- Live View only in Preview Mode
- Can't shut off Burst Mode
This only affects some FZ50s... so far only European models, which have an E at the end of the model number. The problem is this.... there's no continuous live view, it only works in Preview Mode, and you have to switch to a different mode before you can shoot a picture. Obviously this is useless for stopmotion purposes. On these cameras, it states clearly in the manual that live view is only provided in Preview mode. My camera is a US model, and it doesn't say that in the manual (the live view just works all the time, no matter what mode it's set to).
The fix -
Hold down the delete key for 5 seconds in record mode
There is an undocumented function in the fz50: if you hold down the delete key for 5 seconds in record mode then you get an ntsc live video feed. Important... this is only an NTSC feed... you need to make sure your computer or framegrabber is set to accept an NTSC feed (if you're in the US or Canada then it is already set to NTSC). My theory is that it's the European models that need this fix, so generally speaking, you'll need to switch your computer or framegrabber to NTSC mode in order to make this work. You might have to do this several times, but once it "takes", Live View remains on indefinitely.
This is a problem with all the FZ50s, and in fact with apparently all Lumix cameras. Once Burst Mode has been turned on, it can't be turned off!! Well, it can in certain modes, but not in Manual mode, which is the mode we need. For stopmotion of course, you wouldn't use Burst Mode... if you did you'd end up with three to five frames every time you try to take one. That would be - counterproductive to say the least! But some people will be using the Lumix for still photography as well as animation, or might just mess around with settings while learning how to set it up properly - or, since we have to buy the FZ50 used (it's no longer being manufactured) it's possible the former owner had used Burst Mode and it's already stuck there. Heck, maybe thats why they're selling it cheap!!
The fix -
Reset the record settings in the main menu
Check your manual on how to perform a reset of the camera. That will turn it off. It should be in the setup menu.