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Old Jun 22, 2004, 1:18 AM   #1
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I just want to say to the Forum that I'm really disappointed with DMC-FZ10. I purchased this camera back in December 2003 just after it arrived to the store for $1000 Canadian. I've been waiting for it for several month because I was really excited by 12x zoom lens by Leica. Now I can tell for sure that this is the only good thing about this camera.

I've been struggling with it for 6 month and finally I got really tired with it. Almost every function is disappointing. Noise level is ridiculously high unless ISO is set to 50, at relatively low light (indoor) it takes forever to focus. Manual focus is quite useless because the display is very dark (probably corresponding to indoor conditions) and focus assist window is so noisy you can hardly see the object. Exposure is very inconsistent so pictures get over- or underexposed with or without the flash. Almost all the pictures look slightly out of focus so I have to sharpen them in Photoshop to get relatively decent results. Level of Jpeg compression is too high too. Trying to scroll through the zoomed picture in preview/play mode is a torture.

I actually managed to get pretty good pictures only by using manual exposure mode but it takes quite a long time to adjust shutter/aperture settings. Therefore real-time action just cannot be photographed with acceptable quality. Indoor I could only get decent results by using tripod and pointing the camera at static objects (absolutely no flash). Action like taking picture of my cat is absolutely impossible because she actually moves and camera doesn't have enough time to focus at her even with flash.

I still have my old obsolete Casio QV-2000UX which I bought 5 years ago for $300 and it's been just perfect compared to FZ10. It still makes consistently good shots in automatic and manual modes, noise level is much lower than this "new generation" piece of... art, etc. It's just unbelievable.

And, by far, the most disappointing thing is a complete lack of support. I wrote to Panasonic twice and the only responce I got was that they've never heard about these problems in such a perfect camera, despite the fact that lots of people complain about them all over the Internet. I've been watching this forum for awhile in a hope that Panasonic Bob would at least admit that there are known problems and the company will try to solve at least some of them. So far all I heard was that it's too expensive for Panasonic to do anything about it. Obviously Panasonic is a tiny company compared to Casio or Canon or Nikon so it cannot afford even a single software update. And allwhat people at this forum say is "Thanks to talking to us and listen to our complaints". I've been dealing with Panasonic for many years in professional audio field and always had a respect to the company in terms of good quality product (industry standard even) and excellent service. Now I changed my mind 180 degrees.

I will try to find a good camera with good support and I'll definitely do a lot of research rather than buying blindfolded as I did with FZ-10. I will never recommend anyone to buy Panasonic camera ever. Unfortunately, I will not be able to sell it for more than a half the price I paid for it even with lots of extra accessories. And I'll miss 12x zoom which could really be wonderful on a better camera.

Thanks for listening to me...
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Old Jun 22, 2004, 3:36 AM   #2
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Well, that is indeed a very sad story.... I just looked at the sample pictures of your Casio QV-2000UX at Steve's, if that beats your FZ10 you definatly have a malfunctioning camera, did you ever try another FZ10 in a camera store?

The FZ10 cirtainly isn't the best point-and-shoot camera for indoor useout there but does a reasonable good job in normal artificial light situations (candle light lit scenes will be a problem, it does not come with a focus assist light).

My last camera was a Olympus C-2100 UZ, a very high quality and well respected ultra zoom camera with IS. I can assure you my FZ10 beats it on picture quality, lens quality and most other points exept dim light focussing as the Oly has a focus assist lamp. Noise levels are very low at ISO 50 and very acceptable at ISO 100 in my case. Please take a look at the sample pictures at Steve's or do a search by camera model on www.pbase.com to see for yourself what the FZ10 is capable of.

Klaas Bloem
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Old Jun 22, 2004, 3:42 AM   #3
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Random FZ10 pictures at Pbase:

http://www.pbase.com/cameras/panasonic/dmc_fz10

Here you can see some of my own recent FZ10 pictures, click on "original file" under an opened picture for a larger view:

http://www.photodex.com/sharing/view...0&bm=31466

Klaas

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Old Jun 22, 2004, 8:52 AM   #4
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Thanks for your reply. A typical picture I get from FZ10 is very similar to this:

http://www.pbase.com/image/27083008- slightly out of focus and dull, despite the flash. I also think this picture was postprocessed because it would be just ugly at ISO400.

I don't know how you've managed to get such a sharp pictures outdoor. I always have to sharpen them to get acceptable details level.

What I meant by saying that Casio makes better quality pictures was that it is extremely consistent - always in perfect focus, proper exposureand sharp. I haven't had even a single bad shot with it for 5 years, indoor or outdoor. I've also never even thought about noise - it was just unnoticeable.I've had ISO set to "Auto" and never worried about it. But my very firstshots with FZ10 showed so much noise that I thought it's a defect. I believe FZ10 would be a perfect educational tool to learn about digital camera problems - it covers pretty much all of them.

As I said before, if you have time to use tripod, play with exposure settings andmake a number of pictures of each object (preferablyduring bright sunny day) you'll have a chance to get a decent pictures. But it really narrows a purpose of a digicam.

As far as I understand the main use of ultrazoom would be nature shots. But all the birds (for example)pictures are very soft with low details level even at fast shutter speed and proper focusing. It is masked by good color balance but every time I look at the pictures I feel like I need new glasses.

By the way, I don't believe that FZ10 tested by Bytesector ("Bad reviews of FZ10" topic) was actually defective. That's exactly what I feel about this camera.
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Old Jun 22, 2004, 9:19 AM   #5
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ET,

One thing to remember is that you pretty much started with the one area this camera can have difficulty with--indoors with poor lighting. The autofocus mechanism can be fooled. I think another problem with such a long zoom is that it can easily outdistance your flash.

If most of your pictures are indoors, a camera with a focus-assist lamp and/or external flash may be the best for you. If your camera doesn't take nice shots outdoors in good lighting, I'd try another one in case yours is defective. There are tons of people on this site, DPreview and OnlinePhotographers that are very pleased with their FZ-10's.

Maybe post some outdoor shots so we can see what is going on.
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Old Jun 22, 2004, 9:20 AM   #6
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ET Wrote: "And, by far, the most disappointing thing is a complete lack of support. I wrote to Panasonic twice and the only responce I got was that they've never heard about these problems in such a perfect camera, despite the fact that lots of people complain about them all over the Internet. I've been watching this forum for awhile in a hope that Panasonic Bob would at least admit that there are known problems and the company will try to solve at least some of them. So far all I heard was that it's too expensive for Panasonic to do anything about it. Obviously Panasonic is a tiny company compared to Casio or Canon or Nikon so it cannot afford even a single software update. And allwhat people at this forum say is "Thanks to talking to us and listen to our complaints". I've been dealing with Panasonic for many years in professional audio field and always had a respect to the company in terms of good quality product (industry standard even) and excellent service. Now I changed my mind 180 degrees."

After reading your comments and the responses of the other FZ10 users I can only conclude that your FZ10 may not be operating correctly. While the FZ10 may not satisfy 100% of every users expectation, its overall positive performance has converted many DSC users over to the Panasonic name.

From your comments I believe you are located in Canada. Understand that I can only comment on the support we provide to the U.S. market, though I have no reason to believe that Panasonic of Canada's desire to assist the customer is less.



Here in the U.S. our Call Center is staffed by a group of individuals who are definitely digital camera users. The lead person communicates with me several times a week and any issues we become aware of are quickly shared with them. In a word, they are informed. Problems, as in camera malfunctions or defects in workmanship, are investigated as soon as we become aware of them. The necessary steps to correct them are made as quickly as possible. We actively share comments with our factory when the performance of a product does not meet the customer's expectations. If we see a trend about one specific issue from multiple sources these issues are reviewed and a study is made to see how they can be improved.



There have been a few cases were customers have complained or experienced a problem that was service related. Whenever possible, I've jumped in and changed a potentially defensive situation into a supportive experience. The "problems" were addressed by either having it repaired promptly or by providing the technical expertise needed for the user to better understand how to use the camera to produce photos that are closer to their expectations. My participation in these forums, often long after I leave the office, is a clear indication of our dedication to customer satisfaction and willingness to listen.



The problems you mention are not representative of the experiences I've had, especially if you know how to use the all the manual setting the FZ10 has to offer. I'll tell you what, PM me with your number and I'll call you to see if I can offer some suggestions. At that time I'll also ask that you send me a few photos showing the problems you mention. After examining the EXIF data I suspect I'll be able to make some suggestions.



Hope to hear from you very soon!
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Old Jun 22, 2004, 10:48 AM   #7
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ET wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for your reply. A typical picture I get from FZ10 is very similar to this:

http://www.pbase.com/image/27083008- slightly out of focus and dull, despite the flash. I also think this picture was postprocessed because it would be just ugly at ISO400.

If you take a look at the exif info you can see this picture was taken at 139mm (35mm equv), far beyond the throwing distance of the onboard flash, that's why the camera shifted to ISO 400. The onboard flash is good for fill-in and wide angle snapshots, this would have been a great picture when an external flash was used.

I think Panasonic Bob has again proven that their Service department (at least in the US) is far better then their marketing department.

Contact him and I'm sure he will help you out!

Klaas Bloem
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Old Jun 22, 2004, 11:51 AM   #8
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Klaas wrote:
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ET wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for your reply. A typical picture I get from FZ10 is very similar to this:

http://www.pbase.com/image/27083008- slightly out of focus and dull, despite the flash. I also think this picture was postprocessed because it would be just ugly at ISO400.

If you take a look at the exif info you can see this picture was taken at 139mm (35mm equv), far beyond the throwing distance of the onboard flash, that's why the camera shifted to ISO 400. The onboard flash is good for fill-in and wide angle snapshots, this would have been a great picture when an external flash was used.

I think Panasonic Bob has again proven that their Service department (at least in the US) is far better then their marketing department.

Contact him and I'm sure he will help you out!

Klaas Bloem
I realized that and I know that onboard flash is weak. However the picture is clearly out of focuswhich it shouldn't be at shutter speed 1/60. It could be user error in manual focus mode but that's what I keep getting with autofocus too, but not every time.

I'll definitely contact Panasonic Bob but honestly I don't think any advice would help. I'm nottotallyamateur in digital photography and photography in general, I've also been using manual cameras for many years. I just feel that I can't struggle with this anymore. I tried real hard for 6 month already. If I had to throw as many regular (film) photos in the dumpster as I did with this camera's shots I'd give up photography completely. Thanks God they are free...
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Old Jun 22, 2004, 12:12 PM   #9
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ET wrote:
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If I had to throw as many regular (film) photos in the dumpster as I did with this camera's shots I'd give up photography completely. Thanks God they are free...
At least 95% of my pictures are in focus, so if you have made no mistakes in your camera settingsand camera shake isn't the problem your camera isdefinitively malfunctioning.

Klaas Bloem
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Old Jun 23, 2004, 12:04 AM   #10
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Hmmmmm..... sounds like there is something wrong with your camera.....

I've taken about 1000 shots in 2 months and I'm extremely happy with the performance of the FZ10.

I've taken crisp, clean shots includingin dark shopping streets (just the lights lights of the shops), hand held..... the OIS is great....
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