Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot) > Panasonic / Leica

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 11, 2005, 11:41 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 194
Default

One of the reasons I bought an FZ20 to replace my Fuji was the provision of manual focus for use particularly with flower close ups (particularly whites).

I find it is too difficult to use. The centre enlarged portion doesn't seem to show the focussing finely enough - not like the old split screen of the 35mm cameras.

Anyway I find the auto focussing of the camera spot on with the result I am ignoring the manual focus which is a pity.

Any comments?
Bootneck2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 12, 2005, 2:25 AM   #2
Member
 
David C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 98
Default

Manual focus is crucial, and many of my shotsare reliant on it (I suppose I use manual focus on about 10 to 30% of my shots, depending on the subject- but it is difficult to use, and the focussing screen is far from optimal...

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"(missing a proper optical viewfinder is probably the largest drawback I find to the otherwise good FZ20 - that, and there being more digital noise than I would prefer...)

Manual shots can still come out well though: eg


David C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2005, 10:25 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
genece's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,111
Default

Anyone that can manual focus with the EVF of the FZ20 gets a pat on the back from me..I only manual focus if birds or animals are in brush ,or for Macros and then its a guess at best.

I find spot auto focus on the FZ20 to be quite good.

I findMF agood biteasier with the FZ30 in fact I found it easier with the FZ10 ...I never liked the EVF on the FZ20 , it was suppose to be an improvement over the FZ10 but I did not find that to be true.
genece is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2005, 11:38 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
d-sr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Abilene. TX
Posts: 1,486
Default

I have always had to guess at the last refinements with the FZ15 manual focus, which has the same focus setup as the FZ20. I thought it was just my eyes because I never heard anyone else complain about it. It really becomes a problem for me when I use the T14b lens trying to get far away birds and animinals. Problem is, I think I have a good photo until I download it on my computer. I tried the Extend-A-View and it's better now but still not the answer. Don
d-sr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2005, 12:22 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

The excellent manual focus control (presumably designed by Leica as the other controls leave a lot to be desired) gives a lot of versatility. I often push the manual switch down to have it focus to a point, then use it in manual. This works as a focus lock if you want to spot meter somewhere else. Or reframe and shoot with the target out of the auto-focus area. Holding the shutter release halfway works for the second example, but you are also metering there and I prefer separating my metering and focus points sometimes.

It also works well if you want manual focus to anticipate where something will be. The Panasonic continuous focus works well, but it has problems with things moving toward or away from you with a relative motion of about 7MPH.

You can also use a touch of the old SLR method of milking your DOF to get a little more blur in the background. Push the button down and then tweak the focus toward you a tad so it still looks sharp in the viewfinder.

Depth of field in macro shots can also be controlled with manual focus if the camera is focusing on a part of the image you don't need in focus and blurring something you don't. I guess you aren't actually controlling your DOF but working within a set DOF to get what you want in focus.

I always push the button down in manual focus to let the camera find its focus point. Then my fingers remember what the camera has chosen while tweaking the ring. You could say you are focusing automatically when you push the button down, but the camera ends up at a fixed focus and I consider that manual. I do admit the EVF leaves a lot to be desired even with the zoom focus. Hopefully the FZ30 is better.

One downside of manual focus at zoom is that you have to switch to OIS mode 1 to help stabilize the image so you can see it better. I normally use mode 2, and digging in the menu inhibits my use of manual a little at zoom.


slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2005, 2:43 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
squirl033's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,720
Default

i definitely use the manual focus on my FZ20. i do wish, as some have mentioned, that it offered better resolution (like the FZ30 does), which would make focusing much easier,but manual focus is the only way to reliably catch moving targets, since the FZ's autofocus isn't fast enough to do it. by way of example, all the shots of seagulls in my recent post, except the first one, were shot with manual focus.
squirl033 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2005, 3:30 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 17
Default

Hmmmm...



I've found the manual focus on my FZ-20 consistently is slightly off- to the point that I am reluctant to use it. As having manual the focus option was a major factor in deciding to go with the '20, I am disappointed. Thank goodness the auto focussing is decent.
Tom Lusk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2005, 7:49 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
squirl033's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,720
Default

i think a lot of the FZ20's manual focusing problems stem from the poor resolution of the EVF/LCD. it's hard to get tack-sharp focus when the image you see in the viewfinder is such poor resolution. i have looked at the FZ30, and the viewfinder on that bad boy has twice the resolution of the FZ20's... that should make manual focus a much easier - and more accurate - proposition!

to be honest, when i do use "manual focus", it's mainly because i don't know exactly where my subject will be, so i focus somewhere a tad closer than i expect, and rely on the camera's DOF to keep the subject clear when it comes into the scene. and because of the FZ20's poor EVF resolution, i tend to use manual focus more as just a "focus lock" to keep the camera focused at a certain distance regardless of how i compose or meter the shot. for that purpose, it does okay, but i'd sure rather have a nice, bright, sharp EVF image to work with!
squirl033 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2005, 8:06 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
DougG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 131
Default

I use manual focus exclusively when I'm shooting macros, and am satisfied both with the way it works, and the results I obtain. For all other shots (e.g. non-macro), I leave it on automatic.*
DougG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2005, 9:46 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 194
Default

Thanks everyone - what conflicting views!

Seeing the flowers and water from David C (even if you come from Canberra), I'll persist with macro manual focussing.

I can see Squirl.s point in using it for moving objects ands will try
Bootneck2 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:08 AM.