depth of field and back focus at the same time. Obviously there has to be some distance value, but since the procedure is automated the "number" you request is unknown. Also, the distance at which objects are in focus will be influenced by the depth of field which as we know varies with illumination. Since the alignment can't be changed, these preset points are basically fixed.
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 11:38 AM   #10
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Thank you for the answers Bob,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panasonic
I suspect that some other parameters may also change, but I've never seen such a list. From the consumer stand point, why would anyone want to make several manual settings when it can be done with one predefined feature setting?
There is a reason for FZ2 and FZ10 owners (that have more manual controls) and that is learning.

Let's consider a hypothetical consumer called Alice, who got herself an FZ10.
Alice is a complete newbie so at first she uses the Auto mode exclusively. When she gains some confidence in her skills, she starts using the other modes. As she gains more experience she will want to experiment with the manual settings. Knowing that (and I'm using totally fictious numbers just to illustrate a point) the Sport mode sets the shutter speed to 1/250 or that it speeds it by 120% of the Normal mode will give her a frame of reference and a staring point for her experimentation.

After all, the FZ2 and FZ10 are not marketed as plain "Point & Shoot".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panasonic
I do know that there is some "fuzzy logic" involved and I have some info on what parameters are monitored. Unfortunately, this info was never included in any public documents and I'm not permitted to discuss these.
Pity but I understand your position.

It would be great if Panasonic could publish an "Advanced FZx" guide.

Best wishes,
Alex.
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