After holding out for over a year and a half, I finally pulled the trigger on buying the Panasonic Z10K yesterday. It should arrive sometime next week. Why now?
Buying now was a decision that was dictated on some financial ability and what my future project demands for the rest of the year are dictating. For the past 6 months the Panasonic Z10K had hit a floor of about $2400 in price which is in the range of what it was worth to me to have in the kit. I actually got it a little cheaper. Prices have begun to go up now from that and with inflation, the change in monetary policy in Japan, I figured I had waited long enough. Plus the US stock market is up to all time highs now so I sold some of my holdings taking profit to pay for it.
On the technical side of things, my only complaint on the Z10K was the physical size and balance for hand-held and shooting in crowds but my projects over the next year will be mostly tripod mounted with the triple camera rig. Today, I use this with twin NEX5n's with 10mm wide angle (maximum) along with a TD10 in the center for longer lens shooting of the same scene. Replacing the TD10 with the Z10K will give me a complete rig with 24p native shooting. The other capabilities of the Panasonic, I will not sacrifice 5.1 sound recording either. I will continue to use the HDR TD10 for shooting in crowds as it seems to be ideally suited for these environments.
There is always the question of whether something better will come out of NAB next month but considering this will be a Professional / Broadcast product show, I believe that what will be added to this level will be higher end, 4K level cameras and maybe a Z10K product with higher quality imager but at a price that would be out of range for what I wanted to spend. I do not see the price point going much lower on the Z10 for awhile. Consumer level products will go in the direction of less features and more automatic, be announced in almost a year at CES2014 so the wait here was not in my cards.
Triple rig with the Sony TD10 in the center, soon to be replaced with the Panasonic Z10K: