FZ1000 can seem very soft but isn't...

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Jonathan Usher
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FZ1000 can seem very soft but isn't...
4 months ago

With the arrival of Lightroom 5.6 and its support of FZ1000's RAW files I began shooting the FZ1000 late this afternoon (just now) in RAW mode only.  I was doing a quick test vs my Sony RX10 and looking at the zoomed-in files on the LCD screens of both cameras while in the field.  I was disappointed to see the RX10's sharpness much higher than the FZ1000s.  In fact this contradicted my finding of the other day when it was pretty much a wash between the two cameras.

The FZ1000 previews looked so soft I tried manual focus, taking several shots of the same scene - all soft (everywhere).  Then I wondered: what if the FZ1000 is not applying sharpening to RAW files when generating a preview on the LCD?  So I set the camera to take RAW+JPEG images and, sure enough, the previews for all those images on the LCD were razor sharp.  The difference was dramatic.

Processing all the images on my notebook PC, the images I shot as RAW only were nice and sharp as well, as it turned out.  Whew.  However I wanted to let you all know about this because if you shoot RAW only it's easy to think you haven't nailed the focus (or that you just have a lens that's not very sharp).  Hopefully Panasonic can update this a bit in firmware - it's a bit disconcerting to have the previews when shooting RAW only (not RAW+JPEG) look so soft when zoomed in.  For now I'll probably shoot in RAW+JPEG even if I just turf out all the JPEGs, just so I can gauge sharpness in the field better.

Jonathan

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000
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