Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Brief Review


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  • 20 megapixel 1 inch CMOS sensor
  • 16x optical zoom (25-400mm 35mm equivalent)
  • Bright f2.8-4.0 lens
  • Maximum 1/16000 shutter speed
  • 12 fps burst speed
  • Contrast detection autofocus
  • Macro focusing to 3 cm
  • 49 autofocus points
  • 5-axis optical image stabilization
  • ISO 125-12800
  • Manual modes
  • RAW and JPEG
  • 3” tilting LCD screen
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • Hot shoe slot for external flash
  • 4k video at 30p (MPEG-4 only) or 1080 HD video at 60p
  • MPEG-4 or AVCHD videos
  • Wi-fi
  • Lithium-ion battery rated at 360 shots
  • Weighs 1.83 pounds
  • Release Date: 2014-06-11
  • Final Grade: 89 4.45 Star Rating: Recommended

Panasonic puts 4K video, big zoom into new advanced yet compact camera
Panasonic welcomes the first compact camera with 4K video recording capability.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 1/24/2017

Hey! You should know that Panasonic has released a newer version of this product: the Panasonic Lumix FZ2500.

4K is quickly becoming the new HD--and now, it's available in even compact cameras. The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 is the world's first compact camera with 4K video, according to the manufacturer. But, that's not all this little bridge-style camera can do.

The FZ1000 sports a large 1" sensor, the same size in the Sony RX100 series and Nikon 1 line. The big sensor means big resolution and solid low light performance, putting the FZ1000 firmly into the advanced category. That big sensor is paired with a f2.8-4.0 lens, which is rather bright considering this camera also has a 16x zoom. The bright lens and big sensor should mean excellent low light performance as well as soft, defocused backgrounds. Enthusiasts will also appreciated the RAW capability, with in-camera RAW conversions.

Speed-wise, the FZ1000 can shoot 12 fps, which is an excellent speed for this category. The maximum shutter speed is 1/16,000 using the electronic shutter (1/4000 mechanical). Panasonic is boasting faster autofocus speeds on this model too, though we have yet to test it out ourselves. Panasonic says autofocus is as fast as .09 seconds. Beware though, sometimes a fast autofocus means a tendency to focus on the center of the frame--but again, this is something that can only be really tested with a hands-on review.

While the FZ1000 is an advanced compact camera, with such a big, fast lens, the size and shape resembles a small DSLR. But, that also looks to mean improved usability with a variety of physical controls. There's no dual control wheels (just one on he back), but the FZ1000 looks to have a good set of shortcuts including ISO, focus mode, white balance, metering and several function buttons set based on the camera's mode and user preferences.

Sporting both an electronic viewfinder and a tilting LCD screen, composing shots on the FZ1000 should be a breeze. When using the live view mode on the LCD, users can even adjust the intensity of the shadows and highlights using the control wheel.

But of course, the FZ1000 is making waves for the video specifications. While it's hard to judge video performance based on specs since there's factors like autofocus speed and noise when zooming that won't be listed there, everything on paper looks excellent so far. The 4K video is available in the MPEG-4 format and records at the 30p rate. If you'd like a faster frame rate, you can record in the traditional 1080 HD at 60p, and the AVCHD file type is also available at this setting. An external flash is also available (sold separately) that includes a continuous video light function. A shotgun mic can also be added.

Overall, the Panasonic FZ1000 looks to be an excellent camera at it's introduction. The retail price is up there at $899.99. While that price puts it out of many consumer's budgets, the list of features do seam to fit the price well compared to other advanced compacts. Still, when you can get a consumer DSLR for a similar price, it's a hard purchase to make. The FZ1000 looks to be a good choice for those who never upgrade the kit lenses on their consumer DLSRs, or enthusiasts and pros that want a smaller shooter that still offers a bit of zoom. And of course, with 4K video, consumers who use a lot of the video features on their current camera will want to take a look too.

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Panasonic Reviews

As a manufacturer known just as well for their camcorders as their cameras, Panasonic was the first on scene to offer 4K video inside a dedicated camera. The Panasonic Lumix GH4 is the first mirrorless camera boasting the higher video resolution, with the FZ1000 as the first compact, bridge-style camera to do so.

Panasonic also produces cameras that provide both a longer zoom range and image stabilization at a price that's relatively cheap. For photographers that need versatility in a small package, Panasonic digital cameras can provide many selections that are suitable. Having something for amateurs and serious enthusiasts at the same time, Panasonic offers a great selection of digital cameras, from ultra compacts to mirrorless cameras. They can be hard to compare because every camera comes with its own unique features and traits.

Panasonic cameras are perfect for consumers that prefer to use automatic modes. Almost all Panasonic cameras currently produced come with a feature called iAuto, which will automatically select the best scene mode for any subject. This feature, in combination with image stabilization will make it very easy for someone just starting out to take excellent photos.

Panasonic cameras are designed to be easy to figure out, giving the user easy access to settings, and users that have reviewed Panasonic digital cameras are quick to confirm this fact. When you opt for a Panasonic camera, you'll discover that it comes with an LCD screen, an optical zoom lens which is very versatile, and is both lightweight and fairly compact.

Panasonic's most popular models are their super zooms and mirrorless, with models ranging from cameras with huge zooms to mirrorless cameras earning the “smallest yet” distinction like the GM-1. They've been more focused on their mirrorless line lately, without introducing budget point-and-shoots in quite some time.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.