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Old Jun 17, 2005, 11:14 AM   #1
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I have both a Z5 and a Z20. Both are excellent cameras.

Question: On the Z20 when selecting theManual exposure setting I noticed that as I increase the shutter speed and/or increase the F stop the view finder gets very dark so the image cannot be composed (and i'm not pressing the shutter half way down). My Z5 does not do this in manual mode until the shutter is pushed half way down, which is expected.

Is there something wrong with my Z20's manual setting?



Thanks!


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Old Jun 17, 2005, 11:34 AM   #2
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Is continuous auto focus setting the same on each camera?
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Old Jun 17, 2005, 11:42 AM   #3
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It seems the same to me. I have used both cameras shooting my daughter's action packed Lacrosse games. I don't use CA. The autofocus is very fast using the three box focus setting on either camera. The z5 might be slightly faster on the autofocus. The Z20 is easier to hold steady for taking action shots, especially over a couple hours. The shutter lag is very low. If it focused press the shutter, you got the shot
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Old Jun 17, 2005, 4:15 PM   #4
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The darkening screen in manual on the FZ20 is a design "feature" of Panasonic's. It doesn't make sense but it works that way by design.

The work around that I've done is to compose in Program mode and then switch to manual to set the exposure. It's a bit of a pain, but it works.
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Old Jun 17, 2005, 6:13 PM   #5
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The real reason behind my question is I bought a SunPak 383 and would like to take advantage of Sunpak's power by being able to increase the shutter speed and F stop.I may be missing something, but unless I hear otherwise this is a flaw.

Thanks for the workaround, except when you are shooting moving targetsor using the burst flash fumbling with the dial won't work. Maybe Panasonic can weigh in on this. Perhaps there is a pending firmware upgrade.
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Old Jun 17, 2005, 6:26 PM   #6
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This has been disscussed to death:arrow:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...+light+gain+up
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Old Jun 17, 2005, 10:37 PM   #7
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There is the no/limited gain up issue and then there is theissue with the Z20 manual settings that when adjusted upward render the camera useless. I'm suprised that this was not signaled out more in Steve 's and others camera reviews. The reviewsmade a big deal about the hot shoe and the external flash option but failed to disclose the real shortcomings of the Z20's manual settings. Sure the camera takes great flash shots using AE or SP but it's too bad you can't get S and A manual adjustments without blacking out the view finder.

I did email the question into Panasonic a couple days ago and have not heard back. Thank you folks in the forums for the info.

Again my Z5 does work properly with the manual settings. Ok I guess my question is answered.

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Old Jun 18, 2005, 1:04 AM   #8
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I certainly remember a big song and dance about this issue in this forum last year. It really has been done to death, but I'll try to summarise it again. Bear in mind that my experience is with the FZ10, but AFAIK it's the same for the FZ20.

In all modes but M, the aperture is wide open until you half-press the shutter button, even in A mode. This gives the camera more light to use when focusing, and gives a brighter image on the LCD while you are composing the shot. In M mode, the aperture is immediately set to what you select, which can be quite dark.

In all modes but M, the LCD "gains up" in low light conditions until you half-press the shutter button, even in S mode. This helps you compose the shot (as before) and possibly it helps with auto-focusing (but maybe not). In M mode, the camera tries to represent what the selected shutter speed will give in the final picture (light/dark/whatever).

The reasoning for the aperture behaviour in M mode is that it takes time to close the aperture, and this may cause you to miss your shot. At least, that's the reasoning I've been told. The reasoning for the lack of "gain up"... Well, there just isn't any reasoning. Panasonic thinks it's a feature and has denied requests for a firmware fix as its "not a problem". I think it's daft, and so do other people, but we don't own a large multi-national corporation.

Why does this matter so much?

Consider the combination of M mode and a flash. You may want to do this instead of accepting the default of F/2.8 and 1/60 sec. Certainly 1/60 sec is too long if you are shooting moving objects in more than near darkness, as I was recently (at a wedding). You absolutely need to reduce the exposure time (the limit is 1/250 sec, which is nice).

But with my Sunpak 383 I find that I have to change the aperture too, so I can't just use S mode. Now that I'm changing both aperture and shutter speed, I'm in M mode and the LCD goes pitch black. I had to compose every shot in P mode (which gained up nicely) then switch to M and hope I was still pointing in the right direction. This is the exact opposite of the claimed "speed up" that the current M mode behaviour supposedly delivers.

Panasonic (if you're in the audience), this is not a feature!

I still love my FZ10 (hard to find anything to touch it over a year later), but this misfeature is really very annoying, and should be trivial to fix with a firmware update. I hope the FZ30 (whenever it arrives) is not broken in this way as I'll need to upgrade my FZ10 some day!

So, there you go. It's a problem for users. It's a feature for the manufacturer. It's been done to death here before, and again right now. Been nice to vent though. :-)
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Old Jun 18, 2005, 2:34 AM   #9
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It's not a firmware fix according to Panasonic


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Old Jun 18, 2005, 3:43 AM   #10
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RedHouse wrote:
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It's not a firmware fix according to Panasonic
Please be more specific. What part of the camera is driving the behaviour of M mode if not the firmware?

If you have any direct line into Panasonic it would be useful to know if they now acknowledge this as a flaw, and if they will fix it in the FZ20's successor.
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