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Old November 22nd, 2016, 04:21 PM   #1
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Is the FZ2000 the answer for wildlife video?

I feel like I've learned a great deal about video and video cameras in the past couple of months, but I know I'm still ignorant about a lot of things regarding videography and video cameras. I've been searching for a camera or camcorder for wildlife cinematography, exclusively, not for stills. Someone on another forum suggested that I consider the FZ2000 (and Sony 10 III) for my venture into filming. If the FZ2000 does what they are saying, will it be an "extremely good" camera for a serious wildlife cinematographer who wants to record production(?) quality (not just YoutTube or home video) footage, as well as audio?

I have a few years experience shooting stills and a couple attempts at video with a canon 7Dii (APSC) and 160-640 lens (100-400 nominal). My first impression of the pending FZ2000 was that the 480mm zoom wouldn't be long enough for wildlife shooting, but then I learned about intellegent Zoom, which would give me enough reach, not sure about quality out to 800-900mm. The built-in ND filters would be great. The variable ND filter on my canon was a pain, even for the short time that I used it.

Quality audio is also important to me. Does that mean I need a camera with XLR connection, or can it be upgraded through other hardware.
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Old November 22nd, 2016, 05:01 PM   #2
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Re: Is the FZ2000 the answer for wildlife video?

Hi Larry
In the USA it's actually the FZ2500 and it's a great camera but not really what you want. There are no real shortcuts to filming wildlife and you probably need at least a 600 mm lens not digital/intelligent zoom but actual optical focal length. I can take my FZ1000's right out to 1600mm if I turn on the digital and intelligent zoom and the image is pretty good but if you are looking at doing broadcaster stuff then you have no option but to buy a "correct" wildlife lens and body to suit .... There are really no easy shortcuts and if you want to maybe sell your footage then you have no option but the spend to $20K needed for proper lenses and audio.
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Old November 22nd, 2016, 07:17 PM   #3
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Re: Is the FZ2000 the answer for wildlife video?

Thanks Chris. Yeah, I'm not going to be able to swing that $20K just yet, so what would be the next step down from a broadcast camera and where does the FZ2500 fall in the lineup.
And just out of curiosity, what's a good lower-end example of a "proper" broadcast camera and lens for wildlife.
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Old November 22nd, 2016, 09:36 PM   #4
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Re: Is the FZ2000 the answer for wildlife video?

Hi Larry

The 4K mode of the FZ1000 (we are patiently waiting for the 2500 here still. It's truly outstanding even at full optical zoom and the much higher bitrates of the newer camera would certainly put it in the broadcast category! To be honest I have never compared super zoom footage with standard footage (480mm zoom vs 1600mm) but there is bound to be some degradation. However it depends what you are looking for an whether you will always need a crazy zoom length? I have seen people shoot a DSLR on a 600mm lens which is only a tad higher than the optical range of the 2500 and with 4K shoots at 200mbps you can technically crop the image back to 1080P and get a 4:4:4 image which is in theory, lossless. That's worth thing about! I use an XLR two channel adaptor on my current FZ1000's and they work really well and give you pristine audio. The low price of the new model (plus a couple of $$$ for an adaptor makes it a good package for a wildlife shoot. If you shoot in 4K you just might be surprised. The image quality is outstanding compared with any other cameras I have ever used. Leica optics are hard to beat!!! Shoot in 4K and crop so you can achieve a zoom of 1600 and you will get a stunning image at a low price point!! I already have one on order to join my two FZ1000's ....take a look at a few YouTube videos by searching for FZ1000 - 4K

Here is one that shows you the image sharpness

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Old November 23rd, 2016, 03:51 AM   #5
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Re: Is the FZ2000 the answer for wildlife video?

Something like the FZ2000/2500 or Sony equivalent would be ideal for you to start getting experience of filming wildlife, but more importantly for you, filming generally. Wildlife filming is not all about big telephoto lenses, it is about waiting patiently for hours or even days, hidden away for a few seconds of filming opportunity. Wildlife filming can be macro shooting of small creatures from a few inches away as well distant telephoto shots of lions and tigers.

There have been some great wildlife programmes about neighborhood and garden wildlife and that could be a great starting point for learning the basics. Get something like the above cameras and get yourself down to the local park or out in the countryside and start getting a hang of what you are wanting to do.

There is not really such a thing as a 'Bottom End' broadcast camera, as any commonly used camera for serious documentary work is going to be a financial world apart from consumer cameras. The most expensive part is the lenses, which for top quality work will run into many thousands of dollars. Of course with the right footage and circumstances, mobile phone footage can be broadcast. I will also say what I have mentioned before on one of your other threads, that serious wildlife filming is not about having a 'broadcast' camera, it is about experience. That is something that you can only get by doing it and watching or working with others that already have that experience. Get an affordable camera, start gaining that experience and learning all the basic techniques before getting too ambitious.

Roger
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 04:30 AM   #6
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Re: Is the FZ2000 the answer for wildlife video?

I sold some of these clips to a TV company for broadcast in the UK. Not a lot, and not to the BBC. (I'm strictlyish amateur.)

With my FZ1000 and an external mike and from a public hide. FZ "extra zoom" rather noisy in lowish light conditions in my experience but very handy.

FZ complements my GH4 with longer lenses. FZ good when portability is an issue.

Noticed on TV a Planet Earth II cameraman using a Sony DSLR with a short zoom and no support rig. Mind he was hanging off a paraglider while whooshing down the side of a snow covered mountain in the Alps.
Earth II filmed in 4K (mainly via "REDs" and Canon lenses) but unfortunately only transmitted in HD, 1080i it said on my telly.

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Old November 23rd, 2016, 10:07 AM   #7
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Re: Is the FZ2000 the answer for wildlife video?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Larry

The 4K mode of the FZ1000 (we are patiently waiting for the 2500 here still. It's truly outstanding even at full optical zoom and the much higher bitrates of the newer camera would certainly put it in the broadcast category!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Something like the FZ2000/2500 or Sony equivalent would be ideal for you to start getting experience of filming wildlife, but more importantly for you, filming generally. Wildlife filming is not all about big telephoto lenses, it is about waiting patiently for hours or even days, hidden away for a few seconds of filming opportunity. Wildlife filming can be macro shooting of small creatures from a few inches away as well distant telephoto shots of lions and tigers.

There have been some great wildlife programmes about neighborhood and garden wildlife and that could be a great starting point for learning the basics. Get something like the above cameras and get yourself down to the local park or out in the countryside and start getting a hang of what you are wanting to do.

There is not really such a thing as a 'Bottom End' broadcast camera, as any commonly used camera for serious documentary work is going to be a financial world apart from consumer cameras. The most expensive part is the lenses, which for top quality work will run into many thousands of dollars. Of course with the right footage and circumstances, mobile phone footage can be broadcast. I will also say what I have mentioned before on one of your other threads, that serious wildlife filming is not about having a 'broadcast' camera, it is about experience. That is something that you can only get by doing it and watching or working with others that already have that experience. Get an affordable camera, start gaining that experience and learning all the basic techniques before getting too ambitious.

Roger
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Jackson View Post
I sold some of these clips to a TV company for broadcast in the UK. Not a lot, and not to the BBC. (I'm strictlyish amateur.)

With my FZ1000 and an external mike and from a public hide. FZ "extra zoom" rather noisy in lowish light conditions in my experience but very handy.

FZ complements my GH4 with longer lenses. FZ good when portability is an issue.

Noticed on TV a Planet Earth II cameraman using a Sony DSLR with a short zoom and no support rig. Mind he was hanging off a paraglider while whooshing down the side of a snow covered mountain in the Alps.
Earth II filmed in 4K (mainly via "REDs" and Canon lenses) but unfortunately only transmitted in HD, 1080i it said on my telly.

https://youtu.be/GJRr2vSPJDA
Thank you all for responding. I do appreciate it.

Chris, I was completely confused by your reply because it seems to contradict your initial reply which, to me, suggests that the FZ2500 won't be considered a broadcast camera. After reading it several times, I concluded that it's still at the top of my list, for now.

Roger, Dude, I don't know where to start. I recall reading your previous post in one of my other threads. I believe that I purposely didn't reply to it. I'm sure you meant well and wanted to provide the best advice you could, but it comes across as insulting. Sure, I'm new to (today's) video cameras, but I'm not new to getting close to wildlife. If you had focused your reply more about the camera and its features than about me and my presumed lack of talent or expertise, I wouldn't have found it so insulting. I know how to get close to wildlife. I know what it takes. I have a degree in wildlife resources and I've spent many years hunting. I've only recently been using a DLSR for stills. Here's a link to my flickr page. https://www.flickr.com/photos/117800205@N05/ And here's a link to one of the few short clips that I recently made with my canon 7Dii. I don't yet have editing software.
.
Ronald, what focal length lens do you use on your GH4. Nice to hear that someone is selling footage. I too hope to do so at some point.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 04:22 PM   #8
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Re: Is the FZ2000 the answer for wildlife video?

HI Larry,

My sincere apologies if you feel insulted by my replies as it certainly wasn't my intention. I would say that your previous threads have been very lacking in information about your experience in the field you are talking about. That together with coming straight in with some very basic questions whilst stating an aim to produce high level wildlife video to National Geographic standards, doesn't really give a great starting point for balanced answers.

Now that you are being much clearer with your experience, then it will be much easier not to inadvertently make you feel insulted while hopefully helping you to collect relevant information.

Like the footage by the way :-)

Roger
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 05:00 PM   #9
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Re: Is the FZ2000 the answer for wildlife video?

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Originally Posted by Larry Johnson View Post
Chris, I was completely confused by your reply because it seems to contradict your initial reply which, to me, suggests that the FZ2500 won't be considered a broadcast camera.
The fz2500 is, and I quote: "a hybrid camera choice for the advanced 4K video enthusiast and photography enthusiast alike."

It's a versatile hybrid camera but it's not a broadcast camera, this is a broadcast camera: https://www.google.be/search?q=broad...WgCHAQ_AUICCgB

My guess is that you just want the best camera for your purpose for the lowest price possible and there is nothing wrong with that, the fz2500 seems to fit that description, you even might get the fz1000 as it's half the price of the fz2500 right now, with Roger and Chris you also have got 2 experts who can give you advice when it comes to all ins and outs of that particular camera.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 06:42 PM   #10
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Re: Is the FZ2000 the answer for wildlife video?

I have known Roger for quite a while and I can assure you that he certainly wouldn't insult anyone here on purpose. To be honest your original post does indicate that you are new to filming wildlife and are looking for advice which Roger did provide.

I think the term "broadcast" has changed in meaning quite a lot in the last few years ...videographers with MiniDV cameras that shot HDV format were claiming "broadcast quality" and with cameras shortly being able to produce 8K the terminology is blurred so it's much better as Noa points out, to only refer to a broadcast camera as one that high end TV studios might use and obviously way, way, out of our price brackets.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 07:23 PM   #11
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Re: Is the FZ2000 the answer for wildlife video?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
HI Larry,

My sincere apologies if you feel insulted by my replies as it certainly wasn't my intention. I would say that your previous threads have been very lacking in information about your experience in the field you are talking about. That together with coming straight in with some very basic questions whilst stating an aim to produce high level wildlife video to National Geographic standards, doesn't really give a great starting point for balanced answers.

Now that you are being much clearer with your experience, then it will be much easier not to inadvertently make you feel insulted while hopefully helping you to collect relevant information.

Like the footage by the way :-)

Roger

No worries, Roger. I know you didn't intend to insult. I guess I just get frustrated when people try to fit a camera to a person based on the operators presumed experience level. In my mind, a person's experience has no bearing on the specs of a camera and its potential uses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
The fz2500 is, and I quote: "a hybrid camera choice for the advanced 4K video enthusiast and photography enthusiast alike."

It's a versatile hybrid camera but it's not a broadcast camera, this is a broadcast camera: https://www.google.be/search?q=broad...WgCHAQ_AUICCgB

My guess is that you just want the best camera for your purpose for the lowest price possible and there is nothing wrong with that, the fz2500 seems to fit that description, you even might get the fz1000 as it's half the price of the fz2500 right now, with Roger and Chris you also have got 2 experts who can give you advice when it comes to all ins and outs of that particular camera.
You hit the nail on the head, Noa. I'd rather wait for the FZ2500 than get a used FX1000.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I have known Roger for quite a while and I can assure you that he certainly wouldn't insult anyone here on purpose. To be honest your original post does indicate that you are new to filming wildlife and are looking for advice which Roger did provide.

I think the term "broadcast" has changed in meaning quite a lot in the last few years ...videographers with MiniDV cameras that shot HDV format were claiming "broadcast quality" and with cameras shortly being able to produce 8K the terminology is blurred so it's much better as Noa points out, to only refer to a broadcast camera as one that high end TV studios might use and obviously way, way, out of our price brackets.
I don't really know that I'm looking for a broadcast camera, I don't really know what that means either. I just want to record in a format that is compliant with as many broadcasters(?) as possible so that if I get really lucky, I might sell some footage. I'm anxiously awaiting real world reviews of the FZ2500.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 08:40 PM   #12
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Re: Is the FZ2000 the answer for wildlife video?

Our supplier here has indicated late November for the FZ2500 delivery so if they live up to their promises I'm happy to do a review for you. There are already some pre-delivery reviews of course which look good but based on the FZ1000 which I have used daily for the last 18 months the new cam should be awesome with added ND filters and some neat zoom features too, plus of course much higher bitrates. To be honest the 4K mode of the FZ1000 blew me away so the 2500 can only be better I feel. If it helps I can easily do a comparison test for you with the FZ1000 using optical zoom only (400mm) and then intelligent/digital (up to 1600mm) so you can see at extreme zooms what the degradation is?

OK Just did a test with the FZ1000 ... a lot of heat haze here today but in 4K the camera zooms to nearly 2400mm!!! The image seems pristine using intelligent zoom but there is some degradation when to get over 1600mm and it kicks into digital zoom but I had tree trunks maybe 600 feet away sharp as a tack ... but you do get some noise higher than 1600mm
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 09:12 PM   #13
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Re: Is the FZ2000 the answer for wildlife video?

Worth a watch since it's a wildlife shoot in 4K with various zoom factors

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Old November 24th, 2016, 12:45 AM   #14
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Re: Is the FZ2000 the answer for wildlife video?

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Originally Posted by Larry Johnson View Post
You hit the nail on the head, Noa. I'd rather wait for the FZ2500 than get a used FX1000.
I was not referring to a used fz1000, the price of a new fz1000 is currently half the introductory price of a fz2500, at least in europe it is. If you don't know what broadcastcodec you will be supplying your footage in the future I would just use a codec that has the highest bitrate, either in HD or 4K and afterwards convert your footage to the requested codec.
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Old November 24th, 2016, 04:02 AM   #15
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Re: Is the FZ2000 the answer for wildlife video?

The FZ2500 will certainly add some improvements over the FZ1000, but I believe that the FZ1000 is to be kept in production alongside the newer camera. As Noa pointed out the FZ2500 will be around double the price.

The differences will be covering some of the gaps in the FZ1000, so there will be slower zoom options, built in ND filters, a headphone output, unlimited recording time and slightly increased zoom range. As I already have two FZ1000s, I won't be replacing them as I am delighted with them but will be adding a FZ2000/2500 because I need another camera and it is a logical progression. Also as much of my filming is for continuous sequences longer than 30mins, it will remove the need to fill short gaps.

If you don't mind waiting for the FZ2000/2500 and don't mind paying the premium for a newly introduced camera, then I am sure that you will be delighted, However, the improvements, although useful, are an upgrade and there are always newer and better specified cameras just around the corner. If the cost is a consideration, then I seriously doubt that you will lose any noticeable quality with as FZ1000. Much of the camera including the imaging chip and most of the internals will be the same as the new camera and many of the new camera features are not difficult to implement on the old one. A variable ND filter takes a few seconds to attach, audio monitoring is available visually with onscreen level meters, the difference in zoom is minimal and the 30min continuous filming limit is normal in just about every other camera of the type, both bridge and dslr. You also still have the very good wireless remote control and monitoring facility on the FZ1000 which could be very useful for wildlife work.

You could certainly get a good price on a new FZ1000 now and if you decide that you want an FZ2000/2500 in a few months when they have been in the hands of users for a while, then the FZ1000 seems to be maintaining a very good used sales price, by which time you will be fully familiar with the use of the Panasonic, which will be basically the same on both cams.

Roger

Last edited by Roger Gunkel; November 24th, 2016 at 04:05 AM. Reason: Spilling
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