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Old Jul 24, 2011, 2:26 AM   #1
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Default FZ28 defective, just tired, or?

Hi all. I've had a DMC-FZ28 for about two years now, and taken many thousands of pictures with it of all sorts.

The more I use it, the more disappointed I am with the shots I'm getting, and the performance, so I'm curious if it may actually be defective, or I am just expecting too much of it. Here's what I'm experiencing. All these issues have been present the entire time I've had it.

1. In anything other than full sunlight, I am seeing a lot of noise in the image. In true low light (after sunset outside, or anything indoors), the noise can get really extreme. While in some cases, this disappears once you resize to a normal screen resolution, in many cases it does not. And if I were to 'pixel peep', I'm seeing WAY more noise than any sample FZ28 images I've seen. Since I live in western WA, we get LOT of cloudy days, so you can see how this may cause issues. Of all the problems, this one seems the most fickle - some days the noise will be nearly gone, other days with similar lighting will be bad.

2. In low light the camera appears to focus easily and quickly, but the pictures nearly are always extremely blurry, far worse than either of my previous two cameras in low light, neither of which had any image stabilization. And I'm not talking at night here - could be just full shade on a sunny day, around dusk, indoors at any time (without the flash), etc.

3. It's nearly impossible to take a good macro shot with this camera. Out of maybe 20 attempts, I'll get one or two good shots. The camera simply refuses to focus on the desired target. It's worst if I actually select the macro mode. In that mode it essentially will never focus at all (gives the red no-lock warning and beep). I can only seem to focus on close objects in the intelligentAuto mode.

4. Even taking normal shots at full wide angle, say a picture of the garden or people, I am getting a lot of shots that don't appear to be properly focused on anything. Ie, looking at the image, it's all slightly off, but not by enough to notice on the LCD unless you were to zoom in.

Basically, I just have a super high percentage of bad shots with this camera as compared to all my others. They range from out of focus to noisy to overexposed to really poor detail. And almost every picture just seems to have a complete lack of sharpness and clarity. There are precious few shots I can look at and say 'wow, that's a great picture!'.

I checked with Panasonic, and they don't repair this model anymore if defective - they just exchange them. They want around $195 to exchange my camera for a factory remanufactured 'equivalent model', which I guess could mean FZ35, FZ40, probably not the FZ100... you don't get to choose. Problem is, if my camera really isn't defective, then I've just got the same issues again.


Cheers!

Last edited by aaroncgi; Jul 24, 2011 at 2:32 AM.
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Old Jul 24, 2011, 9:47 AM   #2
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I own a TZ1, my son owns a FZ7 and FZ40. All of these cameras are noisy in shadows, even at the base ISO - 80 and 100 respectivly.

Noise and Panasonic just go together, shame their lens is probably a cut above everyone elses. But their consistant noise, undoes all the good the lens does.

This time around I went Canon, and bought a G12. That camera will shoot ISO 3200, with less noise than a Panasonic at any ISO. The reason I say that, is because Panasonic always has yellow mustard blotches, in place of chromatic noise. Chromatic noise is easily delt with, in respect to mustard blotch noise. So the images still come out 100% better.

The G12 will actually go ISO 800-1000 with no noise. I just could not deal with Panasonics noise any longer, in spite of some of their good qualities.

Your focus issues, I have always experienced Panasonics ability to focus well even in very low light, with the focus assist light on of course. So that is not consistent, with any issues I have with Panasonics cameras.
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Last edited by Steve40; Jul 24, 2011 at 9:50 AM.
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Old Jul 24, 2011, 10:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, Steve. I had feared that the noise issue was simply a 'feature' of the camera and not a defect. I suspect the other issues may be as well. It's just tough, coming from seemingly much inferior cameras, to have them outperform the 3-8 year newer Panasonic.

Thanks for mentioning the G12, that's one with a larger sensor which I hadn't yet considered. I'll do some research on it. I was looking towards the Olympus XZ-1
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Old Aug 3, 2011, 1:02 PM   #4
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From my own personal research, the G12 walks on the Oly XZ-1. I really don't like the overly warm tones of the Olys, even in their DSLR line. It is better than several years ago, but I can still spot an Oly shot in a dozen quickly! because of their warmness.
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