First impressions – FZ2500

Supplies of this new camera in Australia are very limited at present. Available only on pre-order basis, so I was really
excited that my copy turned up just one week prior to
Christmas – thank you Santa.

What an awesome amount of menu choices and buttons to
select from. At my age remembering what-does-what and where to go, to access some of the features, is really testing my memory.

Naturally, 4k video settings were my first choice. Well… tap the Menu button, select Video Menu, tap Rec Format – great, four choices (AVCHD, MP4, MP4 [LPCM] or MOV). For now I have chosen to go with MP4 [LPCM] as this gives me access to Variable Frame Rate (VFR) which is where I can set 120fps to shoot slow motion sequences. Trying many combinations of Rec Format and Rec Quality it took me three days to achieve this! By the way, the shooting mode dial also needs to be set on Creative Video mode (creativevidmode) to find the VFR setting.

Shooting still photos in either jpeg normal, jpeg fine or RAW is more straight forward.
Wow, this camera is lightning fast at focusing onto your
subject. Watch out if you shoot in Continuous Shooting mode – a slight touch of the shutter button results in +/- six frames
being recorded. My first heavy touch captured 15 frames
before I could blink!

If, like me, you prefer to shoot in RAW, processing files from the fz2500 is problematic. Panasonic’s SilkyPix Developer Suite can be downloaded for free (here) but I found it a bit ‘clunky’ to use with its best quality export option being a Tiff file (no .psd option).
Next, I downloaded the latest Adobe Negative Converter
version 9.8 to convert RAW files to .dng format (which
Lightroom will open), BUT, this does not recognise fz2500 files – yet!
Wanting the best option at the least cost I signed up and
subscribed to Adobe’s Photoshop/Lightroom Photography
Creative Cloud option (USD$9.99 per month). Photoshop recognises fz2500 RAW files, which allows me to process them the way I want to.
I also have another option which is to use On1’s Photo 10 which is installed on my MacBook Pro. This gives me
exceptional flexibility and amazing processing options but
results are often not as subtle as when using Photoshop.
I hope to upgrade to the RAW processing version of this
software sometime in 2017.

Equipment I use

Up until December 2016 my go-to equipment has been:
Canon 650d DSLR.
Kit lenses: 18-55mm and 55-250mm.
Metz 50-AS1 Flash gun.
King wireless ETTL Flash trigger.
Weifeng tripod.
Various lens filters, shutter release timer and Swivi S3
foldable viewfinder.

This gear has allowed me to indulge my passion for
shooting still photos with the added advantage of being able to learn new video recording skills.

Recently I find my photo interests turning more and more to shooting video clips and editing them into short movie
memories. Having recently sold some disused camping gear I have purchased a new camera which will enable me to improve my video and movie making skills in ways only
previously dreamed of.

The new camera is a Panasonic Lumix FZ2500, which comes with an amazing degree of video capability in a
relatively inexpensive package.

In future posts I will be sharing my learning experiences and samples of work produced using this camera.