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Old Oct 25, 2004, 5:10 AM   #1
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hi all.

just got my FZ20 the other day. very impressed so far.
But one problem Im having is, that sometimes it just wont focus. i have everything on automatic and i've experimented this with different modes, eg portrait, scenery etc.
There is no particular lighting condition when this happens, it seems to be random.

Its happened outside in bright or normal daylight and indoors in dim light or a normally lit room.
so i will try and zoom in, and when it should be focussing, everything is just blurred. a couple of times i've turned the camera off and back on again and it then focuses.

Any reason why this would be happening, and what i can do to fix it?
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Old Oct 25, 2004, 6:27 AM   #2
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i'm getting desperate now.. i cant focus on anything when using more than 2x zoom indoors.

I've tried a few things including changing the metering mode and AF mode but it makes no difference.

It was working ok most of the time yesterday indoors. and it was much darker yesterday, i was inside a cave with very low light and it was taking clear shots on big zoomswithout a flash.
Now i cant even take a simple indoor shot on more than 2x zoom in normal light.
:sad:
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Old Oct 25, 2004, 6:34 AM   #3
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Could it be you have a defective camera?

Someone on dpreview had focusing problems as well.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=10789496

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Old Oct 25, 2004, 6:53 AM   #4
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hmm... that does sound like my problem.



But thing is, i have taken some great shots with it. sounds like he could never get it focussed at all
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Old Oct 25, 2004, 6:53 AM   #5
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Don't panic.

I have readed a couple times, somewhere ,the focus is limited.

Read your manual.

I think you can't make focus on objects closer at 6-7 feet and zooming 2x plus.

I don't have a Pana yet, so i am not sure of the figures.

Others will answer.

Stay calm and wait.
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Old Oct 25, 2004, 8:47 AM   #6
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It will not focus closer than 7 ft when zoomed.

Turn off continuous auto focus.

Now what happens when you push the shutter 1/2 way?

If it does not focus then it is defective

Just dawned on me... on the left side of the lens there is a switch to turn off autofocus , see if you bumped it. Should be all the way up.
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Old Oct 26, 2004, 1:55 PM   #7
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shhhh. That's my favorite trick, forgetting to put it back into auto focus and then wondering what happened.

Bill :?
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 7:36 AM   #8
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genece wrote:
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It will not focus closer than 7 ft when zoomed.

Turn off continuous auto focus.

Now what happens when you push the shutter 1/2 way?

If it does not focus then it is defective

Just dawned on me... on the left side of the lens there is a switch to turn off autofocus , see if you bumped it. Should be all the way up.
its definitely on autofocus
I've used it with continous auto focus both on and off.
Sometimes when i push the shutter half way it will focus, other times it wont. most of these times is in low light, however sometimes this also happens in normal lighting conditions (ie sunlight).

I was thinking maybe Im just expecting too much from the camera./
But to sometimes turn it off and back on again and try the exact same thing again and have it work, well i find that a little strange.
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 11:49 AM   #9
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You are not expecting too much, the FZ10 had a bit of a problem focusing in low light and I mean real low light, but the FZ20 is better at that. If you can see it in the viewfinder the 20 should focus on it.

They do better if they have a vertical line to focus on.

Just a thought but maybe reset the camera back to factory defaults, to see if that helps.

Can you focus it with manul focus.

I would call panasonic or return the camera as a defect.
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 6:11 PM   #10
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I don't believe there's a fault. I really think you're just coming up against the minimum focus limitations of the lens. It's normal for most lens designs not to be able to focus so close as you zoom more towards the tele end, and the 12x zoom of the FZ10/15/20 is no exception; in fact, its minimum focus distance increases (i.e. you can't go as close) quite markedly past 4x zoom (approx) and pretty soon the limit is about 6 and a half feet. This can surprise you if you're used to a digital with a smaller zoom range as the difference isn't so marked on those. It's also a big difference from the few inches you can focus down to at the wider end of the lens! Some of the smaller 10x zoom cameras still manage to focus down to 3 and a half feet at 10x zoom - but lens design is always a case of trading off one advantage to get another - the Panasonic family's ability to deliver f2.8 all the way through the zoom range is impressive (but also what makes the lens bigger) and I do notice that the full wide angle end of the zoom performs better inmy FZ20than on myphysically-smaller 10x zoom camera (an Olympus). Also, sharpness across the whole frame is much better at f2.8 on the Panasonic than on the Oly.

Another thing to remember is that in P mode (and if I remember correctly, the scene modes too) the minimum focus distance at shorter zoom settings (i.e. 1x-4x zoom, where it *can* get a lot closer) isn't really available - it's purposely locked out, presumably to speed up the focus response in typical "social" shooting situations (a lot more fine-focusing takes place with any lens in the close focus region - a small change in distance or focus setting makes a bigger difference there). Macro mode, and A, S and M modes, have the full range available, and you can get at it in any mode with manual focus switched on.

It can be frustrating and slightly misleading when shooting close with zoom on the FZ20 etc., because you see the image apparently come into focus with the AF on, and then go past it and give a "no focus achieved" signal. In fact, when it looked sharp "enough" to you, the likelihood is that it was just slightly closer thanthe minimum focus limit of that setting, and the camera noticed it! There is a useful area to experiment in, between 1x and 3.5x zoom, where you can trade the minimum focus for the magnification of the zoom, and end up with a bigger image through zooming in a bit, even though you can't stand quite so close.

I hope that helps a bit - sorry it's wordy.


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