full frame file from an fz1000 ii.
Same. Central area magnified.
You start out using a camera one way and enjoy it but then you use it another way and uncover a fatal flaw. At least that's how I progress through onboarding a new camera.
About a week and a half ago I splashed out some cash and bought a brand new, sealed in the box, Panasonic fz1000 ii. I bought it from a USA official dealer with a pretty flawless track record. I set up the camera for the way I usually like to use these bridge cameras and fine-tuned the menu items with my idiosyncratic methodologies in mind. For the last week I've been using it while on walks around Austin and have stayed in a fairly narrow and easy use window by mostly setting the aperture near its widest setting or no smaller than f5.6.
I've been happy with performance of the camera and found it was capable of creating very sharp and nicely colored files. All in all, a good performer and a nice camera to take out when you want to be ready for just about anything. With a 25mm to 400mm zoom on the front it's a camera that can deliver results in just about any situation. It's at its best in strong light and that's how I was using it today.
I was standing on the pedestrian bridge that joins north and south Austin, shooting an image of the city skyline, when I decided to stop down a bit more to get sharpness across a deeper section of the photograph; I wanted to make sure the paddle board riders close to me and the bridges further away were in sharp focus. For grins I stopped down to f11 and shot a few frames but when I did so I noticed a mustache shaped blur object at the top of the frame. Uh oh.
I tried the same shot at f8.0 and the blur object remained. Now, this is where I'd take a conventional, interchangeable lens camera home to blow the dust off the sensor. Worst case scenario I might even do a wet cleaning... but this camera does NOT come with an interchangeable lens; it's a sealed system, so I looked through the menu to see if I'd missed a menu function for sensor cleaning. NOPE. It's not an option.
So, here I am with a week and a half old camera that's never been subject to sand storms, leaf blowers, desert winds, the sea shore or work in an industrial setting and it's got a honking big piece of crude on the sensor.
I came home and looked at the file writ large on the screen of my 5K monitor and noticed that the mustache artifact was not lonely but was accompanied by smaller dust bunnies. (See bottom left of the magnified frame, and also, just above the left side of the "mustache).
Say what you will about intuition but there must have been some reason why I saved the original box and all of the packaging when my usual inclination is to dump out all the manuals, warranty cards and boxes into the recycling. In this instance (perhaps the lethargy of the moment) I'd tossed the whole package that constituted the packing and materials into my closet next to the spent cores from our experimental nuclear reactor. Just above the shelf with the souvenirs from Area 51.
With a warning call to my sales associate at our local bricks and mortar store I jumped into the VSL limousine (no, I do not literally have a limousine!) and headed up with the box, materials and flawed camera in hand. But not before taking a moment to print out an 8.5 by 11 inch print with which to demonstrate the inadequacies of my particular unit.
Without a murmur of push back my sales person asked me how I'd like to handle the unfortunate situation. Would I like to trade the camera for a different, new and boxed unit? No, I decided, I'd rather just get a refund to my credit card and soldier on with one less camera in my inventory. The whole transaction was amicable and as smooth as teflon.
This marks my second mishap with a Panasonic Lumix camera this year. I'm not at all enthused. But, considering all the really crappy things happening in the world now this falls below the line of even caring.
I'll miss the camera's long reach and easy wide angle but I won't miss the unwanted clutter in the final files. A bit more Q.C. might help cement Panasonic's reputation for the better. Just a thought.
Kudos for the prompt and effective response on the part of my favorite "bricks and mortar" camera store, Precision Camera. Nice to be able to manage things face mask to face mask.
I came home and watched the news. That put the camera imbroglio into perspective...