A story: I fell out of love with the FZ1000 :s We broke up :( I found new love! :)

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chillgreg
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A story: I fell out of love with the FZ1000 :s We broke up :( I found new love! :)
3 months ago

For those that know me, yes I'm aware that I'm up and down like a bloody yoyo when it comes to choosing cameras lol.

Finally after some initial torment, I'd come to like-no love my lovely new Panasonic FZ1000.

I was going to sell my FZ200, but seeing that it's virtually still brand new and I have both the Panasonic close-ups lens, the monster Nikon TC-ED17 1.7 extender lens, and nothing (yet) can replace that combo, I might as well keep it. I only need one Panny camera to stay a member of this warm and caring community that I've loved being part of for so long.

My FZ35 is perfectly serviceable, it's stuck on Program mode due to a slight disagreement with a closing car door, so yep that's for sale too.

The FZ18 gathers dust, perpetually stuck in Service mode...sigh...

The RX100M2 is to be sold. What a great cam. But it just feels wrong to me. Exactly what Allison was trying to say in her review, which i unfairly lambasted her for at the time. Sorry Allison Johnson (DPR) :s

But, back to the FZ1000 you are saying. Righto.

I think the malady that affects a lot of people is the "margarine malady". I just coined that lol. I think you get the gist of the analogy without the kindergarten explanation. Whether by physics or the profit-motive, no one camera can do it all. Until. The. FZ1000.

BUT.

It's a BIG F*CKING BEAST. Disagree if you like, go for your life. Life is a matter of perspective....

People always say: "what is your intended usage?". By rights a very logical and sound question too. For some people, the lucky blighters, they already know that. Maybe because they have pattern and discipline established in their lives. External circumstances such as families, work, hobbies, all kinds of commitments, combined with their own internal desires coagulate (wasn't going to say 'focus' and that's a margarine word yeah!) their photographic wants into definable needs. Choosing gear may not be exactly a walk in the park for them, but they know it's gotta be approximately "500g monounsaturated from avocado oil". That makes the choice and subsequent decision-making process much, much simpler.

The FZ1000 is that hulking bulk pack of polyunsaturated vegetable oil on the middle shelf. A bit expensive, but per-gram exceptional value-for-money. It'll cover most people's toast, most of the time. Ok, no more margarine analogies, I promise

Just like when I was 17 years old I didn't know what I wanted to do when I "grew up", I don't really know what my intended usage is. I'm single, middle-aged (that hurt!), no kids. A SMANK? :o Another coin omg I'm on a roll!!!

So I've always liked photography, but not enough in any particular style to specialise or educate myself more than an enthusiastic amateur.

Before cameras came in phone's you made a choice: camera or not, before leaving the house. These days for many occasions, the camera phone is enough to record the memory and share electronically with friends and family via social networking.

Over the years I've owned a plethora of small cameras in an attempt to fit the bill of... the best camera is the camera that you have with you. And in my particular case that's been amplified and crystalised and catalysed. After years of mediocre little crapheaps starting with the legendary (but honestly pretty terrible) TZ-1, the RX is just fabulous technically, it's IQ is never short of stunning. But it was built by very clever engineers, not very clever photographers. And it's juuuuust a tad too heavy and thick (especially when in a protective case) to truly qualify as being pocketable in pants, trousers, slacks, shorts, jeans whatever. It's warm down under and we don't wear a lot of jackets.

Maybe I would have loved the LF1, but never tried it. As you may know, physically handling let alone finding any Panasonic cameras at retail is next to impossible in many parts of the world.

So I was quite undecided for some months, swaying from one set of criteria to the next. Eventually I but the bullet and bought the FZ1000. $1010 Aussie dollars ($1200 when you add the bag, card, polarising filter, extended warranty etc) It sat beside my bed. I loved the look of it, the technology. I even got over (barely) the TYPE of plastic FINISH that I quibbled about here in other threads... omg it's SUCH a brilliant machine!!!

BUT.

It had burned a large hole in my pocket, and after 2 weeks I realised that I had only really played with it around the house. Several photo opportunities went unfounded as it stayed at home or in the bag in the car. Not blaming the camera for that, that's me 100%!!! Circumstances just didn't allow me to bring out that big bad boy.

I went for a long walk on Wednesday, and for the first time made a conscious effort to use the camera properly in my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 smartphone. 5.5" OLED screen!!! There's no doubt that it's a very average, teensy-weensy sensored camera with a plastic fixed lens, lethargic software and a truly horrible interface. (Yes I know there's heaps of alternative apps)

Here's some examples from the couple of dozen I shot, JPEG SOC no PP:

Southbank, Brisbane.

Gardens Point, Brisbane

QUT, Gardens Point, Brisbane

Posing for a smile, Brisbane.

The reason for posting these, is that for me, facebook and showing my parents and friends for 5 seconds on the phone screen they are (more than) good enough. Technically they probably stink. I haven't looked at them at 100% nor do I want to. Have at it. I wanted badlyto have the thousand dollar FZ1000 with me to proudly show off my city and new camera here, but on this occasion as I was out jogging and a brisk walk for health, it just wasn't coming with me, the poor thing

Oh, and I had so much fun just shooting and shooting and not particularly worrying about which scene mode to use, or which are the optimum settings, or how much to zoom... For some reason it was more relaxing and enjoyable than any other photography I've done for some time! All on a blinking stupid piece of sh*t phone camera. And the accolades were wonderful! Sincere comments from friends overseas and just about everyone who looked at them said they are beautiful, and my city is beautiful. It made me feel good and happy and yes very motivated to take more photos.

Ted's Cameras in Australia certainly aren't the cheapest, but their service is generally good and they are fairly unique here in offering a 14-day peace-of-mind exchange warranty. Thanks Nina at Adelaide St for looking after me

So what did I buy? Nearly there... I am almost salivating at holding the OMD EM-1, and the viewfinder on the XT1 is literally mesmerising. Holy mackerel I've never seen anything like it. The XE2 is also very attractive with crazy high ISO capability and 200 bucks cash back. Maybe the EVF and improved menus and lens on the RX100Mk3 might sway me... the GX1Mk2 has an amazing lens almost unmatched really, but very average sensor and it's still a chunky monkey. The Alpha 6000 and 5100 are just unreal, absolutely packed to the gills with features and trinkets and inarguably fantastic IQ. (I had a Nex 5R for a few months before I sold it to get the RX100Mk2). But I knew that I'd get GAS and buy more lenses and end up with something 3 times the price of the FZ1000, half as capable and probably heavier...

So. I've got days to decide whether to keep the FZ or swap it. Now what has a biggish sensor, is small and compact and around a grandish, has really good IQ including low-light, is fun and intuitive to use, plenty of resolution and of course has a decent zoom.

WAIT A SECOND. JUST WAIT A DAMNED SECOND.................. did I say zoom? ZOOM? HOLY MACKEREL!!! LIGHT BULB!!! FACEPALM!!! All these years I've been chasing the elusive perfect camera, because I believed I needed lots of zoom to enjoy taking photos. WTF!!! It's been staring me in the bloody face all along! Move your feet. Use your mind not your eyes... Press the shutter Repeat. Crop later maybe. Didn't I just have a ball with a camera with no zoom?

I'd read over the years people embracing the romanticism, purity and simplicity of fixed-lens cameras. Yuk yuk yuk. No way. Not for me - I discounted them immediately. I don't want zoom, I needzoom. Yeah well, I've already got an FZ200 haven't I? Can't take that for granted. So. Here we effing go again. Here come more nights and days of scouring and reading and researching and agonising over which marg-oops camera will fit me

But wait not really!!! I've somehow been blessed with a miracle (that's a margarine brand ) enabling me to finally know what type of photography I liked: shoot whatever's right in front of me!!!

It didn't take long of course to narrow the field down to the svelte Nikon A, the capable Ricoh GR, or the hero Fujifilm X100S. Here comes Photokina gulp... but only a day to chose now. My lot's drawn.

They were all in stock. They were all in budget. They all met my newly established and fiercely-cosseted criteria. MY criteria!

I pulled the trigger...

So which camera did I choose and have in front of me now as I type this?

So you tell me

(I'll reveal tomorrow which camera has changed my photographic life.)

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