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Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Full Review

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Full Review - Read our review of the new Panasonic Lumix FZ1000, the World's first 4K recording compact camera features a 16x optical zoom lens, Wi-Fi, and EVF.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Price : £749
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 (1)

The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 is the World's first compact digital camera with 4k video recording, and features a 20.1 megapixel 1inch sensor along with a bright Leica 16x optical zoom lens. The camera is priced at £749, and will be available in Mid July. Pre-orders will benefit from a free battery and case offer.

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Features

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 (13)
The camera features a Leica 16x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 24-400mm, designed to be the best in class, as well as being designed to give bokeh with no "onion rings". The Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens features a bright f/2.8-f/4.0 aperture, and the camera offers full manual controls, scene modes, and an intelligent auto mode.

The 20.1 megapixel Live "MOS" sensor is a 1inch sensor, and the camera features an improved white balance system (multi-area white balance evaluation system). With a new Venus image processor, the camera offers highlight / shadow adjustment, as well as built in raw processing.

The video is recorded at 4K (3840x2160 at 30/25fps) and you can take stills from video for 8 megapixel image output, as well as shoot full HD video at 100fps, 60p, and 50p. The camera features a number of useful features for both video and stills, including pinpoint focus, focus peaking, zebra display, and face and eye detection. Built-in Wi-Fi makes it easy to transfer images to a compatible smartphone, or alternatively remotely control the camera.

There is an OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 2,359k dot resolution and it is said to have a 300% higher response time than previous Panasonic Lumix FZ series cameras. The nearest competitor to the Lumix FZ1000 is the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 which also features a 1inch sensor, along with an 8.3x optical zoom lens and a bright f/2.8 constant aperture.
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 (4)

Key Features

  • 20.1 megapixel Live MOS 1inch sensor
  • 16x optical zoom Leica lens, equivalent to 25-400mm, f/2.8-4.0
  • 3inch, 921k dot tilting-screen
  • 2,359k dot OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF)
  • 12fps continuous shooting
  • 4K video recording, 5-axis image stabilisation
  • 1/4000s mechanical shutter / 1/16000s electronic shutter
  • Auto focus down to -4EV, 49 focus points
  • Dual-axis electronic level
  • Time-lapse video creation
  • Stop motion animation
  • Wi-Fi, NFC, QR Code - Photo collage in smartphone app

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Handling

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 (11)
A large rubberised hand-grip gives a good area for a firm grip on the camera, and this extends round the rear of the camera with a raised ridge for your thumb. The design and handling, as well as the controls of the camera are very reminiscent of the Panasonic Lumix GH4 with a reassuringly solid feel to the build of the camera. The lens barrel is made out of metal, giving the camera slightly better feel than the standard plastic, and there are two switches on the side, one to switch optical image stabilisation on and off, and the other lets you switch between the lens ring controlling zoom or focus.

The 3inch screen on the back is a tilting / vari-angle screen that can flip out and twist round to face the front of the camera and the screen uses a gapless design meaning it looks very good with good viewing angles. The Panasonic menus are clearly laid out, and the Q.Menu button gives quick access to common settings on the rear screen. The menu system has built in help so that you don't necessarily need to read the manual to understand the options and settings.

There are five physical function (Fn) buttons on the camera, giving quick access to Wi-Fi, Q.Menu, Back/Delete, and LVF (Live Viewfinder). You can customise what these buttons do in both record and playback mode. There is a dedicated video record button, as well as a drive mode dial on the top. The rear features an AF/AE lock button as well as a focus mode switch, and the 4-way controller gives quick access to ISO, WB, AF, and focus area. Although it may seem like there are a lot of controls and buttons, which could appear confusing to the beginner, it doesn't take too long to become familiar with the position of the buttons and controls, and this makes it easy to change settings without having to go into the menus.


Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 (8)
The electronic viewfinder (EVF) featured is a 0.39inch OLED screen with 2359k dot resolution. There is an eye-detection sensor, so that when you hold the camera up to your eye, it will automatically switch to the EVF. The view through the EVF is very clear and detailed, and the refresh speed is good.

Wi-Fi can be used for remote shooting and viewing with a smartphone, playback on a TV, send images during recording, or to send images stored in the camera. To setup the connection with a smartphone you can scan the QR code, or enter the connection details manually. You can access a number of photo settings using the app, as well as set the focus point using the touchscreen on the smartphone. Playback lets you view the images on the camera, and you can also add GPS information to photos, or create a photo collage.

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 360 shots according to Panasonic / CIPA test results, which is good, although if you plan on shooting more, or want to record a lot of video we would recommend a spare battery.

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 (12)

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.05secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.1secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.125secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 0.9secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.45secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 0.9secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
8.3fps (48 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - RAW 8fps (9 shots)


Focus and shutter response are both extremely quick, and the camera has a quick switch on time, as well as shot to shot time. We weren't able to achieve the 12fps continuous shooting speed, however 8.3fps when shooting JPEG is still quick, and we expect that the cameras available in stores should be able to reach the full speed. We will re-test when we are able to evaluate another sample.

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - The camera produces images with good colour and reliable exposure, and images taken in sunny conditions have bright saturated colours. Portrait photos taken with flash show no red-eye, and the camera can take a pleasing portrait photo thanks to a blurred background when using the zoom.

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Lens test images


Lens Performance - Photos have good levels of detail, with decent levels of detail into the corners of images, and photos are good whether shooting wide-angle or using full optical zoom. There is some barrel distortion when shooting wide-angle, and a little vignetting. There is some purple fringing in areas with high contrast, such as leaves against a bright sky, although these are most noticeable towards the corners of the image. Dynamic range is good, and there are options to improve dynamic range using the iDynamic option, altering the highlight/shadow curve, or shooting using the HDR mode. The lens is quite resistant to flare, and the provided petal shaped lens hood helps reduce flare further.

Panasonic's attempt to develop clean bokeh appears to be very much apparent in the photos we took with the camera. The camera will let you focus on subjects 1m away from the camera when using full optical zoom, and 0.6m and 0.4m are also close focusing distances when using less zoom. Using this technique for macro photography, such as photos of flowers or other subjects, allows for a very smooth background blur.

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - For the lowest noise and best detail possible we would recommend using ISO80 to ISO800, as images have low levels of noise and good levels of detail. For lower light situations ISO1600 to ISO3200 still provides good results, although noise increases and detail is reduced. At ISO6400 and ISO12800 noise levels become strong and we would recommend avoiding this setting if possible, although results may still be useful if resized and used on the web.

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs very well under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving a warmer result. AWB performs very well under fluorescent lights. There is no fluorescent preset built in, so if you are unhappy with the results under fluorescent lighting you would be best switching to manual white balance or adjusting the white balance.

Panoramic | 1/640 sec | f/4.0 | 9.1 mm | ISO 125Panoramic | 1/640 sec | f/4.0 | 9.1 mm | ISO 125

Panorama mode - The camera features an automatic panoramic mode, where you simply press the shutter release button and pan the camera from one side to the other. Results are good, and well stitched together, with a good resolution image produced.

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Digital filters


Digital Filters - The camera has 22 creative filters available, and we've included examples above. The camera also lets you record the original raw image as well as the JPEG, so that you can go back to the original photo if you want. You can also apply a number of digital filters to the panoramic shots.

Video - The FZ1000 offers 4K video recording at 3840x2160 (QFHD) resolution, at 25fps and 4K video is recorded as an MP4 file. Videos feature stereo sound and a mic socket is found on the side. Optical zoom can be used, with the speed of zoom controllable using the zoom ring around the lens, letting you zoom in and out slowly if you want, or more quickly using the zoom control surrounding the shutter release button. 5-axis Hybrid optical image stabilisation helps keep shots steady, and there is also an option for the horizon to be kept level. FullHD video can be recorded at 100fps, giving fullHD high speed video, and there is also the option to create time-lapse videos. In playback mode on the camera, you can pause the video and save 8 megapixel still images from 4K video, giving another way of capturing photos. Additional examples can be found on the ePHOTOzine YouTube channel.

Value For Money

The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 is available for £749 which makes it excellent value for money, particularly as one of the only compact cameras capable of recording 4K video. Alternatively, you could look at the Panasonic Lumix GH4 if 4K video is a priority, although this is priced at £1299 body only.

Sony Cyber-shot RX10, 8.3x optical zoom, constant f/2.8 aperture, £875
Olympus Stylus 1, 10.7x optical zoom, constant f/2.8 aperture, £499
Panasonic Lumix FZ200, 24x optical zoom, constant f/2.8 aperture, £349

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 is one of the cheapest 4K video recording devices available, and offers an array of impressive video features. However, if you don't want to record 4K video, and just want a camera capable of taking excellent photos, with a good zoom lens, then the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 certainly delivers here as well. With a relatively large 1inch 20 megapixel sensor, a bright Leica 16x optical zoom lens with f/2.8-4.0 aperture, and full manual controls, the camera is capable of producing excellent image quality. Panasonic has clearly worked hard on developing an excellent performing lens, and the results can be seen in the photos, particularly in regards to pleasing out of focus backgrounds (bokeh). The camera has a great 3inch tilting screen, as well as a large, bright, high resolution electronic viewfinder, with a comfortable rubber surround. Build quality is very good and the camera has a lot in common with the Panasonic Lumix GH4, the top of the range Micro Four Thirds camera from Panasonic. There are numerous external controls and buttons, as well as full manual controls, but you can also use the camera in auto mode, or one of the scene modes and still get great shots, as well as high quality video.

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Pros

Good noise performance
Great lens performance
Great image quality and bokeh
5 customisable function buttons
Lens hood provided
High speed Full HD video at 100fps
Microphone socket
4K video recording
Can save 8mp still images from 4K video
Dual-axis electronic level
Wi-Fi built in

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Cons

Touch-screen would have been nice
Some vignetting when shooting wide-angle
Large

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 delivers impressive image quality, an abundance of controls and features, as well as 4K video recording.

 

 

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Specifications

ManufacturerPanasonic
Lens
Max Aperturef/2.8 - f/4
35mm equivalent25mm - 400mm
Optical Zoom16x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels20.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)5472
Pixels (H)3648
Sensor TypeLive MOS Sensor
Sensor Size1inch
Sensor Size (width)13.2mm
Sensor Size (height)8.8mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution921k
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min FocusNo Data
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
  • Zoom macro
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/16000sec
Shutter speeds longest60sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 25600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-5
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting12fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 4K
Video FPS100fps, 50p, 25p, 24p
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiYes
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLi-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1200mAh, 8.7 Wh)
CIPA Rating360
Box Contents
Box ContentsBattery Charger, Battery Pack, USB Cable, AC Cable, Lens Hood, Lens Cap, Hot Shoe Cover, DVD
Dimensions
Weight780g
Width136.8mm
Height98.5mm
Depth130.7mm

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Comments


12 Jun 2014 12:40PM
kinda pricey but you are getting a 1" sensor and 4K video, 12fps and that EVF has got to be spectacular!! if IQ is close to being descent i see this taking the market by storm. i would be interested for sure and i'm not a Panny fan!!

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Niknut e2
4 542 60 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2014 5:06PM
Mmmmm....looks to be a great piece of kit ?

Certainly the IQ in the two sample shots looks very impressive, with a nice 'chunky' body, great EVF, & a 'do-it-all'
lens range.......

Look forward to the full review !!.Smile
pablophotographer 3 455 181
12 Jun 2014 5:57PM
O.K., I have a Panasonic DMC FZ range model - because at the time of purchase the Olympus and Fujifilm alternatives weren't readily available - so please note I am not biased towards the Panasonic. Two things I see - which they changed to the better and copied from Fujifilm - COLOUR: as I have once said better all black rather with that hideous silver-y ring around the lens-end, like mine has - which I always wanted to cover with a dark cloth - . Now it can be more Ninja like stealthy. NUMBERING ON THE LENS: Not that it helps when composing the image but at least you easily get to know what sort of focal length you use. Bravo Pany.
themak 17 Scotland
2 Jul 2014 1:56PM
Looks really good - only minor downsides are bulk and distortion (in-camera correction would be good). Hardly surprising given sensor size and lens range / quality.
Seems expensive but Nikon would charge that for the lens alone for their 1-series.
Probably just my eyes, but I can't like Panasonics colour palette. Purplish skies don't do it for me.
i wish to have this..............its my dream camera
4 Jul 2014 9:03AM
Really nice detail in the standart test shots of the Hall. Wide angle and "some zoom" are almost RX100 M3 level, just slightly less contrast. And purple tint in the sky is visible just a bit, don't bother. However, full zoom shot of the Hall's tower clock has visibly softer periphery with signs of purple fringing (center is good sharpness, but not perfect).
ISO 3200 looks nice to my eye. My Nikon d7000 has more color noise at this setting.
Well done, Panny! Look forward to announcement of LX8. Let 1"-sensored fixed-lens cameras become new standart for demanding consumer.
themak 17 Scotland
4 Jul 2014 3:10PM

Quote: However, full zoom shot of the Hall's tower clock has visibly softer periphery

I think that's from the very shallow depth of focus - lens is wide open and at full zoom.
ChrisV 7 761 26 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2014 11:35AM
What's going on Panasonic? Releasing a great camera that's good value right out of the blocks?

I'd got the impression their policy was to release [over] expensive and then gradually let third party retailers discount. Once a camera is superseded you then get fire sale prices.

I hope this camera gets the sales it deserves and encourages Panasonic to adopt a similar strategy across its range.

Quote: "Verdict: The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 is one of the cheapest 4K video recording devices available..."

What 4k video camera is cheaper??
joshwa e2
3 600 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2014 10:12AM
Hi Garry, the Panasonic A500 is available for under 400 Smile
10 Jul 2014 8:20PM
Thank you joshwa. I stand corrected. That little a500 action cam is available now isn't it? There are also the GoPro devices if you only want 15fps, and you can shoot 4k on a smartphone, or for even better quality the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that (with image stabilization) can produce 4k that is 'usable' - whatever that means. Smile
petebfrance 2 1.2k France
25 Jul 2014 10:24PM
Looks good to me. At first I wasn't interested because it's main selling point appears to be 4K video, but having read various reviews this looks to be a really good stills camera as well and a possibly a better bet than a DSLR / CSC with a superzoom-type lens. I hope Panasonic haven't put off potential photo enthusiasts with this 4K emphasis which appears all over the net - although, come to think of it I wouldn't mind grabbing one at a bargain price if they have.......
Sande New Member
31 Jul 2014 1:58PM
Hi!
You have put "Large" in Cons. I would really put that in "Pros"! We, professionals, we are tired of cameras with a permanent sensation of impending fall ! Good, Panasonic!

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