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Old Mar 4, 2004, 10:15 PM   #1
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Default Why Have Power Zoom?

I am on the cusp of going w/ the FZ10, but for one design flaw: the zoom is power driven. I understand this is the reason that the zoom cannot be operated during movie mode. I also read in this forum of a camera (not a Panasonic) reaching end of life because the zoom drive motor stopped working. A power zoom also wastes battery power.

Can anyone (Panasonic Bob?) explain to me why this ridiculous "feature" continues in the design of digicams? A manual zoom provides better, quieter, and energy efficient zoom control. Upscale digicams such as the Sony FSC 828 and Minolta A1/A2 have manual zoom control. I wish Panasonic would get a clue and follow suit. Useless whistles and bells are the hallmark of a product which in and of itself has no substance to offer.
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Old Mar 4, 2004, 10:58 PM   #2
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I have to agree with this, but I want it both ways. I would like a power zoom with the ability to manually zoom. My reason for this is that there are times when I have only one hand free and a power zoom is necessary.
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Old Mar 4, 2004, 11:22 PM   #3
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One-handed operation is most likely the reason. Despite the FZ10 being well-featured, it is still just a consumer level digicam, and not everyone wants to have to use both hands to take a picture. Plus, I think we should all just be thankful the FZ10 offers a manual focus ring -- the majority of even upper level digicams do not. If forced to a choice, I would rather have a manual focus ring and a powered zoom. Ever try to focus with a push-botton manual zoom? Good luck.

As for not being able to use the zoom while recording in video mode, I don't know why they don't allow that. My Sony Mavica FD91 had a huge, stabilized 14x optical lens on it with a powered zoom, and you could zoom while recording in video mode. Panasonics FZ series powered zooms are silent -- I have no idea why they can't be used. I know why you can't with some other digicams (like some Minoltas) -- their entire lens moves and make a lot noise doing so. Most cameras cannot use the zoom in video mode, and even ones that do allow it usually require you to turn off audio recording first.
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Old Mar 4, 2004, 11:47 PM   #4
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I have no desire for an electric zoom at all on a 12X lens. I donít think I have ever held the FZ10 in one hand, but the stabilization would help anyone who did I guess.

If you can find a 12X stabilized zoom that can maintain f2.8 throughout its range with a manual zoom ring buy it. Otherwise you are pretty much limited to a menu driven camera with an electric zoom and no SHQ JPG or raw for the present.

My guess is that manual zoom is pricier to make since only top of the line cameras have a manual zoom ring. So it is the manual zoom that represents ďbells and whistlesĒ and electric the standard.

While I much prefer the manual zoom on my D7i, the electric zoom is useable on the FZ10. They did a decent job on the design and it zooms pretty quickly. You end up ďhuntingĒ a little compared to a manual zoom to frame just right and it isnít nearly as fast, but it isnít the worst thing in the world. I would wish for SHQ, custom user modes on a larger mode dial, a better quality EVF that brightens in low light, a readout of the distance it is focused at and more manual controls as well, but they designed the camera for a price point and those things just arenít on the camera. The only thing that user experience canít really get around is the lack of SHQ or raw. I have to admit that despite my dislike of the lack of features, if one just quits griping and uses what it there it isnít that bad. And there isnít anything on the market right now to compare with that lens.
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Old Mar 4, 2004, 11:49 PM   #5
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Default Big Hands?

Thanks for the replys. I was looking at the picture of the FZ10 and was trying to picture myself using one hand to zoom, frame the picture, and shoot it, hmmmmm.

Do have a couple of other FZ10 questions:

1. Can a firmware upgrade add something as fundamental to operation as adding a raw/tiff storage mode?

And the top question: Can I wait two months and buy the FZ100 which will probably be 5MP+, manual zoom, bigger movie format, yadayada...

The answer may lie in, "What was the cycle time between the release of the FZ1 and FZ10?"
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Old Mar 5, 2004, 12:42 AM   #6
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You can actually hold it in one hand and zoom quite easily. The camera isnít that heavy and my rubber eyecup steadies the other end OK. You could probably get some neat shots hanging out from a bridge that way until the police took you in for observation.

Panasonic hasnít been big for offering free firmware updates for their cameras. And I donít know of anyone who has made major upgrades through firmware that didnít charge for it. They could possibly write a firmware they charged for that would add the SHQ that should have been there in the first place, but I wouldnít hold my breath.

They would probably release a FZ10i or FZ20 with updates to some of the features before updating the firmware.

You can wait forever for the perfect camera. Iíll have thousands of nice pictures from my FZ10 before an improved model is released. Pictures at 12X handheld and wider angle pictures in available light I couldnít have gotten without that stabilized lens.

Sony has a 5Mp 1/2.4 CCD they might be able to use to make your FZ100. But I think they would have to redesign the lens for the slightly larger chip.

I think there was about 9 months between the FZ1 and FZ10.
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Old Mar 5, 2004, 8:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Big Hands?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bridgesmm
Thanks for the replys. I was looking at the picture of the FZ10 and was trying to picture myself using one hand to zoom, frame the picture, and shoot it, hmmmmm.
I shoot one-handed all the time with my FZ1, and although the FZ10 is a bit bigger, the formfactor and button locations (zoom and shutter) are the same. In fact, I would probably take one-handed pictures with the FZ10 just as much if not more because I have large hands that probably make one-handed operation of the FZ1 more difficult than the FZ10. I previously owned the Sony FD91, which is a VERY big camera (bigger than modern video cameras now), and I used to do a lot of one handed shots with it (especially with the flip out LCD). Unfortunately, the zoom control was on the lens (still electronic) so I'd have to zoom the shot first, but it was very reasonable to one-hand even that big of a camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bridgesmm
Do have a couple of other FZ10 questions:

1. Can a firmware upgrade add something as fundamental to operation as adding a raw/tiff storage mode?
Yes it can, but no they (Panasonic) won't. There's another thread about this (specifically about adding a lower compression setting), but Panasonic Bob has basically stated that it's not going to happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bridgesmm
And the top question: Can I wait two months and buy the FZ100 which will probably be 5MP+, manual zoom, bigger movie format, yadayada...

The answer may lie in, "What was the cycle time between the release of the FZ1 and FZ10?"
It is very reasonable for you to want to wait in my opinion. The FZ1 came out in March 2003, and when I bought it May 2003, there was no sign of even the FZ2 in the rumor mill, and definitely no sign of the FZ10. Then in the Fall of 2003, rumors started about the "FZ3" (which is the FZ10), but those rumors also included that they wouldn't be distributed to the North American market (just like they didn't give us the FZ2). Just as I was maintaining my happiness with my FZ1, whammo! The FZ10 hits the US market. So, if you can patiently wait a year to buy a digicam, you'll never know what your options will be by then.

Like others posted, we may be looking a gift horse in the mouth here. There is nothing else that even comes close to matching the features of the FZ10 -- where others exceed in a feature the FZ10 doesn't have or doesn't do well, the FZ10 blows away the competition with many other features it does have or does better. Would I love to own the FZ10? Sure. However, I'm just currently way to satisfied with my FZ1 to spring for the extra $. That attitude could change in a week or two, but at some point you just need to buy for the right reasons (for you) and then be happy with what you got.
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Old Mar 7, 2004, 9:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: Big Hands?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bridgesmm
And the top question: Can I wait two months and buy the FZ100 which will probably be 5MP+, manual zoom, bigger movie format, yadayada...
Better wait 15 years and buy the FZ100000000 with a 20MP noise-free sensor and a laser-guided, hyper-sonic, relativistic 50X zoom!

New and better tech is always just around the corner.
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Old Mar 7, 2004, 8:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Better wait 15 years and buy the FZ100000000 with a 20MP noise-free sensor and a laser-guided, hyper-sonic, relativistic 50X zoom!
Point taken. That might make for an interesting thread though, if some of the engineers would pick up on that and tell us what's on the drawing board for the not-to-distant future (couple of years).

Any takers?
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Old Mar 19, 2004, 10:03 AM   #10
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The FZ2 is available in the North American market now...

I'm not sure about the US market...but I was looking at one last night at the Henry's store in London, Ontario.

Here is their website link for the FZ2 (displayed in Cdn $$)

http://www.henrys.com/webapp/wcs/sto...&storeId=10001

I also was able to hold an FZ10 for the first time...it fit my hands and felt a lot better than I could have ever hoped for.

The only camera that I've held that felt any better was the Sony 828 that cost 50% more and has no IS
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