Reminiscing the Panasonic Lumix FZ18

Red Arrows at Farnborough International Airshow 2008
Red Arrows at Farnborough International Airshow 2008

The Panasonic Lumix FZ18 was an amazing bridge camera.

This picture was taken with the Lumix shortly before I upgraded to a Nikon D40. As the situation demanded, the aperture was set for a depth of field spanning from the hyper-focal distance to infinity, and the camera was pointed in a direction that would place the Red Arrows in the frame as they flew by.

My only criticism of the Lumix FZ18 was that it produced a lot of digital noise in pictures. This photo captured at ISO 100 is noisier than pictures taken at ISO 3200 from modern DSLR cameras.


  1. I have some problems focusing at hyper-focal distance. I understand the concept, but only one of my three lenses have distance scale. That said, this is usually not a big problem. When shooting night photos, I tend to use a small aperture which tends to make things in focust over a greater distance.

  2. I like using the DOF scale. Apart from setting hyper-focal distance for landscape (and airshow photography), I use it to pre-set the DOF in street photography. Do you use the auto DOF feature of your Canon camera?

  3. I am not sure I understand your questions. Do you mean the depth of field preview button? If yes, I have rarely used it. For my night shots in Paris, I was using between f/11 and f/22. Using the depth of field preview button darkened the viewfinder too much at this time of the day. Night photography can be forgiving in this situation. At f/11 and f/16, there is a lot of depth of field, although diffraction can be an issue. I then focused on a distant light. I may be doing it the wrong way, but I am still learning :-)

    1. Not the DOF preview button, but the “auto DOF” feature that Canon cameras apparently have. (You lock focus on the far object, lock focus again on the near object, then lock focus a third time to confirm auto DOF.) Look it up online.

      The proper way to focus when you have a big DOF is to do so on an object about 1/3 in the DOF range; not on a far object because your foreground might get out of focus then.

  4. I don’t recall having seen the “auto DOF” in the manual. I will have to check it out again. It was not easy for me to fine an object 1/3 of my DOF range. When I was shooting this:, I was on a bridge with only water between me and the church. I was not sure where the 1/3 was. I may well be unaware of a way to do this.

    You know, I think I like photography a lot because I learn something new every day, and have fun doing so.

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