First Day of SXSW. First Downtown stroll with the Panasonic fz2500.

OMG. A post that's entirely about the still photography characteristics of a new camera. No video anywhere in sight!!! 

The Panasonic fz2500 hit the studio on Weds. and it wasn't until Friday morning that I actually had time to walk around downtown Austin and take some images with it. I grabbed an extra battery before I left the house and made all the fundamental settings to the camera, including turning down the default noise reduction by two clicks. I never seem to mind uniform noise in my images nearly as much as I do obvious smoothing from noise reduction. I'm guessing it's subjective.

The first thing I noticed was just how much difference only a couple increments of magnification make in a viewfinder. I thought the difference between .70x and .74x would be no big deal but it makes the finder brighter and more comfortable to compose in than the previous, fz1000 or any of the Sony RX10 variants. 

I found myself using the longer end of the zoom lens. Seems like my "go-to" approach to these super zoom cameras. All the images were shot in raw and converted to Jpegs in Lightroom. I think I got a little overzealous with the introduction of magenta into my color correction mix. I'll watch out for that in the future. 

The camera was well behaved and the files straight out of camera were
brighter than the ones I've gotten used to getting from the Sony RX10s. They weren't overexposed but the midranges seemed to be "lifted" a bit which gave an overall feeling of more openness to the files.

This was nothing more than a two hour walk around. I'll learn more tomorrow. I'll be documenting some panel discussions and some live music events for a financial services company which is holding a day long program at SXSW. They mostly want photographs but have requested "some" video clips. 

Since parking in the Convention Center and Rainey St. area is impossible during SXSW I plan to put three cameras, a microphone, a mixer, some headphones and extra batteries in that Amazon Basics backpack I purchased for the Canada video project. I'll catch the bus downtown and hike over from Congress Ave. I'm also taking a poncho because it's raining right now and the forecasts suggest it will continue tomorrow. A lot. 

I'm also taking a monopod. The venue might be a bit snug for a full on tripod. 

I would love to have regaled you with images of zany people in wild costumes doing amazing stuff with these images but the reality is that the crowds were quite sparse yesterday morning and the people I did see looked more like classic tech employees going to yet another business conference. All seriousness. With one hand gripping a paper cup of coffee and the other hand gripping a phone even tighter. No street theater and no public expression. I'm hoping we see the energy get ramped up when the music segment of SXSW gets started in earnest. Right now? Panel nerds. 

Interestingly, according to news sources, participation in SXSW by corporations took a huge hit this year; dropping from 450+ to something like 280. Fewer big booths and less buzz, for sure. 

We'll see how it all goes as the week progresses. I plan to be downtown as often as I can and I plan to take the Panasonic fz2500 with me every step of the way.

Here's the lens at 24 or 25mms.

Here's the same scene taken from the same spot with the lens set to 450mms.


Alex said...

OMG, a post without video, thank you. ;)
The monopod being the beautiful wooden Berlebach, I suppose?
I got mine after you wrote about it. How about adding cup-
and phone-holder to be the star of the convention?

Wolfgang Lonien said...

Nice photos Kirk.

And yes, once big corporations like "us" (see here for instance) move in, and everything is becoming a marketing platform, it's of no interest for the people who created it, so they move on. SXSW might be dead soon. Eaten by vultures.