Out of the blue the screen on the camera looks as if I am looking at a negative. Both the view and any photos being viewed are the same way. The actual photos downloaded and printed look normal but there doesn't seem to be any way to view the camera's screen without the negative effect
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Many image viewing/editing programs will let you change between negative and positive images, but the simplest thing in Microsoft windows is to just use the built in Paint program. Open the image and select "Invert Colors" from the "Image" menu. You may want to save it out with a different name so you don't erase the original.
I have this camera, and like you I have taken photos in the Hi-resolution TIFF mode. What you are experiencing is not a camera problem, but a problem with the software you are using to view the pic. Tiff is an odd format that can be configured in different ways and not all viewing software understands all the different configurations. The viewer I use is called Faststone, and can be downloaded for free from the internet- try at www.downloads.com
Faststone displays my FZ20 TIFF files perfectly. They are very big (14Mb) though, and there is little advantage over the jpg if you use the high quality compression setting.
You're seeing blown-out highlights. Those are the portions of your photo that have been overexposed so much that they've gone pure white and lost all details. This is generally considered a bad thing, but this is only a warning: the camera doesn't know what kind of effects you're trying for.
The correct fix is to reduce exposure to bring back the highlight details. This may result in losing detail in the shadows, but that's generally considered to be not as bad. After all, we don't expect to see things in the dark.
That was the long answer. The short answer is to press up/down on the multiselector until you find a view you like.
If you can use the LCD to take a photo and then use the LCD to review it later then the fault can't be with the camera. Have you tried checking the photos on another computer?
Maybe your software is corrupt and needs uninstalling and then reinstalling again. Actually, from memory this camera has a few effects and one of them could be a negative. Check that you haven't switched the effect on by mistake. You'll find it in the camera's menu.
What's causing the distortion I'm not sure.