The ongoing saga of this quarter's favorite VSL picture taking machine.

Click on the photos to see them larger in a separate window. 

All images taken with the Panasonic fz 1000. 

So, I had the opportunity to get paid for one of the photographic pursuits that I do for myself; walking around downtown Austin making images of buildings and stuff. I got to do the job exactly the way I wanted to without active curation on anybody's part. I started out the project using full frame cameras and prime lenses but I quickly came to realize that a wide ranging zoom would be much more effective and efficient. I also wanted to use a camera with an EVF because I was constantly using a circular polarizing filter and wanted to have the immediate feedback one gets from the camera assembling the preview and showing it as one shoots. 

I thought at first that I'd use the Olympus cameras but frankly, I didn't have the lens range I really wanted. I ended up choosing the Panasonic fz 1000 because, in broad daylight, the camera gives up very little to the larger formats when it comes to low noise, sharpness and the general look of the files. I shot raw and did some post processing but most of the files were in an optimum exposure range and already looked pretty good. Camera Raw in Adobe apps tends to yield a pretty flat file from  Panasonic raw files and that's okay because they seem resilient at taking bit corrections and big color changes without falling apart. 

As I got used to the rhythm of the camera the battery life seemed to go on forever. At a 400 mm equivalent focal length the image stabilization (five axis) was pretty incredible.

I loved being able to set the camera to f5.6 and zoom from 25mm to 400mm without seeing any real impact on image quality. This is an amazing camera. Much more exciting to shoot than most other bridge cameras because the 1 inch sensor means I have a great chance of getting competitive files. 

I love this camera so much I bought a second one as a back up.  If you like bridge cameras you should try one. It's amazing. It's the current VSL camera of the quarter. 

Less than the price of a good lens alone....


Tom Barry said...

I've been an enthusiastic amateur photographer for more than 60 years. At my age, carrying around a big DSLR rig or even a M4/3rds outfit with several lenses can be tiresome. I bought an FZ1000 when it first became available and can tell you that it has become my go-to all-purpose general photography tool. Image quality is surprisingly good. Even the "Intelligent Zoom" which seems to enable you to zoom up to 800mm equiv., though it is just a fancy crop, produces good prints. I've got an 8.5"X11" of a dragonfly on my wall that might as well have been taken with an APS-C rig with macro lens.

Anonymous said...

Folks forget what a polarizer can do for their photos. It can't all be done in post.Its more than darkening a blue sky. Something about removing reflections, glare from surfaces that make these photos sing.


Anonymous said...

I have been enjoying your commentary on the FZ1000. I considered this camera and the Sony RX-10 which has many similarities and finally chose the Sony -- but would have been happy with either.

The 1" sensors on these cameras can produce some amazing images. Small camera, large zoom range, great images, reasonable cost, and not having to clean sensor/filter dust. What's not to like?


Michael Matthews said...

Does this mean the EM5 IIs are on their way out the door? If so, sell me one at the special Loyal Reader price.

Kirk Tuck said...

MM, good try but the Olympus cameras are staying put. At least until the OMD EM-6 cameras come out.

Fred said...


I really like these photos, especially the first, third, seventh, twelfth, and thirteenth. They made me smile and it has been a tough 10 days here so that is a good thing. The first one reminds me of the Jetsons and I love the clouds reflecting off the building windows in other photos.


Anonymous said...

Nice shots.

But I think this is a fair weather camera. An Austin Winter-Sun, Good Light camera.

I am currently on business in London. I don't think the little Panasonic would hold up so well in the grim light experienced here right now.

I wonder how quickly the image quality degrades at 1000 ISO or more?

Peter said...

This is great. I have the FZ1000 and you're really boosting my confidence in the camera, in my choice. I'm leaving on a 26 day overseas trip (Bali) on Sunday and this will be my main camera, I think. I must admit I can't resist bringing the OM-D E-M1 as well, with Pana 14-42mm and Zuiko 70-300mm, but I suspect the FZ1000 will get the most use.

Kirk Tuck said...

Anonymous, surely there must be one or two nice days inn London, otherwise living there would be purely a masochistic undertaking. And since you asked, most of the images I've been making with the camera lately are between ISO 640 and 1250. A little magic in post might make them even better.