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Old Jul 24, 2004, 7:30 AM   #41
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microdolx wrote:
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  • About this view finder issue, Pana explained in one response that the FZ10 did not include auto gain up to raise brightness when in manual. I've experienced this when I'm using an external flash. Theaperture setting I use would be toosmall to produce a good exposure with available light so the viewfinder was too dark. But with the flash, the picture looks fine. In "P" mode the EVF also looks fine. Manual means no auto.If you are in manual than you'll only seea good image if enough light reaches the CCD. Without an auto gain up system, this is what I would expect. Firmware can't add gain up.
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If you read our posts carefully, you will see that what we are requesting is not some "gain up" in manual mode, we want the "electronically simulated darkening" to be fixed so thatthe EVF can be used inALL normal light conditions, or at least to be made optionnal so that we could choose to disable it when this feature is irrelevant. Your example of using flash is a good one... You will probably aggree that darkening the EVFto simulatea shutter's speed increasewhen using a flash is a clear misunderstanding of how things work, and is indeed a functionnal flaw. And it's one that cannot be worked around properly in some cases.
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About other issues that some insist firmware will fix, how can you say this just as a user? I find this very hard to accept when you have a user disagreing with an engineer. Pana also mentioned that firmware would have been less cost. Why would they use new hardware if it were not necessary? Huh?
I demonstrated in a discussion with Clint and Fred why it seemed clear that part of the darkening IS due to a software simulation. And I can't think of a conclusive reason why this software darkening (not the darkening due to the shutter closing down to F8) could bedisabled via software... Unfortunatly the topic has been deleted... But I could explain it all over again, should Bob ask me to...

That is why I'm pretty sure itCOULD be made optional in the menu, and that the mod would not requirethat much work. Now I may be wrong of course, but I would appreciatethat someone comes out with some real conclusive factsto explain mewhat i'm missing here... I will remind you that the point I've made have not been adressed yet by Bob.

Sothe argument that "engineers say its not possible" has not even been raised yet, but eventhough, working myself in the custommer support area, I haven't yet seen any custommers that would accept this kind of elusiveanswer as a conclusive fact!

Regards,

David
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 9:42 AM   #42
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FZFUN wrote:
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Fz_10 user,

It amazes me how people seem to jump to this conclusion and act as if theyknow more about the subject ofwhat can and can't be done in firmware than the engineering team that designed it. It doesn't really make sense.

ZFUN:|

I'm new to this group so maybe my opinion does not count yet. I read your comments for many months before joining.Yesterday I tried to make certain issues more clear. This statement above could not say it any better. How can such statements and conclusions be made about the new cameras when they have not yet been used by anyone.As someone else called it, maybe "crybaby" is the right word. Some of us bought the FZ10 not so far in the past, like me, now a newer version is due and we want it or we want the camera we own to be as close to it. This is unreasonable no this is crazy. When AMD comes out with a faster CPU, should I expect that they will give me some way to speed up the one I purchase last month - no of course not. This is waht you are asking for. Has anyone called Panasonic at 800 272-7033? This is the number in my owners book.Maybe everyone should call.

Like I said, in another message Pana did mention that the dark EVF issue was due to no gain up. I think he also said that it can't be fix by firmware. This tells me that its a characteristic of the design, not a bug. If it does not meet orlive up to the way you like it to be than you call it a bug. Also, can someone quote from the owner manual where it explains that it should not operate like it does? Now that would would give your more strength to your request. I looked and I don't see anywhere where it describes the operation in such detail.

Maybe we can put this issue to bed if those who say firmware is the answer can tell the rest of us how they know the design better than the people who made it? I'm not defending Pana, but I am asking that we carefully think about what you are asking. I see fewer responses from Pana so maybe its because they are tired of explaing that this characteristic cannot be improved through firmware. Thank You
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 9:53 AM   #43
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ddsm wrote:
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microdolx wrote: If you read our posts carefully, you will see that what we are requesting is not some "gain up" in manual mode, we want the "electronically simulated darkening" to be fixed so thatthe EVF can be used inALL normal light conditions, or at least to be made optionnal so that we could choose to disable it when this feature is irrelevant. Your example of using flash is a good one... You will probably aggree that darkening the EVFto simulatea shutter's speed increasewhen using a flash is a clear misunderstanding of how things work, and is indeed a functionnal flaw. And it's one that cannot be worked around properly in some cases.

Like I explained, I am not an engineer, but I am a very good photographer. I've used Leica cameras for many years and I have studied the one used on FZ10 very close. My friend, in manual mode there is a manual irs that you are adjusting. If you close the iris you reduce the light. You do not need to be an engineer to see this. Let me explain in another way.

I go into a room where the light is not so bright. To get a good picture it would be necessary to set the camera to F2.8 I am using an external flash so to get a properly exposed image it is necessary to use F8. In manual I make these settings. The flash fires and the photos looks very nice. But before the flash fires, the image is dark because the lens is set at F8. You are in manual what do you expect? If I go to "P" mode it brightens up. "P" adds auto features. You are asking Pana to change the design not fix what you wrongfully call a bug. Or can I say that you want Pana to meet your expectations not their specification.


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Old Jul 24, 2004, 10:18 AM   #44
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Oh, I'm so tried with all these.
Perhaps FZ10 is too superb for ordinary people to handle, only those really GOOD photographers can understand and handle them. I'd better throw my FZ10 away and get a more ordinary DC which doesn't have to "work around" before I can use the manual mode.
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 11:32 AM   #45
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microdolx wrote:
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Like I explained, I am not an engineer, but I am a very good photographer. I've used Leica cameras for many years and I have studied the one used on FZ10 very close. My friend, in manual mode there is a manual irs that you are adjusting. If you close the iris you reduce the light. You do not need to be an engineer to see this. Let me explain in another way.

I go into a room where the light is not so bright. To get a good picture it would be necessary to set the camera to F2.8 I am using an external flash so to get a properly exposed image it is necessary to use F8. In manual I make these settings. The flash fires and the photos looks very nice. But before the flash fires, the image is dark because the lens is set at F8. You are in manual what do you expect? If I go to "P" mode it brightens up. "P" adds auto features. You are asking Pana to change the design not fix what you wrongfully call a bug. Or can I say that you want Pana to meet your expectations not their specification.
Hi again microdolx,

Well I should have made a copy of Blinblues topic before it got deleted as already went over all that. I'm surely not as much an experienced photographer as you are, but think Ido understandhow things work. Let me add that I am an engineer (although I work in the business software industry wich is indeed different), and Ido know what customer support is as it is the core of my responsabilities.

First, don't get me wrong, I acknowledge that the FZ10 IS a great camera, and even as it comes to macro, I don't think of any cam in its price range that could give me such impressive results thanks to its 12x zoom. Actually, I do not see any credible alternative to it on the market that would fulfill my need as well as the FZ10 does.

Having said that, shouldI remain silent when I encounter repeatedly an issue whichin my photographic needs represents a major flaw. Is the fact thatthere are no alternatives on the marketshould be an excuse ? I don't think so !I paid 600 Euros (which IS NOT that cheap) for a camera based on its specs (especiallyit's full manual mode)and trustfull in Panasonic customer support (That cam issold as firmware upgradable), and I intend to get what I paid for !

Back to the point... I see three darkening EVF causes on the FZ10's manual mode.

1.As you exposed, the first causeis indeed due to the shutter closing to F8. And I find it an interesting feature, as it cuts the shutter lag over the AP mode, where the shutter first closes down to F8 and then shoots. Loosing light with a smaller apperture is normal, I totally agree, although an option could make the M mode work the same way as AP mode so that we could keep the shutter wide open until we press the shutter button. That would allow us to choose both apperture AND shutter speed while keeping the EVF/LCD as clear as in P or AP mode. I repeat it could be a selectable option, not plainly disabled.

Now there are two other darkening causes that do seem to me as purely software controlled... Here's how I see it. As you mentioned in your post, go in a not so bright room :

2.For the first one, go in M mode and select F2.8 and a long exposure (8s will do the trick just to be sure). Now, switch to P mode and back to M mode. The shutter does not move at all, it stays at full f2.8 in both cases, yet the image darkens in M mode, it has nothing to do with mecanics nor with the exposure settings. That must be software controlled to me. Dont you think ? If it is it CAN be tweaked and made optional.

3. Then, while still in M mode and F2.8, change the shutter speed, and make it 1/125s or faster. The EVF also darkens. Did the shutter move ? No. Again, it MUST be a software feature made to simulate electronically the effect of the faster shutter speed. And again, if it is software, it CAN be tweaked and made optional.

Last but not least, from configuration 3., go back to P mode... Still no hint of the shutter moving. And now, wich view do you feel is the more usable when the light is not optimally bright ?

That makes 1 mechanical cause AND 2 levels of darkening that are pure and simple software features, and wich DO make the EVF/LCD unusable under certain "normal" light condition.The last 2at least could most probably bemade optionnalat low cost should Panasonic decide to. And that is my point. I repeat it could be a selectable option, not plainly disabled.

Now let's talk photography... You mentionned "To get a good picture it would be necessary to set the camera to F2.8 I am using an external flash so to get a properly exposed image it is necessary to use F8. In manual I make these settings. The flash fires and the photos looks very nice. But before the flash fires, the image is dark because the lens is set at F8"...

Correct me if I'm wrong, I think you will aggree that when using an external flash (or even the internal one for that matter), the shutter speed does not interfere with the amount of lighning the CCD/film gets (as long as the flash and shutters are synchronized of course). Only the aperture matters. Knowing this simple fact, don't you agree that the darkening #3 is totally irrelevant when using a flash ? To me it does seem like some engineer in Panasonic missed that point, an that alone should make the FZ10 elligible for a software fix.

Speaking for myself, I face the same problems only for another reason : in macro photo, as you certainly know, you have to get the aperture as small as possible to maximise the DOF. With a close up lens mounted, and at high magnification, anything but F8 is worthless, and even at F8 the DOF is just a few mm wide, making it very difficult to get a good focus, even when you see clearly though the EVF. Yet, the shutter speed is another important point as motion blur is also a critical issue.

With the FZ10, wich I bought mainly for its full manual mode, those darkening simulationfeatures makes it verydifficult to frame at F8 and 1/200s even on a bright day when the insect is not in full light, and nearly impossible even on a reasonably bright overcastday (flash or not).

My final though, for what it's worth, is that Panasonic surely knows that they have us addicted to this wonderful lens, and use that argument to treat use withwhat I think is anunexcusable disdain.

Hope that I've mademy point clear to you, eventhough english is not my native language.And thanks a lotfor taking the time to discuss this in a civilized way !

Best regards,

David

PS : I will make a copy of tha post this time ! :-)
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 11:53 AM   #46
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I thought I agreed to just drop the whole issue but I guess that was only with FZ_10user.

I don't know why people are saying I'm a Panasonic defending when I haven't really said that much to defend them at all...

Look, myself and others are NOT necessarily defending Panasonic we are just responding the the sheer number of complaints. Yes you may have a point and may feel justified in expressing them. It's always been that way... but I think most people will agree, you have made your point. Let's just move on.
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 11:56 AM   #47
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microdolx wrote:
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I go into a room where the light is not so bright. To get a good picture it would be necessary to set the camera to F2.8 I am using an external flash so to get a properly exposed image it is necessary to use F8. In manual I make these settings. The flash fires and the photos looks very nice. But before the flash fires, the image is dark because the lens is set at F8. You are in manual what do you expect? If I go to "P" mode it brightens up. "P" adds auto features. You are asking Pana to change the design not fix what you wrongfully call a bug. Or can I say that you want Pana to meet your expectations not their specification.

The FZ10 is not an SLR - you are seeing a *representation* in the EVF. The fact is that if you set the FZ10 to f8 in manual mode the brightness of the EVF changes as you change the shutter speed! You can get a perfectly bright EVF with a slow enough shutter speed - that would not be the case if it were an SLR type view as shutter speed setting would have no effect on the brightness until you actually take the shot. Therefore, it MUST be a software simulation and it follows that it can be changed in firmware. There is no question of lack gain-up causing the problem here as far as I can see. Remember the darkening occurs during framing, not even a half-button press is necessary - at least an SLR is designed to have a bright enough view during the framing process. It seems to me you may not have used manual mode very much since you don't really seem to be aware of the problem.

David and I have both described the problem in detail when taking macro shots but it extends beyond that. If you are taking indoor shots with flash or outdoors and you want fill flash you encounter the same problems. The ambient light is often enough that it will add to the exposure and cause ghosting and blurring. If you increase the shutter speed enough to eliminate ghosting the EVF becomes so dark as to be useless for framing the shot. Switching to aperture priority doesn't solve the problem, especially with an external flash, because the shutter speed is LOCKED at 1/60s. If you are using an external flash you can't use shutter priority mode because you must set the flash to the same aperture setting as the camera and in shutter priority mode the aperture is variable. Dont' take my word for it, try it under these conditions, which are not out of the ordinary.

Panasonic has described this as a "feature" that supposedly allows one to see what the end result of the photo will be. But it is not only redundant and useless but positively disasterous for the kind of shots I have mentioned. Even a novice doesn't need that kind of help what with the live histogram and exposure scale in manual mode; plus there is instant preview if you really must know what the final picture looks like.Besides it is the semi-professional and advanced amateur that would really use manual mode and it has been crippled severley by this useless "feature." If it is not a bug it is certainly a dreadful design mistake and it must be that a real photographer never got a chance to use and comment on this camera before it went into production. It looks like some design guy thought it would be a nifty feature and it was implemented with out real world testing and input. I do not recall Bob ever saying that this was a gain-up problem, he merely stated that Panasonic considers it a "feature" and is not likely to fix it.
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 3:50 PM   #48
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Everyone makes a good point. I have read the last few comments several times. Each time I read them I try to look at it in different ways. The problem of the EVF seems to be a problem mostly for the person who is doing macro or using the camera in a certain way. I agree, this might be a pain. But in using the FX10 as I do any of my other cameras, I have not been inconvenienced by this. If we tally up all the people who don't like this, how many do we have? I did a search and see it's less than 10 people. On the other hand, I see very many reviews that don't mention it. Numbers speak very loudly and in this case I'm not so sure you will be heard.

Here's what I suggest. On Monday, everyone who has this problem should call, not e-mail. THe owners manual says to call 800 272-7033. Surely the calls must be documented so eventually it must come to someones attention. Sitting here all day isn't going to get anything accomplished and maybe it will convince some others that this is all a waste of time. I hope not.

I do know that in manual mode, much of the sections used in auto mode are disabled. I visited the Las Vegas PMA show and had a very interesting conversation with one of the Japanese engineers from Pana. He was cordial and explained a lot to me. I still stick by my original feeling that if the improvements in the new models could have been made through firmware, that would have been the obvious decision.




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Old Jul 24, 2004, 9:26 PM   #49
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Ok this is a little concerning to me. Being a Film SLR user moving to something like a FZ10, can you tell me if I have an external flash (or internal on the Fz20 looks good enough), at a night party & trying to take photos, is the screen going to be unusable if set in manual mode? What about auto with it set to sync to the flash?

Thanks....


P.S. It seems that in manual it shows you exactly what you are going to get. It doesn't evenconsider the flash (even its own I would assume).

This I think shows that itdoesn't work like an SLR i.e.Your view remains atminimum & the light meter tells you how much light is on the scene & you adjust the camera to suit. When you hit the button, it adjusts themechanical settings & takes the shot.

There is a big difference betweenglass optics & a LCD here.

Simply it needs an auto-gain setting in manual. So if it suits, turn it off & if it doesn't turn it on.

With adigital camera, you still need to be able to see your subject don't you?


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Old Jul 24, 2004, 10:14 PM   #50
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StormyKnight wrote:
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Simply it needs an auto-gain setting in manual. So if it suits, turn it off & if it doesn't turn it on.
Precisely. All it would take is a switch in the the firmware to get the job done. Surely in this day and age that little tweak could be quickly and easily done and offered as a free download from Panasonic's web site. The kudos they would receive for this one little token effort would make Bob think he was in heaven.

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