Panasonic FZ1000 II

tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
The rented FZ1000 II arrived this afternoon, and as the battery was already fully charged, I immediately loaded a card and headed out the door for a walk around the yard. It feels smaller than it looks in photos and simulations, and it took me a few minutes to figure out the AF spot setup. I also played with MF a bit. I ended up with some blurry pics, but I got some pretty good ones, too. My first impression from using it for an hour or so is that the IQ seems to be an improvement over the FZ2500 I previously tried.

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kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
Looking good, Tony. I havent used the 2500, I was tempted for a bit but then realised that what I have is perfectly fine. Are you planning to buy if it works out OK for you?
 

Tilman Paulin

All-Pro
Nov 15, 2011
Vancouver B.C.
Tilman
If I remember correctly Kirk Tuck compared the 2500 against the 1000 mk2 (in a few sentences - not a full-on comparison).
I think he mentioned the 2500 has a stronger anti-aliasing filter (since the 2500 is more tuned for video). So for video he recommended the 2500, for stills the 1000 (you'd get a bit more sharpness on the 1000)

If I remember correctly... Maybe I'm just mixing things up completely... or he was just mentioning this as "internet wisdom", not sure right now :)
 

tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
Looking good, Tony. I havent used the 2500, I was tempted for a bit but then realised that what I have is perfectly fine. Are you planning to buy if it works out OK for you?
No Sue, I was thinking about it at first, but I decided a G95 would be a better fit for me.

If I remember correctly Kirk Tuck compared the 2500 against the 1000 mk2 (in a few sentences - not a full-on comparison).
I think he mentioned the 2500 has a stronger anti-aliasing filter (since the 2500 is more tuned for video). So for video he recommended the 2500, for stills the 1000 (you'd get a bit more sharpness on the 1000)

If I remember correctly... Maybe I'm just mixing things up completely... or he was just mentioning this as "internet wisdom", not sure right now :)
You can look up my posts on here where I actually purchased an FZ2500 about 18 or 19 months ago, but sent it back during the return window. The IQ wasn't terrible, but I was expecting better based on a lot of samples I had seen on flickr. Perhaps it was copy variation, or my own lack of skill, but the FZ2500 just didn't check the right boxes for me.
 

tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
A few more, taken on a gloomy afternoon:

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A couple of frames from 4K Photo Mode:

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And a frame extracted from a short video clip:

 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
Looks nice and capable. And that is wonderful location you have, with wonderful furry and feathery friends.
Agree on all counts!

@tonyturley I see where you're going with the G95, and I think I understand why; may I suggest (since the 14-45mm is a no-show) looking into one of the 12-60mm lenses for weather sealing to really reap all benefits over the FZ1000 II? The PanaLeica one may be expensive, but if you buy it used, it should be bearable, and it's a very solid performer (I prefer my Olympus 12-40mm, but my use case for :mu43: is a bit different); the kit zoom is actually quite nice as well. And then there's the fantastic Olympus 12-45mm - but that's pretty expensive still ...

As an afterthought: The FZ1000 (my camera) *can* use the zoom ring as a focus ring - I guess it's something to use a custom function button for, or you may even be able to configure it as the default behaviour. That said, the FZ1000 hasn't many advantages over the FZ1000 II, but the physical Zoom/Focus switch is something I personally prefer over more custom function buttons. But then, I don't use all the features and functionalities the FZ1000 has, and I don't shoot video, so I don't need endless versatility (not that the FZ1000 isn't a surprisingly versatile camera ...). Predictable behaviour is more up my alley anyway ... Hence my preference for antiquated handling paradigms ;)

M.
 

tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
Agree on all counts!

@tonyturley I see where you're going with the G95, and I think I understand why; may I suggest (since the 14-45mm is a no-show) looking into one of the 12-60mm lenses for weather sealing to really reap all benefits over the FZ1000 II? The PanaLeica one may be expensive, but if you buy it used, it should be bearable, and it's a very solid performer (I prefer my Olympus 12-40mm, but my use case for :mu43: is a bit different); the kit zoom is actually quite nice as well. And then there's the fantastic Olympus 12-45mm - but that's pretty expensive still ...

As an afterthought: The FZ1000 (my camera) *can* use the zoom ring as a focus ring - I guess it's something to use a custom function button for, or you may even be able to configure it as the default behaviour. That said, the FZ1000 hasn't many advantages over the FZ1000 II, but the physical Zoom/Focus switch is something I personally prefer over more custom function buttons. But then, I don't use all the features and functionalities the FZ1000 has, and I don't shoot video, so I don't need endless versatility (not that the FZ1000 isn't a surprisingly versatile camera ...). Predictable behaviour is more up my alley anyway ... Hence my preference for antiquated handling paradigms ;)

M.
Already beat you there, Matt. I decided to go all in and get the PL 12-60, a lens I have owned before, but not-so-wisely sold to get a Fuji X-T2. I was looking through some of my gallery from the PL 12-60, and my first thought was "I sold this lens why?". I've already set up a transaction with my favorite used gear shop to trade a couple of cameras and a lens I rarely use for a mint PL 12-60, and I actually get some $$$ back in the bargain, so I'm out nothing above the cost of the G95. As I previously owned the 16Mp G80, I expect the G95 to be even better. It's supposed to be here this morning.

As for the FZ1000 II, the way it is currently set, if you select AFS/AFF or AF-C, you can zoom with the ring, but if you select MF, then the focus is done by the ring and you have to zoom with the rocker switch. There may be other ways to do MF & zoom, but I haven't tried to do anything different. AFS on the Mk II is really slow, but AFC is very fast. I still wasn't able to lock in on Hummingbirds in flight, even when they were hovering. I found the best way was to set MF and zone focus, then use 4K Photo Mode to freeze them in flight. IQ on this camera is decent, but I still won't be buying one for myself.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
AFS on the Mk II is really slow, but AFC is very fast. I still wasn't able to lock in on Hummingbirds in flight, even when they were hovering.
To me, that sounds super-weird - the AFS on the FZ1000 is remarkably fast ... Do you use multi-spot or single spot focusing? Anyhow, you've made your mind up, and with a great combo (G95+PL12-60mm) in the wings, I'd not bother overly much ... But I think the AF modes on the Panasonic cameras are quite consistent, so it might be worth finding out anyway.

To be honest, I just set it up once (to AFS, not AFF, single point, flexible - I can move it with the D-pad). It just works. Oh, and small area - not super-small, not medium, certainly not large.

M.
 

tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
I didn't sleep well last night, so I haven't done as much today as I had planned, but I did manage to get a few images around the feeders in the front yard with the G95 + P 45-150. I'll try to do more tomorrow, but my first impression is that the lens on the FZ1000 MII is much better than the P 45-150. Granted, it was tough conditions with the evening sun coming right at the windows and shade under the tree, but the P 45-150 images seemed to be not sharp, and low contrast. At least in this brief test, the FZ1000 II held up well against the m4/3 lens . . . I wonder what that would look like if I already had the PL 12-60? My guess is the tables would be turned.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
I didn't sleep well last night, so I haven't done as much today as I had planned, but I did manage to get a few images around the feeders in the front yard with the G95 + P 45-150. I'll try to do more tomorrow, but my first impression is that the lens on the FZ1000 MII is much better than the P 45-150. Granted, it was tough conditions with the evening sun coming right at the windows and shade under the tree, but the P 45-150 images seemed to be not sharp, and low contrast. At least in this brief test, the FZ1000 II held up well against the m4/3 lens . . . I wonder what that would look like if I already had the PL 12-60? My guess is the tables would be turned.
You know, I *do* know that feeling. After shooting my - venerable - Olympus 14-150mm II against the FZ1000 a couple of days back, the lens that'll get the sack is - the 14-150mm II. Which leaves me in kind of an odd spot for :mu43: - it's the system I've used to cover the "reach" category up until now, but it won't be any more in the very near future (I also sell the 100-300mm II which I've frankly hardly ever used and the oddball Samyang 300mm f/6.3). But things may change ... I'll have to think about how, though, because at the moment, the only lens that I'd consider is too big for my liking (the PL 50-200mm ...).

The good news is: For what I need, the FZ1000 does a remarkably good job ...

M.
 

tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
Yep, I just did a quick experiment, replacing the P 45-150 with the O 45/1.8, firing off some random images around the room. Boom . . . huge difference. I know that's not a fair comparison, but something tickling in the back of my mind wanted to make sure the G95 was functioning properly. I'll try running some more comparisons between the FZ1000 II and P 45-150 tomorrow.
 

tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
The sun surprisingly made an appearance this morning, so I went to my favorite observation spot and snapped some images with the FZ1000 II and G95 + P45-150. I set them both to spot metering, AFS, auto ISO, and 300mm equivalent FOV. I did adjust the levels to get the best contrast and did some cropping, but no sharpening. I'd say both setups held their own OK, but on my monitor, the G95 images definitely have the edge. The P 45-150 acquits itself fairly well in good light.

FZ1000 II:

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G95 + P 45-150:

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tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
After several hours and 9.7 miles on my bike in and around the wetlands and river this morning, I am even more impressed with the capabilities of this camera. If I hadn't just bought the G95 and have a PL 12-60 on the way, I'd be giving the FZ1000 II a lot more serious consideration. The two things that would give me pause in said consideration are it's a bit more bulky than I really prefer (although not totally objectionable), and I'm not a fan of power zooms, although the zoom ring works fine if you don't have the camera in MF mode.
 

Matero

All-Pro
Jan 28, 2014
Helsinki, Finland
The sun surprisingly made an appearance this morning, so I went to my favorite observation spot and snapped some images with the FZ1000 II and G95 + P45-150. I set them both to spot metering, AFS, auto ISO, and 300mm equivalent FOV. I did adjust the levels to get the best contrast and did some cropping, but no sharpening. I'd say both setups held their own OK, but on my monitor, the G95 images definitely have the edge. The P 45-150 acquits itself fairly well in good light.

FZ1000 II:

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G95 + P 45-150:

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Hands down favour for G95
 

tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
Well, the FZ1000 II is packed up to go back to the rental company tomorrow. It was an interesting experiment, and my curiosity is satisfied. In direct comparison with my G95 + P 45-150, the G95 and consumer zoom produced better images. What I give up in reach with the P 45-150, I gain back in IQ. That being said, the FZ1000 II is a better camera than the FZ2500 I tried about 31 months ago. The camera is not for me, but for some people, it could satisfy as a hiking or even biking camera.

PROs
Decent image quality
Bright, reasonably sharp lens
Nice range of 25-400mm effective FL
Good AF
4K video and 4K photo mode (did not try Post Focus)

CONs
IQ bested by m4/3 camera with consumer zoom
Feels bulky when holding (the lens barrel is huge). This is not a weight issue, but how it felt in my left hand.
Cannot use MF and zoom ring at the same time - PZ rocker switch must be used when in MF mode
 

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