Question about Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10 Digital Camera

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If you zoom to less than 12x

I am used to macros on my SLR zoom lens which allowed me to get the focal length and get the image that I wanted. I realize that digital is a whole new game.... If you zoom to less than 12x with the FZ1/FZ10 and use the macro, will you be able to adjust the focal length and adjust the image or will it just be out of focus?

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Re: If you zoom to less than 12x

The macro setting on the fz series allows you to get within a couple of centimeters of the subject and obtain focus. That is pretty close. That is too close. The camera will throw a shadow. You need some room. Most high zoom cameras (notably Olympus) have macro capabilty throughout the zoom which not only increases the magnification but also allows you (requires you) to put some distance between the lens and the subject. The panasonic fz series is different. They do not have macroability at zooms greater than 2x-3x. Beyond that there is no increase in magnification. Why? I dont know. Maybe this feature was designed on a Monday. Fortunately this can all be rectified with the use of a closeup lens. Now the fz series will react like most other high zoom cameras and do it well. The Olympus b-macro is such a lens. There are many others

Posted on Sep 06, 2005

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My photo shot button fell out that takes photos


Avoid camera shake. Watch your shutter speed. As a general rule, you should not allow this to fall to a speed slower than the reciprocal of your 35mm equivalent focal length. However, if you're using digital (or are willing to use your film up a bit quicker), you can try taking several shots in succession and hopefully one will have a satisfying level of sharpness. Turn on vibration reduction (also called "image stabilization", depending on the manufacturer), if you have it. When VR/IS is on, the lens element(s) or image sensor move so that the image stays in place when projected onto the sensor. As a result, camera motion is less likely to affect the sharpness of your photographs. Turn it on whenever the lighting conditions makes getting a sharp picture difficult. Keep it off when you're shooting on a tripod; it isn't needed and actually makes your photographs less sharp.
Use a shorter lens (or zoom out) and get closer. Remember that, according to the reciprocal rule of photography, reducing your focal length will give you less camera shake at any given shutter speed. Additionally, when you're using a variable-aperture zoom, you can often use a larger aperture with shorter focal lengths. Furthermore, getting closer might force you to be more creative when framing the picture.Use a tripod or a monopod If you're using an SLR and find yourself with so little light that you have no choice but to use long exposures, you might want to invest in a remote release cable. If your camera has a mirror lock-up (also called exposure delay mode), use it; this will stop the vibration from the mirror from affecting your images. Check your camera's manual to see what it's called. Mirror lock-up has two definitions; the other definition refers to when the mirrors and shutters move out of the way after you click the shutter button so that you can clean the image sensor without the sensor being active. If your camera doesn't have mirror lock-up, you can use the self timer.

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Hello. Hope you can help. I have a CX 4 digital camera. I would like to know if there is a way to set this camera up so as to take picture with a much more narrow focal length. I am trying to compete my a...


I presume you mean the Ricoh CX4? if so, I'm puzzled by your question, in particular the term "narrow focal length". It's also difficult to answer without knowing which lens your friend is using to compare it against.

You have an available focal length range of 28-300mm (in 35mm film equivalent terms), so a full range from wide angle to super telephoto. Clearly, you don't mean "narrow focal length range". If you mean that you want a narrower angle of view then 300mm is pretty narrow to start with and you have a 10MP camera which gives you plenty of excess pixels to dump if you want to crop the images further with no discernible loss of quality. At 300mm equivalent though, you will always have some user-induced camera shake (movement blur) unless you use a tripod or similar and additionally a remote shutter release (or use self-timer), and the effects of movement blur will be increased when you crop the image. Image stabilisation (I.S.) helps, but is no substitute for good technique and I.S. is a battery *******. If you're after a wider angle of view, then your camera is simply incapable of it without adding additional screw on lenses, and they ALWAYS reduce sharpness, contrast and add distortions.

The lens on your camera is good but is not known to be especially sharp even at the centre where all lenses perform best, regardless of cost. But most users wouldn't be able to tell the difference unless they were given large print selective enlargements to compare with the same images from a better lens. Your lens is what it is: there is no way it can out-perform what it's designed to achieve and it will never match higher-priced, higher quality SLR lenses.

Another puzzling point in your question is the phrase "I would like to get my subjects in crisp focus but the surroundings are out". If you're trying to get the subject and surroundings in focus all at once, then use a smaller aperture and a longer exposure in conjunction with a longer focal length (look up aperture and depth of field). Longer exposures risk movement blur though. The words you use afterwards regarding a blur mask suggest the opposite though, that you want a sharp subject in relief against blurry surroundings. If so, use the widest possible aperture and the shortest acceptable focal length (depth of field varies with focal length), but with wide angles you increase image distortion due to exaggerated perspective. Your options are limited though as your lens is very much a compromise to keep size, weight and costs down. The widest possible aperture is a modest f/3.5 at the widest angle (shortest focal length) setting, and a very modest f/5.6 at the super-telephoto setting (longest focal length), although the aperture range is normal in comparison with most other similar compact camera models and with some basic "kit" zoom lenses supplied with cheaper SLRs..

Wider apertures than you have available are just not possible on your lens and there are no adaptors or anything else which will change that. Even if your lens absolutely matched the aperture range available to SLR users then you still wouldn't achieve the out of focus surroundings which I suspect you're after. That's because although your camera has an equivalent angle of view range to a 35mm film lens of 28-300mm, it has a much smaller image sensor so uses a real focal length range of 4.9mm to 52.5mm. As I said earlier, depth of field varies with focal length. The shorter the focal length, the larger the depth of field, and there's no way to avoid the physics of that.

You only have one fix for the problems you describe and that's to work creatively within the limitations of your camera. Note that I didn't say "spend four times more"; if you do that you have a more expensive, bulkier, camera, have to carry around more lenses, and are far less likely to use the equipment in adverse conditions as you won't want to risk ruining it or having it stolen. You also won't get some of the candid point and shoot images you can capture with a compact model, partially due to easier and quicker handling but also due to the fact that folks tend to notice and react when they see a dirty great SLR aimed at them.

Cameras and lenses are just tools for a job and you just pick the right ones for the task at hand. An "impressive" camera does not make anyone a better photographer. The cheapest and best way to improve your photos is to take as many as you can and study the image file EXIF data to see what the settings were for each image. Also, buy or borrow books and look at websites which explain photographic technique regarding aperture, focal length, shutter speeds, reciprocity, image noise, sensor sizes and megapixel counts. Joining a local club or even an online forum will also help. Learning more will help you understand why your assertion, "I know that is is possible" is completely incorrect and also will ensure that when you do eventually replace your camera that you buy wisely.

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Yes. You won't have the same macro focussing ability at all focal lengths.

But usually the important thing is that it's not how close the camera can focus, but how large the image is, so you'll often find that a longer focal length (i.e. not wide angle) will produce a larger image of the object even though the camera has to further away to achieve focus. This also results in less distortion as extreme close-ups in wide angle produce extreme perspective distortion. It's why a wide angle close up of a face results in an exaggerated nose and mouth.

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All cameras have a minimum focal length. That is the minimum distance they have to be from an object in order to focus clearly. If you have a digital camera with changeable lenses, that minimum focal length is determined by the lens and how it is constructed. If you have a fixed lens digital camera then the manual should tell you what the minimum focal length is.

One other thing to keep in mind is that on most fixed lens digital cameras, there is what is called a macro setting. If you switch to macro mode, it will allow you to get closer to the object and still get a good focus. Your manual should tell you how to turn on that mode.

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1 Answer

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These screw on the front of the plastic lens adapter and adjust the focal length. On the side of the adapter lenses it will quote the ratio. My wide angle says 0.66x so just multiply the range of focal lengths by this figure and you will see that it adjusts the camera zoom accordingly - making the image wider and probably also increasing the depth of field (what is in focus). Similarly a 1.5 tele will inrease the range of focal lengths to make the lens "longer" eg higher magnification , useful for astro photography - shots of the moon and terrestrial long distance work but detracting from the depth of field, eg the range of distance over which objects are in focus will be reduced.

The wide angle will allow you to come in close and get WIDE objects fully in-frame- hence "wide angle", while the telephoto will give you better overall maginification of the image but will probably increase the MINIMUM focal length - eg you may not be able to focus on objects closer than >2m (instead of ~1).

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As these are adapter lenses on the front of an already powerful 10x zoom that must be optically compromised at the price of this camera, there maybe some colour fringeing around bright images. If you want a better solution you really need to get a DSLR. Overall a good solution for the price.


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If you zoom to less than 12x


Sorry you're having such a problem with the fz1 w/b-macro. Here is a shot of the stock fz1 w/b-macro at full 12x zoom - resized only. Try practicing on still objects such as coins or jewlery. If you are beyond 10-12 inches you are probably too far away.

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"The macro mode on the FZ10 allows you to get as close to your subject as 5 cm / 0.16 ft at wide-angle, and 2 m / 6.6 ft at telephoto"

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