Family Photographer 4K Photo Mode Winter Sledding

Posted Dec. 26th, 2015 by Daniel J. Cox

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everybody stopping by to see the latest installment of The Family Photographer. 4K photo mode and winter sledding has been a major focus during this busy week as The Family Photographer. Just as it may have been for many of you if you’re the designated shooter in your clan.

Isabella sledding on Pete's Hill. Bozeman, Montana FZ300 in 4K Photo Mode.

Isabella sledding on Pete’s Hill, Bozeman, Montana. FZ300 in 4K Photo Mode

This holiday season Tanya’s sister Sonya came to spend Christmas with us. In tow were her two little ones, Isabella and Isaac, as well as mother-in-law Jane and father-in-law Terry. It was a great Montana Christmas for us all and my job was to capture all the action or least some of the most exciting things.

Isak catching some air on pete's Hill. Bozeman, Montana Lumix FZ300 in 4K Photo Mode

Isaac catching some air on Pete’s Hill, Bozeman, Montana. Lumix FZ300 in 4K Photo Mode

When the kids announced they had brought their sleds I thought this would be a great time to test out the 4K Photo Mode on the recently announced Panasonic Lumix FZ300, Tanya’s current favorite camera. The goal was to catch the speed and the wrecks that are always a part of kids on a steep hill with saucers, sleds, toboggans and speed.

Isabella and Isak sledding on Pete's Hill. Bozeman, Montana

Isaac catching some air on Pete’s Hill in Bozeman, Montana. Lumix FZ300 in 4K Photo Mode

What I was really interested in seeing was if this camera’s auto focus system could keep up with the fast moving excitement. To capture it all I set the FZ300 to AF-C, selected the 4K Photo Mode, selected a shutter speed of 1/1600 of a second, set the exposure to manual and opened up one stop above the suggested exposure to compensate for the snow. When shooting n the 4K Photo Mode, the camera is capturing 30 Frames Per Second. Each one captured at 1/1600th of a second which is a speed that really helps stop the action. 30FPS helps you really catch the peak of the action.

Terry pulling Isabella on a sled through Lindley Park, Bozeman, Montana

Terry pulling Isabella on a sled through Lindley Park, Bozeman, Montana.

When the kids would start at the top of the hill I would have the lens zoomed in to 600mm. As they made their way closer I would slowly zoom out as they rocketed towards me. Amazingly, the camera would hold focus for at least 50% of the run. There was a fair amount of snow in the air which is always a detriment to quality AF but it didn’t effect the AF accuracy all that much. I was extremely impressed. And if you’re trying winter camping for the first time, it would be wise to bring some winter sleeping bags with you, find the best ones at Altitude Blog.

Isaac, Sonya, Isabella and me. Pete's Hill, Bozeman, Montana

Isaac, Sonya, Isabella and me. Pete’s Hill, Bozeman, Montana

I uploaded the video clips into Lightroom, found what looked to be the most exciting, then went through that clip one frame at a time. The results are below in a slideshow that contains images pulled from the 4-second clip. These are pictures of a young lady that was really in to the game and provided some great action.

All the images in the slideshow were taken from the 1.5 second piece of the clip and all are 8 megapixel stills, pulled via Lightroom’s video tool. To speed up the sequence of 33 images you can click on the arrows at the bottom of the box since at 30 frame per second there are some redundant shots but I wanted you to see all of them to get a feel for how 4K Photo Mode works. Watch the video below and ask yourself if you can even see a single image in this clip. I know I couldn’t until I went through one image at a time in Lightroom’s video editing tool. Then I had dozens of still images.

I think it’s safe to say this is an impressive new tool for capturing family fun. Let me know if you have any questions for The Family Photographer.

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There are 14 comments on this post…
  1. Mal YazbekOn Aug. 17th, 2017

    Daniel I would like to keep the video of their karate bouts and be able to grab pics from the video. I notice that you say you have the speed set to 1/1600th. I read elsewhere that a speed as high as that will end up with a choppy video that would not be smooth. Does that sound correct? Was the video you shot here with the girl in the tube set at 1/1600th?


    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 17th, 2017

      Mal, you are correct when you suggest that shooting video at a higher shutter speed can make “somewhat” choppy looking video. However, this is the beauty of 4K Photo Mode. It gives you the ability to use a faster shutter speed than what is typically used for video which is 1/50th or 1/60th of a second. As a still photographer, you know that shooting action at 1/50th or 1/60th of a second will give you a blurry image. This is the reason Panasonic gave us the 4K Photo Mode. So we can shoot video at 30FPS at ANY shutter speed we have enough light for. Yes, the video will be a bit more choppy but I would be willing to bet you will hardly notice. Even more important, I’m willing to bet your friends and family will never notice it. But in the end, you have a 30FPS clip you can pull sharp still photos from.

      Now, let’s say you shoot a video that is so amazing the BBC wants to feature it. At that point you may have some issues but if it’s a truly remarkable clip, that has never been captured before, I can guarantee you the BBC won’t care if it was shot at higher than normal shutter speeds. In other words, we’re splitting hairs. If you’re working for the BBC they expect you to shoot the slower shutter speed because professionals will be able to tell if you don’t. If you’re documenting your son’s Karate match, live it up and shoot a shutter speed you can pull stills from. Make sense? Let me know how it goes.

  2. Mal YazbekOn Aug. 15th, 2017

    Hi Daniel,

    Would this camera be good for indoor sporting events? My kids do karate tournaments and it is hard to capture a good action shot.

    Most of these venues have okay to dimly lit lighting.

    What setting would be best? Your pic are fantastic.

    It has been a while since you reviewed this camera. Do you still reimmmend it or has something better come out?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 15th, 2017

      Mal, Yes, this camera is still a great choice for doing this kind of photography. If the venue is really dark, such as a gym where your kids are enjoying Karate, I will often take my photos into a piece of software called DXO Optics Pro to clean up any noise. Noise is a what you might call digital grain. All cameras with a smaller sensor are more prone to digital noise but it’s easy to fix with DXO Optics Pro. Hopew this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    • Mal YazbekOn Aug. 16th, 2017

      Thanks Daniel.

      Would the FZ1000 do a better job in that situation? I think it has a bigger sensor?

      Thanks again.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 16th, 2017

      It’s possible the FZ1000 would do a better job but I have to say that my wife and many folks on our photo tours are now shooting the FXZ300 and I’ve not been able to see a discernable difference. In theory, the FZ1000 should do a better job but that is a “relatively” old camera. In fact, I don’t recommend the FZ1000 anymore because of all the new features on the FZ300, most notably the FZ300’s Touch Screen. Once you have such a quality Touch Screen experience, it’s hard to go back to a camera without it. The FZ1000 does not have it. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to test the two cameras on low light capabilities in the next month. I do have both. Stay tuned.

  3. RenuOn Jun. 20th, 2017

    Hi Daniel, really liked your family photos and video. You are a really lucky man to have such a wonderful family. I’m a huge fan of photography and looking for a best 4k photo camera. Please suggest me as per your experience.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 20th, 2017

      Thanks for the nice comments Renu. Yes, I’m very lucky to have a close family. Makes life more fulfilling as most people know. The current camera that I would recommend would be the Lumix FZ300. It has a very wide range zoom, 24mm-600mm and is very easy to operate. It’s relatively small and shoots 4K video. My wife Tanya uses this camera whenever we travel and loves it. We have numerous NE Explorers who also use this camera and really, really enjoy its small size, long range zoom, and ease of use. Let me now if you need any further inforamtion

  4. Hans OdelholmOn Apr. 18th, 2016

    Thanks Daniel for the info about EXIF and Lightroom.

    Yes, I use the built in camera-app (FZ300) to extract photos from 4K Photos. Works fine!
    But often there is a need for a larger screen to pick out the very best photo.

    At home I sometimes connect the camera to my 46″ TV via HDMI-cable,
    But usually I transfer the 4K-file to my MacBook Pro and use the freeware ‘Frame Grab’ for extracting photos. With Frame Grab you can use the left/right arrows when scrolling through the file, which is a big advantage! (But no EXIF-data)

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 18th, 2016

      I agree Hans. I would also please to see EXIF from software image selection. Will mention this to Panasonic

  5. Hans OdelholmOn Apr. 18th, 2016

    When you pull images from the mp4-shot in Lightroom, do the images contain EXIF-data, most important date and time?
    I have so far not seen any frame grabbing program that provides the grabbed photos with included date / time -EXIFdata.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 18th, 2016

      Hans, I checked my jpeg images pulled from the 4K Photo Mode video and you are correct, none of them have EXIF info in them. However, I do know that if you choose the frame from the video by using the camera to grab that frame, it will then include EXIF data in the jpeg pulled from the 4K video. Not sure if you are aware of this capability to scrub through the video on the back LCD of the camera. It’s very simple. It then gives you the ability to select THE IMAGE from the video you want and the camera then adds that Jpeg to your photos in the camera which is saved to the card like any normal photo originally shot by the camera.

  6. Christian FuerstOn Mar. 20th, 2016

    Hi Daniel,
    thanks for the instructions. I have tried to Experiment a bit with the post-Focus but hare having difficulties with my lightroom 6.5. Even though I can open the MP4-Files, I cannot split the Clip into separate Pictures and/or save them as JPGs. Could it be that this is only possible with the LR-Cloud-Version?

    Thanks for your advice

    Christian (who thorougly enjoys taking Pictures with his new GX8)

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Mar. 23rd, 2016


      First you need to make sure you have the clip open in Lightroom. Screen shots attached. You will see the first screen shot the info showing the Gear icon that opens the thumbnails so you can select each image. Follow the steps on the

      Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 7.24.30 AMscreen shot to select an individual still photo. That still is then dropped in to the folder of images in Lightroom as an individual Jpeg. These are the steps you need to take to get single frames from a video clip. Let me know if you have any further questions.

      Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 7.29.32 AM


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