Tagged: Review

When I had a chance to check out a very early model of the new Sony FS7 in an exclusive hands-on in London in August (we reported about it before with the hands-on video – click here), I already knew that this camera had the potential to shake up the industry significantly. F5-like quality at half the price, built-in professional 4K (XAVC codec) in a professional shoulder-mount camera for much less than the still extremely popular Canon C300 (still one of my favourite cameras) – in one word: impressive.

Sony FS7 featured 640x360 Sony FS7 Review   Climbing the Cathedral

A few months later, after it has been officially introduced at IBC in Amsterdam in September, Sony has started shipping the camera and was kind enough to send a loaner for testing. As often with these things, we only have access to them for a small number of days and these days need to coincide with my availability to actually shoot something, as well as a feasible story that can be shot at that exact time. As it happened, it was around for three days and I had only half a day available for shooting, so I had to do what was possible in the short amount of time.

Thanks to my friend & director Tamás Kiss, we were able to join a special “expedition” to the top of Vienna’s major landmark, St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Very rarely, the people in charge of the Cathedral allow major sponsors that help financing renovations of the building to to climb the outside of the Cathedral with professional climbing instructors and of course the appropriate professional gear – all of course while taking care of the fragile Gothic features of its facade.

St. Stephens Cathedral Vienna Photo.png Sony FS7 Review   Climbing the Cathedral

Due to the the circumstances of this shoot this review should be mainly be judged for the handling and the usability of the camera, rather than picture quality: we were only provided with one 32GB card of Sony’s XQD cards and I couldn’t organize another one on short notice, so I had to switch to the inferior version of the XAVC codec (XAVC L – the long-gop version of Sony’s new codec), in order to have at least about 30 minutes of recording time.

Dealing with XAVC L in post was a bit of a nightmare for Támas when he edited as most editing applications can’t take the new version of this codec yet. Only Premiere Pro CC 2014 was able to deal with it at the time of writing.

It was extremely hard to fit the camera rig and equipment through the very narrow inside of the Cathedral staircase and some windows we had to climb through. In the end, I wasn’t able to climb the roof itself with the camera because of security concerns of the staff – unfortunately I didn’t have my Sony A7s with me, which would have been perfect for this job. Therefore, you have to make due with the photos the climbers took with their GoPros on top of the Cathedral.

FS7 Cathedral rig 640x640 Sony FS7 Review   Climbing the Cathedral

But back to the camera:

It was a run-and-gun sort of shoot, meaning that with little preparation, we had to go there and use the camera more or less “as is”, with its built-in handle and grip, directly on the shoulder. And that worked very well. It’s nice to have a camera that can be put on your shoulder without adding additional pieces, and the design of the grip fits a lot of different hands very well. The added controls are a further plus, and will be even more relevant once Sony’s new 28-135mm f/4 E-Mount servo zoom ships, because the zoom and many other functions will be controllable via the grip.

It’s easy to see that Sony engineers might have been stuck with a dilemma when designing the camera: on one hand, most cameraman keep telling them that properly balanced cameras have to sit on the shoulder. On the other hand, everybody wants a small camera – but those two things are hard to combine.

Sony ended up building a camera that is considerably longer than one of its competitors, the C300 – but if you look at it closely, you realize that half of the camera seems “empty” – there is a huge empty space at the back which is were the battery goes, which goes half way into the camera. It seems much bigger than even Sony’s biggest battery, because the optional V-Lock adapter also needs a lot of space. It also seems like most of the electronics of the camera are built into the front of the device.

FS7 hole 300x483 Sony FS7 Review   Climbing the Cathedral

All that has an effect on the weight distribution of the camera, making it quite front heavy. Add a lens to that, and you have an extremely front-heavy camera, even if only a comparatively light prime lens (like a Zeiss Cinema Prime) is attached. The center of gravity seems to be around the lens mount with light lenses. The most obvious solution is to use Sony’s optional V-Mount adapter and attach a V-Lock brick battery to it, which makes it “kind of” balanced with many lighter lenses, also photo zooms.

For the test shoot, I used the V-Lock adapter with a V-Mount battery and it worked a treat. The camera needs very little power and lasts forever with a large V-brick. However of course, it makes the whole rig even bigger and in total it’s similar to an F5 or F55 in size.

The shoulder pad on the camera is too far back for most intents and purposes due to the center of gravity being so far in front in most usage scenarios. Considering the fact that the center of gravity changes depending on what lens or battery you use, it’s also not good that it can’t be moved at all. Sony probably knew that and so they made the pad extremely small, which makes it easy to attach yet another optional shoulder mount solution (which can be moved) at the bottom. There goes the out-of-the-box approach once you start building things up again. If you want to use rods for a follow focus or matte box, you of course also have to add a base plate, there is no rod housing build into the camera. But that can’t really be expected of the camera of course.

f05b5dea2642d55c7205f3bc54148983 640x637 Sony FS7 Review   Climbing the Cathedral

It’s great that Sony includes a quite decent viewfinder with the package offering all the shananigans including peaking, zebra and histogram. The resolution isn’t the best (940×560 pixels) but good enough for decent focusing in most cases. LUTs can be applied to the preview image too. However the mounting mechanism of the viewfinder lets a lot to be desired and I can clearly see how this will become a major point for accessory manufacturers to improve on. The viewfinder attachment loupe also reaches too far back, which makes balancing the camera even harder as you have to move it forward on your shoulder quite a bit to see through the viewfinder. The loupe can be flipped up to reveal the screen. My friend Dan Chung has attached an adapted Zacuto Z-Finder to his FS7 instead of the standard loupe as it’s much shorter and allows for better balancing on the shoulder with the setup (read his review here, it’s very extensive too and covers some other great points about the camera).

In typical Sony fashion, there are loads of buttons on the side of the camera body, and the layout needs some time getting used to in the beginning. There are some assignable buttons that are already pre-assigned with some functions, e.g. the high speed recording option. Unfortunately, I managed to hit the button by accident when squeezing through one of the Cathedral’s tunnels to get up on top, and accidentally recorded some shots in slow motion – which is recorded without sound. I think these buttons should ask for some kind of confirmation if you hit them once before the function is actually initiated.

dcfc3cdb1b4431ff85a892ee7d6e4019 640x640 Sony FS7 Review   Climbing the Cathedral

If you want to switch frame rates and resolutions you are forced to go deep into the menus as usual with most Sony cameras, though I am sure most of these functions can be assigned to buttons as well.

After I wrapped the test shoot, my friend Tamás went back to shoot the slow motion stuff on the ground on the next day (when it didn’t rain) before we had to return the camera.

He mentioned that he felt the joystick on the handle to react a bit sloppy at times, but he liked the the three-step ISO/Gain switch on the camera (which is very common for Sony broadcast cameras).

a3e04d45a74b7469748d21bd25ec720e 640x467 Sony FS7 Review   Climbing the Cathedral

Conclusion

Considering the price of the camera it’s incredible how much is offered with the FS7 – internal XAVC 4K, proper high speed recording with up to 180 fps in 1080p interally, a nice shoulder grip – Sony managed to put in a whole lot of value into a very inexpensive camera. Canon have to step up their game now, probably with a 4K version of their C300 camera at some point in early 2015.

Having said all that, the FS7 falls a bit short of being the killer documentary camera simply due to handling and usage issues, which range from problematic balancing to the sheer complexity of the menu and button layout. However, it’s no small feat that Sony has attempted there, and something that even higher end cameras haven’t really completely nailed yet – so please take this assessment with a grain of salt and accept that it’s Sony’s first attempt to build a small docu cam with interchangeable lenses. It can’t compete with the likes of an Amira for sure but that’s also not what it was built for.

FS7 “Shooting Solo” webinar

Sony has invited me alongside many other industry professionals (Den Lennie, Emmanuel Pampuri, Tom Swindell, …)  to host another free webinar from their Pinewood Studios venue in London this coming Wednesday at 12pm GMT to talk about “shooting solo” with their FS7. I can share a lot of thoughts about that now, as you can read above – and don’t worry, I’ll talk about all the positive and negative sides that I encountered (cinema5D or I are not paid for this webinar!). Also, the winner of the FS7 competition (we reported about it here) will be announced live there.

You can sign up to watch it live by clicking here. A recording of it will likely go online a few days after the live broadcast.

The post Sony FS7 Review – Climbing the Cathedral appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author cinema5D » NewsNino Leitner

When I had a chance to check out a very early model of the new Sony FS7 in an exclusive hands-on in London in August (we reported about it before with the hands-on video – click here), I already knew that this camera had the potential to shake up the industry significantly. F5-like quality at half the price, built-in professional 4K (XAVC codec) in a professional shoulder-mount camera for much less than the still extremely popular Canon C300 (still one of my favourite cameras) – in one word: impressive.

Sony FS7 featured 640x360 Sony FS7 Review   Climbing the Cathedral

A few months later, after it has been officially introduced at IBC in Amsterdam in September, Sony has started shipping the camera and was kind enough to send a loaner for testing. As often with these things, we only have access to them for a small number of days and these days need to coincide with my availability to actually shoot something, as well as a feasible story that can be shot at that exact time. As it happened, it was around for three days and I had only half a day available for shooting, so I had to do what was possible in the short amount of time.

Thanks to my friend & director Tamás Kiss, we were able to join a special “expedition” to the top of Vienna’s major landmark, St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Very rarely, the people in charge of the Cathedral allow major sponsors that help financing renovations of the building to to climb the outside of the Cathedral with professional climbing instructors and of course the appropriate professional gear – all of course while taking care of the fragile Gothic features of its facade.

St. Stephens Cathedral Vienna Photo.png Sony FS7 Review   Climbing the Cathedral

Due to the the circumstances of this shoot this review should be mainly be judged for the handling and the usability of the camera, rather than picture quality: we were only provided with one 32GB card of Sony’s XQD cards and I couldn’t organize another one on short notice, so I had to switch to the inferior version of the XAVC codec (XAVC L – the long-gop version of Sony’s new codec), in order to have at least about 30 minutes of recording time.

Dealing with XAVC L in post was a bit of a nightmare for Támas when he edited as most editing applications can’t take the new version of this codec yet. Only Premiere Pro CC 2014 was able to deal with it at the time of writing.

It was extremely hard to fit the camera rig and equipment through the very narrow inside of the Cathedral staircase and some windows we had to climb through. In the end, I wasn’t able to climb the roof itself with the camera because of security concerns of the staff – unfortunately I didn’t have my Sony A7s with me, which would have been perfect for this job. Therefore, you have to make due with the photos the climbers took with their GoPros on top of the Cathedral.

FS7 Cathedral rig 640x640 Sony FS7 Review   Climbing the Cathedral

But back to the camera:

It was a run-and-gun sort of shoot, meaning that with little preparation, we had to go there and use the camera more or less “as is”, with its built-in handle and grip, directly on the shoulder. And that worked very well. It’s nice to have a camera that can be put on your shoulder without adding additional pieces, and the design of the grip fits a lot of different hands very well. The added controls are a further plus, and will be even more relevant once Sony’s new 28-135mm f/4 E-Mount servo zoom ships, because the zoom and many other functions will be controllable via the grip.

It’s easy to see that Sony engineers might have been stuck with a dilemma when designing the camera: on one hand, most cameraman keep telling them that properly balanced cameras have to sit on the shoulder. On the other hand, everybody wants a small camera – but those two things are hard to combine.

Sony ended up building a camera that is considerably longer than one of its competitors, the C300 – but if you look at it closely, you realize that half of the camera seems “empty” – there is a huge empty space at the back which is were the battery goes, which goes half way into the camera. It seems much bigger than even Sony’s biggest battery, because the optional V-Lock adapter also needs a lot of space. It also seems like most of the electronics of the camera are built into the front of the device.

FS7 hole 300x483 Sony FS7 Review   Climbing the Cathedral

All that has an effect on the weight distribution of the camera, making it quite front heavy. Add a lens to that, and you have an extremely front-heavy camera, even if only a comparatively light prime lens (like a Zeiss Cinema Prime) is attached. The center of gravity seems to be around the lens mount with light lenses. The most obvious solution is to use Sony’s optional V-Mount adapter and attach a V-Lock brick battery to it, which makes it “kind of” balanced with many lighter lenses, also photo zooms.

For the test shoot, I used the V-Lock adapter with a V-Mount battery and it worked a treat. The camera needs very little power and lasts forever with a large V-brick. However of course, it makes the whole rig even bigger and in total it’s similar to an F5 or F55 in size.

The shoulder pad on the camera is too far back for most intents and purposes due to the center of gravity being so far in front in most usage scenarios. Considering the fact that the center of gravity changes depending on what lens or battery you use, it’s also not good that it can’t be moved at all. Sony probably knew that and so they made the pad extremely small, which makes it easy to attach yet another optional shoulder mount solution (which can be moved) at the bottom. There goes the out-of-the-box approach once you start building things up again. If you want to use rods for a follow focus or matte box, you of course also have to add a base plate, there is no rod housing build into the camera. But that can’t really be expected of the camera of course.

f05b5dea2642d55c7205f3bc54148983 640x637 Sony FS7 Review   Climbing the Cathedral

It’s great that Sony includes a quite decent viewfinder with the package offering all the shananigans including peaking, zebra and histogram. The resolution isn’t the best (940×560 pixels) but good enough for decent focusing in most cases. LUTs can be applied to the preview image too. However the mounting mechanism of the viewfinder lets a lot to be desired and I can clearly see how this will become a major point for accessory manufacturers to improve on. The viewfinder attachment loupe also reaches too far back, which makes balancing the camera even harder as you have to move it forward on your shoulder quite a bit to see through the viewfinder. The loupe can be flipped up to reveal the screen. My friend Dan Chung has attached an adapted Zacuto Z-Finder to his FS7 instead of the standard loupe as it’s much shorter and allows for better balancing on the shoulder with the setup (read his review here, it’s very extensive too and covers some other great points about the camera).

In typical Sony fashion, there are loads of buttons on the side of the camera body, and the layout needs some time getting used to in the beginning. There are some assignable buttons that are already pre-assigned with some functions, e.g. the high speed recording option. Unfortunately, I managed to hit the button by accident when squeezing through one of the Cathedral’s tunnels to get up on top, and accidentally recorded some shots in slow motion – which is recorded without sound. I think these buttons should ask for some kind of confirmation if you hit them once before the function is actually initiated.

dcfc3cdb1b4431ff85a892ee7d6e4019 640x640 Sony FS7 Review   Climbing the Cathedral

If you want to switch frame rates and resolutions you are forced to go deep into the menus as usual with most Sony cameras, though I am sure most of these functions can be assigned to buttons as well.

After I wrapped the test shoot, my friend Tamás went back to shoot the slow motion stuff on the ground on the next day (when it didn’t rain) before we had to return the camera.

He mentioned that he felt the joystick on the handle to react a bit sloppy at times, but he liked the the three-step ISO/Gain switch on the camera (which is very common for Sony broadcast cameras).

a3e04d45a74b7469748d21bd25ec720e 640x467 Sony FS7 Review   Climbing the Cathedral

Conclusion

Considering the price of the camera it’s incredible how much is offered with the FS7 – internal XAVC 4K, proper high speed recording with up to 180 fps in 1080p interally, a nice shoulder grip – Sony managed to put in a whole lot of value into a very inexpensive camera. Canon have to step up their game now, probably with a 4K version of their C300 camera at some point in early 2015.

Having said all that, the FS7 falls a bit short of being the killer documentary camera simply due to handling and usage issues, which range from problematic balancing to the sheer complexity of the menu and button layout. However, it’s no small feat that Sony has attempted there, and something that even higher end cameras haven’t really completely nailed yet – so please take this assessment with a grain of salt and accept that it’s Sony’s first attempt to build a small docu cam with interchangeable lenses. It can’t compete with the likes of an Amira for sure but that’s also not what it was built for.

FS7 “Shooting Solo” webinar

Sony has invited me alongside many other industry professionals (Den Lennie, Emmanuel Pampuri, Tom Swindell, …)  to host another free webinar from their Pinewood Studios venue in London this coming Wednesday at 12pm GMT to talk about “shooting solo” with their FS7. I can share a lot of thoughts about that now, as you can read above – and don’t worry, I’ll talk about all the positive and negative sides that I encountered (cinema5D or I are not paid for this webinar!). Also, the winner of the FS7 competition (we reported about it here) will be announced live there.

You can sign up to watch it live by clicking here. A recording of it will likely go online a few days after the live broadcast.

The post Sony FS7 Review – Climbing the Cathedral appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author cinema5D » NewsNino Leitner

SamsungNX1 lab 300x168 LAB Review   Samsung NX1 Video Mode   Frustrating!The Samsung NX1 is Samsung’s first photo camera to with video shooting functionality. It was announced in September and brings interesting video features like a 4K mode and is also the first camera to feature new H.265 compression that promises to offer more quality at smaller file sizes.

Personal words:
First off I want to say that having reviewed many cameras there’s an element of surprise seeing several positive reviews about the Samsung NX1 video mode. In my observation Samsung tried something bold with the NX1, and they should get credit for that, but they couldn’t quite achieve something that I would call usable. There are some major issues with this camera and I would not recommend it for video shooting (yet).

The photo functionality of this camera was not tested.

c5d lab logopsd21 LAB Review   Samsung NX1 Video Mode   Frustrating!Like many other cameras before we ran the Samsung NX1 through our test lab and will give you some insights on sensor performance, dynamic range, sharpness, rolling shutter and usability in comparison to the Panasonic GH4.

Camera Settings
Unlike all our other lab tests this Samsung NX1 was equipped with the Samsung 16-50mm F/2-2.8 OIS Lens and shot at 50mm. (We could not get the necessary mount adapter for NX-M in time.)
The camera was set to custom picture profile: Sharpness -10, Contrast -10
“Smart Range+” was enabled for maximum dynamic range.

Dynamic Range

We tested all ISO settings from 100 up to the camera’s limit of 25600. Interestingly this is the first camera we ever saw that has a consistent 10.1 stops without any shift in brightness throughout the whole range up until ISO 3200. This means there’s no “sweet spot” or native ISO that we would recommend to shoot at.

10.1 stops of dynamic range is not a good rating. Actually it is the worst rating of all lab tests we have published so far. However it comes in not far behind the Panasonic GH4’s 10.8 stops.

We’re certain the sensor is capable of more dynamic range, but the camera is very limited at this time with the baked in picture profiles and no log option.

Dynamic range from ISO 6400 degrades with noise in blacks. Awkwardly there is no actual shift in brightness at ISO 12800 while noise does get more severe. Same goes for ISO 25600. So there’s actually no point to dial in the higher ISO numbers as they have no effect other than degrading the picture.

Also as noise kicks in at the higher ISO’s it seems there is strong noise reduction used at the lower ISO’s. There is a lot more noise on the GH4 and the NX1 image is cleaner throughout, but the NX1 is only a little stronger in terms of lowlight overall.

Rolling Shutter

In terms of rolling shutter the Samsung NX1 is so bad we had to change our test parameters. In UHD mode surprisingly rolling shutter is even a tad more severe than in the larger 4K mode. Probably a smaller portion of the sensor is used and upscaled to the 4K size in 4K mode.

With 29 milli seconds difference between top and bottom it is worse than both the Canon 1DC as well as the Sony A7S. The Panasonic GH4 performs a lot better in this test at UHD resolution.

Test Scores RS nx1 LAB Review   Samsung NX1 Video Mode   Frustrating!

Sharpness / Detail / Aliasing

SamNX1 sub UHD 300x168 LAB Review   Samsung NX1 Video Mode   Frustrating!On the left you have a full screenshot of the Samsung NX filming our subjective test chart. Jpeg compression is low enough to retain/show the compression as it comes from the camera. Scroll down for some 1×1 crops.
PanGH4 sub 4K 300x168 LAB Review   Samsung NX1 Video Mode   Frustrating!
The first 1×1 crop shows the difference between UHD and 4K mode. Actually 4K has more resolution than UHD, but the image looks a lot softer there. So save the storage and never use 4K mode. Instead UHD offers the nicest picture the NX1 can deliver and yes, it is a very nice and sharp image. Nicer than the image coming from the GH4 and also slightly sharper. I wish the camera was more usable and had H.264 compression instead.

1x1 crop nx1 1 LAB Review   Samsung NX1 Video Mode   Frustrating!On the 1×1 crop with the red needles we compare the Samsung NX1, Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7S in HD mode.
Clearly the Samsung NX is totally unusable in HD. While we aren’t fond of the Panasonic GH4’s HD mode, what the Samsung NX1 offers is worse than anything I’ve seen on a camera of this kind. The image is extremely soft and washed out. Details disappear in a mist of aliasing, compression, noise reduction and softness.

1x1 crophigh nx1 2 LAB Review   Samsung NX1 Video Mode   Frustrating!While the GH4’s colors and brightness are off and it has some aliasing, it comes a lot closer to a usable image than the Samsung NX1 ever will. Samsung should improve the features they implement.

H.265

H.265 is a big problem on this camera. At the moment H.265 support is very limited.
In order to get your H.265 files from the camera into your editing software you need to convert them with the tool by Samsung. The tool can be installed by connecting the camera to the computer via USB.
The installation feels a lot like spyware as it collects tracking information and has a user interface from the 90’s. It is unintuitive to use and converts 1 hour worth of UHD footage in 18 hours (on an iMac 27″ late 2012 model).

Unfortunately this is not all. Trying to shoot 120p which the camera offers in HD results in Samsung’s own conversion software to report “unsupported format”.

It’s frustrating and time consuming to work with this camera’s footage. Codec quality is good, but there’s something strange in that there is no noise at all. The image looks denoised and slightly unnatural.

SamsungNX1 SUB iso800 HD 640x360 LAB Review   Samsung NX1 Video Mode   Frustrating!

Handling

The camera itself feels very well built. The user interface is intuitive, very responsive and feels more organic than on any other camera I have used. This is a big plus. Unfortunately in movie mode some essential functionality is missing (see below) and it seems Samsung got it all wrong here which could be due to the lacking experience as this was their first large sensor photo camera with video functionality.

One general thing we’re missing is a battery charger. The camera battery has to be charged via the camera’s USB connection.

Problems in movie mode:
• Actually there is no dedicated movie mode and no video button, but only “movie preview mode” which you can set to a custom key.
• In “movie preview mode” no focus check is possible. So you either have to rely on the small screen or switch back to photo mode.
• In “movie preview mode” there’s no histogram.
• Also the histogram in photo mode is less accurate than on other cameras making it quite useless to work with and spot over or underexposure.
• Lens Focus resets to infinity on camera restart or card eject. This is highly annoying.
• The EVF has heavy ghosting. It seems to be of poor quality and is not recommended for video.

Conclusion

As mentioned at the beginning it seems Samsung tried to create something bold with h.265 in the NX1 and a nice video image in high resolution, but the implementation didn’t quite work. The camera cripples itself in so many ways it becomes almost useless. It almost seems easier to shoot RAW on a 5D mark III than to shoot normal video on the Samsung NX1.

I’m sorry this review is not very flattering. Samsung tried, but I think they will have to try again. It’s a mystery why other reviews on the video side are actually quite positive. Here’s a summary of the test results:

Pro’s
+ UHD resolution files in good lighting condition turn out very nice. Panasonic GH4 performs worse in UHD.
+ Very sharp image and nice colors in UHD mode.
+ Nice and bright AMOLED LCD.
+ Nice menu and user interface (except the video mode interface). GH4 is not so intuitive to use.
+ Large APS-C sized sensor. GH4 comes with a Micro Four Thirds sensor.
+ Peaking, Manual Audio Levels (not while recording), Highlight Check.

Con’s
– Very low dynamic range, no log profile. Panasonic GH4 performs better.
– Very bad rolling shutter performance. Panasonic GH4 performs a lot better.
– No lowlight strength. GH4 is worse though.
– Noise reduction and washed out details in picture. GH4 retains more detail.
– HD mode is unusable. GH4 is HD is not great but usable.
– 4K mode is unnecessary as UHD is sharper.
– File handling of H.265 is extremely time consuming. GH4 performs better.
– Forced to transcode with tool that takes 18 hours to transcode 1 hour of video.
– Samsung’s software doesn’t recognise their own file format at 120p.
– Movie Mode is not working well and a hassle to use.
– EVF is unusable.
– Charger not included. Camera battery has to be charged via camera’s USB connection.
– Not easy to get good lens adapters at this time. Proprietary Samsung lenses are not ideal for video.

The Samsung NX1 offers an impressively beautiful UHD image. If this kind of image is all you’re after and you’re willing to live with the limitations, then this camera could do something for you. It’s just very hard to get there.

The Samsung NX1 is not recommended for most video shooters. For an affordable solution to get 4K video I would prefer the Panasonic GH4 at this time.

The post LAB Review – Samsung NX1 Video Mode – Frustrating! appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author cinema5D » NewsSebastian Wöber

Samyang 50mm review Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE Lens

The new Samyang 50mm T1.5 Cine lens is here. Announced in August it is already available and we’ve now taken a close look and compared it to 3 other important 50mm full frame lenses.

DSC03093 300x200 Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE LensSamyang Cine lenses are very popular among low budget filmmakers as they offer semi-professional cine lens “functionality” at a very affordable price.

Samyang 50mm Cine Review – 50mm is the one missing focal length in the broad Samyang Cine Lens Lineup. It is now finally here and what we found is impressive. Read on to find out more.

These are the lenses we compared in this review:
• Samyang 50mm T1.5 Cine ($432)
• Zeiss CP2 50mm T2.1 Makro Cine ($4900)
• Canon EF 50mm F/1.4 USM ($399)
Contax Zeiss 50mm F/1.4 Planar (Retro) ($300-$400)

DSC030911 640x241 Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE Lens 

Functionality

Notice: We used the Sony E mount option of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 Cine and shot this test on a full frame Sony A7S.
The other lenses with Canon mount were used with a Metabones IV adapter.

These are the Samyang 50mm Cine’s advantages over a normal photo lens:
• It has geared focus and iris control for follow focus and iris control.
• The focus ring has hard stops on either end for accurate focusing.
• The Iris can be controlled manually and is “de-clicked” / has no steps.
• Full focusing ring rotation is about 160°.
• Standardised front diameter of 77mm among most Samyang Cine lenses.

DSC03094 300x360 Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE LensThe Samyang Cine lens offers all you need for basic manual operation and accurate focusing movie style.

An attribute missing in comparison to more professional Cine lenses is a standardised front diameter and gear diameters among all Samyang Cine lenses for easy lens swapping when using a follow focus and mattebox.

The Focus and Iris rings operate very smoothly over the whole range.
Not too stiff and not too loose. Hard Stops seem strong enough to withstand a motorised focusing system.
 

How did the others perform in comparison?

The Zeiss CP2 50mm T2.1 Makro Cine of course offers all functionality a Cine lens should have. It has a total focus travel of about 270° in its makro range, but focuses from infinity to the Samyang’s 0.45m within an angle of about 90°. Personally I find 90° better for handheld operation.
The Zeiss CP2 50mm T2.1 Makro Cine is all metal and certainly performs in a different class in terms of built quality and functionality.

The Canon EF 50mm F/1.4 USM offers no Cine functionality whatsoever. Well, it’s a photo lens. Disregarding its optical qualities, as a video lens it is not ideal. The focusing ring has a play of about 1 millimeter which makes it somewhat inaccurate to use, but it has a travel angle of about 180° which is great for a photo lens.

The Contax Zeiss 50mm F/1.4 Planar (Retro) was equipped with a native Leitax mount hence offering a strong connection to the camera. In terms of Cine it does offer the advantages of strong hard stops, a focus travel angle of about 180° and a manual iris. The iris however is not de-cklicked and the focus ring has to be upgraded with gears in order to use a follow focus. 

Optical Quality

We test our gear optically with an Imatest ISO chart for up to 6K resolution. In this test we compared 4K files.

In terms of vignetting and distortion we could see a an obvious difference when compared to our Zeiss CP2 50mm T2.1 Makro Cine. Even though the Zeiss is a stunning lens it has a downside in terms of vignetting and wins when it comes to distortion. Comparing both lenses at T2.1 the Samyang has much stronger distortion while the Zeiss has only very little of this.
On the other hand one of the characteristics of the Zeiss CP2 line is very strong vignetting when used wide open. This can be a nice effect but can also be regarded as a negative point about a lens. Personally I like vignetting.

ZeissCP2 SamyangCine 640x180 Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE Lens
 
I won’t go into too much detail about technical stuff here, but will give you an overview of the lenses performance:

Distortion:
Of all tested lenses Samyang has the strongest distortion. However compared to the Zeiss CP2, all other lenses are very very similar. I would give the following ratings:
Samyang 100%, Contax 95%, Canon 90%, Zeiss 20% distortion.

Vignetting:
Of all lenses Samyang has the least vignetting when shot wide open. Canon and Contax come in slightly behind and on the CP2 as mentioned vignetting is quite strong.

Breathing:
Of all lenses Samyang seemed to me like the one with the least apparent breathing. This is a subjective observation. While all tested lenses breathe (zoom) when focused the Samyang performed best in this test, followed closely by the CP2. The Contax had more breathing and the breathing on the Canon seemed most severe.

Sharpness:
This is where the Samyang really shines. Shot at T1.5 the Samyang lens is impressively sharp into the edges of the whole image, a lot sharper and cleaner than both the Canon and Contax at the same aperture. See the image below for an optical comparison. The detail is taken from the top right hand side of an image with 4K resolution. This difference will also be noticeable in HD.
The CP2 is not compared as it is at T2.1 wide open. It certainly is the sharpest lens of the pack when shot wide open though.

Chromatic Abberation:
In terms of color fringing the Samyang also outperforms the Canon and Contax. There is very little color fringing when shot wide open. See the optical comparison below.

samyang sharpness 640x201 Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE Lens
 
When compared to the Zeiss CP2 50mm T2.1 Makro Cine @ T2.8 we see that the Samyang 50mm T1.5 Cine retains very slight chromatic abberation at the edges when stopped down, but becomes slightly sharper at the edges than the Zeiss lens. See the image below for an optical comparison. The detail is taken from the top left hand side of an image with 4K resolution (below is a 100% crop). This difference will probably not be noticeable in HD.

samyang Zeiss 28 Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE Lens

 

Conclusion

The Samyang 50mm Cine lens offers very impressive optical quality. While it does introduce the most heavy distortion of all lenses tested it is the sharpest of them all and has only slight chromatic abberation and little vignetting when used wide open. One thing that really makes this lens Cine (optically) is that it can truly be used shooting wide open at T1.5 with very minor optical degradation. Unexpected!

These findings as well as the Cine attributes the lens brings make it a no brainer as to whether it is a good 50mm Cine lens for video work. 50mm is among the most popular of focal lengths and Samyang offers a great deal here.

Build quality is not superb (There were some smudges from the factory on the markings of our lens.), but feels quite good and like a professional tool out of the box. It is partly metal and operates very smoothly. We cannot test the lenses lifetime. Certainly the Zeiss CP2 is a tank in comparison, offering extreme precision and optical accuracy. For professional applications the Zeiss CP2 is certainly recommended and we use it internally for all our laboratory tests.

DSC03095 300x194 Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE LensFor entry level and semi-professional filming and videography the Samyang is absolutely recommended. It offers the best overall package for the money and leaves both photo lenses we tested far behind.

We tested the Sony E-mount version. The lens is also available for Canon EF, Nikon F, MFT and Sony A: HERE

We have an exclusive cinema5D deal for our European readers: (20€ off on any Samyang lens) LINK

The post Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE Lens appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author cinema5D » NewsSebastian Wöber

Samyang 50mm review Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE Lens

The new Samyang 50mm T1.5 Cine lens is here. Announced in August it is already available and we’ve now taken a close look and compared it to 3 other important 50mm full frame lenses.

DSC03093 300x200 Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE LensSamyang Cine lenses are very popular among low budget filmmakers as they offer semi-professional cine lens “functionality” at a very affordable price.

Samyang 50mm Cine Review – 50mm is the one missing focal length in the broad Samyang Cine Lens Lineup. It is now finally here and what we found is impressive. Read on to find out more.

These are the lenses we compared in this review:
• Samyang 50mm T1.5 Cine ($432)
• Zeiss CP2 50mm T2.1 Makro Cine ($4900)
• Canon EF 50mm F/1.4 USM ($399)
Contax Zeiss 50mm F/1.4 Planar (Retro) ($300-$400)

DSC030911 640x241 Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE Lens 

Functionality

Notice: We used the Sony E mount option of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 Cine and shot this test on a full frame Sony A7S.
The other lenses with Canon mount were used with a Metabones IV adapter.

These are the Samyang 50mm Cine’s advantages over a normal photo lens:
• It has geared focus and iris control for follow focus and iris control.
• The focus ring has hard stops on either end for accurate focusing.
• The Iris can be controlled manually and is “de-clicked” / has no steps.
• Full focusing ring rotation is about 160°.
• Standardised front diameter of 77mm among most Samyang Cine lenses.

DSC03094 300x360 Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE LensThe Samyang Cine lens offers all you need for basic manual operation and accurate focusing movie style.

An attribute missing in comparison to more professional Cine lenses is a standardised front diameter and gear diameters among all Samyang Cine lenses for easy lens swapping when using a follow focus and mattebox.

The Focus and Iris rings operate very smoothly over the whole range.
Not too stiff and not too loose. Hard Stops seem strong enough to withstand a motorised focusing system.
 

How did the others perform in comparison?

The Zeiss CP2 50mm T2.1 Makro Cine of course offers all functionality a Cine lens should have. It has a total focus travel of about 270° in its makro range, but focuses from infinity to the Samyang’s 0.45m within an angle of about 90°. Personally I find 90° better for handheld operation.
The Zeiss CP2 50mm T2.1 Makro Cine is all metal and certainly performs in a different class in terms of built quality and functionality.

The Canon EF 50mm F/1.4 USM offers no Cine functionality whatsoever. Well, it’s a photo lens. Disregarding its optical qualities, as a video lens it is not ideal. The focusing ring has a play of about 1 millimeter which makes it somewhat inaccurate to use, but it has a travel angle of about 180° which is great for a photo lens.

The Contax Zeiss 50mm F/1.4 Planar (Retro) was equipped with a native Leitax mount hence offering a strong connection to the camera. In terms of Cine it does offer the advantages of strong hard stops, a focus travel angle of about 180° and a manual iris. The iris however is not de-cklicked and the focus ring has to be upgraded with gears in order to use a follow focus. 

Optical Quality

We test our gear optically with an Imatest ISO chart for up to 6K resolution. In this test we compared 4K files.

In terms of vignetting and distortion we could see a an obvious difference when compared to our Zeiss CP2 50mm T2.1 Makro Cine. Even though the Zeiss is a stunning lens it has a downside in terms of vignetting and wins when it comes to distortion. Comparing both lenses at T2.1 the Samyang has much stronger distortion while the Zeiss has only very little of this.
On the other hand one of the characteristics of the Zeiss CP2 line is very strong vignetting when used wide open. This can be a nice effect but can also be regarded as a negative point about a lens. Personally I like vignetting.

ZeissCP2 SamyangCine 640x180 Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE Lens
 
I won’t go into too much detail about technical stuff here, but will give you an overview of the lenses performance:

Distortion:
Of all tested lenses Samyang has the strongest distortion. However compared to the Zeiss CP2, all other lenses are very very similar. I would give the following ratings:
Samyang 100%, Contax 95%, Canon 90%, Zeiss 20% distortion.

Vignetting:
Of all lenses Samyang has the least vignetting when shot wide open. Canon and Contax come in slightly behind and on the CP2 as mentioned vignetting is quite strong.

Breathing:
Of all lenses Samyang seemed to me like the one with the least apparent breathing. This is a subjective observation. While all tested lenses breathe (zoom) when focused the Samyang performed best in this test, followed closely by the CP2. The Contax had more breathing and the breathing on the Canon seemed most severe.

Sharpness:
This is where the Samyang really shines. Shot at T1.5 the Samyang lens is impressively sharp into the edges of the whole image, a lot sharper and cleaner than both the Canon and Contax at the same aperture. See the image below for an optical comparison. The detail is taken from the top right hand side of an image with 4K resolution. This difference will also be noticeable in HD.
The CP2 is not compared as it is at T2.1 wide open. It certainly is the sharpest lens of the pack when shot wide open though.

Chromatic Abberation:
In terms of color fringing the Samyang also outperforms the Canon and Contax. There is very little color fringing when shot wide open. See the optical comparison below.

samyang sharpness 640x201 Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE Lens
 
When compared to the Zeiss CP2 50mm T2.1 Makro Cine @ T2.8 we see that the Samyang 50mm T1.5 Cine retains very slight chromatic abberation at the edges when stopped down, but becomes slightly sharper at the edges than the Zeiss lens. See the image below for an optical comparison. The detail is taken from the top left hand side of an image with 4K resolution (below is a 100% crop). This difference will probably not be noticeable in HD.

samyang Zeiss 28 Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE Lens

 

Conclusion

The Samyang 50mm Cine lens offers very impressive optical quality. While it does introduce the most heavy distortion of all lenses tested it is the sharpest of them all and has only slight chromatic abberation and little vignetting when used wide open. One thing that really makes this lens Cine (optically) is that it can truly be used shooting wide open at T1.5 with very minor optical degradation. Unexpected!

These findings as well as the Cine attributes the lens brings make it a no brainer as to whether it is a good 50mm Cine lens for video work. 50mm is among the most popular of focal lengths and Samyang offers a great deal here.

Build quality is not superb (There were some smudges from the factory on the markings of our lens.), but feels quite good and like a professional tool out of the box. It is partly metal and operates very smoothly. We cannot test the lenses lifetime. Certainly the Zeiss CP2 is a tank in comparison, offering extreme precision and optical accuracy. For professional applications the Zeiss CP2 is certainly recommended and we use it internally for all our laboratory tests.

DSC03095 300x194 Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE LensFor entry level and semi-professional filming and videography the Samyang is absolutely recommended. It offers the best overall package for the money and leaves both photo lenses we tested far behind.

We tested the Sony E-mount version. The lens is also available for Canon EF, Nikon F, MFT and Sony A: HERE

We have an exclusive cinema5D deal for our European readers: (20€ off on any Samyang lens) LINK

The post Review of the Samyang 50mm T1.5 CINE Lens appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author cinema5D » NewsSebastian Wöber

The Sony A7 II is the first full frame mirrorless camera with 5 axis stabilisation inside (sensor shift based). It also gets some ergonomic and video upgrades such as XAVC-S at 50Mbit/s, S-LOG and 120fps. But how does image quality compare to the Sony A7S and how effective exactly is the much anticipated “SteadyShot Inside” for video? I [...]

The post Sony A7 II review – 5 axis stabilisation in video mode appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

Panasonic CM1

Although I found the CM1 mediocre as a 900 Euro smartphone compared to other high end smartphones like the OnePlus One and iPhone 6 Plus, I’ll approach the CM1 purely as a compact camera that you can make calls on. This review has the focus on image quality and camera features. How does it perform?

CM1 screen size vs LX100

The CM1 offers the largest and highest resolution screens for compositions on any compact, mirrorless or DSLR camera

The main use of a phone camera for me is it’s about recording and documenting your life, so you have a timeline of shots that you can look back on in years to come and remember things you’d otherwise have forgotten. It’s also a great artistic tool because whenever that magic light happens or whenever a rare event unfolds in front of you, a phone is always there to capture it and your DSLR won’t be.

So how much of a bump in quality does the CM1 offer over existing high end smartphones? It has to be compared with the high end ones, because of the price. 899 is a lot for a phone, indeed a lot for a compact camera as well. Remember, this is no Panasonic LX100 or Fuji X100 in terms of camera quality but it is priced similarly.

The most obvious camera to compare the CM1 to is the Sony RX100 Mark III which uses a pretty much identical sensor.

I kind of like how unpretentious the CM1 is. I am not someone who uses tons of apps or features on my smartphone, I mainly use it as a camera which I message people on, make calls with and listen to Spotify via a good set of headphones. I love that concept of putting the camera ahead of Angry Birds, thinness and outright CPU specs. Hot footing it around a city during the day, the CM1 will produce superior results to your iPhone 6, OnePlus One or Samsung Galaxy S5 on a technical level, but sometimes I find the colour science and ‘feel’ of the iPhone 6 Plus to be more pleasing and less clinical. Once indoors or in twilight and evening conditions, the CM1 has a tendency to get things wrong…

The low light contradiction

LX100
CM1
iPhone 6 Plus
Pixel size (microns)
3.86µ
2.4µ
1.5µ
Max aperture
F1.7
F2.8
F2.2
Slowest shutter for sharp handheld shot
1/10
1/50
1/4
Stabilisation
5 axis optical
None
Optical, electronic and auto best shot selection
Max ISO for ‘clean’ result
ISO 1600
ISO 800
ISO 200

Do you see the contradiction?

Following are crops from handheld shots…

cm1-vs-iphone6-lowlight2

cm1-vs-iphone6-lowlight

In the shot of the concert posters, the CM1 suffers from heavier noise reduction and some camera-shake at 1/30 blurring the edges of the poster text. So it looks softer than the iPhone at 8MP even though it has a 20Mp chip.

The iPhone on the other-hand used a crazy low shutter speed of 1/4 but then employed optical image stabilisation and a rapid-fire burst technique, from which it automatically selects the sharpest shot.

Because of the slow shutter speed, the iPhone didn’t need to boost the ISO to 3200 like the CM1 did at 1/30. The iPhone shot, astonishingly, was at ISO 160. That it is able to get a sharp handheld shot at 1/4 is a major advantage in low light over the CM1 which can barely get a sharp shot at 1/50, with 1/100 better advised. Taking shots quickly on a small & light smartphone gives you more camera shake than normal.

The iPhone’s faster F2.2 lens also helps versus the F2.8 of the CM1.

Heavy noise reduction in JPEGs and camera shake is evident in almost all of my CM1 shots taken at night but not in my iPhone shots. Whilst downsampling for Facebook hides the flaws to some degree, the gap between the iPhone 6 Plus and CM1 is now significantly narrower than the difference in sensor size would suggest…

CM1 iPhone 6 Plus

Can you tell them apart?

It’s a shame that such a clear resolution advantage in good light over other flagship smartphones is squandered when the sun goes down by a lack of intelligent software design and stabilisation.

Only for moving subjects in dim light does the CM1 have a real advantage, but we’re still talking 1/100 to get that advantage and therefore very high ISOs on 2.4 micron pixels – the results therefore are a lot nosier than the best high end compacts like the LX100 with 3.8 micron pixels.

How significant are the CM1’s advantages when we see them?

Undoubtably the CM1 has some advantages over other high end smartphone cameras, but how significant these are depend on the type of shot.

At very close focus distances, bokeh is much more pleasing and pronounced than on other high end smartphones. Here’s an example…

CM1 bokeh vs iPhone 6

CM1 bokeh iPhone 6 Plus bokeh

Easy to tell which is which in those shots! However this only works when you’re focussing very closely and the background is far away. The rest of the time you won’t really notice.

The other advantage is that the CM1 has better latitude for highlight retention. Where the iPhone would blow out a highlight, the CM1 will keep it and it doesn’t need to resort to software trickery to increase dynamic range in good light. You can shoot raw of course which helps further.

Panasonic CM1 highlight retention

At low ISOs the 20MP images do give a nice ability to zoom digitally without too much loss of quality. Here’s how much more resolution you have to play with than the 8MP iSight camera on the 6 Plus…

A 20MP still from the CM1 with the 8MP iPhone snap laid 1 to 1 over the top of it in Photoshop

A 20MP still from the CM1 with the 8MP iPhone snap laid 1 to 1 over the top of it in Photoshop

How significant these advantages are on a smartphone, I will leave for you to decide.

But when it does as poor job of auto-white balance in this shot compared to the warm iPhone 6 Plus version above… you really begin to wonder…

CM1 white balance

Manual control

The CM1 gives you far more extensive manual control over the default iPhone camera app.

Although apps do exist to give the iPhone uncompressed TIFF and manual exposure controls, they’re not as good as the CM1’s default camera app, which is the best part of the product really.

Whether you need the CM1’s full suite of manual control for handheld snapshots depends on how fast you need to take the shot. Without any real physical control of the settings you’re reliant on the touch screen menus to change things like aperture and shutter speed. It’s not a bad touch screen interface but it’s much slower to shoot manual with the CM1 than it is to shoot manual on the LX100 with dials and buttons. The click wheel around the lens is the only real physical control but it’s stiff, slow and of very limited usability. I often find it quicker just to use the touch screen to adjust stuff like ISO or aperture.

The 1080p and 4K video side of the camera of course has manual control too. How image quality compares to the iPhone 6 Plus in terms of video I’ll look at in a later article.

CM1 compared to the Sony RX100 Mark III

With the same sensor, here’s a 1:1 crop at ISO 3200…

CM1 vs RX100 M3

Very similar but the RX100 Mark III maintains better saturation at default Adobe Camera Raw settings, perhaps hinting towards a cleaner DSP & a less noisy highway between sensor and image processor.

Conclusion

After shooting with the CM1 in low light, it really is surprising how the slow shutter speeds and stabilisation catapult the iPhone 6 Plus into contention. The faster lens and much lower megapixel count also help. Whilst the CM1 is somewhat of a disappointment for dim light shooting it does hold its own during the day but even here there are issues – poor auto-white balance and clinical colour science. It either overcooks the reds and oranges, or goes too far the other way giving a yellow cast.

For me the CM1’s photo capabilities just aren’t good enough to make me switch platforms in the mobile world – a dramatic step when you have been happy with one side or the other for 6 years. Panasonic’s biggest challenge is that users very reluctantly swap phones, let alone from Android to iOS or iOS to Android. I’d rather use the excellent Panasonic LX100 in a spare pocket. Granted it isn’t the all-in-one camera / phone I really wanted and prayed the CM1 would succeed in giving me…but it’s far more fun to shoot with and the results are much nicer.

Panasonic are in a tricky strategic situation with this kind of device. It has to be high end and it is. But being high end, it has to compete against the best smartphones in the world as a smartphone and the best compacts in the world as a camera. It is neither. Too many compromise to get them in the same body it seems.

The post Panasonic CM1 review returns – just the camera this time appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

The camera user interface is generally very solid on the CM1 and responsive

The camera user interface is generally very solid on the CM1 and responsive

Panasonic have just released the best smartphone available for sensor size and image quality. A limited retail launch is underway now in Germany and France with the UK to follow by Christmas.

Against the backdrop of a run of hits from Panasonic like the GH4 and LX100, the CM1 unfortunately is the one that got away.

An inadequate replacement for your existing high end smartphone, even if you value the camera side.

Raw files in playback mode on the CM1

Raw files in playback mode on the CM1

Key specs

  • 20MP 1-inch CMOS sensor
  • F2.8 aperture, 28mm equivalent focal length
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • 4K continuous shooting at 15fps (stored as MP4 video files)
  • Raw capture
  • 1.1MP front camera
  • 4.7-inch 1080p display
  • Android 4.4
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S801 quad-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB built-in memory
  • microSD cards up to 128GB
  • 2600mAh battery
  • 899 euros

Panasonic did such a great job recently with the LX100 design and build quality. The CM1’s design feels like Panasonic brought their smartphone team back out of retirement. Thickness isn’t actually the biggest problem for the CM1. The problem is the way it feels – and arguably the way it looks too.

For a phone designed for photographers, the CM1 has a curiously un-photographer like design. If Apple’s phones feel like they are carved by lasers from a block of aluminium and glass, the Panasonic CM1 feels like it has been cut with a hacksaw from the dashboard of a salesman’s company car.

It lacks any kind of soul whatsoever.

The CM1 sports an incredibly soulless and bland design

The CM1 sports an incredibly soulless and bland design

Size comparison, CM1 vs iPhone 6 Plus

Size comparison, CM1 vs iPhone 6 Plus

Ideas for strife

Over 2 years ago I raised the idea of a high end camera phone with a Panasonic product planner in Germany, on a visit to give some GH3 feedback. What I suggested though, was very different to what Panasonic have made with the CM1.

The iPhone has no choice but to trade sensor size for thinness and features like raw and physical controls for simplicity. The best way to compete with the iPhone is to in fact embellish it with an Lumix add-on. Make the integration between Lumix camera and iPhone seamless – avoid the need for users to carry two devices. It has to perform and behave like an all-in-one and it has to add minimal thickness or cheap plastic to the existing device. I told Panasonic not to put yet another mediocre Android handset on the market, but to produce a luxurious slice of aluminium with a shutter button with a 1″ sensor. This thin camera-back would clip on and double as a case.

Unfortunately Panasonic have produced a mediocre Android handset.

Perhaps understandably Panasonic did not want to embellish a ‘rival product’ but to compete head-to-head, at least in the ‘niche’ market for a photographer’s phone. If Panasonic think the CM1 as an all-round smartphone is good enough to go head to head with an iPhone 6 Plus they are deluding themselves. I’d rather have an add-on that seamlessly links to my iPhone’s lightning connector, with ultra high Leica-like build quality. Sure it would make the phone thicker but it would still be worth it because I’d get to stay with iOS.

CM1 alongside the iPhone 6 Plus

CM1 alongside the iPhone 6 Plus

Confused checkout girl

Sony did do something similar to my idea with the QX series but again, their execution is so far off the mark! Remember the whole point is that you don’t need to carry two devices around for phone and photos!! The very fact the chunky QX lenses make your phone un-pocketable defies the whole point of them – it means you’re better off carrying around a separate camera anyway!

I don’t want to do that for every waking moment of the day, just my phone, wallet and keys. Why can’t manufacturers understand this?

The CM1 next to the iPhone 6 Plus

The CM1 next to the iPhone 6 Plus

My real world CM1 experience began with a very confused checkout girl in Berlin. She said enjoy your camera… I said it was a phone. She said “OH”. As I stepped into a crowded Berlin I had my iPhone 6 Plus in one jacket pocket, CM1 in the other. The iPhone 6 Plus is 2014, the CM1 is 2004. iPhone is royalty. CM1 is office admin assistant. The mere act of using one in public becomes a bit uncomfortable. I’m not a snob, but I do like stylish phones and cameras. The CM1 just isn’t one. Apple are experts on feel and design statements. This isn’t empty air headed stuff, it is a critical part of the user experience. A phone is something you constantly have to feel and look at all day long. The choice of materials on the CM1 is atrocious. The big silver rim around the lens is metal, but it has fine grooves which collects fuzz from your pocket so it looks constantly dirty. The even bigger click wheel around the lens has rough serrated edges which graft against your hand all day. When holding an iPhone 6 and texting you have smooth surfaces against your hand. With the CM1 you have cheap rough metal and even cheaper faux plastic leather. The aluminium surround is thick and not made to seem less so by being dark, it’s luminous silver. Opening a flap to reveal the sim and memory card, the material reveals it’s true nature like a cold McDonalds. This stuff is nasty and has no place on such an expensive handset…

cm1-P8430001

Another let down is audio quality. For music via headphones it just isn’t as good as the iPhone 6. It doesn’t sound as detailed or as pleasing and you will especially notice if you have a good pair of headphones, which most premium smartphone users do.

The loud speaker quality on the phone is also way below that of the iPhone 6 Plus.

The market for a good all-in-one camera phone to rival Apple is massive so I don’t understand why Panasonic seem so unsure about the CM1’s positioning and design. It seems like a toe in the water kind of product. At Photokina when the CM1 was announced, a BBC news article about the CM1 ran in the top 6 most viewed not on their tech-sub section but on their front page news portal. What a shame the CM1 feels so lifeless given the amount of interest in it.

Ergonomics

Android takes some getting used to for an Apple user. Initially I hated it. Then I got used to it. It still feels less elegant, more clunky somehow – as if it has rougher edges, just like the phone does physically compared to the iPhone. It feels more soulless and functional. It nags about Google accounts and sending your data from a thousand parts of the operating system. However once you get rid of the terrible default keyboard and install your favourite apps, it isn’t THAT bad.

Android home screen on the CM1

Android home screen on the CM1

Sadly the cultural aesthetics of Android are tacky and I don’t want to be part of the club. Only Google can justify an Android logo that unknowingly looks like a South Park character. I always know when a Samsung Galaxy user is nearby because of the astonishingly irritating default whistling noise for messages. Removable plastic battery covers made of recycled 5 cent party cups, lots and lots of ridges and seams, very low end handsets crowded around in bargain bins across the world and high end Samsung users thinking that iPhone users care about the numbers on a spec sheet. Android phones are the green SMS bubbles amongst my free iMessages. As a cultural phenomena, it’s not a pretty one.

Android is only high end when it has the hardware to match. Samsung do a good job, as do HTC. Panasonic with the CM1 haven’t. For a 900 Euro smartphone, the only really premium features happen to be the screen and camera.

All the buttons are on the right side of the device too… this is really awkward and unnecessary and after sending data to Google a hundred times for product improvement and being asked to link my Google account to every part single app I’d had a really bad experience using it. They seem insecure about whether we like them or not and everything seemingly relays stuff back to HQ.

Camera and image quality

Click to download the original 20MP file. Same sensor as the Sony RX100 M3 and Panasonic FZ1000. Image processed from raw.

Click to download the original 20MP file. Same sensor as the Sony RX100 M3 and Panasonic FZ1000. Image processed from raw.

cm1-P1000013

Nice bokeh and a separation of background / subject is possible but only for close-ups

Finally, some better news. If you want the best stills quality available on the smartphone market and the most features, the CM1 will give you that.

Being a single device carried on you all the time though, the amount of shots you can muster on a day to day basis does increase… almost as dramatically as the quality. ISO 1600 is very much usable, both in JPEG and raw mode. High shutter speeds like 1/60 are selected where the iPhone will use something like 1/15 to keep ISO down. This significantly narrows performance between the two in low light, as long as nothing moves.

In fact image quality is not THAT earth-shatteringly different to the iPhone 6 for most purposes, especially if only shooting JPEG.

The iPhone 6 Plus has a flatter look to it, quite pleasing. The CM1 has a so-so standard picture profile, a more vividly pleasing one and a few more from their Lumix stills cameras.

Camera - Panasonic CM1 vs iPhone 6 Plus

Click for a closer look

CM1 100% crop

CM1 100% crop

iPhone 6 Plus 100% crop

iPhone 6 Plus 100% crop

The screen is a strong point of the CM1 (iPhone 6 Plus on the right)

The screen is a strong point of the CM1 (iPhone 6 Plus on the right)

The Leica 10mm F2.8 lens (28mm equivalent wide angle) is pretty good. Sharp, low distortion and bokeh is pleasingly smooth – surprising given the type of lens.

Unfortunately the CM1’s seemingly lacks any kind of stabilisation (no option is present in the menus anyway). Whereas the iPhone can take a sharp shot at ISO 80 in low light due to 1/5, the CM1 has to use 1/30 or often 1/60, bumping ISO to 1600. Although the sensor at 1″ is bigger than the one in the latest iPhone, you don’t always notice – a shallow depth of field can rarely be achieved unless your subject happens to be extremely close or at macro. 10mm is too wide to really isolate the subject from the background if they are more than half a meter away.

AF is very fast on the most part and rarely misses. Macro focus is a strong point, it does go very close.

In terms of stealth, unfortunately the CM1 isn’t discrete at all. The massive shiny silver disc on the back around the lens is unnecessary and as a click wheel it fails in terms of usability. Bare in mind that people commented negatively when the iPhone 6 Plus lens stuck out by 1mm, this is how sensitive the smartphone market is towards thinness. I know it’s ridiculous. But if you are going to have a fat phone, at the very least it has to look good.

The Leica 10mm F2.8 lens on the CM1

The Leica 10mm F2.8 lens on the CM1

The camera app is generally solid and Lumix-like but it does have a few problems of its own. If raw is selected you can’t take another shot until the camera has finished saving the raw file. Why can’t it write it in the background from the buffer?

Also 4K video is not actually “video” at all. It’s a stills mode shooting at a rate of 15fps with a VERY hefty crop to MP4 files. I can appreciate why such a small device might not be able to do 4K at 24p but for Panasonic to call 15fps “video” is not really right. Another poor choice of frame rate is 30fps for all the other options. This is especially baffling given the Europe-only launch, where the standard is 25p and 30p gives flicker.

No 25p or 50p for a Europe only release of the CM1 is a glaring omission

No 25p or 50p for a Europe only release of the CM1 is a glaring omission

The lens extends when in use so when you lay the phone down after taking a picture, the extended lens is the first thing that hits the table. If it extends when the phone is against a flat surface or being held with your hand over the lens, the motorised mechanism simply runs the risk of being damaged. Very often I’d get a “lens error” message. How long will it last?

The Leica lens on the CM1 extends when in use

The Leica lens on the CM1 extends when in use

There’s no 240fps slow-mo either. The iPhone 6 has this.

Battery life is right down at 200 shots, less of course because it’s a phone and you will use it as one presumably!!… Unless you put it on airplane mode and just use it as a slim compact camera. The battery isn’t interchangeable like it is on the LX100 so you can’t carry a spare.

The CM1 has extensive camera settings for a phone

The CM1 has extensive camera settings for a phone

Conclusion

I really wanted the CM1 to be good. It’s such a welcome concept. Instead, Panasonic seem as unsure about it as I do and the implementation is a mere toe in the water of the high end smartphone market. Up against massively stiff competition, the soulless design doesn’t do justice to the great sensor underneath, let alone compete with equivalently priced smartphones like the iPhone 6 Plus. Indeed flagship smartphones from other brands like Samsung cost far less and are much better smartphones!

Instead of offering small compromises, the CM1 asks the user to make large sacrifices. The CM1 asks the photographer to sell his iPhone and implores the owner of other high end smartphones to sacrifice the quality of their phone for better picture quality. There is a very large market for people wanting to upgrade the stills quality of their iPhone or Samsung flagship but Panasonic will give you this only by downgrading almost everything else. How much of the general public will be able to tolerate this remains to be seen. If you’re used to a relatively low end Android handset with chunky designs it probably won’t bother you. Amongst premium Apple & Samsung users I have a feeling the CM1 will see a high return rate.

A premium price tag then, but not a premium smartphone. My Panasonic LX100 and iPhone 6 Plus will sleep easy tonight.

The CM1 is a thick phone but a thin camera

The CM1 is a thick phone but a thin camera

Pros

  • Best camera sensor in any smartphone
  • Shoots raw and has huge camera feature-set
  • Good video quality in 1080p
  • Solid camera user interface on the most part
  • High ISO performance very good for a smartphone (usable ISO 1600 and 3200)
  • High continuous burst rates
  • Very fast AF
  • Well implemented manual focus and manual control modes
  • Live histogram, plenty of options (even peaking)
  • Full HD (1080p) screen and good colour / contrast calibration options

Cons

  • As a smartphone it’s simply not good enough for me to part with iPhone 6 Plus
  • If it can’t replace my existing phone, it absolutely no purpose as a camera (may as well use a separate high end compact like the LX100)
  • Soulless design
  • Rough to the touch, poor choice of materials in the construction
  • Way too expensive at 899 Euros
  • Very mediocre implementation of Android
  • Too thick by modern smartphone standards
  • Weak audio output quality
  • No 25p or 24p. Europe-only release and they put ONLY 30p on it? Where’s the logic in that?
  • No slow-mo video at all (not even 60p)
  • Faux leather back feels cheap in the hand
  • Lens extends further in use
  • 4K is only 15fps, with very severe crop
  • 4 second lag when shooting raw before next shot can be taken
  • Weak battery life
  • Very limited availability
  • Lack of accessories at launch – no case included (one is free, but you have to send off for it in the post!)

Further pictures…

The headphone jack offers uninspired audio quality compared to the latest iPhones

The headphone jack offers uninspired audio quality compared to the latest iPhones

Nothing on the bottom side panel at all

Nothing on the bottom side panel at all

Awkwardly, all the buttons are on the right side panel - but the shutter button has a nice feel

Awkwardly, all the buttons are on the right side panel – but the shutter button has a nice feel

The extending lens is easily blocked and this happens

The extending lens is easily blocked and this happens

Android options on the CM1

Android options on the CM1

The iPhone 6 Plus is ultra thin by comparison

The iPhone 6 Plus is ultra thin by comparison

The post Panasonic CM1 Review – the smart-camera-phone appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

So for the past few days I’ve been using the CM1 as my main phone and have forced myself to get used to Android. I have to say that the charms are starting to grow on me, the frustrations from earlier have thawed and I’m starting to have a lot more fun with it. I still [...]

The post Updated Panasonic CM1 review and gallery (final part and conclusion) appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

Click here to view the embedded video.

The FZ1000 is $897.99 – view full specs and details at B&H Photo Video here

The Panasonic FZ1000 is a bridge camera, but is it a bridge that actually leads anywhere? Read my FZ1000 review to find out…

Bridge cameras tend to be a little slow, which defeats the purpose of having a versatile super-zoom at your disposal. I loved what I was able to capture so effortlessly with the Sony RX10 but even that was too slow and clunky at times. Even high end bridge cameras have all tended to lack the faster processors and more advanced features found in higher end cameras, so it’s a genuine surprise to see how responsive the FZ1000 is.

I hesitated to review the FZ1000 at all. It meant buying a camera I might not need, because I have a GH4. Why not just put a 14-140mm on the GH4?

In 4K video mode on the GH4 that lens is equivalent to 32-322. The FZ1000’s zoom is considerably longer though, 35-592mm in 4K mode, 25-400mm for 1080p and stills. Shame you lose that 25mm wide end in 4K mode, where you’re shooting not on a 2.7x crop 1″ sensor but an even smaller 3.8x crop.

fz1000-gh4

The FZ1000 has other issues too. Build quality feels cheap compared to the Sony RX10, though the lens fairs better the body is very much a plastic fantastic.

The viewfinder though is better than the RX10 and it has 4K video as well as very effective-slow mo in 1080p at 120fps, where image quality is actually surprisingly good at the high frame rate.

The FZ1000 ends up being an almighty time saver and shot grabber. It’s able to do a one-shot AF lock-on so well at the start of a recording that it gets moments other cameras will miss. All the time we spend checking manual focus on a DSLR, racking focus, changing lenses, using bulky zooms, even bringing two zooms along for the ride only to find none of them focus closely enough at the long end, all that time wasted and you realise how much quicker the FZ1000 is able to get a similar shot. The moment you spot a moment you can capture it.

4K also means more freedom in post to further recompose your image, as if the compositional abilities of that massive zoom range wasn’t already enough. For stills it is even better because 4K frames are print quality and in that sense you are shooting stills at 25fps or 30fps continuous. Spatial resolution, as in time capture increases 5 fold over a typical DSLR burst mode and it can go on doing this for 30 minutes at a time.

Now within your own directorial control, on a set or in a studio you don’t need to operate this fast or zoom so far – just sometimes – but out on the streets you do, all the time. Moments come and go in the blink of an eye. If you’re slow then you’re relying on serendipity to get any good shots at all. Any news shooter or documentary filmmaker will tell you that speed is absolutely vital.

Performance and features

When the FZ1000 was released it lacked 24p in 4K mode. Now that’s been added along with different aspect ratios in 4K Photo Mode like on the GH4.

Although the FZ1000 is not entirely free of feature culling via firmware to position it as a lower end camera than the GH4 it is actually surprisingly intact given the much lower price.

Three more things stand out aside from the lens and 4K codec at 100Mbit/s just like the GH4.

  • 5 axis stabilisation (and it works pretty well)
  • 120fps 1080p slow-mo (100fps on the PAL version)
  • 1080p at 60p and 24p
  • EVF and fully articulated LCD

What’s not so useful?

  • Tiny GH2 battery
  • In 120fps mode stabilisation doesn’t work
  • SD card slot under the body rather than on the side
  • Still some micro-jitter with the stabilisation at such long focal lengths

Given the excellent battery life on Panasonic’s recent cameras like the GH4 and LX100, it’s a shame this camera does not use the GH4’s larger battery (after all the body is the same size) or ramp the build quality up to at least Sony RX10 level.

The camera is superbly light given the massive zoom lens it features, which makes for some very easy rigging…

FZ1000 - Bunny Suit

FZ100

4K is more than resolution

In extolling the virtues of the FZ1000 as an affordable 4K camera I’ve had a few people tweet “4K, so what, it isn’t all about resolution”. I agree entirely, it isn’t all about resolution but they are completely wrong in thinking 4K itself is only about resolution! I am constantly hearing that it isn’t all about sharpness. What I equate 4K with in my head is something very different to just ‘sharpnesss’. It offers a dramatic widening of the data path between the sensor and your final image that carries every single thing that describes that image – dynamic range, colour, tonality, signal to noise ratio, resolution – the whole kitchen sink. Quality leaps up.

With no binning, averaging or line skipping and instead reading out 4 times the information that describes the image, you are naturally going to end up with a more life-like image closer to what the sensor sees in the first place. Be it for 4K or 1080p delivery, both benefit.

Dynamic range increases, the files feel chunkier to grade. Colour is richer, less thin and skin tones less plastic. And yeah, detail increases but it also looks far cleaner, with virtually no false detail, moire or aliasing in the final result especially if downscaling to 1080p in post. So to see 4K with all these advantages appear for under $1000 for the first time on the LX100 and FZ1000 is wonderful news for the consumer.

The 4K 100Mbit/s codec on the FZ1000 appears to be every bit as good as it is on the GH4 and it is double the bitrate of Sony’s XAVC-S implementation of 4K on the AX100. It’s also less than half the price of the AX100, more responsive, smaller and better ergonomically for both video and stills. It likely shares the same sensor too.

I’d choose it in a heartbeat over the Handycam and that’s not to say Sony are doing a bad job, it’s just that one particular products that failed to impress me. Anyone who wanted an AX100 but held off, should definitely now consider the FZ1000 if they haven’t gone for an interchangeable lens camera. For rolling shutter, dynamic range, low light – all the technical tests, these are coming in a separate article but the sample video above gives you an idea of what to expect for the first two.

FZ1000 still

Stills

The sensor in the FZ1000 is a known quantity for stills, being very similar the Sony RX100 series of 1″ 20MP chips. It is DSLR quality by ‘compact camera’ standards but with Panasonic themselves having redefined what compact quality means with the LX100, the FZ1000 is left trailing in terms of sensor size and low light performance to a compact now.

The Canon GX7 has a similar sensor and so does the Sony RX10, but the FZ1000 has faster AF than both of them and a much more interesting lens (not that the RX10’s lens was in any way not interesting!)

DSLR quality also involves a degree of being able to separate your subject from the background even if the shot you’re pulling off is not a close-up. Are we talking RX100 III style problems here where you can’t get any separation of the subject and the background unless you are stood within a few centimetres of them? No, because the lens is a 9-146mm. On the RX100 III it is approximately 9-25mm. A huge difference. At the longer end of this reach on the FZ1000 you get an extremely shallow depth of field. Indeed even at 50mm, compared to 25mm you will get a much shallower depth of field and be able to punch in on your subject.

EVF

The EVF is good by any standards in this class of camera. It is far better than the RX10. It is right up there with the GH4 though the glass does have more edge smearing going on when you move your eye about the eyecup.

The panel seems newer in the FZ1000 with great contrast and colour, a smidgen brighter looking than my GH4.

I’m spoilt for EVFs now I have the Fuji X-T1 though, which makes the EVF on every other camera even the Sony A7S feel a bit pokey.

Left: FZ1000. Right: GH4

Left: FZ1000. Right: GH4

Slow-mo

Slow-mo is definitely superior on this camera to 120fps on the Sony RX10.

In the menus it is dubbed High Speed Video, on / off. We have full 1080p at 120fps or 100fps depending on your region. The camera isn’t PAL / NTSC switchable unfortunately and you don’t have the same variety of variable frame rate options you get on the GH4. Combined with the rest of the features on the camera though, such as the 25-400mm lens, 120fps is a really special creative tool and produces results that are overall unique at $899. The quality is better than I expected, though the typical line-skipping is active as it is for similar slow-mo on the GH4 and A7S, meaning the HFR image isn’t free of moire or aliasing.

It looks at its best further away from the wide end of the lens and pointed at a human subject. The image is quite noisy in this mode so it isn’t a low-light slow-mo camera. The other issue is that stabilisation switches off, again a common thing with slow-mo modes on stills camera and I don’t know why. Stabilisation isn’t as critical for high speed video because when camera shake is slowed down so much it looks more like a gradual sway, but you still get some sway and OIS in this mode would have produced completely locked down shots. What a shame.

1080p

I don’t use 1080/24p or 60p in-camera on the FZ1000 because the 4K image is just way better. Also 1080p is AVCHD for the most part at low bitrates. 28Mbit/s for 1080/60p and 24Mbit/s for 30/24p. No 50Mbit/s or ALL-I like on the GH4. Switching to the MP4 codec eliminates AVCHD for 30/25/24p but introduces a drop to just 20Mbit/s, including for slow-mo mode. In 1080/60p it remains at 28Mbit/s. MP4 for 1080p is treated like a low quality option to make AVCHD, a Panasonic standard, look better. It is time AVCHD just died. Tell you what else’s odd…The Sony RX10 post firmware update does 1080p at double the bitrate of the FZ1000, but alas has no 4K. The Sony AX100 does 4K at half the bitrate of the FZ1000, alas the FZ1000 does 1080p at half the bitrate of the RX10! The whole situation is daft.

I don’t think many customers who buy the FZ1000 will miss an ALL-I codec but they might be pained to see AVCHD 1080p on there rather than the Quicktime MOV or MP4 wrapper. Playing and navigating the AVCHD folder is still a usability fail for Mac users, partly because of such poor Quicktime support for it still after all these years.

fz1000-4k-menu

Picture Profiles

The FZ1000 has all the picture profiles the GH4 does including CineLikeD but it doesn’t have a few of the deeper fine tuning options in the menus like master pedestal.

I thought for a second Panasonic might have removed this because the average consumer doesn’t know what it is. But they left in the RGB luminance levels option, 0-255 / 16-255!

Ergonomics

Sometimes picking up the FZ1000 it is easy to mistake it for a GH4. It’s good to see that like Canon, Panasonic have settled on pretty much one set of ergonomics for their stills cameras. Well, at least three of them! GH3 and GH4 users will be right at home with it, as will GH2 and G6 owners in many ways. Some nice touches for a camera in this price range… although overall build quality isn’t one. It has a mic socket and you can also control audio manually in-camera, same as the GH4. I count this as a small miracle.

It has two function buttons on the top near the mode dial, GH4 only has one. It has the same handy dial on the top left as the GH4 for shooting rate and timer. The same rear lever for focus mode. The same Fn5 button which also toggles between the EVF / LCD manually, Fn3 / Q-menu is present and correct. The playback button is better placed, accessible one handed on the right near all the other buttons rather than stuck out on the far left corner like on the GH4. There’s no rear jog wheel but I was never a fan of this on the GH3 and GH4 anyway. The d-pad has ISO, WB, AF and focus zone on directional presses and a menu button in the middle. The video record button is nice and accessible next to the shutter button and the shutter release itself can be used to start and stop video recording, though when the camera stops it is a bit like pressing the brakes on a London bus. Recording is not laggy to start though and that’s more important!

On the right where the card door should be there’s the HDMI port, which does have one benefit – the cables don’t point into your face if the camera is rigged up on your shoulder. However, this isn’t a camera many users are going to want or need to rig up.

FZ1000 24p

The lens ring has a dual purpose. It can be toggled between zooming action and focus. Now with the AF lock-on at the start of a shot being a nice fast convenient substitute for manual focus here, there are of course times when you want to rack focus during a shot. At these times, the camera offers a superb feel to the focus ring and a plethora of aids. This is really good for a camera in this class. Peaking works whilst punched into the magnified focus assist and you can set the magnified zoom to appear in a window rather than taking up the whole composition on the LCD.

Conclusion

When it all comes down to it, the Panasonic FZ1000 is a GH4 with a 25-400mm lens for $899. A very good deal but the trade off for that is the noisier sensor full with 20MP and in 4K a rather small recording area of 3.8x crop, instead of 2.3x on the GH4 (relative to full frame). So it certainly isn’t a dim light camera. The lens is F2.8-4 so there’s no getting away from it. You will not be getting the results of a GH4 at F0.95 with the FZ1000 at night!

Instead it is a shot grabber extraordinaire, a brilliant travelling companion and an all round fun experience. It’s easy to justify the FZ1000 as a second camera if you need a shot grabber.

The FZ1000 is $897.99 – view full specs and details at B&H Photo Video here

Pros

  • Crisp and detailed video quality in 4K with 100Mbit/s codec
  • Very good value for money Leica 25-400mm equiv. lens
  • Very close focus distance (0.3-1m) throughout the range even at the longer end
  • Effective 5 axis image stabilisation even in video mode (though not active in High Speed Video mode)
  • Quick AF in both stills and video mode
  • Very nice EVF given the price point & class of camera
  • Price vs performance ratio makes it attractive and versatile second body
  • Good for beginners who don’t want to invest in, or change a bunch of lenses
  • Familiar and direct ergonomics
  • Responsive to use overall
  • Excellent 120fps high speed video mode
  • Very good raw stills quality in good light, from Sony 20MP 1″ sensor
  • CineLike colour profiles like the GH4
  • Shallow depth of field at longer focal lengths
  • Excellent feel to manual focus and plenty of focus aids, such as peaking
  • Mic input and manual audio control, again unusual for camera in this class

Cons

  • 4K mode loses 25mm wide angle (becomes 35mm)
  • Small GH2 battery not larger GH4 pack
  • Charmless feel to body, build quality feels too plasticy
  • Stabilisation switches off in high speed video mode
  • Not a low light camera due to rather excessive megapixel count and 3.8x crop in 4K mode
  • Internal 1080p codec limited to low bitrates and no ALL-I recording
  • SD card slot in somewhat awkward place

The post Panasonic FZ1000 review – the bargain 4K super-zoom appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)