by Anura Guruge
My Panasonic Lumix FZ1000.
I got my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000, as a short-term compromise, from ‘buydig.com‘, in a hurry, on September 29, 2016, when I lost 989 images on my brand new Sony a77 Mk II.
Since then I have taken 5,851 usable images with the FZ1000 (and I have probably deleted around 100 images that were not great). So I have taken close to 6,000 pictures with it in 118 days. That comes to 51 pictures a day! That is right, because I try to take at least 15 pictures a day, with the FZ1000 and my Sony RX100 Mk II (but mainly the FZ1000) EVERY DAY for my ‘6 Images a Day‘ project.
It is one heck of a camera. It takes amazing, very detailed, color-accurate pictures, most of the time — without the need for any post-processing. 99.5% of the FZ1000 pictures I have published on this blog, and I think I must have published at least 350, have all been untouched pictures.
The FZ1000 has been a revelation. It is a very capable and powerful camera, the built in 25 mm to 400 mm incredibly handy — especially when travelling. At a list price of $750 it is one heck of a deal. I see lots of new enthusiasts getting low-end Canons and Nikons, with kit lenses, to get into the DSLR world. They would be much better off with the FZ1000.
It is not an APS-C sensor and I know that. But the 1″ is plenty big enough if all you do is take pictures for display on the Web.
So here is my first long-term review of the FZ1000, after taking 5,500+ usable images.
1. It can and it will take very high quality, high resolution, color-accurate pictures, most of the time, in JPEG mode, without the need for any post-processing.
2. The built-in 25 — 400 mm zoom Leica lens is brilliant; handy and of high optical quality.
3. The automatic modes, ‘P’, ‘Ai’, Scene, work well and you can basically use it as a point-and-shoot.
4. Fair degree of customization options with the Fn buttons.
5. Built-in flash is adequate most of the time (provided you remember to take the lens hood off if the subject is close by).
6. Very high-quality video, in automatic mode, without having to change any settings, just by hitting the red ‘record’ button.
1. Not having a second control wheel is a real pain. Having to PRESS the control wheel to invoke ‘shift’ so to speak so as to access the 2nd function can get old very quickly. This is my main gripe about this camera. I use it in ‘P’ mode much of the time, BUT I like to adjust exposure control and do ‘P-shift‘ i.e., increase/decrease aperture/speed. I end up invariably turning the wheel when it is in the wrong mode. Yes, I can fix it, but it takes time. It is this that has convinced me that I am going to get an Fuji X-T1 (or a X-T2, if there is one) because in future I am going with dedicated control wheels for ‘everything’!
2. High zoom images, in other than perfect light, can turn out to be ‘waxy’; i.e., looking like a oil painting.
3. Autofocus/zoom motors can sometimes be very noisy, even when idling, to the point of being distracting.
4. ‘Auto White Balance’ (AWB) isn’t great THOUGH custom White Balance, IF you can find some true white to click on, is awesome.
5. Though the Electronic View Finder (EVF) is supposed to show you what the sensor is seeing, and you can even set a Fn button to force the issue, this does not appear to be case most of the time (and the EVF is a tad dark around the edges).
6. The lens extends/retracts, with a mind of its own, when you power on the camera and even when you are reviewing images. That can be annoying and awkward.
But, overall, I would recommend the FZ1000 to any enthusiast who wants a VERY HIGH QUALITY 400 mm power zoom for under $800.
Taken with my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000,
in Philadelphia, on January 2, 2016.
Click to access the full-size, untouched 9MB 5472 x 3648 JPEG.
This is a 1024 x 683 reduced, 402 Kb JPEG. Click image for the FULL SIZE, 5472 x 3648 image, 9 MB.
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by Anura Guruge