Has anyone had problems with overexposure on the FZ1000?


I have had the same problem develop with 3 Panasonic Lumix bridge cameras - one 200 and two 1000s. Jessops, from whom I bought the cameras, have been brilliant, but the Panasonic Agency in the UK (DK AVS Horley) have provided a dismal service, so much so that Jessops have agreed to replace the camera for the second time. Because of the problems I have had, they would like me to get a different camera. However, I cannot find anything which matches the specs and performance for the Lumix FZ1000 in a similar price range. I have checked out a wide variety of makes and models. One thing I require is a manual focus ring and not a so-called electronic manual focus which is not manual in practice. I would also lose out on the various accessories I have bought which wouldn't fit another camera.

Before I choose yet another Panasonic Lumix FZ1000, I am wondering if you are aware of how common the problem is of Panasonic cameras overexposing on Aperture priority mode and not responding to the rear dial wheel which becomes completely unable to compensate? Have I just been very unlucky? Or could it possibly be my fault for some reason?

I will explain the problem in more detail below. I am sorry it is a long explanation, but I really need to know how common this fault is. Please let me know.

Here is a summary of the history of my problems with Panasonic Lumix cameras:

1. I first bought a Lumix FZ200 in 2013. I wasted a lot of money having it repaired three times, but it still went wrong. It kept developing an intermittent fault of over-exposing on the Aperture Priority mode (A). When this fault occurs, manually reducing the exposure to -5 makes no difference - the photos are STILL over-exposed to the same degree, whether it is set to 0 or -5.
In November 2018, I cut my losses, gave this camera to a friend in Uganda and bought a new camera in January 2019 from Jessops in Leicester.
2. I bought another Lumix camera, this time an FZ1000. I believed I had just been unlucky with the previous camera and that a manufacturer with such a good reputation for making quality cameras would not regularly make cameras with the same fault. I also wanted a camera with a proper manual focus ring, which not many seem to have.
3. Within 2 months of occasional use, the same fault (once again intermittent, not permanent) started again on my new Lumix camera while we were on a special winter cruise in Norway in March 2019. My preferred mode for taking almost all my photos is Aperture Priority (A). Without warning, the camera would go from taking photos properly exposed to over-exposing the same or similar subject even though they always looked fine through the view finder. Even when manually compensating to -5, the photos were still just as over-exposed on the A mode although they were fine on the iA mode. At first, turning the camera off and on again several times usually stopped the fault - until several days later when it occurred again. Not only is there less control, but photos taken in iA mode are not such good quality. I was therefore very disappointed - the same fault, albeit intermittent and occasional, that I had experienced with my previous FZ200 camera had occurred on a two-month-old more expensive camera.
4. In May 2019, I went to the UK coast to take photos of sea birds flying over the sea and nesting on the cliffs of North Yorkshire. I got some good photos, despite the bright light and white birds. But then the camera developed the fault again, of over-exposing even though the subjects were fine through the view finder. I wrote to DK to complain about it, sending a few sample photos by email (I couldn't send comparative photos because flying birds disappear). They dismissed it and said of course these photos would be over-exposed because of the bright conditions and white birds! Really?? Is it impossible to take good photos of white birds in bright sunlight? What good is a camera that can't take consistently good photos in all circumstances when using appropriate settings? I decided to continue using the camera.
5. In July 2019, I went back to the same location to try and take some more photos. Once again, the fault occurred - intermittently but more frequently. It was so frustrating and disappointing. I took some comparative photos using the A mode, P mode and iA mode - and then switched to iA as even on the P mode, the exposure was often not right although much better than on A mode.
6. At this point, in July 2019, I decided to take the camera back to Jessops where I had bought it, and ask them to help as I was going on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to Madagascar in September to photograph wildlife and so wanted a camera that wasn't going to let me down. Since the camera was only two months old when it first showed the fault, I wanted it replaced because, surely, a brand new expensive camera which has hardly been used shouldn't develop a fault, should it?? Jessops sent it back to DK, with some sample photos. Thankfully, they took notice of Jessops (having dismissed me in May) and examined the camera. Guess what - they found that there was indeed a fault (not damage). They refused to replace it with a new camera, saying that they would only replace it after three repairs. Anyway, they replaced several parts, namely a "replacement lens 3rd frame and the lens 5th frame unit", stating that "this item is faulty not damaged"
7. What kind of a service and guarantee is that - that they will only replace a camera after it has been repaired three times? It implies that their cameras frequently go wrong and have to be repaired and that they will only accept defeat if it has to be repaired three times and still goes wrong. Or perhaps they hope it will be out of the warranty period by then and they will no longer be liable?
8. I was very uneasy about taking a repaired camera that had developed the same fault as my previous camera to Madagascar, having lost confidence in Panasonic. After only a few days in Madagascar, it developed the same fault, albeit intermittent and occasional. Once again, the biggest problem was on the A mode. With identical settings (ie: compensating by reducing the exposure manually to -5), the photo on A mode was still completely over-exposed, on P mode slightly over-exposed, but on iA it was so dark there was little detail. The subject as seen in the view-finder in all 3 modes looked almost black. So with manual compensation set at -5, the photo taken on A mode was still completely washed out, the photo on P mode was just about acceptable (slightly over-exposed) and the photo taken on iA mode was blacked out.
9. I had just 3 weeks between my return from Madagascar and my next trip to Uganda, so there wasn't long to sort it out. I took it back to Jessops on 11.10.19 who sent it back to DK. They agreed that it wasn't acceptable that it needed to be repaired a second time when both my previous camera and this new camera had developed the same problem again immediately after being repaired. I was not willing to accept another repair job when previous repair jobs had not solved the problem. Through Jessops, who were brilliant, I demanded a replacement camera. Jessops failed to get anywhere with DK, so agreed to replace the camera with another Lumix FZ1000 for me (on 25.10.19). I want to say at this point how impressed I have been with Jessops for their excellent customer care, unlike DK's customer care which has been terrible.
10. I set off for Uganda with my new (third) Lumix camera, assuming I had just been unlucky with the previous two cameras. But no!! It wasn't just the previous cameras that developed this fault. This third, brand new replacement camera also developed the same fault after only a week.
11. Whilst in Uganda, I also used the Lumix FZ200 which I had given my friend last year. Sometimes, the exposure was fine in A mode, but more often, it was over-exposing and we had to revert to iA.

I have now had three Lumix cameras - and all have them have developed the same fault of sometimes over-exposing on the Aperture Priority mode without any warning and even when I have attempted to compensate manually by reducing the exposure to -5. It would seem Panasonic has a serious design fault. I can't believe I have been so unlucky as to be the only person who has experienced this fault in all three Lumix cameras which I have owned. Maybe a lot of people with Lumix cameras don't actually use the A mode, in which case perhaps they would not have suffered from this problem? Despite wanting to get another Panasonic Lumix FZ1000, should I avoid it?

This caused me upset because of being unable on so many occasions to take the quality of photos I expect, which can never be repeated or recaptured. I am also extremely dissatisfied and upset not just with DK's service and poor customer care, but also with Panasonic.

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Tianshi_angie 5 2.8k England
23 Jan 2020 11:10AM
I wonder if you may get more response if you ask this question on a Flickr group that is dedicated to the FZ1000 owners. The folk on here own every make of camera in all the various models so the chances of getting a response is going to be slim. I suspect you would get more response from a dedicated group. I don't think this is lack of interest but lack of specific knowledge.
Thank you very much, Tainshi Angie, for taking the time and trouble to respond - and thank you for your suggestion.
Chris_L 6 5.5k United Kingdom
23 Jan 2020 2:11PM
What metering mode do you use?
Thank you for responding. I use the multiple metering mode.
Chris_L 6 5.5k United Kingdom
24 Jan 2020 12:44PM
What's your usual aperture setting and ISO setting please? What about other settings? Can you upload a few images to your ePz portfolio, maybe you can share half a dozen originals straight from camera from Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or what have you as either it's a setting you've missed or out of the thousands of these cameras sold you are the only person who got a faulty one and it would be interesting to get to the bottom of it.
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I'm not sure if the photos have uploaded properly. As I was working through them, I noticed that the ISO for the over-exposed ones on A priority was 3200 - but not the ones taken on iA. However, I certainly didn't change the ISO (or anything else) between taking the photos, so I don't understand that. In usually work with an ISO of 200, especially outdoors in Uganda.

DK found a fault each time with the first two cameras (the 200 and the first 1000) - and repaired them. So I don't think it is something I am doing wrong with the settings.

Thank you for helping me find a solution.
Chris_L 6 5.5k United Kingdom
24 Jan 2020 5:52PM
Well ISO of 3200 would cause a problem in bright conditions. These are uploaded to the forum and they are perfect examples, but for troubleshooting purposes you need to upload them to your portfolio here - you can do this from a lot of pages by choosing the icon that looks like an up arrow inside a cloud a the top right of the page.

I think I know what the problem is, autobracketing, but I need to check the exif, when you upload make sure it's to your portfolio folder, not the gallery too
Thank you. I'm just going out, so will sort this out tomorrow.
Chris_L 6 5.5k United Kingdom
26 Jan 2020 2:05PM
Any joy?
Chris_L 6 5.5k United Kingdom
28 Jan 2020 4:30AM
When autobracketing is set then over several shots exposure will be okay, over or under, even if you move location between firing the shutter. When the power goes off the bracketing sequence may reset. It's consistent with what you have reported and what you have uploaded. If you did set it, thinking it did something differently, then rather than a faulty camera, it was your mistake - and we all make them - but it means you can get another fz1000 and chalk it up to experience.
Thanks Chris fr your suggestions. I never use auto-bracketing. I accept that it could be something I'm doing wrong. However, there are two points that suggest it is an actual fault.
1. The camera can be working fine and then suddenly, in the same environment and conditions, and without me making any changes, it over-exposes. Having now noticed that the over-exposed photos are taken on an ISO 3200 (which I have only ever once used, and that was when photographing the Northern Lights) and yet the next photos, on P and iA, are taken with ISO 125, then I wonder if that means there is a fault with the ISO mechanism since I don't change anything when I have taken the comparative photos in succession.
2. When the cameras have been sent back to DK, Horley, they have actually found a fault - and repaired it. They have not said there is nothing wrong and therefore it must be something I am doing wrong. They actually stated on the last repair invoice: "This item is faulty not damaged". And they replaced several parts, namely a "replacement lens 3rd frame and the lens 5th frame unit". I have no idea what that means or whether that accounts for the problem of over-exposure. But I am sure they would not have replaced those parts if the camera had not been faulty.
Chris_L 6 5.5k United Kingdom
28 Jan 2020 11:44PM
Something is up then. Some kind of bug. There are a couple of other complaints about strange behaviour like this for example and this this
Thank you, Chris, for the links to previous threads. Some of it is beyond me, but it does seem some people have experienced something similar which is due to the actual design. However, no one has responded saying they have actually had a fault repaired, so maybe I have just been unlucky, combined with the particular design 'fault' mentioned in these other threads.
Chris_L 6 5.5k United Kingdom
30 Jan 2020 2:28AM
These days most of the settings are software controlled, the built-in software - called firmware - can be updated. The camera itself can be reset to factory defaults (like on a computer where you might format your hard disk and reinstall your operating system).

The Northern Lights are something that will be very hit and miss in any kind of automatic mode. The camera's light meter would be seeing different values every time the lights change or you move your camera. I would shoot those in manual.

This is the kind of thing they replaced, and they may have done that as a way of troubleshooting very quickly rather than finding out exactly which component may have failed.

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