Looking for a Bridge camera (very specific need)

Brownie

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Maybe like you said, set the most innocuous function, but set the same one to ALL of the buttons. That way no matter which one he pushes it will do the same thing and you can probably show him how to back out of it.
 

Michael Meissner

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I hadn't read the entire thread when I wrote this reply. Hopefully the camera works great for your client.

I have the FZ300, and it is a decent camera. I tend to dislike the way Panasonic does JPG processing, I haven't used it much recently.

It is a 1/2.3" sensor, so you likely want to keep the ISO down to 800 or so.

It's EVF is a decent OLED viewfinder, and it is splash-proof. I know I've used it in some days where the weather was misting.

If you are buying used, note that the USB cable is not a standard USB cable, so possibly plan to get a USB card reader if the cable doesn't come with the camera (or it gets lost).

It has an equivalent lens focal length of 25mm - 600mm for 35mm film cameras and 12.5 - 300mm for micro 4/3rds. Unlike some of the other bridge cameras, it is a constant f/2.8 aperture. This means you tend to be shooting at lower ISO than some of its competitors. But you pay for it in only going out to the equivalent 600mm focal length.

It uses the same battery that my G85 uses (the BLC12 if memory serves). It is a 6 year old camera, so be prepared to replace the battery if the original battery was part of the camera.

You can control it via the Panasonic phone app if desired (including zooming the lens).

In terms of size/weight it is similar to my G85 or E-m5 mark I (without the grips) and the Olympus 14-150mm mark II lens.
 
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That should be a brilliant camera for the purpose. I loved everything about it, except the image quality, but I'm fairly fussy! Good luck with this worthwhile project 😀
 

John King

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That should be a brilliant camera for the purpose. I loved everything about it, except the image quality, but I'm fairly fussy! Good luck with this worthwhile project 😀
Melanie, the FZ300 in-camera sharpening default gives truly horrible images. Palette knife stuff ... ! Turn it way down, and it's really quite good in decent light.
 
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This was one of my favourite photos with the FZ300, so it is definitely suitable for small birds, though it wasn't as far away as 50 metres. The camera's ergonomics were such a pleasure that when I sold it, I bought a G85 with almost exactly the same body.
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John King

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Yeah I did all the usual things, except shoot RAW - but I'm a tragic pixel-peeper 😂
Ah. That can be the death of photography, Melanie!

We had a family gathering on Friday with cousins, their kids and grandkids. Just slapped the E-PM2 on ISO 6400 and fired away. Should have had my E-M1 MkII + 12-100 with me, or at least my f/1.8 25 ...

Print beautifully at 6x4". Viewing at 100% on my photo editing monitor 🤮 . But who prints happy snaps at A2 + size? :rofl:
 

John King

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This was one of my favourite photos with the FZ300, so it is definitely suitable for small birds, though it wasn't as far away as 50 metres. The camera's ergonomics were such a pleasure that when I sold it, I bought a G85 with almost exactly the same body. View attachment 876776
Have a look at some of my sister in law's photos on IG here with her relatively new FZ300.

https://instagram.com/jan.king519?igshid=t9872kq6kylt

She gets some mighty fine shots, even at full stretch. Specially after she turned the in-camera sharpening down.
 
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Ah. That can be the death of photography, Melanie!

We had a family gathering on Friday with cousins, their kids and grandkids. Just slapped the E-PM2 on ISO 6400 and fired away. Should have had my E-M1 MkII + 12-100 with me, or at least my f/1.8 25 ...

Print beautifully at 6x4". Viewing at 100% on my photo editing monitor 🤮 . But who prints happy snaps at A2 + size? :rofl:
Have a look at some of my sister in law's photos on IG here with her relatively new FZ300.

https://instagram.com/jan.king519?igshid=t9872kq6kylt

She gets some mighty fine shots, even at full stretch. Specially after she turned the in-camera sharpening down.
I'll take a look at that link, thanks. If I recall correctly, the 108mm shown in my grey fantail photo is equivalent to 600mm. Incidentally, that photo printed fine for the 2021 calendar I sold (A4 size photos), so in good light the images certainly were were fine.
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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Have a look at some of my sister in law's photos on IG here with her relatively new FZ300.

https://instagram.com/jan.king519?igshid=t9872kq6kylt

She gets some mighty fine shots, even at full stretch. Specially after she turned the in-camera sharpening down.
Those are some damn effing (sorry but superlatives are needed to properly express this "mellon's" opinion) amazing shots. I will look into the difference between Ai and Ai Plus, maybe I can find a way to turns down the sharpening AND noise reduction without losing the more automatic modes (like subject/scene recognition).

PS. @John King Can you tell me if one can change the settings in Picture Styles, like lowering the sharpness and noise reduction in Ai or Ai Plus (I don't have a Panasonic camera anymore and the FZ300 is at work, though I am heading there in a few minutes it would be helpful not having to hunt down the setting for too long).
 
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L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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Can't change the sharpening or noise reduction in Ai and Ai+ modes so it's stuck with whatever the camera thinks it's best. I put all the Fn buttons to AF-On so it's not going to affect or confuse the picture-making process, though I did leave the Fn4 for the WiFi (just in case, though I will aim towards transferring and printing from the memory card).

Here' some sample shots from testing the camera yesterday, JPEGs only in full Ai Import/Export Lightroom with default settings:
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Not the most impressive IQ but it is printable.

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I did only a little bit of BiF tracking but it seemed to work well enough, quite sharp I would say at 600mm.

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I tried only one wide-angle shot and can't say I'm impressed, blown highlights and mushy shadows BUT it is to be expected for a sensor this size. Might work better in more flat light condition.

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Macro seems quite suitable as well,

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Quite a good level and quality of bokeh if the subject is separated enough from the background (by distance and color contrast).

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The lens is quite sharp at the telephoto side of the zoom.

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The Extended (Digital) Zoom can do an okay-ish job ... sometimes:

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1200mm (2x Digital)

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600mm (Native)

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The AF works quite well with lazy subjects (AFF mode)

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I am quite delighted and happy with the color rendition of the camera, even for personal work. I know Panasonic has a tendency to go towards blue side of White Balance and has a magenta tint to its color rendition.

P1090772.JPG
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With a busy background, it can make it a bit mushy, probably a mix of sharpening and noise reduction.

Not a bad camera at all from my, admittedly very little, experience. Just need to teach a few work colleagues on how to use it as well, to make sure that the resident doesn't get the chance to forget or ignore the camera, especially as summer is coming and once the lockdown is ended everyone wants to be as far away from their own place for as long as possible. (What would one call cabin fever for millions of people at the same time for the past 12 months?).
 

John King

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@L0n3Gr3yW0lf I found this website helpful for getting more pleasing JPEG colours, maybe you can try some ideas out - particularly, I found the white balance setting useful.

https://www.eoshd.com/news/tips-and-tricks-for-making-panasonic-look-more-like-canon/
But Melanie, who wants their colours to look like Canon's? :rofl:

Seriously though, one of the things I really like about my Olympus cameras is the colour filter array (CFA), which gives them the colour accuracy.
 
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But Melanie, who wants their colours to look like Canon's? :rofl:

Seriously though, one of the things I really like about my Olympus cameras is the colour filter array (CFA), which gives them the colour accuracy.
Me, I do! And I also want my colours to look like a bunch of Fujifilm film simulations, without needing to shoot Fujifilm cameras. Alas, I have not been able to get this, but maybe next Christmas, Santa...?
 

Erich_H

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Not a bad camera at all from my, admittedly very little, experience. Just need to teach a few work colleagues on how to use it as well, to make sure that the resident doesn't get the chance to forget or ignore the camera, especially as summer is coming and once the lockdown is ended everyone wants to be as far away from their own place for as long as possible. (What would one call cabin fever for millions of people at the same time for the past 12 months?).
So, what did the resident think?
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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So, what did the resident think?
He likes it and is quite excited. It’s still a work in progress to get used to the main functions on it. It’s going to be a struggle to get used to find the subject, zoom in, snap picture, if subject not found zoom out and find the subject again al focal lengths beyond 150mm.
At the moment he can’t use the camera because he had an accident and broke his right shoulder so he can’t hold and use the camera at all.
I’m at the moment when we are going out in the garden I will use the camera while he “helps me” find the subject so that he still feels engaged in the activity.
It’s not going to be an easy summer this year.
 

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