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Old Mar 14, 2004, 2:54 AM   #1
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Default FZ10: Focussing bug

After using the FZ10 for 3 months, I believe there is a bug in the firmware that controls the focussing.

The camera uses a contrast based system to determine the focus.
It achieves a focus lock on the most contrasting region that is above a fixed / specified threshold contrast value.
The flaw is if all the contrast values are below that threshold, it does not achieve a focus lock.

The way to approach this is to pick the best contrast value under any light conditions and forget the threshold contrast value.

If it does this, then the low light focussing problem that many of us report will be gone.

Panasonic Bob, can u send this message over to Panasonic design?

Thanks,
Chiks
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Old Mar 14, 2004, 8:08 AM   #2
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I don't think it's a low light focus problem that many have voiced concern over, but rather the LCD/EVF going totally black upon half press of the shutter so as you can't see the subject matter. It achieves focus okay, but the screens inform you as to what the camera thinks the final result will be. In most cases, it's not as the camera thinks, but it is dark. What users would like to see done about this is to automatically ramp up the gain of the LCD to counteract this (similar to what Minolta have done with the A1 I believe) - personally, I'd rather it left the screen alone (that's what the review feature in the menu is for!) and displayed a "dark image" briefly on the LCD/EVF if it thinks the exposure settings will result in that condition.
Makes a hell of a lot more sense than turning off (effectively) the LCD/EVF displays to make th same point!
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Old Mar 14, 2004, 12:42 PM   #3
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These are 2 different problems.
I am addressing the focussing in low light issue.
In my case, I can see the subject just about ok in P mode, yet it does not achieve a focus lock. I have tried two diff units and both are the same.
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Old Mar 14, 2004, 6:19 PM   #4
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There is no doubt a focusing problem with the FZ10. Iíve noticed it under good conditions as well. Iíve long had an idea what the problem might be.
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Old Mar 16, 2004, 12:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerito
There is no doubt a focusing problem with the FZ10. I?ve noticed it under good conditions as well. I?ve long had an idea what the problem might be.
and that is?
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Old Mar 16, 2004, 6:14 PM   #6
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Default ^dito

I've been using the FZ10 for roundabout 2 months now and I've never encountered a focusing problem. The only instances where it doesn't focus properly is when you're using the full zoom and the subject is closer than 6' (ain't a bug though, it's even mentioned in the manual).
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Old Mar 16, 2004, 7:18 PM   #7
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My FZ10 isnít my only camera without an assist light that has low light focus problems. I just pre-focus on something the same distance with more light or contrast. The ambient light makes no difference with a flash shot. Mine focuses fine with decent light and contrast.

I also wear a little Photon 3 on my watchband which lets me illuminate anything within 10 feet or so. That isnít the lightís primary purpose but it works fine when nothing else will Ė like a dark room.

The best way for Panasonic to eliminate the problem completely for me would be to give a focus distance readout with manual focus. I have one camera that has that feature and use the distance readout even though the EVF brightens well in low light. With a little practice you can nail the distance quickly.
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Old Mar 17, 2004, 9:16 PM   #8
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well, I invariably end up comparing my FZ10 with my sony Digital video camera (cum camera). That sucker gets a focus lock 10 times faster and in lights where the FZ10 simply keeps spinning its wheels. and that Digicam also has 10x optical zoom.
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 5:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerito
There is no doubt a focusing problem with the FZ10. I’ve noticed it under good conditions as well. I’ve long had an idea what the problem might be.
thank god it's not just me. my FZ10 is driving me nuts. fortunately, husb left his new FZ1 here this week, and i just tried the same photo set-up with it. altho its LCD also gets darker at half-shutter, least the dern thing will focus most of the time, and the pictures come out as light/dark/whatever as they Should be.

and its exposure +2-2 thingie is responsive! swear mine is doing little-to-nothing.

with my FZ10 (which seems to be getting worse), Used to have pretty good focus--eventually, takes forever--Until i pressed half-shutter. at which time not only does it go much darker, but Completely out of focus, While giving the green light.

i see *great* pics taken by others, so don't know if it's just me, or this particular camera is defective. compared to my cheaper, simpler Canon S400..well, there is no comparison. that little cam can take a picture of Anything, Anywhere. minus the ultra-zoom of course.

so what do you think is causing this focusing difficulty for some of us?

Karen
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 9:09 PM   #10
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I hate to break it to you Karen, but u might have a bad piece.

my camera does not lock under pretty dark conditions. Under 2x75w bulbs, it would work merrily away.
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