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FZ300 focus problems (1 Viewer)

Carpathian Ed

Well-known member
Hi guys

I finally splurged on a new camera as my old Canon SX412 was terrible at focusing.
So I bought an FX300. Which is even worse at focusing. Using it for video I'm amazed at the quality, but when I use it for wildlife photography, every single photo turns out blurred. I've attached a couple of examples. I've adjusted the eyepiece focus thing but that doesn't seem to matter. Please help.
 

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Hauksen

Forum member
Hi guys

I finally splurged on a new camera as my old Canon SX412 was terrible at focusing.
So I bought an FX300. Which is even worse at focusing. Using it for video I'm amazed at the quality, but when I use it for wildlife photography, every single photo turns out blurred. I've attached a couple of examples. I've adjusted the eyepiece focus thing but that doesn't seem to matter. Please help.
Hi Ed,

Try to judge the focus from photos of non-moving objects first.

The FZ300, if it's anything like the FZ200, has a rather slow focus, so it's hard to get moving objects into proper focus reliably.

Which focus mode are you using? If it's on fully automatic, stuff in the foreground can easily be mistaken for the intended main subject, causing the camera to mis-focus.

Regards,

Henning
 

Carpathian Ed

Well-known member
Hi Ed,

Try to judge the focus from photos of non-moving objects first.

The FZ300, if it's anything like the FZ200, has a rather slow focus, so it's hard to get moving objects into proper focus reliably.

Which focus mode are you using? If it's on fully automatic, stuff in the foreground can easily be mistaken for the intended main subject, causing the camera to mis-focus.

Regards,

Henning
Hi Henning. It's doing the same even with stationary objects. I'm using full automatic. And distance doesn't seem to matter - any use of zoom seems to mess up focus
 

Hauksen

Forum member
Hi Henning. It's doing the same even with stationary objects. I'm using full automatic. And distance doesn't seem to matter - any use of zoom seems to mess up focus
Hi Ed,

Hm, that doesn't sound good. You could try to go to program mode and select either centre area or point focus mode to see if that changes anything.

Generally, subjects like a solitary goose sitting on a mostly featureless meadow are difficult for any autofocus, but if you take a photograph and the autofocus is off, there should be something in the picture that's actually sharp.

If you find those sharp picture elements, you have a first clue for figuring out what the camera is actually doing.

(Does the FZ300 have a manual focus mode, by the way? My ex had the FZ200, and I used the FZ30 and the FZ1000, but I don't remember all the details, except that the user interface was reasonably consistent between all those Panasonic cameras.)

Regards,

Henning
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
It’s been a long time since I used a bridge camera, but you need to take more control it seems. Likely, the shutter time was too long and movement of the camera is to blame if there is nothing sharp. Secondly, a focus setting where only a small center square is wha the camera use to focus on is what I used to use.
Niels
 

tonytoned

Active member
Hi guys

I finally splurged on a new camera as my old Canon SX412 was terrible at focusing.
So I bought an FX300. Which is even worse at focusing. Using it for video I'm amazed at the quality, but when I use it for wildlife photography, every single photo turns out blurred. I've attached a couple of examples. I've adjusted the eyepiece focus thing but that doesn't seem to matter. Please help.

Hello Ed

Have you checked to see what focus mode your in. The little lever just to the right of the viewfinder. If it's in AFC the camera will continuously keep trying to focus. Failing that it could be one of the settings in the menu. I have this camera and have it set on focussing by press the little button where the focussing modes are. I 'll have another look when I get home from work. If you haven't already you can download the manual from the net.

Good luck

Tony
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
Hi guys

I finally splurged on a new camera as my old Canon SX412 was terrible at focusing.
So I bought an FX300. Which is even worse at focusing. Using it for video I'm amazed at the quality, but when I use it for wildlife photography, every single photo turns out blurred. I've attached a couple of examples. I've adjusted the eyepiece focus thing but that doesn't seem to matter. Please help.

I had similar looking photos with my FZ200 (several times). Every time it tuned out that the little lever on the left side of the lens had accidentally been moved to MF (manual focus). That can happen very easily when one moves the camera around, as there is no lock. Good luck, I hope it is just this simple problem.
 

ipo

Member
MF was the other option I was going to mention but this is more clearly shown in the display.
 

Carpathian Ed

Well-known member
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I'm trying to learn to use it more manually, but I'm still confused about changing the F buttons...
One thing I did pick up on the internet, which has resolved my issue a little bit, was that the FZ300 doesn't react well to certain types of UV filter. I was using a rotating Polaroid UV filter and have since switched to a fixed Polaroid UV filter, and there is a remarkable improvement - still nowhere near crystal clear but not the abomination it once was...
 

John Nihon

_______________
I'd start by removing all additions (filters, etc) that you've got on the camera, go back to basics with settings and see what happens. Take photos of something simple and stationary and work your way forwards from there. Good luck.
 

Carpathian Ed

Well-known member
Thanks John. I've also learned that you have to be careful which 'expert' on youtube to listen to or not. I followed the instructions of one bloke and i should really have been paying attention to the quality of his own video...
It's funny you mention something stationary. My wife always laughs at me for taking pictures of fungi, because she says at least they don't fly off so i can actually get a photo...
 

bflginidx

Well-known member
Hi guys

I finally splurged on a new camera as my old Canon SX412 was terrible at focusing.
So I bought an FX300. Which is even worse at focusing. Using it for video I'm amazed at the quality, but when I use it for wildlife photography, every single photo turns out blurred. I've attached a couple of examples. I've adjusted the eyepiece focus thing but that doesn't seem to matter. Please help.
Ed,

Just saw this thread and wondering how you're doing. I had the FZ300 and liked it a lot. It's quite a powerful camera but also a bit complex. Graham Houghton is a British photographer/tinkerer and FZ300 guru who I found when I was looking for some help with mine. Here's a basic tutorial that you can check out. If you like it he has a lot more helpful information on YouTube and his webpage.

Cheers,
Steve
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Ed,

Just saw this thread and wondering how you're doing. I had the FZ300 and liked it a lot. It's quite a powerful camera but also a bit complex. Graham Houghton is a British photographer/tinkerer and FZ300 guru who I found when I was looking for some help with mine. Here's a basic tutorial that you can check out. If you like it he has a lot more helpful information on YouTube and his webpage.

Cheers,
Steve

Hi Steve,

I have the FZ330 with the Panasonic 1.7 extender.

There is a wide spectrum of quality across the pictures depending upon the light, but that's fine because we get enough nice days to make the camera a worthwhile purchase.

I've had the camera for 6 months now and have taken some decent pictures, although not on the level of many on this forum, and the reason for saying that is I believe I'm qualified to give a beginner's view of the camera.

In terms of it being complex, my view is it is as complex as you want to make it. I've settled on aperture around 5/5.6, ISO200 when in the open and it's sunny and ISO400 when in the open and there's a bit of cloud or when in wooded areas and the sun is shining through. In any of those circumstances I don't need in-camera noise reduction nor photo-editing noise reduction, which is part of the purpose given that noise reduction will go towards destroying detail. Shutter speed will vary between 640 and 2500 in those situations. So, for me, not much to mess about with really.

I think it's important to have a basic understanding of the technical aspects of the camera but at least equally important is developing a knack of getting close to birds and having a technique for keeping the camera still.

I always use mine handheld because I like the walk in nature also and you don't really read much on how to hold the camera still when the experienced are giving advice, but in my limited experience the latter will make or break your picture much more than say going from 800 to 1500 shutter speed for example.

I was out the other day and had the luxury of being able to rest my arms on a bridge. The difference in the sharpness in that picture was stark when compared with other pictures I take, and I think generally I'm not bad at keeping the camera still when not resting on something although I think most times there will be a little bit of movement when handheld.

I suppose what I'm saying is that my beginner's advice would be to not get lost in the technical aspects of the camera. A basic understanding is essential but in the event you can't get close to birds and you can't get keep the camera pretty still, then technical genius won't help you one bit.
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Thanks John. I've also learned that you have to be careful which 'expert' on youtube to listen to or not. I followed the instructions of one bloke and i should really have been paying attention to the quality of his own video...
It's funny you mention something stationary. My wife always laughs at me for taking pictures of fungi, because she says at least they don't fly off so i can actually get a photo...

Ed,

I have the same camera. Have a look at my pictures. They're far from the standard of many on this forum but they're not bad. Then have a look at some pictures online with the same camera and you'll find there are people out there producing out of this world pictures with this camera.

So, given that there are people out there taking top class pictures with the same camera, that leaves you and I and our ability to make the best of it.

Because I'm always on the move I'm subject to where the bird is, and so I've settled on certain parameters according to the conditions that will broadly help me unless the bird is between me and the sun. And, there's nothing complicated about those parameters: aperture mode a couple of stops up from the widest lens, ISO200 when it's bright and ISO400 when it's not so bright. In those situations I'll get shutter speed anywhere between 640 and 2500. I don't bother going out on a day when there's not much light because I find this camera doesn't work well in those conditions. I'd much rather go out all day from sunrise to sunset on a nice day than spread out the same time over a few days which aren't offering much light: I think it is time wasted with this camera.

The camera doesn't have the zoom of some other cameras which means you need to find your own technique to get close to birds and no matter the camera you need to keep it pretty still which I've found is not as easy as you'd think at first light and takes effort and practice.

My advice would be to go out on a nice day, use aperture mode, and practice keeping the camera steady. All of the rest, such as the technical aspects of the camera is for farther down the line once you have the basics nailed down, and, like anything in life: you need the basics right to be able to progress farther.
 

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