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Old Jul 23, 2004, 7:30 PM   #1
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I recently had become very interested in the FZ10. It seemed like a fairly solid camera, even in the eyes of the guy at the local camera store. I admit, I was excited to learn of the new models coming out soon but after reading some recent posts, I'm becoming skeptical. Is this sour grapes from people who want the latest and greatest or is there a true problem with Panasonic and their committment to servicing thier customers?If "bugs" arise after the FZ20 is released, can I expect those to be addressed with a firmware update? Has Panasonic ever released a firmware update to fix "bugs".

I don't expect to bring my car to the mechanic and get back this year's newest model but if I have to buy a new car just to get one with reliable brakes, that's a problem.

Now I'm really confused, I guess I should go buy more film!

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Old Jul 23, 2004, 8:47 PM   #2
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"Sour grapes" is pretty accurate, I think. I still think Panasonic should release updated firmware to correct a few small failings but I'm not as upset as the others. My FZ10 is still an excellent camera.

As for firmware updates for the FZ20, I think the bugs would have to be pretty bad before Panasonic would bother. You know, camera lockups, memory card corruption, that sort of thing. Other more subtle stuff doesn't seem to interest them.

They are probably just being cautious in that a badly handled firmware update would be quite disastrous for Panasonic's reputation. They would want the risks to be worth it.
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 8:57 PM   #3
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In my opinion it's Sour Grapes. Just look at the sheer number of posts "I want a firmware upgrade" right after the new models were announced. Do people have a right to complain? Absolutely, It's human nature to complain. (for those who want the firmware upgrade,I'm only joking... OK)

The FZ10 is a solid camera albeit not perfect. There are some well documented issues that people have learned to work around. That is the case with most if not all digital cameras.

Be a well informed buyer. Know of all the strengths and weaknesses and then make an informed purchase. And then most importantly don't regret it and HAVE FUN with it! If you buy with the attitude "I know this camera has some issues and I expect the company to fix it in the future" then you might be very dissappointed...
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 9:45 PM   #4
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"Sour Grapes"....I don't think so. Its more of an issue having to do with Panasonic and its lack of customer support for its products. When addressing several issues with the FZ10 which could be fixed by firmware updates...Panasonic's response was buy one of the new line of cameras. That is at the heart of the matter. Its greed and arrogance on the part of Panasonic. While not obligated to provide such firmware updates it shows where Panasonic has its priorities.

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Old Jul 23, 2004, 9:47 PM   #5
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anomaly wrote:
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I think the bugs would have to be pretty bad before Panasonic would bother. You know, camera lockups, memory card corruption, that sort of thing. Other more subtle stuff doesn't seem to interest them.
You are quite right on this... The problem here is that Panasonic sees things through the eyes of an electronic componens firm, not as a photo equipment manufacturer.

And photography is much more than a simple pack of electonic components served by a software that does not crash. What I mean is that a firmware might be absolutely bug free technically speaking, but yet not fit the photographers needs... Panasonic seems to take great care of technical bugs, but they don't seem to care at all about functional ones.

On the other side, maybe some other brands like Mnolta, Canon or Nikon, comming from the photoworld have the opposite point of view...

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Old Jul 23, 2004, 9:57 PM   #6
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x10guy wrote:
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The FZ10 is a solid camera albeit not perfect. There are some well documented issues that people have learned to work around. That is the case with most if not all digital cameras.
You are right about the FZ10 being a one of its kind great camera. Yet the issues are not at all documented. One can find about them if they do some real research prior to buying... Correct me if I'm wrong, but I havent seen anywhere an official Panasonic document stating that the EVF would go blind in some dim light conditions.

And even I, who did some reseach and bought the FZ10 knowing about it's EVFlow light limits, had no knoledge about itmaking it impossible to frame a shot in M mode at F8 - 1/125s on an overcast but yet clear day, even with the flash enabled.

Some issues may be worked around easily (overexposure), some are serious but well known :you have to live with or choose another cam (dim light),but some are pretty much unknown and/or may not be understood by reading a forum without having experienced it.

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Old Jul 23, 2004, 10:29 PM   #7
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x10guy wrote:
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In my opinion it's Sour Grapes. Just look at the sheer number of posts "I want a firmware upgrade" right after the new models were announced. Do people have a right to complain? Absolutely, It's human nature to complain. (for those who want the firmware upgrade,I'm only joking... OK)
I for one do not have FZ20 envy; I really like the FZ10 and it may be the best camera I have ever owned, but.... The issues we are "complaining" about were out there long before the annoucement of the FZ20. I think the sudden increased vocalization on the forums since the FZ20 annoucement is because we now feel rather certain that our FZ10's will become obsolete in the eyes of Panasonic now that they have bigger and newer fish to fry. We would really like to get a firmware fix while there is still any hope - it has nothing to do with wanting to turn our Fz10's into FZ20's or anger that there is a new and supposedly better model. We want what we have to be supported, it's that simple. If they won't support the FZ10 I am certainly not interested in an FZ20 that won't be supported either. If one of your selling points is that the product is firmware upgradeable, then you should live up to that implied promise, don't you think?

I thoroughly researched my purchase of the FZ10 before I bought it and no where was it mentioned that the EVF/LCD is basically unuseable in manual mode. Although Panasonic calls it a feature it is certainly not in their list of features. I have learned to work around it somewhat but it is a pain and it shouldn't have to be that way. If someone who is a photographer had actually used the manual mode prior to production I can't believe they would have included this "feature." I was really surprised and dismayed when I found what I prefer to call a "problem" and thought I must be doing something wrong. I almost returned the camera but decided to keep it in spite of what is a major failing for me since one of my passions is macrophotography which is best done in manual mode. I have gotten some of my better macros with the FZ10, but it has been MUCH more difficult than it needs to be; all because of that stupid darkening EVF in manual mode. Geez, how much trouble would it have been (or be in a firmware upgrade) to give the option to turn off that "feature?"

I don't want an FZ20 I just want my FZ10 to live up to the promise!
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 11:42 PM   #8
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I for one would be very happy if Panasonic would release a firmware upgrade (but who knows what is even possible). But if you read these threads it sure sounds like a bit like sour grapes to me. Ask yourself this question, if the announcment of the FZ20 wasn't made this week, would this thread even exist?

Yes, there has always been people complaining about this problem and that problem...But nothing to this magnitude this past week. There has been an AVALANCHE of compaints about this camera or should I say against Panasonic.

Just be happy with it or if you literally can't stand it and Panasonic no one says you have to stay with them. I'm not saying that mean-spirited but a reality. If I were you I'd sell it ASAP while the FZ10 still commands a premium.
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 6:28 AM   #9
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x10guy wrote:
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I for one would be very happy if Panasonic would release a firmware upgrade (but who knows what is even possible). But if you read these threads it sure sounds like a bit like sour grapes to me. Ask yourself this question, if the announcment of the FZ20 wasn't made this week, would this thread even exist?
In some form yes.

The flaws like overexposure and evf darkening have been discussed many times, and hence were bound to come up again, new camera or not.

And more importantly the sticky poll thread at the top of this page highlighted not just these discussions, but also the whole issue about expectations of firmware upgrades to correct them - how convenient for Panasonic that poll thread has been made unsticky and will sink into obscurity!

The discussion has only reached a crecendo this week with the new camera because it is now seems obvious Panasonic are not going to provide any firmware for the FZ10, and frankly their whole attitude - well Panasonic Bob's - comes over as "if you don't like it - tough", and a "just buy a new camera".

Is it sour grapes? Well their attitude certainly leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Personally I had been quite defensive on Panasonic's behalf at the start of this discussion, pointing out that it probably was unreasonable to expect any new functionality (from the FZ20) to come to the FZ10 via a firmware upgrade. I still say that. I even got private emails from Bob thanking me for the support!! However, since then, their very clear attitude of "there are no problems! You will get no firmware! Oh but btw, everything you told us was a shortcoming of the FZ10 has been fixed in the FZ20, so why not buy a new camera" has disappointed me.

The bottom line for me is the FZ10 is a great camera, but with a couple of niggles I have found having used it for a month (main one for me being poor low light focusing). Had Panasonic released a firmware upgrade for the FZ10 (not to fix the focusing, I don't expect that) I would have said great company too. As a consequence I might seriously have considered upgrading to an FZ20 to get the extra functionality (selling my nearly new FZ10 whilst I can still get a good price), because I expect that to be great camera too, and fixes issues like the focusing. Even if not an FZ20, I would most likely have been in the market for an FZ30 in 18 months time.

But now, regardless of how good the FZ20 or FZ30 might be, I am now going to know thatif there are any flaws with those cameras - and there are bound to be some - I clearly have got no chance of Panasonic ever fixing them. So do I really want to reinvest in a company with this sort of attitude?

Is the grass greener on the other side? Are other camera manufacturers better than this? I don't know. But I know one thing for sure now, and that isthat itisn't green in this respect on Panasonic's side. So I won't be worse off going anywhere else.

Next time I am in the market for a camera, this is going to weigh heavily against Panasonic in my evaluation.
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 8:59 AM   #10
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x10guy wrote:
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I for one would be very happy if Panasonic would release a firmware upgrade (but who knows what is even possible). But if you read these threads it sure sounds like a bit like sour grapes to me. Ask yourself this question, if the announcment of the FZ20 wasn't made this week, would this thread even exist?

Yes, there has always been people complaining about this problem and that problem...But nothing to this magnitude this past week. There has been an AVALANCHE of compaints about this camera or should I say against Panasonic.
Hey, X10guy, are you even reading the messages you are replying to?? In my message I CLEARLY stated that I agree there are more messages than usual and I explained why and why it is NOT sour grapes. Now put on your glasses and read it again - here is the quote from my message:

" I think the sudden increased vocalization on the forums since the FZ20 annoucement is because we now feel rather certain that our FZ10's will become obsolete in the eyes of Panasonic now that they have bigger and newer fish to fry. We would really like to get a firmware fix while there is still any hope - it has nothing to do with wanting to turn our Fz10's into FZ20's or anger that there is a new and supposedly better model. We want what we have to be supported, it's that simple. If they won't support the FZ10 I am certainly not interested in an FZ20 that won't be supported either. If one of your selling points is that the product is firmware upgradeable, then you should live up to that implied promise, don't you think?"

I don't think it could be put much clearer than that, but if there is something you still don't understand maybe someone else can help you with it. Others have said the same thing; but maybe you are so stuck in Panasonic support mode that it simply doesn't register?



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