Some observations from a new FZ1000 owner at

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Panasonic LUMIX LX / FZ Series
4K and AVCHD via compact point & shoot "bridge" cameras.

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Old October 5th, 2015, 01:51 AM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
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Some observations from a new FZ1000 owner

I already own an RX10M2 & am really happy with it but I just took the opportunity to add an FZ1000 purchased on eBay as a refurb with a full warranty direct from Panasonic for 499. My camera looks indistinguishable from new. There are still three available at that price.

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ1000EB Bridge Camera 20.1MP 16x Optic Zoom 4K Video Record | eBay

I couldn't resist at that price as while I am really happy with the RX10M2 the extra reach of the FZ1000 is attractive. I still prefer the RX10M2 but the FZ1000 is still a very decent camera especially as it's half the rice although there are some quirks & some definite disadvantages as compared to the RX10M2. So here are some random observations in no particular order.

The FZ1000 feels comfortable in the hand & all the controls fall to hand easily. It's almost exactly the same weight but more plasticky than the RX10M2 so it's bulkier.

It picks up a hell of a lot of noise from the OIS. I can see why there is a little button to switch it off. The zoom noise is loud too but the OIS noise is there all the time as a constant buzz in the background. I would think that the audio would be all but unusable for a wedding video if handheld with OIS switched on.

Bizarrely you cannot stop down greater than F/8 (stills) or F/11 (video). Not such a problem for stills but for video it means that it' impossible to shoot with a normal 180 degree shutter in anything approaching sunshine. Minimum ISO is 125 & highlights are blown unless you increase the shutter speed There are no built-in ND filter so it's going to be obligatory to use an external ND filter.

In 4K video mode the image is cropped & the lens becomes a 37 - 592mm in 35mm equivalent. The lens is only a 24-400mm equivalent in 3:2 stills mode. In 1080p video it's 31-496mm with OIS switched on & 26 - 416m with OIS & Level Shot switched off.

The image is very good. The stills in particular are very nice. You can get quite shallow DoF especially with the extra 200mm of focal length versus the RX10M2. I haven't done any direct comparisons between the video from the two cameras but at first glance there clearly isn't much difference in quality.

So apart from the irritations listed above I am happy with the camera. What you get for the price is fantastic. It's worth it to me just to use as a telephoto & is cheaper than a DSLR lens. I am really getting to like these 1" sensor bridge cameras. The compactness & no lens changes are real advantages but the relatively large sensor means that you can still get shallow DoF when required & the image quality & low light performance is excellent.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 03:09 AM   #2
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Location: LIncolnshire, UK
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Re: Some observations from a new FZ1000 owner

Hi Nigel,

Welcome to the owners club:-)

Interesting first thoughts on the camera, and not much I would disagree with, but all pretty easy work arounds. The OIS noise is excessive, but I always use a shoe mounted mic when filming and bought a cheap Boya which damps out all the noise and doesn't interfere with using the viewfinder when handheld.. There are several other mics available depending on how much you want to spend.

I don't seem to have burn out when videoing in bright sunlight and have had two weddings this week with bright sunny days. There are a number of modes that video can be taken in and I tend not to use the Creative Video mode, so it might be worth experimenting with them. You can also adjust the dynamic range and there are auto dynamic range and contrast modes that you can access via the menus. I would have a play with those to find the best video settings.

The f8.0/11.0 limitation is unusual, but again is not something that has troubled me as it is towards the upper end of what I would normally expect to use. Colin, Chris and I all use the same variable ND filter which is very useful if you need to stop down further.

If the camera was two or three times the price, I would not expect tot find the issues you describe, but at the price they are, the work arounds are very simple and cheap, The other issue that you haven't mentioned is the zoom, but now I am used to it, I find that it is actually quite useable for a mid speed zoom such as moving in on the ring shot etc. The manual zoom is only useable for reframing though.

After using the camera at around 10 weddings for both video and stills and taken over 11000 stills, I am still finding different ways to refine and improve the images via the sub menus and user settings.

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Old October 5th, 2015, 05:16 AM   #3
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Re: Some observations from a new FZ1000 owner

Something that a lot of people don't know is that Panny use their own variable ND on most of their cameras that works in conjunction with the iris ..All my HMC cameras had this so I suspect that maybe the FZ uses the same method. What they did on the HMC's was bring in an auto ND in conjunction with the iris to keep the aperture in a sweet spot. So when the aperture for video got to F5.6 and there was still too much light, instead of ramping the shutter, they would let the internal ND kick in and instead of giving an aperture reading of F5.6 + ND4 ..they would simply "call" it F11

I wonder if they use the same method on the FZ?? I see no mention of it but then again the HMC cameras never mentioned it either but the system was there. The only time I have had a little blow out has been outdoor register signing from the reflection from the white paperwork.

We keep discovering features ...I only just starting using the zoom resume button in the menu ...useful for speeches !!
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Old October 5th, 2015, 05:49 AM   #4
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Re: Some observations from a new FZ1000 owner

I found the zoom fine. It must be that I have a more delicate touch on the zoom lever:-)

The F/11 minimum aperture is a problem. I need to use Creative Video Mode as that is the only way to shoot 4K video. It's odd as I have never heard of a lens that wouldn't stop down to at least F/16 if not f/22. The RX10M2 has F/16 plus the built-in ND filter. Of course it also has a proper aperture ring that you can even de-click if required.

The menus controls & interface are all familiar to me from the Panasonic G6 that I used to own. I always found that a little too small for my hands just like the GH2 I had previously. The FZ1000 feels much chunkier & more comfortable in my hands. The size of the 1" sensor isn't that far off a MFT & the FZ1000 was cheaper than a body-only Panasonic G7 besides which it's not even possible to buy a MFT 24-400 F/4 lens (or a 37-592mm F/4).

There are areas where the FZ1000 does things better than the RX10M2 e.g. the flip screen & having the video recording button in a sensible place.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 07:14 AM   #5
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Re: Some observations from a new FZ1000 owner

it certainly is time for an fz2000 :)

for my needs/desires i would look for them to do:

3 stop ND
improve iso noise by 1 stop
reduce/eliminate 4k cropping
4:2:2 in body would be lovely, but i don't expect it, though i think manufactureres are going to have to bump their codecs up to the next level sometime soon. 4k 60/100mbit works fine, but they've been sitting on it for some time now.
C100 - GH4 - NYC Shooter
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