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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:55 pm 
Most comments I've read for getting the best pix from the FZ40 are fairly consistent about not using the iA but instead using P to shift the sharpness up, noise down, and limit ISO and resolution, for starters. They even are fairly consistent in which and how much to shift.

So, if those adjustments give the best pix most of the time for the FZ40, why in the world didn't Panasonic make them the default? Certainly that would result in fewer complaints from the out-of-the-box users.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:09 pm 
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Hi lesieli, welcome on-board.

Sometimes manufacturers adapt current or future products based on the settings people most commonly use. Sometimes they stick with their defaults, but hopefully continue to let us make adjustments.

I presume they have meetings or focus-groups which place a preference on their current processing style, as most Lumix cameras tend to apply more than most with their default settings.

I do know Panasonic listens to review feedback and they have changed or adapted hardware or the user interface to respond to criticisms, but the actual processing style seems to remain unchanged!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:32 pm 
Lesieli - Take a look around this and other Forums, at the threads/posts about the current crop of long-zoom Bridge Cameras.

Canon SX30, Panasonic FZ100, Fuji HS10, Pentax X90, so on - they're all getting quite similar "complaints" from new users about not being easy to get immediate good results with.

None of them do "instant perfect snapshots" in Auto mode - some not in Program mode, either (can assure you that the HS10 doesn't!)

Some of the users are coming from the quite good and very simple/easy to use midrange P&S cameras all of the makers now do very well.

The "comments" from users of Canon SX10/SX20 users who upgraded to the SX30 - maybe because of the 35x zoom, or its excellent Std-HD video - seem to indicate some "ultra-zoom shock".

I went from the extremely easy to use Canon SX10, to the Fuji HS10. But I waited (while saving for it) several months before buying the HS10, so by then I had "some idea" of what to expect.

Rather, I "thought I did". With the SX10 I'd gone from mostly using Program, to mostly using Shutter or Aperture Priority, seldom full Manual. The HS10 was a steep learning-curve into using Shutter Priority as the "turn camera on / walkaround" preset mode - and fast-learn to use Manual hand-held - with MF essential at anything past 3/4 zoom, other than in very bright light... Otherwise, the AF "hunts like a terrier on steroids..."

It certainly isn't an "easy" camera to use - and it couldn't be called a Point-&-Shoot... You do have to "learn the camera's habits-and-customs" - then be able to - very firmly - "tell it what to do!" Then results are pretty good, including with the fast-continuous function.

However - from what I've been seeing on Forums these past few months - all of the new long-zoom Bridge Cameras do have a pretty steep learning curve to get good results.

As Gordon says, makers sometimes do a "most used" set of "defaults" to suit Auto and Program. At least to get new owners achieving reasonable results from "Day 1'. That would certainly apply to Canon's SX30 (excellent Review on the SX30, here on this Forum) - and Nikon's P100.

Some others - including the Fuji HS10 (Fuji didn't send Gordon one to Review - which would have been very interesting) - seem not to do that. It does have a lot of "Scenes Modes" - most of which don't apply to any conditions under which I've used the camera.

You could perhaps try using the FZ40's "Still Image Scenes" and "Advanced Scenes" modes - noting what settings the camera selects for lighting and types of situations - then using those as User Settings you can then adjust and improve on for better results.

From the Spec-sheet the FZ40 has a very comprehensive settings/adjustments range, and looks to be a very good camera, once you get used to it and can tell it what to do - and how!

You might be able to find a Panasonic Forum where the functions of the FZ40 are discussed in detail by a lot of users. The FZ40 could well be yet another of the current Bridge Zooms that has a steep, trial-and-error by experience, learning curve.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:44 pm 
I've made many of the suggested changes and been quite happy with the results. It just seemed to me that those changes should have been apparent to Panasonic while the camera was in development.

You're quite right about the steep learning curve. I've noticed that many of the complaints about things not working on the camera had to do with not being aware that one option can turn off another -- like no flash when burst is turned on. This is one of the reasons not having a hard-copy of the compete manual is such a pain. I'm having to do much of my learning experiments within walking distance of my computer.

The irony of having so many options is that it's like going back to my pre-Canon Rebel, old Pentax analog SLR where just about everything was manual and you really had to understand how cameras work to get good pix. Only now it takes longer to do it. Back to the future time?

I do like your idea of checking out some of the advanced scene settings and will follow through with that.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:55 am 
Lesieli - If you have a think about why Flash locks out in Fast Continuous mode - it's logical... The Flash has to recharge between flashes - and doing that at 6-8-10fps would need some beefy electronics. While there might be a Pro-Level DSLR that can do that, I haven't heard mention of it....

Yes, the "new fashion" of makers not providing paper copies of Manuals these days, is enough to make one say "rude comments". My Canon SX10 came with an excellent 6" x 4" 292 Page (identical in layout to the PDF) Manual - which was very handy indeed in the first weeks of taking that camera out.

The next purchase was the $545.00 (Australian price) Fuji HS10 - and no paper manual. That one pays over $500.00 for a product, and gets no manual - is very annoying indeed. It almost makes a product "Unfit for intended purpose", under Consumer Laws.

I doubt that camera makers are "doing so badly" financially, they need the $5-10.00 per sale savings on a manual, to boost their "bottom lines".

This has come up as a sore point on the HS10 Forum, as the camera is rather complicated to learn - and most would rather pay another $5-10.00 for the camera, to get a paper manual.

However, most of the new Bridge Zooms are fairly complex, and all of the makers seem to have dropped the inclusion of paper manuals. Almost as if they'd agreed on it - so folk comparing quite closely competing products - couldn't choose the one with a proper manual over the one without such.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:10 am 
Sure, Dave, I get why Flash is disabled under those circumstances. My point is that there are those who hadn't burrowed their way through the manual to connect those dots and so concluded that the camera was poorly made because the flash wouldn't work.

I hadn't realized that no paper manuals are the "new fashion" with camera makers. I guess they're following the lead of software makers. Remember when computer software came in a big box because it contained a big manual?

My Canon XT came with a manual too...171 tiny pages printed in black and white. It couldn't have cost but a few dollars to print, given page size and mass production. That no maker now provides such an obviously necessary amenity does indeed sound like collusion. That and teeny chips certainly makes one resentful.

Hey Gordon, I guess we'll find out if "Panasonic listens to review feedback" in due time if we see a reversal in this trend.

 Post subject: Panasonic FZ40
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:08 am 
All of a sudden my flash only goes on when I am Intelligent Auto mode and not when I am in Program Mode, Aperiority,Shutter, etc. with the FZ40. I have checked the menu settings and can't figure out what to do.
I have checked with the dealer (B&H) and they say Panasonic has discontinued the FZ40 and can't help me.

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