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Showing posts with label panasonic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label panasonic. Show all posts

3/24/2015

Panasonic Lumix GF7 review

Panasonic's tiny GF7 interchangeable lens compact squeezes in a surprising number of features

Amateur Photography - The Lumix GF camera range was once the starting point for interchangeable lens compacts, but now that Panasonic has the tiny Lumix GM1 there were few reasons to step up to the almost two-year-old Lumix GF6. That changed in January when the company introduced the GF7, a successor with a smaller body and selfie-friendly flip-up touchscreen display.

The GF7 is available to buy now, but seeing as we hadn't actually put one through its paces yet, we made sure to take a look when visiting the Panasonic stand at this year's Photography Show in Birmingham, in order to get some first impressions.

Looking at the GF7 side-by-side with the GF6 shows just how far the range has come in a single generation. The GF7 borrows more styling from the GM1 and enthusiast-level Lumix GX7 than it does from GF models gone by, with retro-inspired looks, silver metal trim and a choice of colours. It's also a lot smaller; you'll still struggle to squeeze it into a pocket, even with the 12-32mm kit lens locked in its travel position, but it doesn't weigh very much and won't weigh down your camera bag.

The mixture of metals and plastics are a clear indicator that Panasonic has built this camera to meet a specific price, but it doesn't feel cheap. You still get a built-in flash, and the lack of buttons on the back of the body aren't really an issue on account of the wonderful 3in touchscreen display. It is clear, responsive and, of course, able to flip up 180-degrees for those all important selfies. You can't flip it down or to the side, however, which may limit your creativity when it comes to more extreme angles. Naturally there's no EVF, given the size of the camera.

Panasonic hasn't skimped in terms of connectivity, with both Wi-Fi and NFC for quickly pairing a smartphone. We've used Panasonic's Image Ap frequently in the past and it works just as well here, letting you download photos wirelessly to your phone or control the camera remotely. There's no GPS built into the camera, but you can geotag your photos using your phone instead.

A pop-out flash is a welcome addition for low light shooting, but there's no hot shoe for adding a more powerful flash at a later date.

Underneath all the connectivity and features, the GF7 is still a very competent CSC. A 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, Venus image processor, 200-25600 ISO range and 23-AF points are essentially a match for the rest of Panasonic's Four Thirds cameras, so image quality should be on par with the likes of the GF6 and GM1 (depending on which lens you opt for).

Unsurprisingly there's a fully automatic mode on the mode dial, as Panasonic is aiming the GF7 at photographers making the leap from a fixed lens compact. There are several fun modes and effects too, but more advanced users will appreciate ASM modes and full control over ISO, shutter, aperture and other settings.

The Lumix GF7 is available to buy now for around £429, putting it in direct competition with the Samsung NX Mini, Olympus Pen E-PL7 and Sony's A5100. We'll have to wait until we give it the full review treatment to see how well it stacks up to its rivals, but based on a short play with it at the Photography Show it certainly has potential, particularly if you're after a very compact CSC that's designed with amateurs as well as enthusiasts in mind.

8/14/2014

PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 NEW REVIEWS


The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 is the first bridge camera to deliver the new ultra HD 4K video format thanks to the inclusion of an impressive 1in, 20.1MP CMOS sensor.

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PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000
Panasonic has a long history of delivering high quality video performance across its digital camera line up. Its G-series of CSCs has seen some impressive video innovations, most recently in the form of the GH4 which took the crown of being the first CSC to boast 4K video capture.

The new PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 benefits from this heritage and sees Panasonic break new ground once again, with the model being the first bridge camera to feature 4K video capture thanks to the utilisation of a larger than average 1in, 20.1MP CMOS sensor.

The FZ1000 also features a host of typical bridge camera characteristics, including a reasonable zoom lens and DSLR-esque controls.

The Question is: The LUMIX FZ1000 solely the preserve of video shooters, or does it deliver a complete shooting experience?

Features

As you might imagine. the real headline feature of the PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 is the camera's capacity to shoot 4K video if you're unfamiliar with 4K, it's the new ultra high resolution image video capture that's four times the resolution of full HD video capture.

The high resolution video capture is made capable by the inclusion of a new quad core Venus IV processor.

If you're not taken by the video potential of the FZ1000, then consider this when shooting 4K video it's possible to grab 8MP 3849 x 2160 still images from slow motion review, presenting a new way to capture individual frames.

All of this high resolution work is made possible by the larger than average 1in, 20.1MP sensor. This sensor also allows for an extensive ISO range which covers 125-12.00 in its conventional setting and extends to ISO 80 to 25.600.

The new sensor and processor combination also allows for some impressive operational speeds. Panasonic claims that the FZ1000 will shoot 12fps in its burst mode, while also featuring improved AF performance that the manufacturer claims is some 275% faster than its FZ1000 stable-mate.

in terms of the camera's optics the FZ1000 is not quite as impressive as the aforementioned FZ1000, although is still has a zoom to compete with a range of bridge cameras. The model sport a 16x optical zoom covering a focal range of 25-400mm in equivalent terms and one which is comprised of Leica glass.

Other eye catching features including the model's EVF. The FZ1000 inherits the impressive 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder seen in Panasonic's flagship CSC, the GH4. The LCD screen measures 3in and features a resolution of 921k dots, as well as being of the vari-angle variety.

As you might expect for a new camera from Panasonic, the FZ1000 features full WI-fi functionality, while one welcome feature is the ability to edit raw files in camera and output to JPEGs, dispensing of the need to do so on a computer.

Design

As is traditional for a bridge camera, the FZ1000 features design that's more akin to a DSLR than a compact.

It measures 137 x 99 x 131mm and weight 831g, making it slightly larger than some competing models such as the RX10 (although it still manages to feature an optical zoom twice as extensive as this rival).

The FZ1000 is made from a tough polycarbonate plastic and carries its bulk and weight well thanks to pleasing ergonomics and a substantial hand-grip, meaning that in the hand it feels comfortable and not overly large.

It would have been a positive to see weather sealing included in the body of the FZ1000, but the build quality is of a good enough standard for shooting on beaches or in light rain, for example.

One surprising omission from the camera's specification is a touch-screen. That being said, the body does cater well for shooting adjustment on the camera's body via a host of physical controls.

These include some five customisable Fn buttons along side a host of dedicated controls offering quick access to key shooting functionality such as exposure modes, exposure compensations an ISO control.

The models also benefits from the presence of a lens ring. this feature can be adjusted to control either the camera's zoom or manual focus, although it;s somewhat disappointing that it doesn't cater for further adjustment to control other key functionality such as exposure compensation of aperture control.

All in all, the range of physical controls and their clever placement, along with the ergonomic design, means that the FZ1000 is a pleasure to use and is relatively simple to do so, Anyone picking this camera up for the first time will certainly have a earning curve to overcome, but before long, even a new amateur will be confidently capturing strong imagery using this camera.

Raw V JPEGs

Full resolution 12 frames per second images can be captured in Raw+JPEG mode using the Panasonic FZ1000. a great benefit to photographers wherever speed their subjects are moving at. The in camera JPEG processing does a good job of sharpening lines and boosting colour saturation. However it noise reduction is a LIttle harsh so for low light images especially, we'd recommend using the Raw file and processing in post.

Performance

Panasonic makes some pretty bold claims with regards to the FZ1000's AF performance in comparison to some of its stable-mates, with the manufacturer stating that it focuses 275% faster than the FZ1000.

Such claims are made possible thanks to the implementation of a new defocusing contrast deception method and a 49 area AF system.

In practice the FZ1000 delivers impressive focusing results, and during testing there was rarely an occasion where the camera didn't deliver prompt, accurate focusing.

There are a host of focusing modes available, including a macro setting which allows for focusing as a close as 3cm, while te manual focusing mode is helped by the lens ring adjustment option.

Unfortunately the lens ring doesn't cater especially well for the second of its functions, namely controlling the camera's zoom. it seems to zoom faster the slower you turn it, somewhat counter intuitively, and as such it's often preferable to use the dedicated zoom slider by the shutter release.

The model's Wi-fi functionality also performs well, while on the whole the FZ1000 meets its claims with regards to continuous shooting rates, Capturing full resolution Jpeg + Raw images at 12 frames per second. That is fast enough to capture anything from action sports to wildlife.

If all of the operating noises and sound notifications are switched off, it is possible to take pictures with the FZ1000 in total silence. This is perhaps on eof the most significant performance features of the FZ1000 and will appeal to photographers who want to take pictures discreetly in sound sensitive environments.

The fact that the FZ1000 inherits the same viewfinder as found on the GH4 is certainly a benefit as it's one of the best units on the market. The EVF delivers bright and clear image reproduction as well as offering advanced functionality including manual focus magnification and exposure preview.

The EVF also benefits from a rubberised eye cup, making it comfortable to use for long periods of time.

Image Quality

Colour and White Balance

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Subjecting each camera to our colour chart test reveals any variation and differences in colour between Raw and JPEG file formats.


As well as having a range of white balance presets, the FZ1000 features a custom white balance setting in which you can store four presets. There are also a range of different shooting modes should you wish to add a more creative colour finish on your images.

In terms of colour, the FZ1000 produces a good balance between the various hues, while colours also appear pleasingly natural if you wish to add a bit more punch or saturation then the Photo Style Menu allows for fine tweaking.

Exposure

There are several different metering modes present on the FZ1000, with the main "Intelligent Multiple Area" metering setting delivering a pleasing balance between highlights and shadows. Even in difficult conditions the FZ1000 works hard to retain detail in shadows, and the presence of an "i,Dynamic" shooting mode ensures that you can get more detail the shadows and highlights should you require it.

The FZ1000 also delivers a pleasing dynamic range at its base ISO setting it manages a level comparable to many APS-C DSLRs, and it maintains this higher up the range.

Resolution

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Our resolution chart reveals exactly how much detail a sensor can resolve and it;s measured in lines/millimetre, abbreviated to lpmm

As you might expect for a bridge camera with a large sensor and a high mega-pixel count, the FZ1000 resolves and impressive amount of detail. At the base ISO setting the camera resolves around 30 lines/mm [lpmm], and even when the ISO setting is higher, at around 1600, the model still manages to resolve around 24 lpmm.


The diorama is used to ascertain how image noise is handled through an ISO range. Some cameras produce cleaner results than others.

Noise FZ1000 handles noise well, capturing clean and good quality images in both Raw and JPEG formats up to ISO 1600. Above this setting. JPEG files begin to deteriorate due to noise reduction, while luminace noise remains present.

PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 Pros and Cons

Pros

- Silent shooting
- 4k video capture is a bonus
- Excellent build quality
- Good zoom range

Cons

- Lack of touch-screen
- Proliferation of button may intimidate inexperienced photographers

Final Verdict

The bridge camera market has long been one of the most competitive going, and therefore for a model to stand out from the crowd it needs to see a reasonable amount of innovation. Panasonic has managed this trick before with the FZ200's fixed maximum aperture lens, and with the introduction of 4k video capture the FZ1000 also impresses by setting new ground.

As mentioned in the design section, we would have liked to see weather sealing included in this camera body, but for the sake of keeping costs down, we can appreciate it being challenging conditions all weather enclosures are available at affordable pries for peace of mind, so we won't count that against it. Although it's not perfect, with the 4k video features in need of some tweaking, the FZ1000 can shoot in near total silence, has a good quality zoom lens and is a pleasure to use, rightly taking its place alongside some of the very best bridge cameras currently on the market.


UK >> Where To Buy PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 <<




The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 is the first bridge camera to deliver the new ultra HD 4K video format thanks to the inclusion of an impressive 1in, 20.1MP CMOS sensor. PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000
4.5 / 5

8/08/2014

PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 Reviews Updates

Enthusiast compact that features a built-in electronic viewfinder and 7.1x optical zoom

Rather than employing the same 10.1MP 1/1.7in Live Mos sensor found in the LX7. The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 features a 12.1MP 1/1.7in Live MOS sensor with an ISO range from 80 to 6400 that can be expanded to 12.800 if needed. The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 manages to pack in one of the longest reaching zoom lenses for an enthusiast compact, with a 7.1x 28-200mm optical coverage. It's not quite as wide as some rivals or as fast, with a variable maximum aperture range f/2-5.9. but you get that extra reach at the long end.

The feature that's going to cause the most interest on The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 is the inclusion of an electronic viewfinder (EVF). with the 0.2in EVF sporting a 200k-dot resolution and a 100% field of view that shares a similar if not identical specification to EFVs found on some Panasonic bridge cameras such as the FZ62. Complementing the EVF is a 3in. 920k-dot display.

With The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 designed for both those looking for a quality point and shoot compact and for more experienced users, The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 features a broad range of shooting modes including iA+ (Intelligent Auto) for assisted shooting, Creative Control, Panorama as well as manual, aperture and shutter priority modes.

The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 features both WI-FI and NFC connectivity options, while if you;re looking to shoot video, there's the choice of Full HD 1920 x 1080 at 50i in AVCHD or 25p with MP4 output, while sound can be recorded in stereo provided that you're shooting in AVCHD.

Design

The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 eschews the design of the LX7 and instead opts for a more sleek and unfussy look that's a little reminiscent of Sony's RX100. its proportions are a little closer to Canon's PowerShot S110 or Nikon's Coolpix P330 though, with dimensions of 102,5 x 62.1 x 27.9mm meaning that it'll easily slip into most pockets and the weight won;t be too troublesome either, coming in at 192g. It has a quality feel and while the curved edges mean there's no space for a hand-grip as such, it still feels comfy in the hand.

Unlike the LX7 which has a dedicated aperture control ring, The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 has a multifunctional control ring that can be set up to control aperture, shutter speed, ISO and Creative Control, meaning exterior body controls are kept to a minimum.

Performance

Whether using 1-Area, 23-Area or Face Detection AF modes, focus was snappy and only struggled slightly in low contrast scenes which is to be expected, though we'd be hesitant to use the AF Tracking mode on fast moving subjects. It;ll happily track a subject across the frame, but rapid or erratic movements from you subject will see tracking lost - but this is not unique to The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1.

The EVF is a welcome and useful addition to The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1, and something many people have been calling out for in a compact camera of this size. But there;s no getting away from the fact that the display is quite small, while colours appears rather muted compared to the ear 3in display and the level of detail offered is limited it;s perhaps unreasonable to expect anything more when you consider the size of the camera and the fact that it's unique feature for a camera of this class. Keep your expectations in check and the EVF is more than adequate for general composition, particularly in bright sunlight when it can be nearly impossible to frame shots on rear screen, making it a real benefit.

The rear 3in display is good, delivering a decent amount of clarity and crispness, though it doesn't quite deliver the same punch as WhiteMagic display used on the Sony RX100 or AMOLED based screens.

The Control Ring round the lens allows you to make quick exposure adjustment, while the flexibility to program it to a desired setting is welcome, with adjustment clearly displayed in the rear screen or EVF, Combined with the additional function button and the four preset controls, and you've got pretty much everything at your fingertips, though if needed there's a quick menu to access other key settings of The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1.

Image Quality

In most instances The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 will expose nicely for the scene, though we did find in bright conditions there's a bias towards retaining shadow detail at the expense of blown highlight, requiring exposure compensation to be applied.

Noise only faintly becomes present at ISO 800. Above this and noise reduction comes into play, with result losing definition in an effort to combat noise - at ISO 6400 results look distinctly patchy and waxing, though Raw Files are much better.

Verdict

While the LX7 may suit enthusiasts better, those looking for a quality pocket compact camera will find there;s lots to like about The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1, its compact size, straight forward handling, decent zoom range, great images, Wi-fi connectivity and the inclusion of a build in EVF all combine to make The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 a great premium compacts.

Pros

  • Build in EVF
  • Wi-fi connectivity
  • Zoom range
  • Resolution
  • Handling

Cons

  • EVG is quite small
  • Slow maximum aperture
  • MUted colours

For USA >> Buy Now << For UK >> Buy Now <<


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While the LX7 may suit enthusiasts better, those looking for a quality pocket compact camera will find there;s lots to like about The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1, its compact size, straight forward handling, decent zoom range, great images, Wi-fi connectivity and the inclusion of a build in EVF all combine to make The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 a great premium compacts. PANASONIC LUMIX LF1
5 / 5