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Old Oct 11, 2004, 10:35 PM   #11
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The manual focus is very good as well. You can pre-focus by pressing the button all the way down, and if needed fine tune with the lens ring.

And as I stated in my previous post... If the pre-focus focuses on something other than what you want to focus on, you can use the focus ring to magnify the thing that you want to focus and adjust it to sharpen that.

This camera (in my opinion) does not have a focus problem at all. But you do need to learn a few things to be consistant in situations where there are many possible focus points.

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Old Oct 12, 2004, 12:12 AM   #12
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Hello everyone, I am new to these forums and this is my first time posting. I recently bought an FZ-20 and returned (and exchanged)it because I thought there was something wrong with my autofocus. But when I got the newcamera it had the same issues. I can get it to focus, but I do believe that the problem is, even when you focus it using that center box, it is focusing on something else. I have tried using the different focusing modes, but I, too (like that Shakey character) am having trouble with the camera. I do love its features but out of 100 photos at least 30 aren't focused on the right thing. And it isn't human error, the camera locks the focus on what I want it to, but the pictures aren't sharp when I look at the taken photo.

Most photos that are posted of people usually are with no zoom, and those photos appear sharp, but the second you zoom in I believe, for some strange reason you losesharpness with this camera. With the exception of Jim's picture. That is a beautiful shot, an I am primarily talking about the sharpness and the focus. Can you give us the specs of the shot, there was nothing in your metadata. I am particularly interested at what zoom you had it at. And you usually need to zoom in, one because at minimum zoom you are getting barrel distortion which will distort the face. I think portrait lenses (for 35mm) are anywhere between 85-135mm. I just zoom until I frame the shot.

I honestly can't get my camera to focus like that picture. And I, too, spent a lot on the camera, maybe not two grand, but once you buy some memory cards, a bag etc. you are easily over a thousand dollars. I have two grand daughters and I usually photograph their birthday parties. I just used my FZ-20 and then I compared them to my other photos (I had an old Olympus 2mp digital) and my old photos are much sharper, granted the colors are much nicer with the FZ20, but I am very upset because minus the color saturation, the pictures that I took with my old (and now defunct) camera are better because they look in focus. And I keep the sharpness setting on the camera at maximum, and it still is duller than other cameras.
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Old Oct 12, 2004, 12:38 AM   #13
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Billy,

This is a hand held shot at 12x zoom.

ISO 200, f2.8, 1/50, Program Mode, IS Mode1.

It's not a human but it's pretty sharp for a handheld shot at full optical zoom.

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Old Oct 12, 2004, 12:58 AM   #14
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I am sorry, Bob, but that image isn't sharp, and honestly, neither is that image of you taking a picture of yourself. I am not trying to be mean, just honest. The picture of that boy up above is sharp!
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Old Oct 12, 2004, 1:00 AM   #15
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actually, in looking at it again, what is sharp is the vertical piece of wood to the left of the bird. And this illustrates my point of the camera not focusing on what you are aiming it at!
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Old Oct 12, 2004, 2:31 AM   #16
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New, but chiming in.
It looks like the people with complaints are the ones who haven't sat down and read the manual or who give up after a few runs. Or, the ones who blame a poor photo on the equipment before considering it may be the photographer's fault. With any new peice of equipment I'd venture to say it takes me a month before I produce the results I'm looking for.

This camera is not god's answer to digital photography by any means but preforms well for a camera in it's price range.

It also isn't what I consider a point and shoot camera. If what you are looking for is simple snapshots I'd suggest a different camera entirely. If you aren't willing to devote many shots to experimenting with different settings and finding what works for you this probably isn't the camera for you. It wasn't designed to be a point and shoot camera.

When making use of the mega zoom you need to use a tripod to avoid camera shake- which would be the cause for an out of focus picture. This holds true for any camera.
Same for using the zoom in low light conditions.

The camera focuses fine. I've had few problems with my zoom regardless of the lighting situation.

I've attached a few photos to demonstrate the clarity at a distance. The first one shows how far away I was sitting (I'm no good with estimating distances).

Please note that I've only owned the camera a few weeks and by no means claim to be a focusing jedi.

For distance estimate *I was sitting in front of the baby and stayed put while my husband took him to the wall against which the flowers are planted. The arrow points to that wall*:

Using zoom:


*edited to add*-
I know these aren't perfect examples and once again don't want to appear as though I'm claiming to be a professor of focusing. These were taken with minimal effort on my behalf. Please don't bite the new girl.
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Old Oct 12, 2004, 6:46 AM   #17
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Billy E. wrote:
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I am sorry, Bob, but that image isn't sharp, and honestly, neither is that image of you taking a picture of yourself. I am not trying to be mean, just honest. The picture of that boy up above is sharp!

I said it was pretty sharp. I don't know if you ever tried taking pictures of little tiny birds that move so fast that by the time any camera comes close to focusing the bird is gone...

The shot in question is one of the ones that turned out pretty good. almost 2 days of sitting in a bird hide for hours trying to get a bead on the little critters. And yes I took hundreds of pictures in these 2 days trying to get good at capturing challenging subjects.

Today I will test my camera on a human subject (something that I can tell to hold still), and see how they come out.

I have taken quite a few pictures of people at various zoom levels, and I will admit that it is harder to get a crystal clear hand heldshot at full zoom (when you should use a tri-pod anyway with any big zoom camera), but show me a big zoom camera that would not do the same thing. And if you do, please post the proof as well.

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Old Oct 12, 2004, 6:48 AM   #18
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I'd like to offer a suggestion to Billy.

I think you need to do an experiment. My theory is that you've got really shaky hands and your photos are blurring because you're not holding the camera steady when you shoot. So here's how we test the theory:

Try taking some shots with the camera on a tripod. Turn the Optical Image Stabilization OFF. And see if that improves the focus of your photos.

Another good trick to guarantee things will be in focus: when shooting objects that are not going to move on you, use not only the tripod, but manual focus and the two second timer.

Finally, a suggestion to anyone having focus issues: put more light on the subject. The more light, the shorter the shutter speed, the more likely your subject will be in focus.

I'm going to bet that most of the pictures that people say they have taken that have turned out blurry have been indoor shots.


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Old Oct 12, 2004, 8:07 AM   #19
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Great portrait photos.



Thanks for points on Panasonic FZ20 focusing

It is a camera that I am considering purchasing.
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Old Oct 12, 2004, 8:14 AM   #20
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Billy E. wrote:
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actually, in looking at it again, what is sharp is the vertical piece of wood to the left of the bird. And this illustrates my point of the camera not focusing on what you are aiming it at!
The reason for this is probably hand shake and not a focus problem. When you are using 12x zoom hand held it's almost impossible to hold the camera completely steady. When you are pressing the shutter button half way down chances are that you moved the camera a little and then focuses on something different than you wanted to. I guess you could try using the manual focus when using the tele.
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