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Old Jul 23, 2004, 2:40 AM   #11
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I never said it was unreasonable to ask for firmware upgrade. I just said it was unusual how many requests have been made in... say the past week. (hmm what happened this past week???)

It just is a bit funny how there is all this clamor about "fix my FZ10" by firmware. Yes, there has been some discussion about this before. And yes, these problems have been discussed at length but I don't think it was any where near the number of posts now. Just look at the recent posts and count how many there are...

I am not defending Panasonic. I don't work for them I don't care about them. They certainly are a company that cares more about their bottom line, just like EVERY other commercial company out there. I hate to by cyncical but it probably is ALOT more profitable for them to come out with a new camera rather than try to please everyone with a firmware update.

I just making an observation on how there have been so many negative FZ10 posts lately. Just look at the title of this thread.

In answer to your first question on PCs. I buy the best PC for the price and may do some very MINOR upgrades to the memory. By the time it needs to be upgraded, it's usually cheaper the get a whole new PC instead of trying to upgrade it piecemeal... at least that is just my experience. YMMV
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 4:54 AM   #12
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x10guy wrote:
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I never said it was unreasonable to ask for firmware upgrade. I just said it was unusual how many requests have been made in... say the past week. (hmm what happened this past week???)

It just is a bit funny how there is all this clamor about "fix my FZ10" by firmware. Yes, there has been some discussion about this before. And yes, these problems have been discussed at length but I don't think it was any where near the number of posts now. Just look at the recent posts and count how many there are...
The whole point is that people have been asking for a fix, there even seemed to be signs that it might have finally been forthcoming. Instead we get our faces rubbed in it, especially when Bob comes along saying (effectively), "Hey, here's the answer to all of your problems, buy a new camera!"

The people on here were not looking for a new camera, they were looking for fixes for existing problems in the one they've got. The FZ10 deserves a longer shelf life than the 7 months it seems to be getting, it already was the big step up from the FZ1, instead we get the incremental "fixer-upper" FZ15 and the next step up for the FZ20. The FZ20 is a fair move, though if the CCD is the same physical size whilst increasing to 5MP it's questionable, but the FZ15 just smacks of money grabbing.
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 8:36 AM   #13
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x10guy, fair enough. Just as there are people who buy a camera and would never consider applying a firmware upgrade.

However, there are many people who enjoy that technical side of things. Personally, I enjoy tweaking my machine, perhaps upgrading the video card (and passing mine down to a son or someone). But I do understand.

I agree that some appear to be taking it seriously, but I've watched the evolution of posts here. They resemble some of the political discussions I've seen at work.

It seems that early posts were positive, hoping for firmware. Then when the cameras were released, hopes turned up a notch (at least, I recall seeing,paraphrased,"Now that the new cameras are out, perhaps a firmware upgrade is forthcoming.").

But the immediate response was "No, Panasonic can't invest time and resources into a firmware upgrade. That's not reasonable."

I think it's the constant assertion that "it's not reasonable" that has caused the timbre of the topic to rise. Until this week, I don't recall anyone implying it flat out would not happen - though, there were implications it likely would not.

I don't really care. I love my FZ10 as much as I did last week, and I don't know enough about the FZ20 to really envy it (as far as that goes, we can envy features on many other cameras, but the FZ10 has the best combination of features for our needs).

In fact, I suppose this really all is a waste of time. I would certainly appreciate the ability to focus on infinity and a few other fixes (I say fixes, because most other cameras have better implementations in a few areas - my friends' digicams have brighter EVF's in all situations and landscape modes). If it happens, fantastic(!!), but if not, I'll move on.

But it will say a lot about Panasonic when they don't do firmware upgrades, while the "big boys" certainly do. I think that's the main point people are making (well, that, and the general point about customer care).
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 8:52 AM   #14
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There is a reason, I suspect, that we will not see the FZ15 in the UK and Europe. As someone pointed out, in the UK for definite, we have a "fit for purpose" consumer law where if a product is deemed to have a problem due to faulty design you are covered up to 7 years from date of purchase. Releasing the FZ15 to address those "flaws" in the FZ10 could easily produce a string of returns quite rightfully demanding either that they're fixed, or replaced with the "working model".
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 10:05 AM   #15
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Do bear in mind that if Panasonic did provide a firmware upgrade for the FZ10, it would incorporate whatever features (call them fixes if you will) that they might feel appropriate and in the best interests of users as a whole, not just those posting here or in any other forum or sector of opinion. You wouldn't be given a personal pick list. And you wouldn't be able to reinstall the original firmware if you didn't like the result.

I haven't seen it mentioned here in the context of these discussions how the FZ1 to FZ2 firmware upgrade, which provided aperture and shutter priority on the FZ1 together with other enhancements, also introduced the EVF stopdown feature to that model (this being required by the implementation of the additional features) which many users here seem to feel should now be taken out through such an upgrade of the FZ10. That point of detail (as they saw it) wasn't pre-announced in any Panasonic documents concerning the FZ2 or the firmware upgrade.

In other words, any firmware upgrade carries with it a degree of 'russian roulette' about it - you'd have hope and pray that the detail of the outcome was to your liking.
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 11:33 AM   #16
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Despite my extremely busy schedule, I'm drawn back to read these comments, over and over – and I ask myself why? Probably, it's because I prefer to place myself in your position and try to understand each situation as you, the user, sees it. Having that understanding allows me to more accurately evaluate and suggest changes. I'm preparing this response where it's now after midnight and I'll post it in the morning. It's late so I'm going to try and be brief.



"Loudtiger" commented, "we're not the whole FZ10 community. I bet 99% of the people with Panasonic cameras do not read these forums. We do not represent a large enough population for Panasonic to give a darn." His observations are somewhat accurate, with the exception of the last statement. If we "didn't give a darn", I would not be responding. Several months someone suggested that a poll be posted where all of you could state would you would like to see in future models. I thought it might be interesting and I certainly expected hundreds, perhaps thousands of suggestions. In one poll we got 89 responses, in the other, only 75. While the suggestions were helpful, the quantity did little to bolster the notion that the opinions represented a worldwide majority. Yet, these ideas were offered and as you see the new models now offer much of what you asked for. Wouldn't it be fair to conclude that we were fairly responsive?



Clint751 commented, "the input from this forum on what would be desirable in an FZ camera was instrumental in the changes made in the FZ20. So, the forum users may have more impact than you think." Actually, the comments and suggestions were helpful, though the quantity did very little to convince anyone. Some features may have been chosen as the result of market trends, yet others like our 2 mode OIS were developed to offer unique and innovative features. This would include the first 5 MP camera with a 12X aspherical lens that includes OIS. Or perhaps the new FX7; an ultra compact 5MP camera with OIS. It's the only such product.



"FZFUN" has obviously worked in this industry and understands many of the issues I'm obviously unable to convey. "Value package" and "price points" are buzzwords that play an enormous role. In English this comes down to being able to offer as much as you can within a price range that will appeal to the most number of customers. The criteria is largely set by the major dealers who do their own market studies to determine what they feel will be both appealing and "hot" features. If you design a camera that doesn't meet their ideals, they may not carry it. This explains why so many models are so similar and the market so competitive. FZFUN could not have stated it more clearly, "In the end, the biggest person that has an impact on your ability to get features added in lives right in your area. Your dealers. They are ultimately the people that decide what features will sell the most. And they will often share the info of why they buy quantities based off of this demographic." FZFUN goes on to state, "I support a multitude of electronics, and you would be amazed at how often I have spoken people that have been buying at least one unit a year of our stuff every year." How true he is! These are the customers who instinctively have to have the latest toys. Their upgrade path is EBAY.



"X10" commented, "It amazes me to see many people are suddenly so dissatisfied with their FZ10... You think it might have to do with the announcement of the new cameras???? Nahhh... that's just a coincidence.. " It amazed me also, especially since the new models offered so many of the features you asked for. I also realize that these "features" are what seems to be fueling the rants and debates. The general opinion, as I see it, is that FZ10 owners feel Panasonic is obligated to improve the performance of certain features of the FZ10, closer to what's offered in the new models. One example would be the low light AF performance. The FZ10's hardware design did not include a focus assist light. The decision to enhance such features, not limited to the focus assist light, using new hardware came only after it was determined that firmware changes could not accomplish the level of performance we were looking to achieve. What changes could be made through firmware proved to have a negative affect on others aspects of the cameras performance. To offer any enhancement that degrades the product elsewhere is not acceptable. Some of you may disagree, but such decisions are not ours to make.



Had the enhancements been firmware related than I believe your expectations would be better substantiated. "Bugs" are flaws in the firmware that prevent certain features from operating. What's being debated are not bugs but the desire to see an improvement in the performance. These are not inoperative features. Improving the performance required more robust hardware and that's exactly what was done. Think about it.. why would we go to the expense and time of developing new hardware if it was possible through firmware? If the "bottom line" was the deciding factor, firmware would be the logical choice. It's not and it wasn't.



"Yen Rug" commented, "The whole point is that people have been asking for a fix, there even seemed to be signs that it might have finally been forthcoming." I don't recall suggesting that so I'd be interested hearing how that assumption was made.



He goes on to say, "Instead we get our faces rubbed in it, especially when Panasonic comes along saying (effectively), "Hey, here's the answer to all of your problems, buy a new camera!" "Effectively", no, not even remotely. As requested the press release was posted and people immediately started forming their own conclusions, and I might add without even seeing the camera. Many of the comments aren't even factual.



And finally, I've seen several comments about the FZ15 only released to the US market. Each region selects those products they feel will sell. Just as the FZ2 was not released in the US, this time we've decided to offer more variety. Since it's not an FZ10 with new firmware, YenRug's comments are not at all factual. "suspect, that we will not see the FZ15 in the UK and Europe. As someone pointed out, in the UK for definite, we have a "fit for purpose" consumer law where if a product is deemed to have a problem due to faulty design you are covered up to 7 years from date of purchase. Releasing the FZ15 to address those "flaws" in the FZ10 could easily produce a string of returns."



Making such statements is irresponsible and might represent the group as being opinon based rather than group of knowledgeable digital camera enthusiasts looking to offer factual and accurate advice to other wishing to join the hobby.
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 11:34 AM   #17
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YenRug wrote:
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[b]
The FZ10 deserves a longer shelf life than the 7 months it seems to be getting, ...
Why are people under the impression that the FZ10 is no longer good. I for one, am certainly under the impression that the FZ10 has a "longer shelf life of 7 months".

Just because new cameras have been announced doesn't mean that the FZ10 shelf life is gone... that's all about that I've been commenting about. I'm not defending Panasonic but observing how suddenly the FZ10 has become this dinasour that needs a firmware upgrade to be of any use.

I'm certainly not disputing the fact that it has some flaws. Every camera does.
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 12:06 PM   #18
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Hi Panasonic Bob,

No word about the EVF becoming unusable in full manual mode when using F8 in some perfectly normal condition thus making this a "flaw in the firmware that prevent certain features from operating".

This indeed fits exactly your (and my) definition of a bug...

David


Edit : Futher more, does that mean that the same issue will be affecting the FZ20 / FZ15 ?
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 12:26 PM   #19
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I called FORD this morning because the seats in the new truck are better than the one's I got last Fall. I haven't heard back yet....

click - click.


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Old Jul 23, 2004, 12:44 PM   #20
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While I understand what Panasonic is saying I cannot support their decision to not support their customer base with firmware updates and am now going to sell my FZ10K (bought in March 2004)...I've already bought my new Nikon D70 and couldn't be happier (as a long time Nikon 35mm owner with lots of existing Nikon lens's)...at least I know that Nikon will listen to its customer base and provide firmware upgrades.

Too bad about Panasonic...I realy liked the FZ10 and do believe that with a few firmware improvements it could be an even better camera...but the way Panasonic responds to its customers with NEW and Improved models that have the features that could have been included in a firmware update just stikes me as wrong. True, some things like the low light focus assist could not be added as part of a firmware update but other features could have been added such as a lower compressed jpg or raw/TIFF regardless of what Panasonic says about degrading the existing features...that is a lie...other companies have no problem doing so. Perhaps Panasonic needs to hire better software engineers and programers then.

Panasonic has lost a customer and I will now be warning other potential buyers of digital cameras to stay away from any Panasonic model.

Jim
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