This is my first bridge camera and I'm very impressed with it. There are so many options and features at your disposal. I have not extensively used or played with the majority of them unfortunately. Though I have a lot to learn in order to take full advantage of all this camera has to offer, I'm not discouraged to put the time in to learn.
I love the wireless shooting option where you can control your camera through a phone app. You can touch to focus on a specific part of the image you are trying to capture which is awesome.
April 4, 2015
Jerky zoom is a major problem for video recording
As currently is, the zoom pulses in response to the slow movement of the zoom ring. I read reviews before I bought the camera but only realized how bad it is after started using it. At each pulse, the image would lose focus for a moment and then refocus. I have not figured out how to overcome this problem.
I do hope Panasonic would fix the zoom problem with a firmware upgrade.
April 2, 2015
AN ALMOST PERFECT CAMERA IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT
When I first bought the FZ1000 back in October of 2014 I wrote a two page review on it for my students in the digital photography class I teach at Emeritus College in Santa Monica, California. I titled the review” My first 5 days with the Panasonic FZ1000”-
Now that I have been using that camera for six months I am even more impressed. I noted in that original review that the FZ1000 used the same battery as the FZ200 which I had and so did about a half-dozen of my photo students. I didn’t have to wait to charge the battery, I was able to start using with the FZ1000 right away and since I was very familiar with the FZ200, it was no problem to pick it up and use its big brother, the FZ1000, a very easy to master learning curve.
Two things worried me about making that switch, the impact of giving up the constant f2.8 lens for a f2.8-f4.0 lens on the FZ1000. The 2nd thing that worried me was giving up the 24x optical zoom of the FZ200 for the 16x zoom of the FZ1000. My concerns quickly evaporated. The 1” sensor of the FZ1000 made shooting at higher ISO levels very nice, up to ISO 1600 the images were better than what I was raving about on the FZ200 shot at ISO 200. In fact, some images I got at ISO 3200 had very little noise and still kept fine image detail.
My 2nd concern, the loss of some zoom range, also disappeared. I simply set one of the custom settings, C1 to give me a 10MP image. The zoom range went from 400mm to 565mm. Yes, I did loose 2MP of image and about 1x of zoom (25mm-565mm or about 23x zoom range) but the images again were superb even at higher ISO levels.
A couple of things with the FZ200 had bothered me, the electronic viewfinder (EVF) of the FZ200 required manual switching between the LCD and the EVF. The FZ1000 had an automatic eye sensor which solved that problem 100%. My impression of the FZ200’s EVF was very good, only a very slight bit of blurring when following a moving subject. It was bright and I was able to display all the shooting info I wanted. It wasn’t until I picked up the FZ1000 and took a close look through that EVF that I realized it was as good as using an optical viewfinder like on my Nikon D90 dSLR, only much better. I not only could see my shooting parameters, shutter speed and aperture, but ISO, white balance, along with a host of most other shooting parameters.
I immediately took out my Sony NEX 6 to further check things out, to compare viewfinders, to compare images, to compare ease of use and the effect of the larger sensor size of the NEX 6. The NEX 6 has a APS sized sensor while the FZ1000 only a 1”.. Again, no contest. While my NEX 6 was still warming up, I got off 3 or 4 pictures. Focusing speed with the FZ1000 was phenomenal, unlike anything I had ever handled, and as a photo teacher, I have handled a lot of cameras. During my initial setup of the camera, I had selected center focus and it worked very well. I tried shooting in a variety of burst modes without encountering any problems. I even set the camera to shoot 4K video and extracted 8MP images which were more than acceptable. I did run into a problem trying to turn on the 4K video but then found I had to be in the movie mode in order to access the 4K format in the menu.
I notice that several of the commercial reviews commented, somewhat negatively, on the “plastic feel” of the FZ1000. I did NOT find that experience. I found the FZ1000 to be very sturdy, free of creaking or squeaks, a very well put together, solid feeling camera.
The top left dial on the camera controls single frame shooting, burst mode, bracketing, time delay, and time lapse shooting. There are 5 Fn (function) buttons, I set Fn1 to HDR which I frequently use and find the results very good. In camera RAW processing is also a handy thing to have, especially when travelling. It is truly amazing as to how many things you can set to a Fn button. The 4 way dial on the back has ISO, AUTO FOCUS MODE, White balance, and macro mode. One thing I definitely do NOT miss from my FZ200 is how often I accidently hit the WB button on the 4 way dial on the FZ200. I have not run into that problem with the FZ1000.
I have been talking about all the pluses but there are some negatives as well. Weight and size are certainly two things some people will find problematic. The FZ1000 does fit into the vertical pockets on the front of my TravelSmith vest, a definite plus for me since I wear it whenever traveling. Battery life is another negative, it is somewhat shorter than other bridge cameras but then again, I travel with 3 backup batteries. I suspect the 20MP image uses far more battery power than other cameras.
This is not a camera for someone who takes a bunch of shots then puts away the camera for a month or two. This is NOT a camera for a novice photographer, rather this is a camera for a dedicated photographer who is tired of carrying around extra lenses and gear for their dSLR. This is a camera for someone who wants one camera that does just about everything and does it exceptionally well. I compared images shot with my Nikon D90, the FZ200 and my Sony NEX 6. I had hoped either the Sony or the FZ200 would allow me to greatly reduce most of the photo stuff I had to lug around on my trips. But now with the FZ1000, the smile on my face and the smaller package of camera gear I carry around tells the whole story about how happy I am with the FZ1000, it is a pleasure to use, extremely responsive, and does just about everything one could want from a professional level camera. It took me a while to come to grips with the price, but now that I did it, it was money well spent.
March 26, 2015
Met all expectations on a once-in-a-lifetime trip
I haven't really had a serious camera since film days; after a couple of low-end digitals died I've basically been using my phone for snaps over the past couple of years. When planning a trip to Antarctica, however, I knew I had to get a "real" camera, and after a very long search, purchased the FZ-1000. I'd considered many others in about the same price range before landing on the Lumix -- mostly the Sony point & shoot offerings and Nikon and Sony interchangeable lens models -- and now that I'm back, I've no regrets.
The main reasons for my selection were:
1. I decided I didn't want to deal with multiple lenses, given the conditions I'd be shooting in.
2. The range of the lens on the Lumix #to 400 mm equiv# exceeded the Sony's 200.
3. Yes, the Sony has a faster lens, but for most of my shooting, the slight loss on the Lumix was less important than the greater range #see 2#
Shot approx. 1500 images in the months before the trip #best piece of advice I received from a retailer, buy early so you have time to get used to new gear before it really counts# and I was really pleased with the results. Everything from close macro shooting to the far ends of its telephoto range, from landscapes to burst shooting fast-moving wildlife, from straight idiot-auto mode to full manual yielded good results. Some of the presets are pretty hokey and produce pretty tacky images, but nobody says we have to use them.
The things that I was less than thrilled with were the WiFi functions #far easier to just run a cord to my computer and transfer files that way#, the many steps it takes to access the panorama mode #made me wish for my iPhone#, and my inability to figure out the geotagging function, but those are small quibbles. On the positive side, aside from overall image quality, It handled sub-freezing temps fine, it was ready to shoot whenever I needed it, battery life was excellent #I did carry two spares at all times, but never needed more than one#.
All in all, I'm very happy with it, and look forward to even more as I get even more comfortable with it over time.
March 24, 2015