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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    3

    Cool DMC-FZ5 manual focus presets?

    I am contemplating purchasing a DMC-FZ5 for
    aerial photography. This must be a point-and-click
    operation. I need to be able to disable auto-focus
    and preset for focus at infinity (otherwise the
    camera may auto-focus onto bugs on wind-screen!)
    Can this be done with the 'FZ5?

    Also I am hoping that image stabilisation will overcome
    aircraft vibrations. Does anyone have any experience
    with this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    western pa
    Posts
    2,334
    The FZ5 has no manual focus ...but I doubt it would focus on a bug.
    The FZ20 and 30 do have manual focus and can be locked on infinity.
    until you zoom or turn the camera off.
    I am sure they will all take nice photos from a small plane.
    .






    Gene
    http://grc225.zenfolio.com/
    http://imageevent.com/grc6
    one of these days I'll understand!

    Panasonic FZ20 & FZ30,FZ18
    D50 -- D80

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    3

    Further concern about focus-cycling

    Thanks - maybe bugs was a bit of an exaggeration -
    what I am more concerned about is that often parts
    of the plane body, window catches, etc are visible
    in these shots. These might be substantial enough to
    trigger a re-focussing. Also I have the camera resting on
    a seat between shots. Here an auto-focus will go
    to one extreme, then just before the shot with the camera
    aimed, the auto-focus will have to adjust to the other
    extreme (infinity). Is it possible to avoid this cycling (and delay)
    with the FZ5? (or with any non-manual focus digital camera)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    western pa
    Posts
    2,334
    I do not have a FZ5 but I believe if you zoom then the camera will not focus on anything closer than 7 ft.....also you can use spot focus so you should be able to avoid things you do not want it to focus on.

    But the FZ20 or 30 will do what you want, once you set the Manual focus and do not zoom or turn off the camera the focus will remain.

    I do not think you are giving the autofocus enough credit it is very accurate and quite fast.

    While I do not have a plane I have taken lots of pictures thru a window of a car.
    .






    Gene
    http://grc225.zenfolio.com/
    http://imageevent.com/grc6
    one of these days I'll understand!

    Panasonic FZ20 & FZ30,FZ18
    D50 -- D80

  5. #5
    Phineas Guest
    AF Trigger [AF TRIGGER]
    When taking a picture with prefocus, set
    the button for starting AF (Auto focus) to
    [FOCUS] on [AF TRIGGER].
    Prefocus is a technique to focus on the
    point where you take a picture of the
    subject with quick motion.
    This function is suitable when the distance
    between the camera and the subject is
    pre-determined.


    Quote from the manual, seems pre-focus is available on the FZ5 (Haven't had a chance to try it yet, just got the cam)

    edit: http://www.panasonic.co.uk/customer-...131750&fmt=pdf (Link to the manual download, if you want to read more, page 77)
    Last edited by Phineas; 01-11-2006 at 03:10 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    68
    The FZ-5 has the prefocus option which would ultimately lock it. You set the AF Trigger to 'FOCUS', point it at the subject you wish to focus on, press the focus button on the camera body until the subject is in focus. Then as long as you don't touch the focus button again it will stay in the same focus. Although you do have to focus again if you zoom in/out. I think this would work good for you if the plane stays at a relatively consistent altitude.

    Using the autofocus would also work IMO because unless you have the camera set on continuous auto focus then it won't focus on the cockpit of the plane, then have to focus on the ground. It would stay focused towards the ground but would re-focus once the shutter button is pressed halfway.

    So there is a way to lock the focus on the FZ-5 so you should be able to take aerial photos fairly quickly. I hope this helps you decide on which camera to purchase. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    3

    Smile Prefocus arguably better than manual focus.

    I tried a FZ5 using prefocus - and it seems to be
    an even better solution to a manual focus camera -
    (i.e. on FZ20 with a manual focus ring) which could
    be accidently rotated when picking up the camera.

    Thanks to all for the advice.

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