Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Lumix DMC-FZ300, the Works..

Thanks to Panasonic NZ, I had the opportunity to "play around" with their marvellous weather sealed "Super-Zoom" Bridge camera, the Lumix DMC-FZ300.

For the last three week ends, I have the chance to shoot different subjects and different functions; I even took shots in HIGH ISO 1,600 at an indoor festival!

Before I go on, I like to point out that, even though the rear monitor's resolution has increased from 460,000 dots in the FZ200 to 1,040,000 dots and includes touch control, I only use it for low-angle framing!

The monitor is fine, it is just me, who believe the best way to frame and get a good shot is by looking through a view-finder!

And what an incredibly good EVF this camera have!

The new EVF has been upgraded to an OLED display with 2,360,000 dots, compared with 1,312,000 dots in the older camera. It is bright and so life like that I ended up using the EVF most of the time!

Took a walk around our beautiful CBD of "concrete jungle", the 25 mm (eqv) wide end of the zoom lens is wide enough for most of the architecture.  This could be an ideal travel camera

With a push of the zoom level (either left or right side of the camera), the zoom lens go into super telephoto mode.  Notice that back-packer in the white circle...

The close-up of the travelling back-packer was taken without changing my position!  This zoom is very powerful!

The powerful zoom is also at home with day to day recording shots...

Last week was Wellington's local Indian and South East Asian communities' most vibrant cultural celebration of DIWALI, the 'Festival of Lights’.  And Just when I was wondering how good will the "small" sensor in the FZ300 perform in low light!

The colourful cultural performances was performed on a stage, lit with multi coloured spot light, these creates havoc to the auto white balance setting, but the camera cope.

The photo above show how "far" I was from the actual performances and how "dark" the stage was.

All my shots were exposed at ISO 1,600 with fully open F2.8, the shutter speeds were auto set by the camera and vary around 1/60 to 1/250.  For auto focus, I try out single centre position and multi area AF. They work very well, but coming from an "old school" photographer; I somehow have more confidence in using single centre AF ;)

Here are the shots, you be the judge :)

To tell you the truth, I was mildly surprise how good these high ISO shots are!  The "small" sensor has come a long way!  I am sure the RAW format also played a good part in the performance of the images. Personally, I will not recommend using ISO setting higher than 1,600 for reason of small sensor noise.

More shots.. these were taken last week, during our visits to the Bodhinyanarama Monastery
at Stokes Valley, Wellington.

As luck would have it, last week is the beginning of the Tui bird season in New Zealand!  We were lucky that there is a huge NZ flax plant outside our dinning room window, for certain months of every year, these endemic passerine gregarious bird of New Zealand come and suck the nectar of the flax plant and I will be waiting with my camera!  This time round, I am shooting them with the FZ300!

It is NOT easy to photograph these birds, they bop around each stalk all the time, your camera's AF and the burst mode of your drive better be fast enough!

Famous Last Words...

In conclusion, in the last three week ends with the FZ300, I have grown to like this light weight bridge camera a lot.

It is a versatile camera, a high performance all rounder... with that said, because of the limited real estate of the small sensor; it can also be a very unforgiving camera. You would want to get your composition nice and tight, with very little cropping, after capture.

In a positive way, it FORCES you to be a BETTER PHOTOGRAPHER to get your images nice and tight, that, with the huge zoom range of the super zoom lens; to me, is NOT that difficult :)

This is the last picture I shot during our Halloween evening before I return the FZ300 to Panasonic NZ in Auckland, thanks for the treat, mate!

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