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Old Feb 10, 2005, 4:17 PM   #1
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my focus assist beam is a bit off center and I´m wondering if that is normal.

I´m not having a lot of success focusing in low light (even at vertical stripes and edges)

(I´m trying to find a reason to return this silver cam within 30 days to get a black one and this off center beam could be the straw that pushes me to do that)



I´m really happy at the (on paper) specs for the fz20 after burying my oly 700 uz. The focus assist lamp was a big selling point for me but of course if it doesn´t work right.....

I imagine that if the beam nailed the center spot it would help greatly. Yes I have learned from this forum to use the spot focus.
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 7:25 PM   #2
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a bit off as in isnt in the centre of the LCD? obviously that will depend how close the camera is to the object you're pointing it at, cos the beam comes from the left and slightly above the lense. if i'm focusing on an object a few feet away mine appears in the middle of the LCD, and havent had any problems to speak of focusing in low light as of yet.
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Old Feb 11, 2005, 12:26 AM   #3
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No matter how far I am from the subject, it never hits the center of my lcd. The circle of light I seeis up and to the left. The bottom right of the crcle cuts through the tiny square the the cam shows to help aim.

If the cam is indeed trying to focus in that small area in the center (using spot auto focus mode) then I can see that my cam is not benifitting from the brightest part of the beam

I can see that it needs to be pointed a little bit more down and to the right. If no one else has noticed this on their cam then I assume mine is not set up correctly.

One main reason I bought my cam at the store I bought it from (El Giganten here in Denmark), was because I thought they might help me order the wired remote. The only help I got was them saying "oh, there is an address in the manual". I can´t find any help trying to order the part anywhere on the http://www.panasonic.dk site. I didn´t want to turn a 15 dollar part into a 50 dollar order from overseas when they said at the store that they were a Panasonic "dealer"

I thought I could live with a silver bodied cam,as long as they could help me out on ordering the remote, but now that the focus beam is not aiming correctly,I´m gonna try to return it and take my chances with the cheaper mail order company.
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Old Feb 11, 2005, 12:59 AM   #4
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what you describe is normal. mine does the same thing, although the focus lamp beam isn't off to the left so much as just abovethe center spot. from about ten feet away, ii i'm using the spot focus mode, the AF lamp beam hits about 8" above the focus point. the camera still focuses fine, though.

if all you really want to do is exchange it for a black one, you should be able to do that anyway, as longas you take it back in its original packaging with all the accessoty bits properly in place. i can assure you, though, the silver ones take pictures just as well as the black ones do...
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Old Feb 11, 2005, 3:20 AM   #5
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I know it seems shallow to want the black over the silver (and please believe me that´s not my only reason for wanting to switch cams!)

It´s just that each time you sacrifice on a hopeful feature on a new cam, you get just a little more sour over the experience.

I had planned on black as a basic "feeling" for the cam (more descreet even though a big cam, matches the accessories like external flash andand filters and hoods etc, seems less plasticish)

But after sacrificing on one point, the other small problems, like slight difficulties in focusing and poor low light performance, start to add up. I DO understand that low light is a bit tough-and I accept that -but then you can understand whyI amhoping to make sure the focus assist is working up to it´s potential. I don´t mind using flash but it´s a total drag to not be able to put trust in the focusing.

I came to accept the impossibiliies of low light with my oly 700uzand I learned how to lock manual focus on 6 feet (2 meters) and use f5.6 and iso200 to get instant always-in-focus shots, but that would be a shame to have to do that on a better cam like this with focus assist.

And of course there is always the hard to get wired remote... Any Europeans have any luck getting one through mail order? As an American living abroad, I get just a LITTLE bit jealous of all the options you guys have in getting cheap accessories for your cams in the US. (but then again I have free health care here even when I´m unemployed )
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