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Panasonic Viewfinder - Mirror image: Although I don't own a Panasonic, my Samsung and JVC camcorders have this flipped image function, so I guess most are similar in theory. The mirror image is a function used for taking selfies, or where you want the subject to frame themselves while previewing the image on-screen. This only affects the viewfinder screen, not the saved video or still, which remains as normal. To correct this, you need to navigate to the 'settings' menu, exact location depending flavor of camera. There should be an option for "self-portrait" mode or similar. Switch this back to normal mode. Why mirrored? When screen is rotated 180 degrees to face subject in normal mode, they would see an inverted image, so the "selfie" function flips the graphic to compensate. Regards, Clive.
If the camera is actually at fault here (and yes i always blame mine ;-]) it is usually due to the shutter getting out of time with the flip mirror. When you take a picture the mirror flips up out of the way and then the shutter opens and the camera actually takes the picture. What can happen i the track gets gummed up. Can be from old lube or the wrong stuff being used or dust. So when you take the picture the mirror doesn;t get out of the way and you get a picture of the back side of the mirror. I think that has a titanium shutter but older ones had a cloth shutter and those would stick a lot easier.
You can clean the track using isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs. You need to be careful not to lave any cotton fibres in the tracks or the mirror or the shutter. Take the lens off and then push the mirror out of the way with a swab (don't touch anything in there with fingers) Wet a swab end and just follow the track a few times. It may take a few passes before any buildups start to loosen up. And you may not see much if any thing.
Don't use any lube unless you have a high quality silicon. So don't be tempted to spray some WD40 in there (yes I've seen some do that and then wonder why it doesn;t work). There is a reccomended lube but I'd have to dig out the shop manual for the series to find what it was. It either was a silicone lube or a graphite. Anyway if the cleaning improves or fixes the problem then you should be good to snap away.
It sounds like your cameras need a CLA (clean, lube and adjustment). Occasionally when this has happened to me, i noticed that it was the foam on the mirror bumper that had gotten all deteriorated and gummy and as such the mirror would 'stick' to it when it flipped up. Changing the foam seals might do the trick.
Switching to M90 means that the camera is in Manual mode whereby it is not relying on the electronics at all in the camera. When your battery dies in mid shoot, you switch to M90 and you shoot manually at a fixed speed of 1/90 second. Of course your light meter won't have power, but if you meter manually or go by the 'Sunny 16' rule, you can adjust the aperture and get your shots.
Yes, moving the shutter dial to M90 should release the mirror back down, if it is stuck up.I'm assuming of course that you didn't manually set the mirror up anyway... Test it out with brand new batteries!
There's a button on the original remote control that does exactly that:
(Please vote or comment if my solution helped you!)
Adjusting PICTURE FLIP Settings
You can set the orientation of the picture.
Directly setting the PICTURE FLIP
1 Press PIC. FLIP to display the
PICTURE FLIP screen.
2 Press PIC. FLIP to change the
Setting the PICTURE FLIP on the
1 Press MENU to display the MENU
2 Press a/b to move the cursor to
PRESET, and press ENTER.
3 Press a/b to move the cursor to
PICTURE FLIP, and press
4 Press c/d to select the desired
picture flip setting, and press
5 Press MENU to return to the main
NORMAL MIRROR ROTATE
The PICTURE FLIP screen automatically
disappears in 3 seconds.
• [NORMAL]: normal image
[MIRROR]: mirror image
[ROTATE]: rotated image
[UPSIDE DOWN]: upside down image
You're not alone. It's an epidemic. With some people it lasted only about 8 flips between LCD and viewfinder. It's especialy a problem with the Z series.
If you still can, send it for repair on warranty, otherwise you'll either have to live with it or find a place that can handle this repair.