Reviews of Cameras I’ve owned- Mostly Pansaonic Lumix.

Cameras I’ve owned discussed here: Canon Powershot A720is, Samsung HZ30w, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100,  DMC-FZ200, DMC-FZ1000, DMC-FZ300

I’ve always been the person with a camera at holidays but I didn’t get serious about it until about 2007 or so.

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I had a Canon  Powershot A720is that I liked and was upset when the battery door broke as we pulled into Grandfather Mountains parking lot. In hindsight, that jump-started my love of photography.


 

Panasonic DMC-Fz100

I replaced my Canon with the Panasonic DMC-FZ100 After much reading and searching. I’m a spreadsheet nerd and do it with almost all my purchases.

What I liked about my Fz100 was the ability to video (slow mo, high def and reg), screw on 52mm filters and macro lenses.  I already have a remote trigger for the lack of timer options like my Canon had. I require a viewfinder, hot shoe and really like the fully articulated LCD. I limit the ISO to 400 and have been very pleased with the quality of photo and video. In fact 2 of my photos won in 2 competitions. I wish it had a larger sensor. I think the weight and size is fine as it’s not too heavy to carry around. This was my first longer zoom and I loved it. I was on the fence about if I wanted a ‘camera’ battery or just regular batteries but the dedicated rechargeable camera battery last longer. I just bought an extra one. I also bought an eye-fi wi-fi SD card so I could quit opening the battery door as often to get to the card. I wanted to avoid a door failure and that fit the bill. Documentation has started to only come on a DVD- so starting with this camera I pay to have a full spiral bound manual printed.


Samsung HZ30W 15xZoom (Small)

I’ve tried Olympus, Canon, Kodak, Samsung and the Pany. The Samsung HZ30w For Sale see Info@SellingVille.com  is small and has PASM but it’s hardly used and therefore I never know how to get to what I want quickly and often just put it on auto. It’s nice to have a small camera to put in your purse or give to my hubby when he needs a camera and I don’t really want to hand over my favorite camera. It’s better than a phone and small. I’m sure I’d like it even better if I used it more.


P1080841I did indeed replace my Pany FZ-100 with the FZ-200 and found a new favorite camera. This camera has so much I love.

It seemed a little odd to me they dropped the MP in the fz200 from the fz100 but I had my 100 set to top out at 12MP anyway. I shoot indoor and outdoor of moving animals and bugs to landscapes- almost everything except people. I seldom use the flash but bought a diffuser and bounce that in the hot shoe for when I need the flash and don’t want to give my blue-eye’d cats red eye. I LOVE the fixed 2.8 on the fz200!

Ya know how you have that favorite car… The FZ200 was my favorite camera. I have LOVED this camera!  This is the camera I used for the winning first place animal shot for Our State Magazine of an elk and a few other contest and for the cover of WNC Magazine. I learned where all the buttons where. I had the full manual printed and read it like a book.

I liked that I could go from 1cm macro to mountains in the distance with the 25-600 mm Leica lens all with constant 2.8 aperture for those great bokeh backgrounds.

I like I can use auto or manual with the PASM settings.

The fz100 had this and now after owning two, I never again want to own a camera without the fully articulated LCD. It makes it so much easier to go low or high handheld or on a tripod.

I like and use the 12 fPS burst; the ability to screw on filters; the size and weight are good. I love that it has an LCD and a viewfinder that isn’t a snap on extra using the hot shoe. I like having video there when I want it. I like how long the battery last.

If I had anything to change… and it’s not much I wish it was less noisy at high iso’s and that the timer had a few more options so I didn’t need to use a wireless remote to be in family pics but all in all this is a great camera to always have with you without the bulk of carrying around lots of weight or extra lenses. The detail in bird feathers even when I’m zoomed all the way out is incredible. The camera is a tad larger than my fz100 but still quite manageable.


P1200572 (Small)In August 2015 I received the Fz1000 as a gift, but for the first time I didn’t sell my previous camera, and for the first time I had things, I liked better about my last camera.

On paper the Fz1000 beats the Fz200 hands down. In the real world, my world, and for how I like to shoot and what I like to shoot there are several things I like better about my fz200.

Cons (for me).
I REALLY miss that extra 200 mm in zoom- a LOT! This could be repeated over and over.
My fz200 has a much longer battery life even though they use the same battery
The size and weight of fz200 is better
I miss the constant 2.8
Had to buy new filters and close-up lenses because the filter mm size was different
This was a gift and Panasonic was running a 3 yr extended warranty which they would not honor on my gifted camera even though I asked before sending in the bar code off the box. So, little bit of negativeness regarding their customer service on this 3rd Panasonic Lumix. I don’t think it’s fair you can’t get the offer if someone gifted you the new camera.
Tripod plate covers the ability to open the battery / card door. Did they really think we wanted to remove the plate to get to the battery or change out an SD card?

Pros (for me)
Love the focus ring!
I like the ability to control timer shots with my phone so I don’t have to carry the remote release.
I like the clearer viewfinder
I like some of the features like double exposure shots, time lapse and a few other things. Not that I use them all that often but still neat.
I like the clearer shots at higher ISOs
The battery was the same as the 200 so I could still use the extras I bought.

I loved the constant 2.8 on my Fz200 with a longer zoom than the FZ1000 but I really thought that 1″ sensor would be nice. I also thought hey “what’s 200mm” and thought with a larger sensor and more mp I could just crop and get the same or better quality photo… I was wrong.

Since I don’t print my stuff I really see no advantage with the larger sensor other than noise reduction at high iso’s and the extra mp to me just means each shot is taking up more room on my hard drive.  The fz1000 has 4k video but that really doesn’t matter to me. I mean I want video but don’t need 4K – esp since I don’t have a TV to watch it on anyway. The fz1000 should be better in low light but I guess I shoot lots of other things like, subjects 600mm away or close-up macro and I didn’t notice.

I am glad they kept the variable articulated screen, viewfinder and hot shoe. I wish it didn’t weigh so much more and that I didn’t need to get a new bag, all new filters, and macro lenses as the the Fz200 had a 55mm filter thread and the fz1000 is 62mm. Still I like it- I just don’t love it and for that price tag I wish I loved everything about it. For what and how I like to shoot the fz200 may have been a better fit or possible the new fz300.

Sounds like I’m stuck on Panasonic- I’m not but I do like their features in the superzoom cameras.

I’m glad to see this breed of bridge superzoom and sensor size continue. I want more than a point shoot but less than a heavy DSLR that I have to carry around multiple lenses for. I hope to see the in-betweens like this bridge camera, or micro 4/3 or SLT and mirrorless lines keep growing.

For bird photography and zooming way in from a distance, my fz200 is a better fit for me. The fz1000 lends itself to its native settings and not going over 400mm. Which apparently I do that all the time! I just need to use it differently than my 600mm fz200.


 

I’ve owned the FZ100, 200, 1000 and now the DMC-FZ300 (in middle) and it’s my new favorite camera!

FZ200 FZ300 FZ1000

DMC-FZ300

Pro
25-600MM in a nice size body WITH constant 2.8 !! This is a major plus for me
The size and weight are good
Fully articulated LCD that seems larger without the wide plastic frame
With the 11.25.15 firmware update the focus after the fact  or post focus is simple awesome and I can’t wait to try it for focus stacking.
I can use all my fz200 52mm filters and close up glass
Finally, unlike the fz1000, the battery door hinges so that I can leave my tripod plate on and still get to the battery and card. That’s a biggie.

20170816_112833 (Small)
Metal tripod screw is nice and even nicer now that I can open the battery door with it still on the tripod!!
RGB mode
Just like the fz1000 I like the focus peaking
I also like that again like the fz1000 is has multiple image, time lapse, and some fun settings
Not quite like the big focus ring on the fz1000 but the new MF roll control is easy to use
Focus wheel is easier and more precise than the toggle on the fz200
Like the 1000 I like the zebra pattern so if you’re clipping highlights before you shoot
7 step auto bracket is a plus
I don’t use 4K video but 4K photo is awesome
RGB
lots of custom Fn buttons
Can now use external wireless flashes
Pano button is easier to get to
The fz300 is weather sealed. Now I take very good care of my cameras and I never get to the beach so water and sand are not really an issue for me. I have rain covers and umbrellas with me when I’m out.

Con
Just like the fz1000- I just can’t get the wi-fi to work w. my PC. I get to where it seems my computer then ask for a user name and password to who knows what. I’ve tried the computer user name, the modem, the workgroup all in combo with passwords and I’ve never gotten it right. Also you do have to turn on file sharing and turn off password protection of you PC to even get that far.
No internal memory on this one like the 200 had. I liked the buffer for a few shots if I forgot a card, or filled up a card AND I kept a stock photo of “If found please call” photo. In case a good Samaritan found my lost camera.

To note
They changed the lens hood some by making it shorter- not sure why. Flash/vignetting?
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the touchscreen. I mean I use it on my laptop and phone and found on this camera it’s kind of necessary. On the older push and rotate control dial, you could push in and get to your setting then roll the dial to adjust. Now you have to know your Fn buttons or use the Q. Menu, then roll the dial. Being able to touch for focus here and pinch and pull is a nice touch (pun intended).

So the post focus is totally cool and I’m glad to have it but a few things I’ve noticed in playing with it. It’s not something to just leave on. It’s something to turn on when you’ll know you want it because there’s a delay as it process the photo. Also on most of my photos the LCD doesn’t show an in focus shot at time of capture. However it will focus in camera on whatever you tell it to afterward. It doesn’t do as well on birds if they move and I think the 4K photo will be better for fast moving subjects. Still it IS great for photo stacking and works best on a tripod.

I found it a little tough without going back to the full manual as to why a setting would be grayed out and had to search for what I was trying to set to on and couldn’t because I’d turned something else off or on that affected what I was trying to do.

I’m used to the fz200 and fz1000 and keep trying to depress the top control button to make my selection before rolling it- that’s going to take some getting used to.

I read online about starry night photos and guess I thought it was a custom scenery selection but the same night options were there as before. I came back in to read about ‘starlight’ and it’s the camera in low light seeing stars and adjusting automatically. (pg 128 of the full manual)

Not sure I’ll notice it…. but their was a sensor change from CMOS to back-lit.
They moved the mic – that might be nice on video
Again a nice feature if you need it is that it’s weather sealed

 



 

Hey- camera makers are you listening? Here’s what is important to me in a camera:

I made spreadsheets galore when I was looking. Then I found dpreview.com and its side by side comparison. Now they almost have at least one thing incorrect on the list. I never wanted the weight of one with a mirror but I thought I wanted interchangeable lenses. I bought the Panasonic DMC-GH1 from B&H and within a week I was going for a walk and didn’t want to take my big bought-for-my-40th camera because it was so heavy. So I returned the GH1 and started my hunt again.

These are likely all standard now but I’d still compare if I found myself between two cameras that I liked.

  • They all seem to have plenty of resolution for me as I hardly ever print anything.
  • I like having white balance settings
  • JPG and RAW
  • Some of the scene modes are neat- mine has in camera HDR
  • I want to be able to set the exposure to bracket at least -3, 0, +3
  • decent battery life even though I always buy an extra battery
  • I want the shutter speed to be adjustable for waterfalls to wings (long and quick w.o a lot of noise)
  • and even though I normally shoot in a priority mode PSA I still want manual too

and these are important to me

  • I want a lot of zoom
  • I love my constant 2.8 even at 600mm for bokeh and for low light
  • hot shoe
  • Viewfinder as part of the camera, not a hot shoe hog
  • Live view is a must for me
  • several fps at reg size
  • fully articulated swivel LCD I use all the time for low, high or oddly attached to the tripod shots
  • Self-timer w. more than a 2 and 10 sec choice would be nice so I don’t have to carry a timer or mess with syncing my phone.
  • internal/attached flash
  • large sensor
  • tripod threads metal
  • video of some kind- doesn’t have to be 4K
  • NOT plastic parts holding the battery door or memory card door closed- well this was more important before I bought a wi-fi SD card but my wifi card doesn’t transfer RAW so I’ve started using the cable.
  • prefer SD over some of the other memory cards because I have them
  • size, weight, and price are all important to me
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One thought on “Reviews of Cameras I’ve owned- Mostly Pansaonic Lumix.

  1. Pingback: New bag AND a new Fz2500? | Covers, Cats & Clicks by KiM

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