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
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
|Shot to Shot without Flash
|Shot to Shot with Flash
|Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
|8.3fps (48 shots)
|Continuous Shooting - Flash
|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
- 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
- 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 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.
- 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.
The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 delivers impressive image quality, an abundance of controls and features, as well as 4K video recording.
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/2.8 - f/4|
|35mm equivalent||25mm - 400mm|
|Sensor Type||Live MOS Sensor|
|Sensor Size (width)||13.2mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||8.8mm|
|Min Focus||No Data|
- Face Detection
- AF Tracking
- Zoom macro
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/16000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||60sec|
- Scene modes
- Program Variable
- Centre-weighted - Average
- Multi Pattern
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 25600|
|Video FPS||100fps, 50p, 25p, 24p|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1200mAh, 8.7 Wh)|
|Battery Life (CIPA rating)||360shots|
|Box Contents||Battery Charger, Battery Pack, USB Cable, AC Cable, Lens Hood, Lens Cap, Hot Shoe Cover, DVD|
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