Tag Archives: Sony F707

More on my FZ1000

It’s been a while since my last post.  And in that time I’ve been able to use my Panasonic FZ1000 on more than one occasion.  I’m going to share some of my thoughts about the FZ1000, but try not to bore you with a lot of techno stuff.  If you want that kind of info, there are other websites available.

The FZ1000 is by no means small.  It’s close in size to my Canon 60D DSLR, although somewhat lighter.  The advantage the FZ1000 has over a camera like the 60D is versatility.  The built-in lens is of high quality (Leica) and has a very usable range, 25-400mm (image stabilized).  This means that with a single camera I can quickly change focal length to suit the situation, rather than carry a bag full of lenses and fumble around changing them.  I’m able to keep the FZ1000 in a small messenger bag that isn’t a pain to carry around.

During a recent outing to the Planes of Fame Air Museum I was able to make good use of the FZ1000.  In fact, it was the only camera I brought to the event.  Packed nicely in the messenger bag, along with a couple of accessories, it was quick and easy to access and grab a shot or two when needed.  The nice thing about the air museum is the variety of subjects and lighting.  Sometimes the light is just right, but mostly it’s challenging.  Dark interior hangars and harsh afternoon light pouring in from open hangar doors, can be fun and frustrating at the same time!

Speaking of a variety of subjects, I was able to work with both static and moving examples.  The event was titled “Little Friends” and was about the role of the P-51 Mustang as a bomber escort during WWII.  There are a couple of P-51s at the museum, and the P-51D Wee Willy II, provided a flight demonstration.  I found the FZ1000 more than capable for the static displays, but not quite up to snuff with the flight demo this time.  There’s a difference between an air show where the planes fly much closer to the crowd and other events such as this one.  The P-51D did make several passes, but was at a much higher elevation.  The FZ1000 can stretch out to 400mm, but that wasn’t quite enough for this event.  There is a feature in the FZ1000 to increase the range of the lens by using the digital zoom, but at the cost of resolution.  This is something I’ll investigate later and share if it proves useful.  To be fair, I’ve used my Canon 60D with Tamron 200-500mm lens at similar events and found it wanting as well.

There are 2 modes that I used during my time at the air museum.  For the static displays, I selected aperture priority.  Aperture priority is generally my preferred mode for most things such as landscapes, portraits, and most things that don’t move too fast.  When the subject is moving, I tend to shift to shutter priority.  When the shutter speed is set, the camera adjusts the aperture to match.  Because I was shooting WWII propeller planes, I used a slower shutter speed to blur the prop (usually 1/200th second).  Although the camera has the ability to be set for Auto ISO (sensitivity to light), I prefer to make the necessary changes myself.  When the light was bright and in abundance, I used ISO 125, for darker interiors I set it at ISO 1600.  There was some noise at 1600, but nothing that couldn’t be cleaned up in post.  I also shoot everything in RAW rather than jpeg.  I find RAW much more flexible for post processing.

So, with all of the stuff mentioned above, what about image quality?  As far as I’m concerned it’s more than adequate.  I’ve mentioned in previous posts (and elsewhere) that I won’t get caught up in endless debates about pixel depth, sensor size and other technical details.  Personally, I’m more interested in how a camera performs the task I’ve given it, how it feels in my hands, and the RAW image that I can spend time with in post.  I’m sure there are those who will not find the FZ1000 good enough, but I’m not among them.  There’s more to the art and craft of photography than pixels!

Here are some recent examples from my FZ1000:






There’s one more thing the FZ1000 does, and that is video. Not just video, but 4K. In case you didn’t know, 4K has twice the resolution of HD. Video isn’t something that I do much of, but with the 4K ability of the FZ1000, I couldn’t resist. My video skills aren’t that good, but the one thing that I am able to do with a video clip is what’s called a frame grab. Using Adobe Lightroom, I’m able to not only view a video, but break it down frame by frame, and grab one (copy and extract it from the actual video). The resulting image is a jpeg, and has 5 megapixel resolution. Here’s a frame that I grabbed. Other than a little cropping and resizing, I applied no other processing.

So, you may be wondering if the FZ1000 is for you. Maybe, maybe not. It depends on what you want to do with it. For some, it may be too big. It most definitely will not fit in your pocket. If that’s what you want, then you may want to look at a camera like the Sony RX100. The RX100 has a sensor of similar size and quality as the FZ1000, but in a much smaller package. The RX100 will fit in your pocket, or purse! Want to know my solution? I have them both!

That’s it for this post, until next time – Happy Shooting!

It’s New Camera Time!

Uh-Oh!  I did it again!  Another new camera is on the way.  This time I’m adding the Panasonic GX-1, Micro Four Thirds (M 4/3) to the stable.

Panasonic GX-1

I know, I really didn’t need another camera.  And I actually wasn’t in the market for one, well at least not actively in the market (I’m always looking at camera-porn).  The problem is that this one kept popping up on various websites and in Twitter as the “Deal of the Day”.  It seemed like the price kept dropping every day.  I’ve seen this before, a camera company will work to clear out all of the old model prior to the introduction of the latest and greatest.  This is usually the time to score, and that’s why I went for it!

This Panasonic will work well with my existing M 4/3 gear.  I already have the wonderful Olympus E-P3, and an Olympus 14-42mm lens, along with a Panasonic 45-200mm lens.  Olympus and Panasonic M 4/3 lenses are interchangeable, without the need for an adaptor.  So, I’ll be able to use either one of my current lenses with this GX-1 body.

The GX-1 is considered one of the “Premium” cameras in Panasonic’s lineup.  There are quite a few features that have really got me interested including:

  • 16-mp sensor
  • High speed signal processing with 3 CPU’s and Venus Engine
  • 12800 High ISO capability
  • Built in flash
  • Touch control
  • Lots of button customizing

I got the camera from one of my favorite camera stores – Adorama.  When I saw the original “Deal of the Day”, it was $249.  I picked mine up for $239, and when I just checked it was back up to $249.  This is for the body only, it’s $399 if you want it with a lens.

Are there any negatives to this type of camera (interchangeable lens compact, M 4/3)?  To be honest – yes!  I wouldn’t want to be mis-leading, and as much as I love my Sony NEX3, and Olympus E-P3 they aren’t for everyone.  The biggest problem I have with them is the fact that they are definitely not for anything that moves fast!  That could be race cars, airplanes, or kids running up and down the soccer field.  Are the exceptions, yes!  But you have to work harder at setting the camera, and the conditions need to be just right.  You can’t just put it on automatic and start shooting.  If fast action is your thing, do yourself a favor, bite the bullet and buy a DSLR like the Canon T5i or the Nikon D5200.If you want something smaller and lighter, with great picture quality then go for a camera like the Panasonic GX-1 or the Olympus.  Fuji also makes some wonderful cameras in this category as does Sony.  While I’ll always have my big Canon gear, it will see much less use than my M 4/3 gear.  

That’s it for now.  I’ve already got my next post in mind.  It will be my review of the Panasonic GX-1.  Maybe I’ll compare it to my Olympus E-P3.  It might even be fun to compare it to my Sony F-707.  Until next time – Happy Shooting!

Getting to Know You!

One of the things I love about the Eastern Sierra is how familiar it has become.  In some ways, it almost feels like I’m going home every time my wife and I head out and up.

Silver Lake Reflections

The scene above was taken during my month long vacation last September/October.  During that time I was able to walk along the lake every day.

Although I’ve been to the Eastern Sierra many, many times, it was during my last visit that I really began to feel connected to the area.  There were patterns that I began to notice, such as when the sun would rise above the tall mountain peaks and bathe the lake with beautiful golden light.  Another pattern was the mist that would rise on the water shortly after sunrise, every morning.  I found this knowledge very helpful when planning my photo outings.

Every morning I would walk along the lake with my 2 Cairn Terriers.  They were always eager companions, and we had a lot of fun.  I always had a camera with me, and they were very patient when we stopped for a picture.

Silver Lake Sunrise

The photo above was just after sunrise, and except for the dogs, I had this scene all to myself.

Silver Lake, Blue Skies

The photo above was taken on one of my many walks along the lake.  This one was taken mid-morning, an hour or so after sunrise.  In addition to the beautiful scenery, fishermen were out on the lake, adding an interesting element.

Stormy Skies, Silver Lake

The scene above shows how the trees turned into their Fall Colors.  There is also an early Eastern Sierra snow storm brewing.

Getting to know this small piece of the Eastern Sierra allowed me to begin to understand what a wonderful place it is.  Although I had always thought I knew that, I really paid more attention to the details this time.  Maybe it was because I had enough time and wasn’t in a hurry to get anywhere.  I was already there!  When I was out on my walks, I would really try to stop and take it all in, trying to live in the moment.

As for cameras, I did mention that I always had one with me.  I brought 5 cameras with me, and it really didn’t matter which one I used for my daily walks.  Sometimes I would bring my Canon 60D, other times it would be my 10 + year old Sony F707.  It wasn’t about the camera, and I really didn’t care if I had 16 mega-pixels available or just 5.  My intent was to simply capture the moment, and if I was lucky, maybe even a little of the emotion that I felt.

My hope in sharing this with you is to get you to slow down, take it in (wherever you may be), and live the moment.  If you have a camera with you, use it.  Try to capture the feelings you have for that special place and if you’re lucky, others with feel it too when you share your images with them.

That’s it for now.  If you’d like, share that special place with us here.  Tell us why it was special and what you were feeling when you tried to capture that moment.

Until next time, Happy Shooting!