My FZ1000 has arrived at last. at DVinfo.net

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Panasonic LUMIX LX / FZ Series
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Old July 8th, 2015, 03:04 PM   #1
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My FZ1000 has arrived at last.

I thought about adding this to the 'Anyone Using An FZ100 For Weddings' thread, but as that has meandered on for a while and there are a few of us acquiring this camera I thought I would start a fresh thread to compare findings.

After initially being sent the wrong camera from Hong Kong, the FZ1000 arrived this morning at 10am. I have spent the whole day playing around with it and have been delighted so far with what I have found. I am surprised that it is taking me a lot of work to understand all the settings variations that are possible and how to access them all, but I've no doubt that once I have isolated and understand the ones that I will use regularly, I will be able to customise the quick access menu for instant changes.

I'm not impressed with the lack of smoothness of the zoom, but it does become a little slower and smoother in video record mode. Not ideal though if you like using slow zoom. Manual zoom is only really useful for very fast reframing but I will find that very useful.

Contrary to some other findings on YouTube reviews, I found that the manual focus is actually very efficient and that I haven't been experiencing any problems with subtle adjustments. On manual focus, as soon as the lens ring is touched, a zoomed in image appears in the centre of the screen or viewfinder and with peaking turned on it is very simple to get accurate focus smoothly and quickly. It took me a while to realise that there is a small selector to the right of the viewfinder that needs to be set to manual focus, not just the selector on the barrel. Maybe that is where some of the confusion has come from.

I am very impressed with the quality of footage in daylight indoors that I have taken so far, particularly in 17mps 25p. I am surprised at how good it actually looks. At the highest 4k quality it looks amazing and the quality of quick stills that I have taken from 4k is also impressive and very useable. Taking a still from 4k video is as simple as playing it back in camera, pausing the frame you want and just pressing save, that's it!

I've got a long way to go as yet, but will post more findings as I learn more. Next week I have 5 filming jobs in succession, so will have plenty of opportunity to give the camera a good test. It was also great to find that the camera uses the same battery as my two LUMIX FZ200s, so I now have 5 good batteries.

Roger
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Old July 8th, 2015, 06:44 PM   #2
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Re: My FZ1000 has arrived at last.

Awesome Roger!!

I do hope that Chris Hurd will actually create a forum for these cameras as we REALLY need one in the Panasonic section and I have a lot of questions more on the camera than actual weddings that I want to ask but cannot!!

I'm pretty impressed with the image quality so far too .. I have been doing my Realty shoots in 1080 25P in MP4 which has a tad higher bit rate than what you are using and the sharpness alone compared to my Sony's (which cost 4 times the price) is staggering!!

Got to play with the Cine D and Cine V profiles now and decide whether they are more practical to shoot with than just the standard setting I'm currently using

Chris
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Old July 9th, 2015, 04:32 AM   #3
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Re: My FZ1000 has arrived at last.

Hi Chris,

Definitely agree with the need for a new forum for these cameras as I think they could easily be a relatively overlooked little jewel. I will be getting a second one for Claire ready for the next double wedding that we have.

As an aside, I would say that I was very annoyed at my supplier, Expedite Electronics in Hongkong sending the wrong camera but at least the UK customer support were always quick to answer and very helpful and ensured that HK got the replacement out quickly. The second one arrived 5 working days after the wrong one was collected, still only 19 full days from the original order and I was kept informed of the status. I also had nothing extra to pay for the return and the replacement item. The Dutch company that I was going to use, still hasn't received their new stock so I think I made the right choice.

Roger
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Old July 9th, 2015, 07:01 AM   #4
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Re: My FZ1000 has arrived at last.

Hi Roger

I did a few minutes of footage in Cine d and CineV today and to be honest, unless you are going to do a whole lot of grading I found that the Standard setting so far gives me the sharpest image and the nicest colour balance .. To me Cine D just gives you a lower contrast and I found indoors that there was a bit of noise in the shadows too ... Colour saturation drops as well as sharpness so I wasn't impressed too much with that setting ..Cine V has pretty high contrast and you lose all the details in your blacks ..it's supposed to emulate film but again I still found the standard profile was the most pleasant. On all my HMC camcorders I always ended up using the default/standard profile and brides were always happy! Your views would be appreciated on what you find the nicest profile!

Now, the manual also suggests that you can disable the half push shutter and transfer the function to the AE Lock button ...that works very well BUT the moment you are recording it is disabled so if you need to do a quick focus if it's lost you CANNOT ... I have gone back to using the half push shutter to focus as that is active before and during recording which makes a lot of sense! So far on my fixed ceremony camera I'm using the focus lever on APS and then disable the continuous focus in the Creative Video menu ...that lets me lock onto anything and it will stay there. On my handheld I have the same BUT continuous is ON ..the camera auto focuses very fast and doesn't seem to hunt at all ...if you switch from a far to very close object it gets focus pretty fast as does a little blur transition as it gets focus which is actually quite pleasant to the eye it almost looks like the operator has done a professional focus pull ...otherwise for general scenarios the focus is instant !!

So far so good and I'm happy with what this little gem pushes out !!

Chris
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Old July 9th, 2015, 12:26 PM   #5
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Re: My FZ1000 has arrived at last.

Hi Chris,

Looks like this is a you and me thread at the moment, I am surprised that more people haven't leapt in with this camera at the current price. Perhaps that's the problem, the price is so low that pros dismiss it as another cheap consumer cam.

I have just got back from me and the dog taking the wife for a walk in the park, so took the camera to try out in high contrast and to give the radio mic and talk back a run. I'll have a look at the footage soon and post my thoughts.

Roger
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Old July 9th, 2015, 04:35 PM   #6
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Re: My FZ1000 has arrived at last.

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Perhaps that's the problem, the price is so low that pros dismiss it as another cheap consumer cam.
Both you and Chris have very similar budget and approach to Wedding Videography. Hardly surprising you share a similar purchase. I've noted you both have suggested previously that you've dismissed using a dslr like form factor for taking video as its not practical for filming. Some agree and use the c100 or similar religiously for Weddings. Those of us who have embraced the dslr form have preferred switchable lens cameras like the GH4, as the variety of lenses available make it more adaptable to different shooting conditions than a fixed lens.

Frankly what makes the FZ1000 a tough sell to Event Videographers and those specialising in Weddings particularly, is the variable aperture of the zoom. When the RX10 offers fixed 2.8 across an admittedly shorter zoom, in real terms, constant aperture is more valuable than a longer reach beyond 200 that the fz1000 offers over the rx10. To me the fz1000 is a stripped down version of the GH4, which I already own, and although a run n gun camera is called for in my kit, I'd prefer the rx10 mark ii and only settle for the fz1000 if money was a serious issue as to make that extra cost impossible.

One must also consider how such a camera will stand up to long term use and abuse that event filming can subject camera equipment to. It's a low price for a reason not a reward to loyal customers.
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Old July 9th, 2015, 05:14 PM   #7
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Re: My FZ1000 has arrived at last.

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Frankly what makes the FZ1000 a tough sell to Event Videographers and those specialising in Weddings particularly, is the variable aperture of the zoom.
Not only that but the fact that the fz1000 lets you control the iris like all dslr's do and exposure changes are not nearly as smooth as you can experience on a rx10 which has a stepless dedicated iris ring on the lens. I"m sure the fz1000 would match my gh3/4 better then my rx10 does but I much prefer my rx10 because it almost operates like a videocamera, it's also my only dslr type of camera that I dare to use in a run and gun situation even if it has a few very frustrating quirks. The fz1000 inherits too many of the dslr type of disadvantages for me to be interested, if you need the long zoomrange, not too bad f2.8-f4 lens (considering what reach it has) and 4K and then look at it's low price, you hardly can call this camera a failure.
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Old July 9th, 2015, 06:07 PM   #8
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Re: My FZ1000 has arrived at last.

I wouldn't agree that I have dismissed DSLR cameras for video filming, and have frequently commented that the larger sensors and manual variations lend themselves well to many situations. What I have always been against, is the use of a DSLR only for wedding video, because of many other factors including focus, depth of field, length of recording time, audio quality, the need for lens changing etc.

The FZ1000 has a limited recording time, and no ability to change lenses that might be more appropriate under some circumstances as you have pointed out, however as I work very rapidly at weddings, I don't want to have to faff about with a lot of the things I just mentioned. DSLRs have become very popular with newer wedding videographers because they have been extremely successful in documentary and small film production because of the very high quality that they can achieve. This quality is very desirable to wedding videographers, but it comes at a convenience premium that is not compatible in many instances with the rapidly changing events at a wedding. For a solo shooter like me, I would miss a lot of shots that I can easily manage with my video cams that are small and light and are frequently on auto focus and exposure. So for me, a bridge camera like the FZ1000 that has reliable autofocus and exposure plus a wide ranging lens, coupled with a decent sized sensor, could be the ideal camera alongside my video cams.

The fact that I can also use it as a stills camera, plus the possibility of lifting stills and cropping from 4k video opens up new areas to experiment with. So far I am pleased with the limited time I have had with it, but I have to see how it will stand up to the rigours and demands of real wedding work. Whether the autofocus and exposure will be as accurate and fast as my existing cameras is impossible to say until I have used it and if not, I will have to consider how and where I use it. I don't see it as a sole wedding camera, but it may well replace one of the video cams for a lot of the shots, particularly at the reception where I will have more time to exploit the potential of the camera. The colour is compatible with my existing Panasonic cameras which is also a great benefit.

I'm also not convinced that the low price makes it inferior, because technology is advancing rapidly, components are constantly getting cheaper and things are changing. The camera is not weather and dust proof and probably more susceptible to hard knocks, but that is no different to my video cams which have given hundreds of hours of totally trouble free service. If you want a camera for high level commercial work in addition to weddings, then go for something more heavy duty with lenses to suit every possible situation. Weddings for me, are a unique environment where fast use and good automatics are essential when you just cannot miss a shot, so cameras like the FZ1000 and probably the RX10 are heading in that direction to work alongside the videographers choice of video or DSLR cameras.

Steve and Noa your opinions and input are very relevant but without actually using the camera, there is no substitute for hands on. But they are speculation that will stimulate response from those of us that have got one, hopefully in the interest of all, so keep the comments and questions coming :-)

Roger
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Old July 9th, 2015, 07:37 PM   #9
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Re: My FZ1000 has arrived at last.

Hi Guys

I think you might be mistaking the enthusiasm of what the camera can achieve at it's price point with actual facts. Staying with Panasonic the GH4 with a 12-35 F2.8 lens is a way, way more superior machine than a FZ1000 ... For starters it costs 4 times the price (Down here that simple combo would be over $4K for me) If there was any chance that a bridge camera could outshoot a pro mirrorless camera then Panasonic simply wouldn't be able to sell any GH4's would they.

All I'm saying is it works so far for me, my capital investment is dramatically lower and to me, anyway, I am getting better IQ than my expensive Sony EA-50's ever gave me ...that's a bonus of course but I really did want to downsize and go lighter as I'm tired of my arms getting sore holding up big cameras .. you young guys can do it easily but remember I hit 69 next month!!

Was I totally against DSLR filming ?? Absolutely yes but in those days it was only Canon and all you got was 12 minutes and auto focus was just not an option .... All that has changed a LOT and the only thing I can truly moan about is the form factor as I DO love shoulder mount cameras ...I currently have a neat twin grip handheld rig but if required there is no reason why I cannot put the camera on a shoulder mount either.

Chris
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Old July 9th, 2015, 09:43 PM   #10
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Re: My FZ1000 has arrived at last.

I'm not calling the FZ1000 a failure nor am I comparing it with a GH4, of which it shares many advantages. I'm simply trying to suggest why it's not as popular amongst event Videographers, especially on this forum. In that I'd say its lack of constant aperture is a deciding factor, ability to handle low light, especially if zoomed in is a concern. Whether such concerns are justified in lacking experience with the camera, I can't say.

The FZ1000 at its current price is a bargain, but if you have the cash, the rx10 mark ii offers a potentially better alternative if you're looking for a fixed lens camera. If my budget was 500-700, and I didn't own the GH4, then yes the FZ1000 would be high on my list. It's a great camera at a great price.

I have to add that despite concerns here with dslr, I'm managing extremely well with my GH4 in nailing those fast paced shots, otherwise I'd have bought the rx10 and AX100 by now. However I can see how a fixed lens like the fz1000 could be an advantage. If Panasonic did a lens that offered 12-100 at 2.8, I'd probably wouldn't have a need for it, but for that zoom range alone in a single lens, I'm looking at the rx10 mark ii. Plus I hear it can take photos without interrupting the video, which would be very useful at times. Yes it costs more, but if you can afford it, the extra features for me is worth the price.
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Old July 10th, 2015, 12:52 AM   #11
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Re: My FZ1000 has arrived at last.

Hi Steve

I hear you and wedding videographers still like to have the best and most expensive camera they can afford so they can maintain their professional status. It's simply, for me, all about what I need and the FZ seems to suit my needs better than my Sony EA-50's ...I get 4K video, I get 100fps slomo and a sharper image than the Sony ever gave me ...it's purely a personal choice ! From a professional "look" it does fail as does the RX10 too simply because it's too small whereas a big shoulder mount looks more professional. Apart from a better sensor the GH4 doesn't really offer me anything better and here it's 5 times the price based on a body and 12-35 F2.8 lens so do I really want to spend $4500 when I can get what I want for $900 ?? Over the last 15 years I have never had a bride ask me what cameras I use ..all they want is a wedding video so if a camera that's 20% of the price of my previous ones I like the saving on capital expenditure.

Yeah you are probably right and most videographers will still opt for C300 Canons as they still feel that the more money they spend the better their videos will be. Remember too that content is still the most important thing for a bride and miss the bouquet toss with your 3 x C300's and two assistant shooters and you have failed miserably in the brides eyes but catch a really good shot with your little GoPro and you are the best ever!!

Chris
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Old July 10th, 2015, 01:31 AM   #12
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Re: My FZ1000 has arrived at last.

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Steve and Noa your opinions and input are very relevant but without actually using the camera, there is no substitute for hands on. But they are speculation that will stimulate response from those of us that have got one, hopefully in the interest of all, so keep the comments and questions coming :-)

Roger
I"m just comparing from specs, that's right but just the fact that you change the exposure just like any other dslr makes it of no use for me to have. I love using my gh3/4 throughout the day for all beauty shots and I hate using them for anything else, the rx10 let's me controll exposure manually, just like a real video camera and I find that a critical feature because I control my exposure 95% of the time manually during a weddingday, good exposure makes all the difference to me and I don't want to rely on the camera to decide that, unless I have no other choice.
Add the build in ND, the fact you can very easily change iso during video while rotating a dial and select auto iso if you really need it, punch in to check focus, have zebra's and peaking, high rez viewfinder, very smooth zoom, good enough stabilisation and autofocus and this camera ticks almost every box for anyone that wants the ease of use of a videocamera yet have a image that resembles a "dslr" look.
But it's not all gold that shines, I hate the screen that doesn't flipout, the focus is fly by wire and not easy to manually set focus with, the zoom is ridiculously slow and my rx10 has issues with slower response ever since I updated to the latest firmware but since I have not seen anyone else complaining about that it's probably just my unit.

The fz1000 is a great camera for it's price no doubt, it is just too limited in operation in a run and gun situation for me.
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Old July 10th, 2015, 02:00 AM   #13
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Re: My FZ1000 has arrived at last.

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I hear you and wedding videographers still like to have the best and most expensive camera they can afford so they can maintain their professional status.
You make me sound like a camera snob; truth is I'd buy the FZ1000 if it had a constant aperture zoom, but that and the fact the RX10 has a few extra key features that make it more useful in the field for me, is why I'm prepared to fork out extra cash. Professional status - can a client tell the difference between a FZ1000, RX10 and GH4, hardly. So aside from bragging rights on this forum, 'ha ha as if', owning better gear doesn't really give me extra credo.

Personally I work with what I like and what I can afford. That's the criteria. The FZ1000 is a fine camera, just lacking certain things that make it an essential buy for me. I'm sure I'll be nailing those shots including the bouquet toss, which incidentally I've never failed to capture with my GH4. And thanks to a 0.95 fast lens, I've done this in near total darkness, when I only had short notice and couldn't set up any lights. Fixed lens cameras are a great jack of all trades, but its greatest strength is also its weakness. I'd own the C300 if I could afford it and would no doubt benefit greatly from the quality and build this camera offered.
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Old July 10th, 2015, 03:53 AM   #14
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Re: My FZ1000 has arrived at last.

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I've noted you both have suggested previously that you've dismissed using a dslr like form factor for taking video as its not practical for filming.
It all comes down to that, a dslr has many advantages but practicality is not one of them, proof is all the rigs people have to build to make it a bit more video friendly. As soon as a dslr skimps on video functionality it becomes a pain to operate. Camera's like the fz1000 or the rx10 try to bridge that gap between photo and video but for me Panasonic fz1000 should have made that extra step with the fz1000 and add at least a real stepless iris ring and a build in nd filter to make it more useful in the field. I could live with the f2.8 to f4 aperture as that is still a lot better then the stocklens the nex-ea50 had.
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Old July 10th, 2015, 05:55 AM   #15
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Re: My FZ1000 has arrived at last.

Hi Noa

Those are fair enough reasons! There is no iris ring at all, in fact there is no manual exposure either! The Manual Mode still matches shutter and iris or you can use Aperture priority mode to set your iris but then again the shutter will work with it so that's not really any use for manual shooters! As already said ..the way things work suit me perfectly ...On my EA-50 with manual lenses (the stock lens just didn't cut it for weddings) I still used auto exposure which meant if I stopped down the lens the shutter down automatically go down and the ISO would go up..which left me only needing to look after focus. That's the way I work so this camera does what I want and I still have the EV correction when I need it (same as the EA-50) The advantages here for me with the changeover are firstly "push to focus" which the Sony cannot do unless you have e-mount lenses and I didn't have them so I can snap into focus very fast ...the auto focus is also remarkably good for a low priced camera and that helps me with bridal processions. The weight for me is also a huge plus as the EA-50's were killing my back and of course (I have know idea why) but the image quality is way better than my EA-50 with manual lenses (maybe it was me? not getting focus perfectly?) Then the little sweeteners are the 100fps on stedicam for my bridal shoots are way nicer than shooting at 25fps and slowing down in post and of course 4K video if I need it.

It IS a personal choice for me and I didn't "buy one cos Roger and Colin bought one) and I'm pretty darn happy with the results so far and my back is saying thank you too!!

Just in case you forgot I have been a dedicated Panny shooter for 25 years and only went to Sony after the AC-130 cameras came out and I sold both in disgust after 3 months....so going back to Panasonics was a nice move!! I started with a WVP100 with a Saticon tube sensor and went thru all the M and MS series cameras over the years so I must like the brand! (even had a hacked GH1 at one stage)


Chris
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