Support Material For YouTube Series - Panasonic Bridge Cameras Revisited.

AutoFocus Modes and Styles and Affects on Burst Modes

 

In Part 4 of this series I took a look at the Autofocus facility of the bridge camera range.

 

The normal way to initiate AF is to half depress the camera shutter button ( I'm assuming that the default mode of Shutter AF is set ON).

 

However there is an alternative method that is popular with sports and wildlife photographers - Back Button Focus

Because each camera in the bridge camera range is slightly different when looking at the setup for this mode I am detailing each camera here to show the actual setup for each camera.

For the FZ80/82

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the FZ80/82 begin by setting the AF/AE Lock in the custom setup menu to AF ON

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set the Shutter AF to OFF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally set the Half Press Release to ON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now to carry out back focus you simply compose your image, then press hand hold the AF/AE lock button to set the focus.

Press the shutter button to complete the exposure.

If you need to take multiple images with the same focus set then you simply just press the shutter button.

Release the AF/AE lock button to release the focus.

For the FZ200

 

 

 

 

 

 

The FZ200 is a little more complicated as it doesn't have the same degree of control as the other cameras in the range.

 

The Back button focus can be implemented by setting the AF/AE Lock to AF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only caveat is that the AF/AE Lock button should not have been re-programmed as a Fn2 operation

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the AF/AE Lock set to AF whenever the button is pressed the AFL lock indicator will appear on the LCD/EVF and the focus will be locked at this position.

Pressing the shutter button completes the exposure as though it had been set to half press release on.

The AF will stay locked until the button is pressed again.

For the FZ300/330

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The FZ300/330 has the AF/AE Lock button surrounded by the AF Mode switch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn the AE/AF Lock to ON

and Shutter AF to OFF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn Half Press ease to ON

For the FZ1000 mk1  & mk2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The FZ1000 is like the FZ300 with the AE/AF Lock Button within the AF Style switch

 

 

 

 

 

Set the AF/AE Lock to AF-ON

Set the Shutter AF to OFF

Set Half Press Release to ON

Schematic for the working version of the FZ200 AGC Defeat Unit

 

The final circuit turned out to be more simplistic than I had originally thought.

I assumed that the input would need to be a sine wave to prevent harmonic distortion if a square or triangular wave was used for the input to the camera. In testing I found that the camera would still perform well with a square wave input so I decide to try both an astable multi-vibrator pair of transistors running at 20 KHz and a NE555 timer IC.

In the end I decide to use the more stable 555 IC as the frequency remained solid even during the battery run down.

Here is the schematic for the project.

The timing is done by R2-C2 giving 20KHz. The output from pin 3 is attenuated by R1-R3  to 7-8millivolts at the camera input after being coupled with the mic input and allowing for its impedance.

the right hand mic input goes straight to the camera input whilst the left hand input has the 20KHz signal injected into it.

If you wanted to get finer control of the AGC defeat voltage  input R3 could be substituted with a 27K resistor and a 100K potentiometer in parallel with it. The output would be taken to C3 form the wiper of the pot. This would allow the output to be set for 0V to about 10millivolts.

The unit is powered by a PP3 9v battery.

Here is the built unit. I used a stereo splitter cable from £/$ store to get the wired 3.5mm inline socket. The 2.5mm plug I wired but again it could be obtained from a 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable if you didn't want to have to solder one up.

The version 2 of this unit now features a trim pot (22K) in place of R3 ( the wiper connects to C3) so that you can adjust the level of the bias signal sent to the FZ200. Adjust to about 1/3 or the rotation as a starting point. Do a test recording with the unit on and adjust the trim pot until the background noise doesn't increase when you stop talking.

Modifying the Qutaway 5v to 9v Conversion cable for 8.4 Volts

 

This is the pcb from the Qutaway product. The case is easily removed by inserting a sharp blade at each corner and prising the two halve apart.

 

on the left is the input from the USB plug and on the right the output cable.

 

We are going to add a series diode in the red output lead to drop the 9v to 8.4v as shown below.

 

Note that the adaptor featured here will support video recording or burst mode with electronic shutter and single mode shooting with the mechanical shutter operative otherwise the camera demands too much current and resets when used with the FZ2000/2500, on the FZ1000 it is OK.

Here you can see the addition of the GP150 silicon diode (or a 1n54 series diode) connected in series with the red lead.

 

De-solder the red lead from the pcb, insert the diode with the anode (plain end marking) to the pcb and then connect the red cable to the cathode (ringed end) of the diode.

Ensure the diode is clear of the pcb when installed.

Re-fix the covers and add suitable marking to the unit to designate it now to be 8.4 volt output.

 

The completed unit.

 

Amazon link for module

 

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2w34ZW5

Amazon USA http://amzn.to/2u1w52s