PANASONIC 4K PHOTO MODE AND 'WILDLIFE' PHOTOGRAPHY

Well maybe not so wild!!

All of the above images were captured using the 4K photo mode on my Panasonic FZ100 and they show just what a useful tool it is. Since by shooting video and taking frame grabs, in essence I was using a totally silent 25fps motordrive. The ability to see what's happening all the time, without any screen black out meant that I could check out just where the right composition was and whether or not I'd 'got the shot'

So what looks like perfect timing is in fact nothing of the sort. Just the ability to record the movement of the animals over time and pick the right moment to 'freeze' the action.

The deer were constantly moving, the swan had it's head buried in the reeds and only occasionally raised it's head up, squirrels get spooked at the slightest movement those big eyes see and birds don't really do formation flying for people with cameras trained on them. But shooting sequences on 4K video allowed me to capture these moments.

This in addition to it's other attributes makes the FZ1000 the best outdoor camera I've ever used in terms of it's ability to let me create the kind of images I want. This is just the icing on the cake of one of the most complete cameras you can currently buy. OLED viewfinder, electronic shutter, lightning fast and pin point AF, 4K video, fully articulating view screen, fantastic zoom lens - the FZ1000 pretty much has it all. In low light the 1" sensor struggles, but outdoors in daylight it's surely one of the best cameras available for those who want to explore the world and record it with still and moving photography. 

As an 'all-in-one' solution I can't see that there is anything to beat it. The thought of carrying around the prime lenses that let me capture what I do with this camera is unthinkable. It's not the smallest or the lightest but considering what I get from it, I think it's an incredible machine. And with this 4K function for stills I think Panasonic have come up with a masterstroke. Because this is early days. Just imagine what we can all do when we get 8K video in a couple of years time. Serious high quality still image files from video. 

For me this is the most important development in photography since digital capture. This high quality stills from video function will impact on all kinds of photography and make the difficulties of capturing the 'decisive moment' a thing of the past. For me I'm just scratching the surface of what I can do with this technology. I've only used it a few times and yesterday was the first time that I could decide what framing ratio I wanted to use. But the potential is obvious. With the 8MP / 22MB files the Panasonic produces, stills from video has finally moved into a useable quality printing range, but not yet good enough for really high-end reproduction, but 8K and higher frame rates will give us that and it's not that far away. 

This is genuinely innovative tech. and much more useful than lots of other camera 'gimmicks'. It expands our options and allows us to capture difficult subjects with ease. Our two dimensional rectangles will now be capable of recording those magic moments for posterity. And I really do believe that the FZ1000 is a breakthrough camera, because 1" sensors and the lens designs they make possible will get better, both in terms of low ISO quality and high ISO results that are less noisy than they are now.

I and others have stated often that 1'' sensor is going to lead to some incredible cameras. The results from cameras that use them are already impressive but they are going to improve. Panasonic won't be the only company to put one into a smartphone and I suspect that cameras like the FZ1000 and the Sony RX100 series are just the first examples of 1" sensor cameras that will eventually blow us away in terms of what they offer. Small, light cameras and lenses with currently unbelievable specs. that will let us 'picture the world' with ease. 

And for me the simple images I've shown above are just the starting point for what will be possible in the near future. Prepare to be amazed!!

SUPPORT THIS SITE.

As a full-time photographer I make my living from selling images on Stock Photography sites. Writing this blog and doing the comparison tests takes time away from that and earns me very little. If you find what you read here of interest, then you can help me to fund the gear I buy to review, by clicking on the adsense banners, donating and / or buying your gear from the affiliate links. You don't pay any extra, I get a small commission. 

Previously I was posting on the free, Blogger platform, but this site, with it's greatly increased functionality, costs me money and the more it expands, the more it will cost.  If I can get THE SOUNDIMAGEPLUS BLOG economically viable, then I will be able to review a lot more gear and extend and expand those reviews. Running a blog these days that competes with the best out there requires a lot of time and effort and is close to a full-time job. This means that I'm neglecting other work to put that time in. It is my intention to turn this into a much more comprehensive review and user experience site and I can only do that if I can get it to generate more income. 

This site, like much of the internet, has free content and like much of the internet is funded by advertising and donations. I realise that not everybody likes advertising, but without it many of our favourite sites would have to resort to charging for what they do. Google, Facebook and all the other social networks sites remain free because of that advertising. 

There is an interesting article on the BBC website HERE, which deals with many of the issues above.

Many Thanks

David Taylor-Hughes