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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old September 25th, 2013, 06:59 PM   #1
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anyone using the pana DMC-FZ200 for weddings?

I got myself a gh3 and a g6 to shoot weddings but I saw that Panasonic offers a quite cheap fz200 that has a fixed f2.8 lens on it with a 25 - 600mm focal length which sounds quite amazing, question is if it's any good? Is there anyone shooting weddings with this one who can share their experience? I wonder how it would match with my other 2 panasonics, it's very long focal length and fixed f2.8 lens, a optical stabiliser and auto focussing aids with the ability to shoot at 1080p 50p at a price of a cheap lens sounds too good to be true.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 07:48 PM   #2
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Re: anyone using the pana DMC-FZ200 for weddings?

I read in a few threads some where on this forum that it's a fantastic B or C cam ... it certainly is very good for the price.

What have you replaced with all these panasonics ??? You won't be needing your EA50 or CX730's at the rate your going!
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Old September 26th, 2013, 01:39 AM   #3
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Re: anyone using the pana DMC-FZ200 for weddings?

This is very interesting indeed! And only 360 on DigitalRev

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Old September 26th, 2013, 02:41 AM   #4
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Re: anyone using the pana DMC-FZ200 for weddings?

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Originally Posted by James Manford View Post
What have you replaced with all these panasonics ??? You won't be needing your EA50 or CX730's at the rate your going!
Yeah, I have too much camera's :) But they are all, except for one, cheap, Counted together I could have gotten one canon c100 but instead I have 2 high end handicams, 2 dslr's and one shouldermount camera. I prefer to have several small camera's with me at a wedding for mobility, back up and multicam registrations. I can fit 2 handicams and 3 dslr bodies incl lenses in one backpack so that's a big plus.

The ea50 will be used for more "serious" work, like 2 business events I have to cover the following 2 months, I don't do many corporate stuff but then my ea50 has advantages, I also occasionally get asked as freelancer for other wedding videographers and they want me to do handheld docu style shooting and then my ea50 is my weapon of choice as well. And if that is not enough, my dad - god rest his soul - died a few months ago and left me with 2 sony xr500 camera's and a sony fx1000 so I soon can set up a store.

That fz200 I was refering to is very cheap and a nice extra tool in the bag with it's constant f2.8 all through it's long zoom reach, strange you don't hear more people talking about it when it comes to weddings where constant f-stop and stabilized zoom lenses are practically a must. For me it would be a great little camera to use during a photoshoot.

Last edited by Noa Put; September 26th, 2013 at 04:12 AM.
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Old September 26th, 2013, 03:21 AM   #5
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Re: anyone using the pana DMC-FZ200 for weddings?

Jeff Harper of this parish has one & has posted some sample footage http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasoni...e-footage.html

I think that Roger Gunkel has one too but I think that he is using it mostly for stills.

At the price for the specifications it sounds too good to be true I would be really interested to try one out. I would be concerned that with its tiny sensor that low light performance might not be great and that it would difficult to match up with my other cameras.
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Old September 26th, 2013, 04:14 AM   #6
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Re: anyone using the pana DMC-FZ200 for weddings?

mm, not so good high iso performer, from what I understand iso 800 is as high as you should go.
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Old September 26th, 2013, 04:42 AM   #7
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Re: anyone using the pana DMC-FZ200 for weddings?

Hi Noa, yes Nigel is correct I have a FZ200 and have been playing with it for a few weeks getting used to it. I have used it alongside my small Panasonics that I always use for wedding filming and I am getting more confident with it.

The lens is superb and coupled with exceptionally good stabilisation, is useable for long shots of big closeups that would be impossible with my other cams. General low light at receptions is also good, on a par with the Panny handicams, although for really low light such as the first dance! it drops off pretty quickly. The really low light is unlikely to be as good as your sony handicams for video. You can capture in extremely low light by increasing the ISO, but at the expense of a slow shutter speed and graininess. It does far better for stills in low light though as the lower shutter speed is less of a problem.

I've also found the full wide angle setting to be better than my handicams, so I have been using it to video a couple of ceremonies where the wider field of view is an advantage. The speed of taking excellent stills has made me use it more than the DSLR and no lens change for long shots :-) I have probably used it 50/50 for stills and video, and shot one civil ceremony with it as the main video camera for the ceremony.

Downsides over the video cams are few, apart from the 29minute clip limit as per DSLRs. The biggest disappointment for me is that the zoom is either slow or fast, with no really slow creep or progressive setting. The slow setting starts off slow, but after about 2.5 seconds starts to speed up rapidly, so you need to limit visible zooms. Not a problem of course if you cut to another camera at the editing stage, but it is really a reframing zoom rather than a greative one.

One other thing that I have found is a tendency to burn out on very high contrast scenes, although more experimentation will hopefully get me round that, or maybe an additional filter.

I am delighted with the video and photo quality, both of which I think massively outperform my expectations at the price range. As I purchased it to help with my joint video/photo packages, it was a great choice, even allowing me to take reasonable quality stills while the camera is taking video.

A few further observations are that the battery life is excellent, and the cheap eBay spare batteries that I bought perform almost as well as the original. The quality and range of the lens plus the 2.8 aperture throughout the range, are worth the cost of the camera alone in my opinion. With the camera in the video only mode, the large shutter button is easier to access than the smaller optional video button. Also in video only mode, aperture, shutter speed etc can be adjusted without stopping the camera.

At the price, every solo wedding shooter should have one in their kit :-)

Roger
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Old September 26th, 2013, 05:04 AM   #8
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Re: anyone using the pana DMC-FZ200 for weddings?

Hi folks, is there a clip limit on it? That would limit it as an unmanned camera option.

Or the zoom might make it useful for me during ceremony and speeches, as I shoot prime on my 6D. I could have it on monopod, and move around and and zoom in tighter on people.
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Old September 26th, 2013, 06:06 AM   #9
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Re: anyone using the pana DMC-FZ200 for weddings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
mm, not so good high iso performer, from what I understand iso 800 is as high as you should go.
There is a report on DP Review where they state "The FZ200's photos are slightly noisy, even at ISO 100, though that's better than previous models which smudged away fine detail. Things don't get really noisy until ISO 800 in low light and ISO 3200 in good light." which is totally nonsensical. It's either noisy at 800 or 3200 or it's not. It won't depend on the ambient light.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Review: Digital Photography Review
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Old September 26th, 2013, 08:59 AM   #10
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Re: anyone using the pana DMC-FZ200 for weddings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Yeah, I have too much camera's :) But they are all, except for one, cheap, Counted together I could have gotten one canon c100 but instead I have 2 high end handicams, 2 dslr's and one shouldermount camera. I prefer to have several small camera's with me at a wedding for mobility, back up and multicam registrations. I can fit 2 handicams and 3 dslr bodies incl lenses in one backpack so that's a big plus.

The ea50 will be used for more "serious" work, like 2 business events I have to cover the following 2 months, I don't do many corporate stuff but then my ea50 has advantages, I also occasionally get asked as freelancer for other wedding videographers and they want me to do handheld docu style shooting and then my ea50 is my weapon of choice as well. And if that is not enough, my dad - god rest his soul - died a few months ago and left me with 2 sony xr500 camera's and a sony fx1000 so I soon can set up a store.

That fz200 I was refering to is very cheap and a nice extra tool in the bag with it's constant f2.8 all through it's long zoom reach, strange you don't hear more people talking about it when it comes to weddings where constant f-stop and stabilized zoom lenses are practically a must. For me it would be a great little camera to use during a photoshoot.
Ha! impressive list ...

Love the fact all of those cams is the price of ONE Canon C100 ... ridiculous isn't it!

Don't you find it stressful handling all these cameras? I know you probably set them up on Auto, but surely during a wedding due to pressure it gets a bit confusing?

I still hesitate handling two cameras and reluctantly throw it into Auto just incase I miss the shot sometimes. I'm embarassed to say it, but I rectify a lot of things in post production rather than in-camera ... but the client is never able to tell luckily! ;)
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Old September 26th, 2013, 01:35 PM   #11
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Re: anyone using the pana DMC-FZ200 for weddings?

Quote:
Don't you find it stressful handling all these cameras?
I don't use all camera's at the same time :) The handicams only get used during the ceremony and the dslr's during the rest of the day where from reception one dslr stays permanently on the steadicam.

I was not planning to get another camera, rather buy a lens, but that fz200 looked like a cool and versatile lens with a camera attached to it :)
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Old September 26th, 2013, 05:44 PM   #12
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Re: anyone using the pana DMC-FZ200 for weddings?

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Hi Noa, yes Nigel is correct I have a FZ200
Thx Roger for the info, much appreciated, it's not that I need that camera but it grabbed my attention when I saw what lens was attached and what the salesprice was. Is it right that at the wide end it starts at 25mm? Is that comparable with a 25mm lens on the gh3?
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Old September 27th, 2013, 01:06 PM   #13
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Re: anyone using the pana DMC-FZ200 for weddings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Thx Roger for the info, much appreciated, it's not that I need that camera but it grabbed my attention when I saw what lens was attached and what the salesprice was. Is it right that at the wide end it starts at 25mm? Is that comparable with a 25mm lens on the gh3?
Sorry Noa missed your post, yes the lens on the FZ200 is 25-600mm. I'm not familiar with the gh3, but would assume that the 25mm wide end would be the same.

Roger
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Old September 27th, 2013, 02:13 PM   #14
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Re: anyone using the pana DMC-FZ200 for weddings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Thx Roger for the info, much appreciated, it's not that I need that camera but it grabbed my attention when I saw what lens was attached and what the salesprice was. Is it right that at the wide end it starts at 25mm? Is that comparable with a 25mm lens on the gh3?
I believe the 25mm on the FZ200 is "FF equivalent" - the product page calls it "35mm equivalent" Panasonic DMC-FZ200K - LUMIX FZ200 12.1 Megapixel Digital Camera - Overview

The GH3 sensor size results in a crop factor compared to 35mm, so a 25mm on the GH3 gives the field of view of a 50mm on a FF camera, twice as long as on the FZ200 (all math approximate).

Fran
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Old September 27th, 2013, 03:05 PM   #15
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Re: anyone using the pana DMC-FZ200 for weddings?

Thanks Fran, I'm afraid I'm really not into the maths of lenses, if they do what I want I'm happy;-)

Roger
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