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View Full Version : FZ20 LCD "gain up"



Toona79
10-07-2004, 10:34 AM
For those of you out there that have this camera or have used it is the lacking of a "gain up" on the lcd or the evf a problem ???? do you find that it is more or less annoying than you thought? This seems like a great camera and I wanted to know if this was a real problem or just a minor annoyance??? thanks

Mike C.
10-07-2004, 01:03 PM
In my opinion, it depends on your intended use of the camera.

First I should say I turned up the LCD to max (+3).

If most of your pictures will be taken outdoors in the daytime, I can't say since I just got the camera last night (at work now).

Inside the house last night with just the normal few overhead or lamp lights on, no problem framing a picture (though I did obviously need to use a flash for a good picture). With people visiting, sitting under almost any light, there would not be a problem.

When I aimed at a dark room the LCD was black (example, I had a room with just a tv on and no lights. All I could see is the TV, everything else was black).

When I was in my 12 x 12 office with just a table lamp beside my computer (say 75 watts total) could could not see my dog on the floor (white dog of dark carpet). I could see about half the room well enough to take a picture. The floor was shadowed from direct light by the desk it was on.

When I went outside at night, I could not see my truck about 15 feet away from a street light. I could not see my dog running around the yard. The LCD for the most part was just black.

I took a laser pointer and aimed it at the corners of the truck. I was then able to locate the dot in the LCD and frame the picture.

Also, it would have been nice to have a true "bulb" mode on the camera for very long exposures.

So again, I guess you have to ask what you are going to use the camera for. If you are going to take mostly night shots (say outside at a party around a dimly lit yard) you will be very upset. The LCD truly is almost unusable. If you are going to use it like this only once in a while, you can cheat using the laser pointer like I did. I think I am an "average" camera user. I figure in the last year I would have only taken 5 night shots (I problably average one roll of film per month).

Remember, you can just aim the camera in the general direction and crop the picture later (even when I could not see my truck in the LCD, the picture came out great).

If you are going to take pictures where most people would (when you can see each other well ... normal indoor light, even low light as long as the subject is illuminated), then no problem. Again, remember all you need is enough light to frame the shot (even a shadow outline will work).

This is my opinion so far (with my vast 4 hours of experience using the FZ20).

It truly seems like a great camera. Focus is super fast under good light, a little slower under low light (slow in no light). The AF assistant seems to work great (in low light when I did find the dog, it was enought to light up his face and see him in the LCD). I love having all the manual controls (I use to enjoy playing with my old manual SLR). Having a hot shoe is great, I will probably use a lot. The menu and controls are simple. I tried almost every control in the 4 hours last night and only had to refer to the manual a few times.

So is it worth $500? I think (I know) I would have been disappointed with anything less. Sure, I would have liked a DSLR but just didn't have the money for one (maybe in a few years the price will drop to an affordable level).

As long as most of your shots are go not going to be at night at a barbeque or pool party it looks like this would be a great camera for anyone.

I hope this helps.

Mike :D

Toona79
10-07-2004, 01:14 PM
thanks! I am trying to decide between this camera and the Kodak 7590 the gain feature is one small issue I had with this one and just wanted another opinion. have you or anyone else had problems with grainy pics I saw the examples in the review on this website and they look darn good is this typical or will it take some practice to get results like those???? thanks everyone

wmussatto
10-07-2004, 03:44 PM
I just got mine last night also. I think it will take a bit of getting used to. I realize that when the red wobbly camera shows up, I really should either use a flash or a tripod, OIS 2 mode not withstanding. Good news, it works fine with my old Minolta flash. Does not 'gain up' anywhere near as well as my Sony mini DV (but that unit has a mode that I use in churches when its too dark to see with my eyes). Of course it couldn't take stills with out massive jpeg artifacts.. I'm still moving through the manuals. I think A mode with and external flash on an FZ10 causes the lcd to gain up a bit (camera is NOT responsible is your external flash is too weak).

John_Reed
10-07-2004, 04:29 PM
I just got mine last night also. I think it will take a bit of getting used to. I realize that when the red wobbly camera shows up, I really should either use a flash or a tripod, OIS 2 mode not withstanding. Good news, it works fine with my old Minolta flash. Does not 'gain up' anywhere near as well as my Sony mini DV (but that unit has a mode that I use in churches when its too dark to see with my eyes). Of course it couldn't take stills with out massive jpeg artifacts.. I'm still moving through the manuals. I think A mode with and external flash on an FZ10 causes the lcd to gain up a bit (camera is NOT responsible is your external flash is too weak).Ignore it. I think it is meant to warn you to use a tripod if you're not using IS, but comes on whether you are or not, below around 1/60 of a second. I can show you a ton of sharp photos taken below that artificial limit. At full zoom, you can generally get sharpness handheld down to as low as 1/15, at wideangle, maybe as slow as 1/2 or 1 sec. As for "gain up," I think that it happens in all automatic exposure modes to some degree, but doesn't happen in manual exposure modes. I've never had a situation yet with my FZ10, other than standing outside at night, when I couldn't at least see something to frame on.

zookeeper
10-07-2004, 08:50 PM
I've had my FZ20 for about 10 days and so far I love it. Yes, the EVF/LCD does not gain up in the dim/dark light. If you're in a room with even only one lamp on, you should still have enough light to 'frame' your picture. Stay in the wide angle mode and crop later if you are a little off. I played with my camera in the grandkids bedroom with only a 4 watt nitelite. It was barely enough light so that I could avoid the toys on the floor. I set the camera to auto focus and AF assist lamp on and internal flash on. I tested picture framing (aim) results relative to where the 'red light spot' from the AF assist lamp shined. Not using the EVF/LCD to locate my subject, I just shined the AF assist lamp spot on the subject and 'shot from the hip'. Whithin 3-4 shots you should be able to locate the spot (mine is at the top half of the frame) relative to your subject. This is a simple way to shoot in the dark-dark. Anything else you should still be able to use the EVF/LCD. Given all the positives of this camera, (speed, continuous shooting, great pic results, and that FANTASTIC 12X LEICA lens, OH yes, and the price), you can't boo-hoo this camera because of no gain-up. Get it, you'll love it. :) :) - Jerry G.