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Old December 28th, 2016, 05:39 AM   #1
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FZ2500 Impressions and Comments?

Hi Guys

We have a stack of comments getting tangled up with the wildlife thread so I thought I would start a new thread about impressions, comments and maybe questions on those with a new FZ2000 or 2500

I like it so far especially the Fn1 and Fn2 slow zoom buttons on the lens barrel ..the FZ1000 was tricky to zoom for video and these now have awesome and smooth control. The camera is also easier to mount with the tripod thread now in the "correct position"

Anybody found anything great that I still have to discover??
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Old December 28th, 2016, 09:58 PM   #2
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Re: FZ2500 Impressions and Comments?

I did have an issue with the micro HDMI ports on my FZ1000's which became damaged when a bad cable bent the tiny pins so on the FZ2500 I have a much better device called a Lock Port which makes the micro port into a full sized one and you can anchor it securely to the base ... LockPort have the hardware to suit a GH4 if you don't use a rig of any sort but all our cameras have an aluminium flat bar under the camera with two foam grips either side so I make a simple clamp for the Lock Port so I can be as rough as I like with the cable and the tiny micro port won't get damaged.
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Old December 30th, 2016, 01:25 PM   #3
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Re: FZ2500 Impressions and Comments?

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Guys

We have a stack of comments getting tangled up with the wildlife thread so I thought I would start a new thread about impressions, comments and maybe questions on those with a new FZ2000 or 2500

I like it so far especially the Fn1 and Fn2 slow zoom buttons on the lens barrel ..the FZ1000 was tricky to zoom for video and these now have awesome and smooth control. The camera is also easier to mount with the tripod thread now in the "correct position"

Anybody found anything great that I still have to discover??
Great idea! I'm still learning to use it. I've read through the manual once and been through the menu a number of times. So much to learn. Seems to be a lot different than my canon dlsr. I was a little disappointed with the dolly zoom feature after reading the manual. If I understand it correctly, you have to film twice and still need a dolly. After seeing the promo videos, I assumed it would be a simple touch of a button to activate the dolly zoom. I was really looking forward to overusing that feature. Might not be possible while filming wildlife. I'm sure I'll enjoy using the camera and will eventually learn its many features.
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Old December 30th, 2016, 09:19 PM   #4
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Re: FZ2500 Impressions and Comments?

Hi Larry

With Dolly Zoom you only have to film once but yes, you do need to move the camera either forward or backward depending on which Fn button is being used to keep the subject size roughly the same so the sequence would be ..set Dolly Zoom to on ....if you are doing a zoom out move the camera forward to the keep the subject size the same and push the Fn1 button ...the subject will keep still and the background will come forward too. I wonder if it would work with the camera handheld?? It would be fairly easy to walk towards the subject or away from it whilst pressing the Fn buttons ... To be honest I cannot see a use for it in wildlife unless your animal stands still .... I think zoom out might be more dramatic .. I have a wedding tomorrow but I'll play with the camera during the week ... I do really like the slow zoom feature ...makes it way better than the FZ1000 ..... At weddings I can now creep zoom into the bridal couple whereas the FZ1000 was hit and miss affair. I'm sure we will discover more uses as we go on. I was looking at the 4K pan/zoom feature too but I normally do that in post but with us using live broadcasts we might find that useful too. If you are doing any shooting off the tripod, think about making a grip like in my post above ..it makes a HUGE difference to handheld shots!
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Old December 31st, 2016, 08:04 AM   #5
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Re: FZ2500 Impressions and Comments?

That's good to know Chris. I certain I dolly zoom wouldn't work for wildlife if I had to film twice. Once will be difficult enough. I can see dolly zooming in on a rodent, a snake's meal. My problem is, I haven't even been able to get the dolly zoom option highlighted in order to turn it on. I know it's only available under with certain video formats. I've tried every one and still don't get an option to turn it on in the menu. I'll figure it out eventually.

Good idea for the handheld unit. Thanks.
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Old December 31st, 2016, 05:18 PM   #6
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Re: FZ2500 Impressions and Comments?

It needs a format that supports variable frame rates so for you it should work in AVCHD 60P It definately won't work in any MP4 format and always needs a double frame rate hence the 60P instead of 30P

I have a wedding shoot later so I also test mine after that and see what works
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Old December 31st, 2016, 06:11 PM   #7
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Re: FZ2500 Impressions and Comments?

Yes, as I mentioned, I've tried every recording format possible. Just revisited it and see that the men shows which formats support VFR. Looks like only some of the 24fps or 29.99fps are supported. I selected AVCHD and 24M/30p which is "VFR available", yet the dolly zoom option is not highlghted in the menu.

Good luck at the wedding.

Happy New Year.
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Old December 31st, 2016, 06:17 PM   #8
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Re: FZ2500 Impressions and Comments?

You need to be in MP4(LPCM) format and choose 100m/30p or 100m/24p to use dolly zoom.
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Old December 31st, 2016, 06:18 PM   #9
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Re: FZ2500 Impressions and Comments?

Looks like it will also work in MOV format although I haven't actually tried that yet.
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Old December 31st, 2016, 07:11 PM   #10
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Re: FZ2500 Impressions and Comments?

I also had to turn off VFR, otherwise dolly zoom wasn't available. Thanks.
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Old December 31st, 2016, 08:14 PM   #11
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Re: FZ2500 Impressions and Comments?

Another lesson learned ..However at the wedding today I don't think I'll mess around too much ..might try the dolly zoom at home first. Also this wedding is on a beach so using the tripod on a dolly won't work in soft sand. I will use the new slow zoom feature though ...it's really neat and silky smooth!

Let me know if you think the dolly zoom is a worthwhile feature?
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Old December 31st, 2016, 11:24 PM   #12
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Re: FZ2500 Impressions and Comments?

I posted he comment below in the 'wildlife' thread but have just found Chris's new thread so I'll post it here instead, a more appropriate place

Here I go again, new to the FZ! Happy New Year to all but I have a question.

Does the FZ2500 have AGC? I was testing it under low light conditions in a restaurant with a singer and a backgound of people eating and chatting. I was using a Rode video pro mic and was about 3 metres away from the singer. In the quiet parts I think I can hear an increae in hiss/hum which seemed to fade when the singer sang again.I can remove it in FCPX. It seemed to be AGC but I can find no reference to it in the advanced manual nor on line. If it is there I want to switch it off!

Help please!
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Old January 1st, 2017, 08:16 AM   #13
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Re: FZ2500 Impressions and Comments?

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Another lesson learned ..However at the wedding today I don't think I'll mess around too much ..might try the dolly zoom at home first. Also this wedding is on a beach so using the tripod on a dolly won't work in soft sand. I will use the new slow zoom feature though ...it's really neat and silky smooth!

Let me know if you think the dolly zoom is a worthwhile feature?
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Originally Posted by Mike Griffiths View Post
Does the FZ2500 have AGC? ... It seemed to be AGC but I can find no reference to it in the advanced manual nor on line. If it is there I want to switch it off!

Help please!
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Chris, good call on delaying the use of dolly zoom while on a tripod on a beach. Speaking of the beach, I'm searching for some way to protect the camera from saltwater breeze and sand. Was thinking of something like a LensCoat RainCoat, but haven't found one that would seem to work well with a bridge camera with function buttons on the lens and touchscreen, etc. Really not sure if I'm being overly concerned. Did you take any precautions.

Mike, wish I could help, but I'm so new to this that I had to research AGC; automatic gain control? It appears to have something to do with audio. Maybe someone in an audio forum could help answer that question.
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Old January 1st, 2017, 04:46 PM   #14
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Re: FZ2500 Impressions and Comments?

AGC, Automatic Gain Control, is very common on a lot of audio and video equipment. It is a method of reducing the chances of overloading the audio input by levelling the recording. It works by using a fast attack compression, which instantly limits the maximum level to a preset limit, usually factory set. The limiting is released once the sound source drops below the limiting threshold. The release can be quick or slow depending on how it was set, but basically brings the sensitivity back up which can lead to background system hiss being audible. You can also get a pumping effect if there is a lot of regular quick variation in the source level, such as close miking a voice or loud music etc.

The FZ1000 and probably the FZ2500 has a menu setting for switching between auto level or manual. This can only usually be accessed with the camera in manual mode. Modern camera AGC is usually quite effective in moderate sound variation situations, but is generally pretty basic and for better sound control you should leave on manual. Audio recorders like the Zoom H1 also have switchable auto gain, which in the case of the Zoom is quite aggressive with a slow release rate which is very noticeable on recordings. I always use mine in manual.

Hope that helps,

Roger
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Old January 1st, 2017, 05:57 PM   #15
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Re: FZ2500 Impressions and Comments?

The level control on newer cameras is a lot better than the old AGC that used to ramp up very quickly! My XLR adapter actually has an AGC defeat signal that you can turn on (it's just a high frequency signal that's applied to your audio that makes the camera think it has a constant audio level.

With that said the FZ series audio limiters are pretty good and won't ramp up like the old camcorders used to but as Roger says it's way better to just turn it off on the camera but of course you then have to have some sort of audio control to handle different audio levels in the room/venue so unless your audio is coming from a mixer of sorts or at least something you can control the input level of, then you have no option but to use the camera with limit turned on ...better to have a little hiss/noise than have totally blown out audio. On my B-Cam FZ1000 with a shotgun mic it's always on as venue audio can change dramatically!!
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