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Old Nov 6, 2004, 11:21 AM   #1
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:?I am pretty inexperienced with digital cameras. Recently bought the Lumix DMC-FZ3 and I can't figure out the macro mode. When I have macro mode selected, very hard to get anything in focus. Do I push the focus ring towards wide or toward telephoto? It seems to just be hit or miss. Sometimes it will focus, sometimes it won't. Also, in macro mode, are the shutter speed and aperature preset? Can I adjust them? I'm sorry to have to ask these questions, but the manual does not explain it and I'm a newbie.

Thanks for any help.
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Old Nov 6, 2004, 11:43 AM   #2
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All the fz series cameras lose macro capability beyond about 3x zoom. Up to 3x zoom in macro mode (or in A or S priority) you can get as close as 1/2 inch from the subject and obtain focus. So basically the fz3 macro is limited to the lower zoom range. The use of an add-on close-up lens will give you macro capabilty throughout the zoom all the way to 12x. This not only gets a more magnified image but also allows you to put some distance (as much as ~1 ft) between the camera and the subject which will help with bee stings and snake bites as well as with not casting a shadow on the subject. See http://www.ishots.net/fz1-2faq/fz1macros.htm The information there applies to the all the fz series cameras.

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Old Nov 7, 2004, 10:41 PM   #3
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To add a few comments... The FZ3 does not have manual focus, so therefore does not have a focusing ring (the larger FZ15/20 does). I'm wondering if are talking instead about the zoom control. If so, then according to the instruction book, one can get as close as 5cm (approx. 2") when at the wide setting of the zoom control (the information above about getting as close as 1/2" is incorrect). The closest macro distance at the tele zoom setting is 120cm. Therefore one could expect that the camera's ability to focus while in macro mode to change as the zoom setting changes.

While in macro mode, at any particular zoom setting the camera can only focus itself with a certain range. If you cannot acquire focus, then you must either change the position of the camera, or change the zoom setting. IOW, if you are within the cameras designed parameters, it will attain focus (if there is enough light).If your camera just won't focus despite changing the zoom settings, then your camera might be faulty.

The FZ3 does have the ability to set aperture/shutter speed when in manual (M) mode. You can see the settings at the bottom of the screen, along with arrows to direct change. You might notice that when in macro mode, the settings are nowhere to be seen. This means that when in macro mode, one cannot change them, soindeedthey are preset by the camera. You do have some control over exposure by using the exposure compensation feature.

hth,

Phil
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Old Nov 8, 2004, 8:13 AM   #4
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Thanks. From what you are saying, it sounds as if my camera may be faulty. I cannot get within a small distance....anywhere less than about 18 inches, and get my camera to focus on anything. I can stand 18" away while in macro mode and get the camera to focus AS IF it was 2" away. But it sounds to me like I should be able to actually place the camera very close to the item that I am trying to photograph and still get the camera to focus.

I will try to call Panasonic today and see if I can get some technical support. Would hate to have to return the camera, but hate to spend that much for a faulty camera.
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Old Nov 8, 2004, 9:03 AM   #5
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You are correct in that you *should* be able to place the camera much closer. In fact, you should be able to place the front surface of the lense approx. 2 inches from your subject and still attain focus. Just make sure that you are in macro mode, which is the dial setting with the flower. Don't make the mistake that us old former 35mm users sometimes make and use the "M" setting, thinking M is for macro. Also make sure that the zoom control is as wide as it will go. If you still aren't getting a good focus at the two to four inch range, then something is wrong w/your camera.

hth,

Phil
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Old Nov 8, 2004, 9:53 AM   #6
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I think you should be able to get the same distance as macro mode in A, S, and M modes as well. Macro Mode only means that the camera adjusts all the settings for you. Kind of like program mode for macro's (if you know what I mean.)

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Old Nov 8, 2004, 11:25 AM   #7
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Thanks to everyone for your help. Especially to PhilR for reminding me that I needed to slide the dial to (W) instead of (T) and for bobc for letting me know that I could get the macro functions in M, S and A mode. I feel silly that I couldn't figure those things out myself, but I sure appreciate your patience and help with a real newbie like me.

Have attached a photo of a vine tendril taken from just a few inches away.
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Old Nov 8, 2004, 11:30 AM   #8
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Glad to see you have things figured out. From what I've seen, I don't think there is anything wrong with your camera.
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Old Nov 8, 2004, 12:08 PM   #9
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i do not if A/F can be set on the FZ3 as on the FZ20, as for macro it should be set to center or spot and not to multizone A/F.

Have you checked that ?

Alain
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