Trip of a lifetime: camera outcomes


Radio aficionados will notice the recent focus on photography. This is a temporary diversion from radio because my wife and I went on a trip of a lifetime in March 2015, and I wanted to get the right gear to capture as much of our experience as possible. Not so much for the photo album, but more to share with family and friends what we saw and did.

Mission accomplished. (See photos)

Twelve days of nearly constant photo and video shooting in New Zealand and Australia in March 2015 taught me a great deal about the Lumix FZ1000 camera. Mostly, I kept saying “This thing is great” but occasionally I wished for a bit more predictability.

First, the problem areas I discovered (and they’re entirely related to focus control in video mode). When shooting video, I found the focus tended to hunt around too much. I tried various focal lengths and learned that when the lens is wider (say, under 50mm) focus is pretty good, but when you zoom in a bit further the focus tracking tends to lock onto one object. This is just fine unless that one object is not your subject. It’s difficult to move it to the subject without zooming out, refocusing and zooming back in.

This isn’t a super big deal to me — the benefits of this camera more than make up for a few out of focus moments in video.

The 4K video is stunning and, as display options improve, the camera will really prove useful as a super high definition tool. For now, 4K video uses a lot of bandwidth and storage and can only truly be appreciated when viewed on 4K-capable devices. I don’t yet have any of those.

For photography, the camera is a dream. The superzoom worked just as I had hoped, and the wide-angle 24mm/f2.8 end of the lens is remarkable. Other than some panorama shots with my iPhone 6 plus, almost all the photos on my Flickr photostream are FZ1000.

Judge for yourself how well the FZ1000 performed in the hands of a not-very-sophisticated amateur photographer.

View my Flickr photostream