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Old Sep 18, 2004, 6:57 PM   #1
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When the camera is set to "Program" mode, which is auto for this camera (I wish there was a separate "auto" mode for this thing!). If you are taking a picture and using a high zoom (let's say 6x or greater), a lot of times the jitter icon appears in the top right saying that if you take the picture, "jitter" will occur. If this is the case then the camera, which has the ISO in auto mode, shoot choose a higher ISO, so that you don't get "jitter" (panasonic sure loves that word!). Sure the image might be grainier but it won't be blurry. So what happens is you have to go into the menu, change the ISO, or go to shutter priority, to choose a higher shutter speed. BUT....when you do that the ISO is automatically set to 100, so you still have to go back into the menu and choose a higher ISO. This translates into, if you needed to get the shot of quickly, you lost the shot, or got a "jittery" shot. Thanx again Panasonic! The ISO is not really doing it's job in the auto mode. I was taking a picture and I had the zoom on 12x, in program mode it gave me an ISO of 150, shooting at f2.8 at 1/60, and showed me the jitter icon. Shouldn't the camera be smart enough to shoot at a higher shutter speed (this would mean the ISO would have to compensate) so as not to get the jitter??? I would understand if at ISO 400 you were shooting at 1/60th of a second, then you couldn't do anything at that point. Also, what is this Optical image stabilization doing if it isn't stopping jitter? And yes, I know the formula Panasonic, if you were shooting at that focal length (432mm) you would need to shoot at 1/432sec shutter speed. Now this is without image stabilization. With image stabilization you should at least get 2 stops of lattitude, which would bring the shutter speed shooting time to about 1/100 of a sec. I was still getting the problem at 1/125 of a second. So my question is (in addition to bringing everyone's attention to the fact that the camera is not smart enough to reconfigure itself, it just tells you that you won't be taking a good picture) what is this image stabilization doing?
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Old Sep 18, 2004, 11:39 PM   #2
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It sounds like you might have a defective camera to me, I have not experienced the problems to the degree you are with the FZ-2 and the IS is supposed to be improved on the FZ-20. As you know, the IS doesn't insure tack sharp pics 100% of the time, esp. in low light. Sometimes I've found burst mode helps, sometimes I use the 2 sec self-timer in low light. As stupid as it sounds, it seems to me most of low-light blurriness comes from squeezing the trigger, and in my experience can be corrected more often by using the timer than wonking around with f, iso, or ss settings.

Also, I never considered your point regarding the camera being "smart enough" to set itself to highest ISO to allow increase shutter speed and smaller aperture to avoid blur. I'm sure there's a design reason for this. Such shooting conditions - to me, are known ahead of time and I set (sometimes) the ISO to 400 manually, and remove the noise with Neat Image. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen this camera set itsef to 400 ISO on its own. Hmmm, now you got me wondering. Think I'll try a little experiment. My guess is that given the noise that non-digital SLR cameras, with their small CCDs, make at high ISO settings, the firmware is designed never to go there, and it's almost treated like a manual override.

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Old Sep 20, 2004, 11:01 PM   #3
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Sorry it took so long to get back to your post, but I have been running tests on this FZ20 of mine. I definitely think you should at least have the option of the program mode being able to go up to ISO 400. It should be something, a parameter, you can set, or they should have a custom mode. B/c so many times I am switching from aperture priority to shutter priority, and to manual, and still I have to go in to change the ISO to 200-400. Then I forget it is set to 400 and I wind up shooting indoor photos with my external flash at ISO400 for a few shots, and it is annoying. I just think as good as this camera is, it really wasn't designed for candid/ENG type work. It just takes too long. And the autofocus is not great, it really isn't. I have tried all possible combinations, inlcuding those recommended by the Panasonic techs that cruise these forums, and it just doesn't cut it. Also, the camera is so hard up for setting itself to f2.8 that my depth of field always sucks. And by the time I change it, or do that program shift thingee (why the hell is the "Program" mode not programmable--this program shift is for the birds, and usually I am stuck with the same problem, I am trying to shift it and I am stuck at f2.8, you see, at that point the ISO should change--after all, these are all numerical calculations). Most cameras, in program mode, you have full capability to change both the aperture and the shutter speed. You can do this in manual mode but in manual mode you still run into the possibility of messing up the exposure, they should have an "on the fly" exposure button to quickly get the right exposure, especially being that you can't easily adjust the program mode.

I know I am ranting but their automatic modes aren't that good, and the way you compensate for their exposures takes long, too long. Especially the exposure compensation, you should just be able to hit - and + without having to hit the up button to get into the mode, this is extremely important, I know it is just one quick push of a button, but that extra push, and also looking to make sure you are not in bracket mode or flash +- mode takes time, and by then the shot could be gone. Of course if you are into nature photography or anything where things aren't quickly moving this camera is a gift from the gods. But doing what I do (candid work, mostly with children, and also street photography -Manhattan and the 5 boroughs are my playgrounds) you definitely need more control and fast. You have to understand also that on a sunny day with the overshadowing of the buildings, at ISO 80-200 the camera usually defaults to f2.8, and sometimes that means that the shutter speed becomes too low to hand hold-hence the need for readjusting. And due to noise I really don't want to keep my ISO at 400 all the time.
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Old Dec 31, 2006, 11:51 AM   #4
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The problem I am having with external flash is that I seem to have no way of altering the flash exposure compensation as I can in the built in flash mode; it seems to be stuck on -2. This means that when my flash table is telling me to use f5.6 it comes out too dark by, would you believe, 2 stops. I have to set to f3.5 to correct it whereas if I could change the flash EV to 0 instead of -2 things would be spot on. The manual for the FZ20 is woefully inadequate in this respect. Anyone else got the same problem/ ideas or is this the way it is supposed to be? In every other respect, I have had this camera now for 9 months, I find this a great little camera (apart from restricted ISA ratings and noise at 400asa).
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Old Dec 31, 2006, 11:51 AM   #5
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Old Dec 31, 2006, 4:35 PM   #6
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If I understand ...you are mad at Pansonic because the camera does not agree with a table printed on a --- what kind of flash.

I certainly have not had a underexposure problem with the FZ20 and a 383 ....but I never really use the flash that much.


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Old Jan 1, 2007, 7:22 AM   #7
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Er, no I didn't say that! What I did write if you read it properly is the flash is predicting the CORRECT exposure and the flash exposure compensation on the camera is fixed at -2 which I just cannot change. It just so happens that the photo is then 2 stops under exposed. Strange that isn't it? If the camera's flash compensation could be set to 0 (neutral) as it should be, the picture would be entirely as predicted by the flash. I've tried everything I can thinkof to reset it, and as I stated previously the manual is a waste of time in that respect. Instead I have to drop 2 stops to f3.5 to counter the problem caused BY THE CAMERA'S flash compensation with the consequent lost of picture quality. Now why should a camera of such quality do a thing like that, unless it is a fault, compared with my trusty and very, very old and reliable Chinon Auto s-280 flash, which incidentally, has NEVER let me down. It is very frustrating, almost as frustrating as as being sniped at by someone misreading a post.
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 8:31 AM   #8
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I am not really experienced with flash photos but the exposure comp. has very little to do with the exposure of a flash photo.....(now I think it would if there was a lot of ambient light and you were just fill flashing).....but the flash duration is less than 1000 of a sec.

"I thought I could always adjust the shutter speed with the external flash buy just dialing in some minus comp. But I can not do that anymore I do not know if that was only posssible with the FZ10 or if I am mistaken, but I am sure I did it with one of the FZs.

"Maybe its because you are manually setting the SS to a faster speed and that is dialing in the exposure comp.

"Try setting the SS at 1/60 and see if that comp goes away. You may be pushing some sort of limit in the camera.
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 10:11 AM   #9
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Thanks for that I'll give it a try when my head clears from last night!! Bit grumpy this morning, must be something I ate!!!!!

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