Panasonic Lumix - Recent Questions, Troubleshooting & Support


You can change the brightness of the display in the setup menu.

Panasonic Lumix... | Answered on Aug 31, 2018

Tip

If you have a older Lumix that does not want to power on


As you know Panasonic issues Firmware Updates that can be downloaded online, and then installed using a computer and an SD card.
Some of those Firmware Updates made the cameras refuse to turn on if the battery was not an "approved" Panasonic battery.
This significant change was not publicly announced.
Panasonic Lumix batteries are available, but there are also dozens of different generic Lumix batteries available, and there is no reference source as to which generic batteries are "approved."
Therefore I would encourage you if you have a Lumix camera that is balking on startup to first try a genuine Panasonic Lumix battery that is fully charged.
You may find that the only problem was a generic battery that the camera did not care for.
(And of course many "Lumix" batteries sold online are not actually Lumix batteries, but merely counterfeits. They have Lumix markings and are often very good
imitations on visual inspection.)
Another reason some Lumix cameras will not power up is the memory card.
Sometimes people use a newer SDHC type card in an older Lumix, and the camera goes into electronic spasms trying to read the newer card. An older plain vanilla SD card will often solve the problem instantly.
If a Lumix camera is not powering up with a 8gb SDHC card there is a good chance it will power up immediately with a 1gb SD card.

I frequently recommend the Lumix TZ5 to people starting out, as it is a quality build, metal, not toy-like plastic, has more manual controls than most people will ever use, and the engineering is remarkable. I repair TZ cameras and donate them to homeless shelters and domestic abuse safe houses and college photography students and such, as they have full User Manuals available to download, full Service Manuals available for download in PDF format, have a very gentle learning curve, and produce photographs that are superior to many of the current cameras in the 600 to 800 dollar range. Yet a used TZ5 can be bought for 50 dollars or so.
Update the Firmware to v 1.2, never carry it in a leather camera case or pocket or purse or with any cloth of any kind, and you have a superb camera for many years.

on Aug 16, 2018 | Panasonic Lumix Cameras

Tip

Caution about Lumix cameras with Japanese language


Some Panasonic Lumix cameras are made in Japan expressly for Japanese Buyers.
These cameras may be programmed in Japanese and Japanese only.
They cannot in any way be converted to English or any other language.

Most Lumix cameras have a menu option that allows choice of language.
That option is not available in some Japan-originated cameras.

I see Lumix cameras often on eBay that are listed as "From Japan".

Be careful.
I advise you ask the Seller to take photos of the LCD screen of that specific camera being sold with the menu choices showing, to be certain that it is not a Japanese language only camera.
Insist also on a photo of the bottom plate.
Is it in Japanese?

Sellers have told me in the past "You can choose any language easily".
Yes, that is true.
If the Lumix camera was made in Japan for export.

But if it was made in Japan for use in Japan it may not be true.

on Jul 15, 2018 | Panasonic Lumix Cameras

Tip

Before purchasing any Panasonic Lumix


I have repaired too many Lumix cameras that someone recently purchased.
This is what I urge anyone to do if they are considering the purchase of a used Lumix.
First, absolutely pass, swipe right, turn the page, on any Lumix that does not show TWO photos of the front of the camera, 1 with the lens fully extended and 1 with the lens fully retracted.
Most people are aware of the Kiss of ***** of Lumix cameras; the System Error. If a Seller won't post photos of the lens both extended and retracted it likely is because the lens won't extend and retract.
Second, insist on a photo of the camera from behind while the camera is turned ON and the LCD screen is in sharp focus and fully visible.
When a Lumix has a System Error it usually shows "System Error Zoom" or similar in the LCD screen.
If a Lumix is for sale and the Seller shows only the back of the camera but not with the LCD screen lit and sharply focused, you are wise to not purchase that camera.
I will add further posts, if requested.
I think the Lumix cameras are some of the finest cameras available, exquisitely engineered and high quality.

But there are definite caveats when shopping for a Lumix.

on Jul 14, 2018 | Panasonic Lumix Cameras

Tip

What to do if a "System Error" occurs with a Lumix camera


The entire Panasonic Lumix line, over a span of several years, has been stained by a "System Error Zoom" flaw. I have repaired many Lumix cameras, because I believe them to be exceptionally well-engineered and ultra high quality builds, compared to some of the other current cameras that are popular.
I won't name any brands.

Before I discuss possible solutions I'd like to mention WHY so many people end up with malfunctioning Lumix cameras due to "System Error Zoom" failures.
The most common etiology is because the lens extends such a significant distance, partially because people are enthralled with "Super-zooms". The downside is obviously if there is anything that obstructs the lens extension, such as the camera gets turned on while still in the camera case, or anything is in front of the lens as it is extending, such as the User's finger or any object, the tiny gear that drives the extension process can lose gear teeth. Or the tiny Zoom Motor, which is quite weak, simply gets overloaded and burns out.
That is simply the end of that camera. It is DNR, Do Not Resuscitate, because it is far too expensive to have it repaired by Panasonic.
Lumix cameras that were once expensive are often on sale on eBay for 10 dollars, because they have System Errors, and people are cognizant of the expense of repair. Today, for example, on eBay there are 4 ZS19 and ZS20 models on sale all together as a lot for 20 dollars. 5 dollars apiece, for 4 400 dollars cameras.

Another way that Lumix and similar Panasonic cameras get destroyed is the User is holding the camera improperly, and when the User either turns the camera on (which always starts the lens extension), or is already taking pictures and zooms the lens out, the User has a finger placed in such a way that it obstructs the lens extension.
You can visualize that even if the finger is covering only one small part of the area where the lens is headed the barrel will be skewed toward that side, and that is all that is necessary; the barrels are barely more than cigarette paper thick, and they deform quite easily. The resulting friction of any of the multiple lens barrels grinding against each other overpowers the tiny Zoom Motor.
The other major causative is obvious, a foreign body of some type gets embedded in the system of lens barrels and inhibits the barrels from smoothly extending. It takes only a tiny tiny piece of lint or dust or such to cause permanent damage.
There are several lens barrels, in a type of Russian Matrioshka Doll arrangement, one fits with merely microscopic tolerance inside another and another and another...and they must all extend without any resistance in order to operate properly.
The thing I see Users do repeatedly is keep a camera in a bag or case. Dust or dirt or other foreign matter collects at the bottom of the case, and easily finds its way to the lens barrels.
Or people often put some form of fabric into the case with a camera, a lens cloth or business card or a label with the User's name or a handkerchief or such, and lint from any fabric will stop the lens from extending.
If a Lumix gets put into a desk drawer for a brief time, it will be in enough dust to ruin the lens assembly when the lens extends after the camera being turned on.
So imagine someone on vacation, with a camera in a camera case which is in a suitcase, which also has shirts and pants and socks. Goodbye, Lumix.
I never use a camera case. If I need to enclose a camera for some reason I simply use a large ZipLoc plastic bag. With a desiccant pack.
OK, now WHAT TO DO.
First, I recommend you ask Gravity for assistance; hold the camera with the lens pointed straight down. Then turn the camera on and off and on and off and quite often the reduction of the effort needed for the lens to extend because Gravity is helping will allow a causative foreign body to fall, or get powered out by the passing lens barrel.
I often have had great results after simply putting a vacuum cleaners small hose extension over the lens assembly and vacuuming while the camera is off and the lens assemblies are all fully retracted.
That has enabled many Lumix cameras to begin working again.
(I personally do not advocate the use of air blowers of any type because that simply drives any foreign body(s) deeper into the lens assembly.)

As a tangent: If you are considering the purchase of any used Lumix I urge you to be certain you can examine 2 closeup photos of the camera with 1) Lens fully extended and 2) Lens fully retracted. An unscrupulous Seller can post pictures of a Lumix with a retracted lens and not mention it will simply not extend and is useless.
And insist on a photograph from behind the camera while TURNED ON and the LCD screen IN FOCUS and clearly visible.
A Lumix with a System Error will display "System Error Zoom" or similar in the LCD screen...so if you see a photograph of a Lumix that is turned on and that is not displayed in the LCD you have at least zeroed out that concern.

Also:
I always urge people to change SD cards, as sometimes a poorly formatted SD card gives the camera problems when it tries to read the SD card when it gets turned on, and that halts the turning-on process and results in a System Error.
And I encourage fully charging the battery, or putting in a different battery, if the camera has been used often and the battery may have weakened.
If someone purchases a used Lumix that is 3 years old for example I think spending 10 dollars for a newly manufactured battery is wise.
TLDR:
1. Camera was turned on while still in case or when something was in front of it.
2. Camera was held improperly and finger was in front of part of the lens as it was extending. (Also occurs when the User is taking a Macro photo and gets to close to the object)
3. Camera was kept in a bag or camera case or a drawer or on a shelf or in a suitcase etc etc etc and lint or other foreign matter had collected, and fouled the exquisitely delicate barrel-lens system.

Good luck. I hope I have helped.

on Jul 14, 2018 | Panasonic Lumix Cameras


It's likely that the spot is a speck of dust that has found its way inside the camera and onto the sensor. Apparently when the lens barrel extends after the camera is turned on a small amount of suction is generated - enough to pull tiny specks of debris inside. Please refer to the following video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nmwt0frZns

Panasonic Lumix... | Answered on Apr 17, 2018


Hello

The problem is that the lens has become stuck in the barrel. There are some DIY solutions you could try, but the probability is that you will have to get it fixed by a professional.

Use these at own risk as it may further damage the camera.

Firstly , try connecting your ac adapter or usb cable.

Try holding the shutter button while switching on the camera.

Look at the lens , and if some of the lens 'circles' is misaligned or not concentric then try wiggling it (while holding camera lens down).

Try gently pushing or pulling the lens when it extends but this is risky as it may cause the lens barrel to slip out of its guidance system.

Another way to do this is to place the camera lens down on a hard surface and then power it up. Be sure to use a soft cloth or something similar as to not scratch your lens or casing. Let the lens push the camera up and down a few times and sometimes the little resistance provided by the camera is enough to get things going again.

Try hitting your camera near the lens on the body with the soft tissue on the palm of your hand.

Other than that , I would take the camera to a repair center for a evaluation to see if it would cost more to repair than to replace the camera.

If it is still under warranty I would suggest you take it in before trying any of these steps and remove any off-brand batteries or accessories as some stores are really fussy about warranty repairs on camera's with non-brand accessories.

You can also have a look at THIS link.

Hope the advise is useful. please do not hesitate to let me know if you need any further assistance. Also, please be so kind to let me know if you found this helpful.

Regards
Andrea

Panasonic Lumix... | Answered on Mar 01, 2018


Take it to a Panasonic Service Centre for an estimate.

Panasonic Lumix... | Answered on Feb 18, 2018


It wants you to format the card in the camera. This will erase the card so download any pictures on it first using a card reader if necessart.

Panasonic Lumix... | Answered on Feb 17, 2018


I am reliably informed if the cola was sweetened with sugar only a strip-down and manual cleaning has a chance of working.

If sugar-free an aerosol of plastic friendly contact cleaner might work.

Panasonic Lumix... | Answered on Feb 01, 2018


eBay is your best bet. Here is a quick listing I fould. Just search for your camera model and add "replacement screen". Most of these will ship directly from china.
New LCD Display Screen For Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ35 DMC ZS25 Camera Repair...

Panasonic Lumix... | Answered on Feb 01, 2018


Not all cameras have this facility - looks as if yours is one that doesn't. If this function is so important to you, why did you not check when you bought the camera ?

Panasonic Lumix... | Answered on Jan 24, 2018

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