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Old September 17th, 2015, 06:15 AM   #1
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LUMIX FZ1000 user update

As it seems that Chris Harding and myself are the only ones regularly using the camera for weddings, I thought I would post my thoughts and findings after a number of weeks use at 7 weddings, several school production shoots and a lot of personal trips. Claire and I have been using the camera for both stills and video and I am now using it as the main video and stills cam.

If we only have one wedding on, then I take both FZ1000s to enable me to change from stills to video with one camera for each. In anything other than creative video mode, The camera allows for taking stills while filming video, but at a reduced 2mp resolution. If I am doing a joint photo and video package, I would usually use the second camera for stills and my other Panny video cams as b/c cams. However, for shorter civil ceremonies, shooting in 4k, enables me to take 8mp stills from any frame of footage. Apart from situations where flash would be a benefit, the results have been excellent. It is especially useful where registrars won't allow the use of flash or noisy shutters.

POSITIVES
The picture quality whether in video or still mode is superb and now I am used to using the large number of settings variables, can quickly set the camera up for just about every situation. The AI+ settings are also excellent and I have found that I can switch to auto in both photo and video modes when I am under pressure, knowing that the results are going to be very good. I have to confess to using the auto settings more than on any camera I have ever used, because they are so good. This is helped by the fact that you can increase or decrease gain in auto mode with the thumb wheel for instant adjustments.

The manual focus with peaking is also very useful for pulling focus shots. Stabilization is also as good as any I have used and makes hand held telephoto stills a doddle. Handheld video is also extremely stable and the artificial horizon indicator makes it simple to maintain horizontal position. Telephoto range is also good and the intelligent zoom just seems to use more of the sensor without increasing visible pixels in the image. The aperture drops from f2.8 to f4.0 through the telephoto range, but that only becomes an issue in low light at maximum zoom, which I would not normally want to use.

There are most of the usual DSLR type stills settings, with various burst modes, exposure bracketing, even an HDR option. Dynamic range and contrast are adjustable and a number of custom picture profiles can be set up. In creative video mode, there are the usual A, M, P, modes, plus high speed at 120fps and exposure can be changed while filming. The camera is useable up to ISO6400, but above that the grain becomes noticeable quickly. I usually try restrict to ISO3200 unless absolutely necessary.

NEGATIVES
The inbuilt mics pick up a lot of camera noise, which for video work on quiet shoots is very noticeable. I always use a camera mounted external mic. The zoom is only really useable at a fairly fast speed and has no slow zoom at all. Manual zoom is pretty much useless for filming as you cannot get a smooth movement, but is good for fast reframing. Some people have complained about the lack of an inbuilt ND filter, but a simple lens mounted variable supplies my needs.

The lack of a fixed aperture through the zoom range has been criticised by many, but as I don't use the full telephoto in low light I really don't find it a problem. The 1" sensor won't allow the camera to use extreme low light as well as some larger sensor DSLR cameras, but it is way better than my other Panny video cams and it is so easy to mount a variable LED light if needed. Even a small amount of added light immediately makes a big difference, but I should add that in most low light situations such as first dance, I haven't found the need for extra light apart from one wedding where all the lights were turned out.

One design fault in my opinion, is the placing of the battery door at the base of the camera where it is impeded by a tripod baseplate. There are a couple of simple adapters that can be made to address this and Chris has a template available if anyone wants to fabricate one.

Overall, the negatives with the camera are more limitations than negatives and as with all cameras, you fit the way that you work to the limits of the equipment. I have found the FZ1000 to be the most versatile camera I have ever used and one of the easiest to get high quality and satisfying stills and video from at an unbelievable price. There are other cameras that will take better stills and better video if you are prepared to pay for it, but for sheer flexibility it takes a lot of beating and will hold it's head up against a lot of well respected and considerably more expensive opposition.

Roger
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Old September 17th, 2015, 06:25 AM   #2
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Re: LUMIX FZ1000 user update

I have 2 now and use them at every wedding, until I get to a dark reception, still don't trust them enough in that situation but they are extremely useful
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Old September 17th, 2015, 07:21 AM   #3
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Re: LUMIX FZ1000 user update

Hi Paul

I have done 6 weddings on just the FZ1000's so far and the only time I have had to pop on a video light was when they turned the lights right off for the first dance (no dimmed..just OFF) The FZ1000 at 6400 ISO is totally usable! My fancy Sony's were pretty much limited to 3200 ISO so there must be something magic in the signal processing. This camera still amazes me with it's performance and features but I would suspect a lot of people would turn their noses up at it simply due to the low price. Nowdays you don't need 3 c Canon C300's to shoot a wedding!! In fact people here still "poo poo" the GH4 but that's their loss!

If you get brave enough try doing a couple of clips at the reception and give the GH4's a break ..you just might be surprised!!

Thanks Roger for the update ... so far I still gasp when I look at the image quality!! I guess I will get over it and get used to it!!! Nice thing is IF you accidentally reversed over an FZ1000 with your car ..it's not a lot of money to replace it ...imagine if you ran over your Canon C300 body and 5K lens!!! Shamefully I have already gouged one LCD screen but it still works 100%

Another two weddings for us on Friday and Saturday so I will report any problems or delights!!! The clip here has some reception shots with no lighting that my Sony's would have died with!!



Chris
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Old September 17th, 2015, 08:35 AM   #4
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Re: LUMIX FZ1000 user update

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I would suspect a lot of people would turn their noses up at it simply due to the low price.
4K, 1" sensor, long zoom, internal stabiliser and all for 500 if you pick the right dealer. Don't preseume we're all gear snobs. It's low price is one of the main selling points and there's few here who wouldn't pick up a bargain when offered.

Trust me its not the low price that's the issue. Every time Roger writes these little love letters to the FZ1000, I find myself reviewing it and giving it serious thought. Asking myself whether I'm judging it unfairly. It has as you and Roger frequently say, a lot going for it. Alas a lot going against it also and whilst there are work arounds, I'm afraid for some of us, that's just not good enough.
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Old September 17th, 2015, 09:25 AM   #5
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Re: LUMIX FZ1000 user update

Thing is Steve, having used it for a lot of serious work now, my update is based on my personal experience of using it in the same environment that I always work and it fits my own requirements perfectly.

You refer to it being just not good enough for 'many of us' and it probably wouldn't meet your own requirements, but let's also bear in mind that you haven't actually used the. camera and as you do much of you filming with the G4 there are a great many similarities at a much reduced price. There is no interchangeable lens, which is one reason I like it for flexibility, and it has a smaller sensor, which probably means the low light isn't so good, but the examples that I have seen are certainly not conclusive on that issue.

The G4 is a very popular and competent camera, but having looked at both, I would rather have two FZ1000s than one G4 with all the lenses, for my particular method and style of working. You would rather not and that is fine, others can make their own judgements.

Roger
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Old September 17th, 2015, 09:30 AM   #6
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Re: LUMIX FZ1000 user update

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Originally Posted by Paul Mailath View Post
I have 2 now and use them at every wedding, until I get to a dark reception, still don't trust them enough in that situation but they are extremely useful
Hi Paul,

For the benefit of others reading this thread and for a different point of view, what positives and negatives have you found with the camera compared to others that you have or are using?

Roger
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Old September 17th, 2015, 09:49 AM   #7
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Re: LUMIX FZ1000 user update

This already has been extensively discussed in this thread (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-...ix-fz1000.html) where it was clear that it was not appreciated for anyone that did not own the camera to have an opinion about it. I see this thread going the exact same direction, so if I understand it right, this thread is only for actual fz1000 owners to participate in?
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Old September 17th, 2015, 10:12 AM   #8
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Re: LUMIX FZ1000 user update

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
but let's also bear in mind that you haven't actually used the. camera and as you do much of you filming with the G4 there are a great many similarities at a much reduced price. There is no interchangeable lens, which is one reason I like it for flexibility, and it has a smaller sensor, which probably means the low light isn't so good, but the examples that I have seen are certainly not conclusive on that issue.
Roger, I don't have to use it to know its not suitable for my needs, just as I don't need to use a Pocket Cinema Camera or a C100 (though with 4k, it would for Corporate), or any camera I happen to browse the specs for to see how it would fit into my operation. The FZ1000 shares similarities to the GH4 and that is a plus. However the negatives clear from any spec list and even your own review count against it.

If I was starting out on a budget, the FZ1000 would be high on my list. However I have some top gear and the fz1000 worthy as it is on the image quality front, just hasn't a place in it. For me it lacks certain features that make it an essential buy and I'd imagine others feel the same. Your needs and requirements are of course quite different to mine.
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Old September 17th, 2015, 10:31 AM   #9
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Re: LUMIX FZ1000 user update

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
There is no interchangeable lens, which is one reason I like it for flexibility, and it has a smaller sensor, which probably means the low light isn't so good, but the examples that I have seen are certainly not conclusive on that issue.
In the other thread you where not interested in some user videos that where quite clear to me and certainly worth considering and that did show iso performance comparisons which could give an indication how the fz1000 performs at the same iso and f-stop compared to a dslr, something which is very important to know for anyone considering to purchase this camera, also bear in mind that camera's allowing the addition of a f1.4 and even faster (0,95) lenses make a large difference in low light performance at the same iso levels.

Just because low light is not a problem for you doesn't mean it's not for someone else, you are asking now for positives and negatives so here is one point that can be discussed, I"m only not sure if you are willing to talk about it, and yes, we know by now it's not a problem for you and it doesn't interest you but it might be interesting for others that are considering a purchase.
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Old September 17th, 2015, 11:11 AM   #10
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Re: LUMIX FZ1000 user update

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
The clip here has some reception shots with no lighting that my Sony's would have died with!!
That's weird because I remember you praising your sony for turning night into day with your f1.8 18-35mm sigma lens and now it would have "died" at a dim reception?
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Old September 17th, 2015, 11:31 AM   #11
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Re: LUMIX FZ1000 user update

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
This already has been extensively discussed in this thread (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-...ix-fz1000.html) where it was clear that it was not appreciated for anyone that did not own the camera to have an opinion about it. I see this thread going the exact same direction, so if I understand it right, this thread is only for actual fz1000 owners to participate in?
I have no objection whatsoever to anyone having an opinion on anything, but there is very little about this camera from those that are seriously using it, to help and give solid information to others that are considering the camera for possible use. So I do find it quite annoying when I try to start a thread to pass on experiences and gain advice, only to find that it is immediately overun by those who want to tell us how it is not good enough in certain areas because of what they have read. By all means have an opinion, but at least let those few of us that use the camera have an opportunity to discuss our findings good and bad in comparison to other cameras we have used, without being lambasted for it.

Roger
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Old September 17th, 2015, 11:52 AM   #12
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Re: LUMIX FZ1000 user update

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
In the other thread you where not interested in some user videos that where quite clear to me and certainly worth considering and that did show iso performance comparisons which could give an indication how the fz1000 performs at the same iso and f-stop compared to a dslr, something which is very important to know for anyone considering to purchase this camera, also bear in mind that camera's allowing the addition of a f1.4 and even faster (0,95) lenses make a large difference in low light performance at the same iso levels.

Just because low light is not a problem for you doesn't mean it's not for someone else, you are asking now for positives and negatives so here is one point that can be discussed, I"m only not sure if you are willing to talk about it, and yes, we know by now it's not a problem for you and it doesn't interest you but it might be interesting for others that are considering a purchase.
I think that is a little unfair, as I looked very carefully at the videos you posted and it was quite clear that the cameras were not set to get the best results for different conditions, but being set to as near identical standard settings as possible. I also pointed out quite clearly that in some of the video, the FZ1000 appeared to equal the performance of the other camera until reaching ISO levels over 6400. I also think that anyone familiar with cameras would not expect a 1" sensor camera to be as good in very low light as a full frame or much larger sensor camera, but tests are just that, using standard settings against a test card. What I am more interested in seeing is how the camera performs in the sort of real life situations that are encountered. This applies not just to low light, but to the very varying, rapidly changing and demanding situations that are encountered at weddings.

I am very happy to discuss using the camera in low light situations, but I really would like to find how others get on with low light typical of weddings and what settings they use, rather than referring to test cards and videos often with little or no setup information. The only people who have fed back on this so far, are Chris and myself who both seem to be satisfied with the low light performance. We have both used many cameras in the past and are both surprised at how well the FZ1000 performs. So although I have the greatest of respect for your abilities and opinions Noa, I really would like to hear the opinions of other serious users if they exist rather than interpretation of the specs only.

Roger
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Old September 17th, 2015, 11:54 AM   #13
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Re: LUMIX FZ1000 user update

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
By all means have an opinion, but at least let those few of us that use the camera have an opportunity to discuss our findings good and bad in comparison to other cameras we have used, without being lambasted for it.

Roger



Ok, so this is a thread only for people that actually own and use the camera and what they think of it and it's not the intention to question any of their findings, that's fine by me, then I won't bother you anymore. :)
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Old September 17th, 2015, 12:02 PM   #14
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Re: LUMIX FZ1000 user update

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
For the benefit of others reading this thread and for a different point of view, what positives and negatives have you found with the camera compared to others that you have or are using?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
What I am more interested in seeing is how the camera performs in the sort of real life situations that are encountered. This applies not just to low light, but to the very varying, rapidly changing and demanding situations that are encountered at weddings.

I am very happy to discuss using the camera in low light situations, but I really would like to find how others get on with low light typical of weddings and what settings they use
You are confusing me now, do you want the camera compared to other camera's like you also asked or do you only want to talk about the fz1000 use and possible workarounds?

I can't give you any advice with your second request because I don't have the camera but I can give you my insight on your first request to help put things into perspective for some interested buyers, it's only not clear now what you exactly want to know.

Last edited by Noa Put; September 17th, 2015 at 12:45 PM. Reason: typo
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Old September 17th, 2015, 12:10 PM   #15
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Re: LUMIX FZ1000 user update

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
I am very happy to discuss using the camera in low light situations, but I really would like to find how others get on with low light typical of weddings and what settings they use, rather than referring to test cards and videos often with little or no setup information.
Actually in light of my making an informed view on the cameras low light performance, I did suggest in the other thread that samples of the camera performing at maximum zoom in low light be posted for better evaluation. Only as all low light samples from the camera uploaded so far had been taken at wide. Your response was to say such samples were pointless as you'd never use the camera at maximum zoom in a low light situation. Perhaps others have done so and would be happy to submit such an example. After all, for Wedding filming, low light performance does warrant some discussion and the performance of the camera at maximum zoom could well be the deciding factor for many. Maybe now you feel like posting such samples rather than just telling us how good it is. I know you think low light is great, but that could just say more about how bad your last cameras were in low light.
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