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Old Jul 25, 2004, 10:00 PM   #1
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Hi all,

Here's a copy of a post I just made in another topic...

Well, I understand that some of you do not share my/our interest for macro photography... Probably lots of you, maybe a majorityof other FZ10 users...

Does that makes you all imune to that EVF Darkeningflawwe face on a regular basis ? I don't think so.


First, some of you might one day come to macro as I did, see how fun it is, and you will then be facing our exact same problems.

But let's leave macro aside... Imagine you're taking indoor pics of your children / grand-children / friends sporting or dancing at their wedding. The room is well lit, and you do see pretty well in that EVF/LCD that so may people criticise over the internet. Yet the light is not enough to go past 1/60s - 1/80sin any mode or any aperture. With no flash, all your pics wil be blured for sure...

Well... No problem the cam has a built in flash, let's use it,go in P mode and shoot ! But too bad, it's no use beyond 2-3 meters unless you're ready to make some really noisy pictures at 200 or 400iso.

OK, that's still no problem because the FZ10 has a hot shoe (in fact, that's one of the reason why you paid almost twice the price of the FZ1/2, as you didn't really need those two extra MPs), and you do have your powerful external flash with you. TTL was not an option so it's a good standard one, but that will sure do the trick.Now you have to set your cam to AP so that you can set the aperture according to your flash settings, and the big flash light indeed does the trick it freezes the movement and you get a great bright picture.

But when you review your photo on the LCD you notice that there is some kind of blury/ghosty halo around the moving subjects ! How is that possible, I must have done something wrongyou think ! You shoot again, butthe exact same problem occurs !So you check back the parameters of the pic you just shot, onlyto find out that the shutter speed was 1/60s,and realize that itleavesenough time for dim, but yet sufficient, ambient light to give that ugly blury effect that you did not want nor expect ! You'll have to increase shutter speed, that is obvious.

So let's switch to M mode, after all that is another of the main reason you went for the FZ10 : it does have a full manual mode that will allow you to set your exposure exactly as you want it to be, and both your flash and the FZ10can support 1/200s speed synchro or even a tad faster. Just what you need to really freeze your pic. You turn the dial and right awaynotice a decrease in the EVF's brightness, that's strange because you didn't hear any mechanical noise, but you still see pretty clearly. As you go up the F-stops to match your flash settings, it gets even dimmer, now you find it difficult to frame. Damn you tell yourself, I understand that when less light comes in though the smaller aperture the EVF darkens, but that didn't affect the EVF when I was in AP with the same aperture, those guys at Panasonic should have realized that this feature is a hassle in dim light and should have done something about it!You're starting to get nervous... But that's still OK... Untill you start upping theshutter speedto 1/200s, only to realize that now you do not see a pip in the EVF nor on the LCD, nothing but some dim lights dots moving as you're searchingfor your subject... Now is the time whenyou really start to loose your nerves : "why the heck does that EVF goes dark ? I have an external flash mounted !!! The shutters speed is totally irrelevant to the light level I'll get in my picture ! That sim really is ill conceived for sure, the guy that designed it probably knew much about electronics than about photography ! That for sure IS a functional bug they probably missed, I'll make sure to report thatto Panasonic ASAPso they can get it fixed !"

With no other choice left, quite upset,you settle for AP, a mode that you could have got on the much cheaper FZ1/2,and because the cam won't go beyond 1/60s you shoot lots of pics, hoping that some of them won't be to affected by this nasty/blury/ghosty effect...

Comming back home, you realize that you do indeed have some keeeper shots, but most of those once in a life timeshotsthat you really wanted to see come out clear are blured. You're really pi**ed off: "Next day I'll make sure to email Panasonic !", and so you do.

When you receive their answer you cannot beleive what you read in you standard looking reply: "We're sorry to hear that your photos did not come out as good as you expected, but that cam of yours is bug free, there are no technical reports of crashes due to that FZ10 feature."

Now you realize that there is only one hope left, the public forums where you hope to find some supportive FZ10 co-users who like you, won't stand to know that their great cam suffers from a clear functionnal flaw, and that maybe, that will drive Panasonic to heartake care of it...

------


That littlefiction I just told is just one occasion where you could find out that this bug you don't care about at the moment could become a real issue to you too.

Now, not only the number of person having actually trouble with that feature is meaningless in principle (a bug is a bug, be it technical or functionnal,and we all paid for that cam and the tech support that is associated with it. period.) but moreoverANYBODY, while not finding it of any importance to himTODAYcouldencounter it some day. Some might even have had already without even knowing the blur on their pics was due to this camera functionnal flaw, and thinking they did something wrong.

When a flaw is discovered and demonstrated, which I think I just did,IT HAS TO BE CORRECTED to the benefit of EVERY USERS. That is why customer support exists, and that's why Panasonic made the FZ serie firmware upgradable.

Now I may well be all wrong, and please fell free to correct me if you have some clear conclusive facts to contradict my point.

And once again, I don't expect, nor do I ask for somenew miraculous features, I just want the FZ10 to be functionnal at it's best in EVERY normal situation for the benefit of ALL of it's current and fute users. I really can't see how that could be made low priority...

BTW... After all according to Panasonic, there are no other bugs to take care of. And according to you allFZ10 users,what, other than a bigger bug, could be of higher prority ?

[/General response mode OFF]

Again, that post is of course intended to be general. So as much as it is based on one of your previous post, Microdolx,I most hope that you've undersand and that you did not take it personally !

Cheers,

David


----- EDIT ------

Why do I think that this issue could be solved via software update ?

Here's a copy of another post I made prior to that on in my interesting discussion with Microdolx...

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 made a selectable option, not plainly disabled.

David


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Old Jul 25, 2004, 11:09 PM   #2
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Thank you, David, for your very clear and concise description of what is without a doubt a major flaw and a seemingly very easily corrected flaw in the frmware of the fz10. I dont have an fz10 so I cant be numbered among those who are effected by it. But I am very seriously considering upgrading my fz1v2 - which Ilove dearly- with the fz20. At this point we dont know whether the bug has been fixed with the fz20 but I have my doubts. I will be very interested to see how Pansonic handles whatmay be a watershed event in their effort to produce the best camera possible for their customers.

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Old Jul 26, 2004, 12:34 AM   #3
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I'll give him this, ddsm is certainly persistant. How many times in his last 10 posts has he mentioned his problem with the EVF/LCD?

I think the whole board has gotten his point by now...
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 12:40 AM   #4
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fmoore wrote:
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At this point we dont know whether the bug has been fixed with the fz20 but I have my doubts.*
We don't know, do we? I mean, Panasonic hasn't stated this problem as already solved with the new FZ models, right?
Or perhaps... they don't want to call it a problem, if they did that they would have to fix it. But I do think, after all the trouble users report this EVF issue to cause, Panasonic should let the customers know about it.
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 4:03 AM   #5
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I have the same problem

I just bought a big powerful external flash to I could use a faster shutter speed but still get plenty of light. But now I can't use the faster shutter speed without loosing the ability to frame the picture.

How on earth can this be described as a feature??????
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 4:14 AM   #6
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How many other Panasonic Digital cameras suffer from this EVF dimming feature.

If a single one has gain-up, Panasonics in real trouble....
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 6:49 AM   #7
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The EVF should only brighten up when using flash, under normal conditions it's darkening/brightening feature is very usefull when using full manual control as you can see how different settings for aperture and shutter time affect your shot.
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 8:08 AM   #8
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Just read elswhere on this forum, The FZ1 has had a firmware update that did fix this same problem! Has Panasonic set a precedence?
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 10:13 AM   #9
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Thanks, David for that long descriptive post; I couldn't have put it any better even though English is my native language . Asyou said, this flaw is likely to affect anyone at some point, especially those who do more than shapshoot. I hope this info makes it to Panasonic's ear and they listen. However, it's "money that talks" and by the time they feel it in their pocketbooks it may be too late for the FZ10, but perhaps future models will benefit.

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Old Jul 26, 2004, 2:35 PM   #10
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Klaas wrote:
Quote:
The EVF should only brighten up when using flash, under normal conditions it's darkening/brightening feature is very usefull when using full manual control as you can see how different settings for aperture and shutter time affect your shot.
Hi Klaas,

As stated by Clint in another thread, the FZ10 has an exposure meter and a live histogram to help it's user with the settings. The histogram is a nice feature, but I think all the infos take to much place on the screen and can be distracting when framing and focusing.(The new screen added on the FZ20 might bean interesting new feature in that matter BTW).I personnaly, alwaysrefer to the EV meter which fit my need perfectly. I do appreciate the exposure sim when shooting in bright light,even ifI would probably not miss it a lot.

But anyway,I'm not saying that this feature should be removed as I don't see why those who use it and like it should be deprived in anyway. What I'm saying is that it should and could be made optionnal.

I just edited the first post and added copy of anotherpost to explain exactly what I found out, and how/why I think it should/could be fixed via software update.

Regards,

David

PS : I sure would appreciate Bob to give me his feedback / comments / feelings on that, and to tell us if, to his knowledge, thisfeature has beenor will bemodified on the production FZ20. Thanks in advance Bob !
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