I have had my TZ-7 since July 2009 and I love it. However, the lens has acquired a scratch recently and I think it's down to a design fault with the lens cover. Despite the fact that I keep the camera and lens spotless (I am a professional TV Cameraman so used to caring for lenses), the leaves of the lens cover appear to have damaged the coating on the apex of the lens as they actually make contact with it. There is a resulting small scratch in line with the doors which causes flare in the middle of any picture taken towards a light source or the sun. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm trying to get it repaired under warranty since it really isn't misuse of the camera that's caused the damage.
Hi, Yes I have. It started with a microscopic mark which I thought must be my fault, but as time went on it got worse and worse and close examination shows there are many thin vertical scratches - aligned in the direction the cover moves as it opens and closes.
Yes I have the same problem, It looks like a scratch and blurs the center of my photos, especially in direct sunlight. I have recommended this camera to a good friend who after 6 months has the same problem. After doing some research on th net it is obvious there is a substantial problem with the shutter mechanism. Please keep me informed of any outcome and i will do the same as I plan to contact Panasonic directly.
Hi - an update! I arranged a warranty repair via DKAVS, Panasonic's authorised repairer. I posted the camera on a Wednesday and had it back, repaired, free, on the following Saturday morning. There was no guarantee from DK that I wouldn't have to pay a cost but I included and explanatory letter and photos showing the effect of the scratch and they didn't charge me anything. The only cost involved was sending it special delivery to DK in Crawley. This is fantastic service and I just have to hope that the design fault with the lens door has been corrected by the repair. Well done DK, I'm very impressed!
Contact Panasonic and don't be put off by their attitude of 'you must have abused it - it's not a design fault' - it IS a design flaw, to say the least, but they will never admit to this over the phone. It seems to affect most of the TZ superzooms (6,7,8,10 and possibly even the new 20) because they all have a very similar mechanism for the lens cover. However, DKAVS (one of Panasonic's authorised repairers), who fixed my camera, just replaced the lens assembly without quibble. I did include a polite letter explaining that the camera (which was genuinely immaculate) had been used properly and cared for and stored in a proper case. I pointed out that the flimsy nature of the lens cover allowed it to bend inward and skim the surface of the lens on opening and closing and that, as the scratches were in line with the doors, it was clear that they had been caused by them and not a foreign object. Good luck - if you've looked after your TZ10 as well as I have my 7, you should be fine.
Unfortunately my TZ7 turns out to be a "grey import" from Saudi Arabia. I've contacted Panasonic three times about it, but they deny any responsibility. I bought it online and had never heard of "grey imports". The lack of a CE mark should have been a clue.
The scratches have gradually got worse and worse and spoil the majority of photos taken with it now.
Thanks for all your messages. I rang Panasonic they were very brief just gave me the number of their service agent, they also have one in Manchester but I decided to send it to DKAVS who were very helpful on phone. Posted today delivery between 9am and 1pm tomorrow so hoefully should hear something in next few days. I'll keep you posted on my status with them.
Thanks again for your replies gave me more confidence to ring them.
Hi there. What was your outcome? I've had my Lumix TZ7 for just under 2 years so its out of warranty. And there is now a deep vertical scratch in the cente of the lens. A white flare can be seen through the lcd and some pictures and videos from my holiday have this on them. I'm very disappointed as I paid £270 for the camera from amazon and have not damaged it myself. I've emailed Panasonic but they've not replied.
Hi Angela, as mentioned elsewhere, try contacting DKAVS (google DKAVS or DK Audio Visual services) as they were very helpful to me. Panasonic are hopeless but their appointed repairer DK are much more positive. They repaired mine under warranty (it was under a year old) but I reckon they would quote you (reasonably) for a new out-of-warranty lens assembly. Good luck! Ian
I have had my TZ 7 since September 2009 and I have a lens scratch. My camera is out of warranty and DKAVS couldn't give me a repair estimate. Has anyone any experience sending the camera to DKAVS if its out of warranty? Given the number of people who have experienced this problem, it's clear to me that it is a design fault. Do I bite the bullet and buy a different make - If so, any recommendations?
Yes, I have. I sent mine to them with a letter saying I think its a design fault but they ignored this and charged me just under £100, I think it was. Very disappointing but it was that or get a new camera. My camera itself probably looks a bit battered, but I did explain that I always take great care of the lens. Don't think there's much you can do, Panasonic get away with it, a bit like Microsoft get away with issuing crap Vista then make us pay for Windows 7. Hope this helps. Angie Elliott
Hi Catherine, I've eventually returned to the Sony fold :-) I bought a TZ20 because of its 1080 HD video and it was dreadful - very noisy pics especially in low light. I have since landed on a Sony HX9V. They're great an have a metal lens cover so no more lens scratches. They've also just been updated (HX10V I think) so there are a good few discounts on the HX9V. Good luck!
I have a TZ8 and within 18 months of purchase scratches developed on the lens, the marks looked mechanically caused and were perfect straight lines, they gradually got worse and caused lens-flare on photos, I contacted the manufacturer they told me to send the camera to their authorised repairer, the repair company requested cost assistance from the manufacturer but this was declined, the repair cost me £84 plus postage. Within 6 weeks the fault started to reoccur, I've had cameras for many years and always take care of them, I've never had this problem before, I know it's not me that's causing these marks. Looking at different forums this problem is happening to many TZ users. Beyond the normal warranty period nobody is interested or wants to accept responsibility and help the consumers who bought these cameras; I cannot keep paying for repairs and postage, I've given up with this camera, cut my losses and bought a Nikon. I will never buy a Panasonic camera again.
I have Lumix DMC-FH25 with the same problem. I've had it for a while and have been pleased until I recently noticed several fine vertical scratches on the lens (some are more like a dashed line ----). Each photograph, especially those where I've aimed into any kind of light source, have hazy white lines in the center of the photo. I couldn't figure out how I could have scratched the lens since the cover retracts automatically when it's not on. I am very careful with my camera and keep it in a lens case when being carried around. The scratches are so obviously due to a defect in the camera shutter which scratches the lens each time it closes. When I listen closely I can hear it making contact with the glass. I called Panasonic (here in the US) and spoke to Otis, a supervisor in their Camera Repair dept. and, as expected, he told me that I'd have to return it for repair at a cost of $128. He said "defect or not, it's out of warranty". And that's that. I will not be returning it for repair at that cost, of course. Nor will I ever buy another Panasonic product.
Our LUMIX DMC-ZS6 has major vertical scratches on the lens likely from the insufficient spacing between the automatic lens cover and the lens itself as discussed herein. We've taken 1,368 pictures but the "scratches" are now ruining our pictures. I will post negatives towards Panasonic cameras at every opportunity from this time forward. Panasonic has invested greatly in their brand and they will respond to negative feedback which threatens their BRAND NAME and future sales.