Panasonic FZ 1000 Review

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 with 4K video recording: Super zoom bridge camera with 1″ sensor

With the Lumix DMC-FZ1000, Panasonic introduces its first super zoom bridge camera with a 1″ sensor and competes with the Sony RX10. The FZ1000 resolves around 20 megapixels on the 13.2 x 8.8 millimetre CMOS sensor, optically zooming 16x from the equivalent of 25-400 millimetres to double the final focal length of the Sony RX10, even if only with an initial aperture of F4 (F2.8 in wide-angle). As a highlight, the FZ1000 is the first compact camera to record videos in 4K resolution, which is around 8 megapixels.

Short evaluation

Pros

  • Rapid autofocus, even in the telephoto range
  • 4K video function with numerous setting options
  • Large, universal zoom range
  • Very good operation with many individualization possibilities

Cons

  • Tripod thread outside the optical axis and too close to memory card and battery compartment
  • Missing touch screen.
  • All housing made of plastic, however quite robust.
  • Lens with poor edge resolution, also soft images from ISO 1.600

Panasonic FZ 1000 Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 is equipped with a 1″ sensor with 20 megapixels resolution and has an optical 16x zoom, which covers a small picture equivalent focal length range from 25 to 400 millimetres at a speed of F2.8 to F4. [Photo: Panasonic]

Panasonic FZ 1000 Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 not only has a foldable and rotatable 3″ screen, but also a 2.36 million pixel OLED viewfinder. The 7.5-centimeter screen of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 has a resolution of 921,000 pixels and can be rotated and swivelled. [Photo: Panasonic]

Panasonic FZ 1000 Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 optically zooms 16x in the 35mm equivalent of 25-400 millimeters. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 is easy to operate with its many knobs and dials. Moreover, thanks to the pronounced grip, it lies wonderfully in the hand. The 16x zoom of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 has small-frame equivalent focal length markings on the extended tube [Photo: Panasonic]

Panasonic FZ 1000 Review

On the side of the lens of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 you can choose whether you want to focus or zoom via the adjustment ring. The optical image stabilizer can also be activated here. [Photo: Panasonic]

Panasonic FZ 1000 Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 can be expanded with an external flash unit. [Photo: Panasonic]

Panasonic FZ 1000 Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 records videos with 4K resolution, an external microphone for sound recording can be easily connected. [Photo: Panasonic]

Inside the Lumix FZ1000, the same four-core Venus engine as in the Lumix DMC-GH4 works to process the large amounts of data from 4K video recordings. The 4K videos with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels are recorded with a maximum of 25 frames per second, in Full HD resolution even up to 100 frames per second are achieved, which allows smooth 4x slow motion. The still images from the 4K video recording can be used to print high-quality A4 photos, if you downsample the videos to Full HD, this results in an incomparable image sharpness, which is not achieved by Full HD devices. The videos are stored in MP4 format, supporting SDXC UHS Speed Class 3 (U3), which is required for 4K recording at 100 Mbps. The 16x optical zoom with Leica label is optically image-stabilized, while the hybrid active mode for Full HD video ensures particularly effective image stabilization. You can film using the direct recording button, intelligent auto shooting and manual aperture and shutter speed adjustment for creative effects. In addition, the FZ1000 has a built-in zoom stereo microphone with automatic wind filter and Dolby Digital stereo. Alternatively, an external microphone can also be operated via the 3.5mm jack socket. The video equipment is completed with zebra patterns, AF tracking and focus peaking.

With dimensions of 137 x 99 x 131 millimetres, the very voluminous camera has a large handle and weighs around 830 grams ready for operation. But it offers everything the photographer needs in the housing. This includes not only the optical 16x zoom of 25-400 millimeters with an initial aperture of F2.8 to F4 and the optical image stabilizer, but also the rotatable and swivelling three-inch screen (7.5 centimeters in the diagonal) with 921,000 pixels resolution, unfortunately without touch function, as well as the 2.36 million pixel OLED viewfinder, which at a magnification of 0.7x relative to 35mm is quite large. Switching between viewfinder and monitor is done automatically by detection. With a delay of only 0.01 seconds, the viewfinder is three times faster than the FZ200 viewfinder.

The lens consists of 15 glass elements in eleven groups, using five aspherical lenses with eight aspherical surfaces. In addition, four particularly low-scatter ED glass lenses are used. The front lens group consists of four elements and is intended to prevent chromatic aberrations, especially in the telephoto range. The lens has an electronic adjustment ring that adjusts either focal length or focus. In addition, there is a ring-shaped zoom lever on the shutter release, which is suitable, for example, for smooth zoom movements at five different speed levels. The 1″ sensor with its area four times larger than that of 1/2.3″ sensors should also ensure good image quality. Each pixel, for example, has 2.4 times the area of the FZ200, which ensures low noise. The sensitivity can be set up to ISO 12,800, with an extension even to ISO 25,600. The new 1,728-zone white balance is also intended to improve image quality by detecting the correct white balance twelve times more accurately than with the FZ200, for example.

The DFD autofocus system introduced with the GH4 is also used with the FZ1000. Together with the linear motor, it is to be focused and triggered in the wide-angle position within 0.09 seconds and in the telescopic position within 0.17 seconds. With DFD (Depth from Defocus) technology, two images with different focus points are compared and the exact focus point is determined, which significantly accelerates focusing. With AF tracking, the FZ1000 achieves 7 continuous shots per second, 12 without tracking.

In addition, the FZ1000 offers intelligent automatic, scene modes, 22 digital effects and semi-automatic and manual setting options for time and aperture. There is also a panoramic swivel function on board. The user can adjust the gradation curve for both photos and videos to the subject situation in order to optimally display shadows and highlights. The digital level indicator shows the user when the camera is tilted. It can also record in raw format, whereby the files can still be converted in the camera into a JPEG, a corresponding converter with many setting options is integrated in the camera. In addition, the FZ1000 has WLAN, which not only allows pictures and videos to be transmitted, but also allows the camera to be remotely controlled via an app, with the Panasonic app offering a particularly wide range of setting options. The connection can easily be established via NFC or QR code. The FZ1000 does not offer a GPS, but the GPS can be used by the smartphone via WLAN.

Autofocus works with 49 AF fields and has face and eye detection, focusing on the eye closer to the camera. In addition, the FZ1000 offers an AF field that can be freely shifted over the entire image field, the size of which can be freely changed, as well as a particularly precise pinpoint AF that focuses on the finest details. The focus magnifier allows up to tenfold magnification at fine zoom levels, and there is no lack of a peaking function. The low-light AF, on the other hand, focuses even in very dark environments of up to -3 EV without disturbing AF auxiliary light, which corresponds to a landscape in the night-time moonlight.

Numerous buttons and operating elements are intended to ensure easy handling, with five Fn buttons providing great freedom in the assignment of functions. In addition, the FZ1000 has an integrated flash and a TTL system flash shoe.

With the Lumix DMC-FZ1000, Panasonic recently introduced a super zoom bridge camera with a large 1″ sensor to replace large and heavy DSLR equipment. With its F2.8-4.0 25-400 mm 16x zoom, it covers a wide focal length range at high speed and offers very high resolution for both 20 megapixel photos and 8 megapixel (4K) videos.

Ergonomics and workmanship

Panasonic has learnt from the experience of Sony, whose RX10 with magnesium case and splash water protection is very high quality processed, but with originally 1,200 euros the entry price for larger groups of buyers was too high. In the meantime, Sony has reduced the EIA to just under 1,000 euros. The FZ1000, on the other hand, is only supposed to cost about 850 Euros, and so savings have to be made in some places where it seems to Panasonic to be acceptable. The main point is the housing. The FZ1000 does not radiate the robustness of an RX10, although it is a high-quality processed plastic. At just over 800 grams, the camera is quite light, at least in relation to its size, even though Panasonic relies completely on glass lenses for the lens, which is no longer a matter of course. So you could say that Panasonic preferred to put the money into the inner values than into the outer ones.

Although the Lumix FZ1000 with its fixed lens is one of the compact cameras, it can no longer be described as compact. It easily takes on the size of a DSLR with a set lens, except that the Lumix has a zoom lens with more light. Thanks to the distinctive handle, the FZ1000 can be held securely, even the little finger can still find support in the lower part of the handle. The grained rubber coating both on the handle and on the back in the area of the thumb provides additional support. The switch-on lever is located below the large program selector wheel, which can be reached by the thumb. Most keys can be operated with the right hand, but some also require the use of the left hand. Basically, the FZ1000 is a camera that needs to be held and operated with both hands, even if this works with one hand in an emergency. The zoom lever and shutter release are easily and precisely accessible for the right hand.

The knobs and wheels are all big enough and easy to operate, even if the high quality of the metal wheels is missing here as well. As known from the G-system cameras, the rear rotating wheel is not only rotatable, but can also be pressed, thus changing at least between two exposure parameters, depending on the program between aperture and exposure time or even the exposure correction. The ISO sensitivity, which is now an equivalent exposure parameter, is unfortunately not taken into account; another key must first be pressed for this. After all, Panasonic now also offers an ISO automatic in the manual program, so that you can set exposure time and aperture and have the exposure controlled by the sensitivity.

The operating concept of the FZ1000 includes five programmable Fn-buttons, some of which are even preassigned with appropriate labels. In the case of the Fn3 key, which calls the Quick menu, reprogramming is even less advisable, since the Quick menu can save you having to go to the main menu. But for calling the flash settings, one has to go to the main menu, for example, so it’s a good idea to put them on the Fn1 button, which is factory-set with the picture style setting that, in contrast to the flash setting, can also be reached via the quick menu. For the wireless flash settings (with internal flash as master) or the flash exposure correction, you still have to go to the main menu. Thus, the FZ1000 is not always permanently operable, unless one sacrifices even more Fn keys, for example for flash exposure correction.

On the back, the FZ1000 has a 7.5-centimeter screen with a resolution of 921,000 pixels. In view of the camera size, the monitor looks almost small in proportion. The screen can be rotated 180 degrees to the side and then 90 degrees up and 180 degrees front or 90 degrees down, so it can be viewed from virtually any angle, even in self-portraits. It’s a shame, though, that Panasonic didn’t install a touch screen, and this was probably also done without in favor of the price.

So the screen is rather a good standard food, but quite different is the high-resolution electronic viewfinder, which can be activated automatically by a proximity sensor if desired. It achieves 2.36 million pixels and has a high-contrast OLED panel, which also has very good drawing in the depths. The viewfinder magnification of 0.7 is almost equal to that of 35 mm full-frame cameras. It’s really fun to work with this viewfinder, especially since you can display an exposure preview, a 3D spirit level, a histogram, a highlight warning, and even the Zebra pattern familiar from the video world. In addition, the viewfinder magnifier can be adjusted in fine steps, focus peaking and, of course, the usual displays for exposure and shooting parameters as well as the white balance preview and one of several grid line patterns. All this can of course also be displayed on the monitor. The viewfinder thus offers numerous advantages and with a refresh rate of 60 fps it also works very fast.

On the handle side, the FZ1000 offers three interfaces that are covered by a common, very tight rubber plug. To release it requires strength, and you risk a broken fingernail. In addition to the USB interface, there is also a micro HDMI socket and a remote release connection. An external stereo microphone, on the other hand, is connected to the opposite side of the housing via a 3.5 mm jack socket, the plug there can be loosened perfectly. The memory card is inserted like the battery on the underside of the camera, and if the metal tripod thread were seated in the optical axis, this flap would remain accessible even when using the tripod. However, this is not the case, the NFC chip is located in the optical axis and the tripod thread is located directly next to the battery compartment. The lithium-ion battery is sufficient for 360 shots according to the CIPA measurement method and is charged in an external charging cradle, the SD memory card compartment also swallows SDHC and SDXC cards, whereby the SDXC speed class U3 is supported, which means that the camera supports cards with a minimum writing speed of 30 MByte per second. If you want to record 4K videos, you should choose at least one U3 card, as this will generate a data stream of 100 Mbit/s or 12.5 MByte/s respectively. But a fast memory card is also always worthwhile when shooting image series, especially in raw data format.

Equipment

As already mentioned, the FZ1000 has a large program selector wheel, which is also used properly. Three of the ten positions are reserved for the automatic transmissions. The Intelligent Auto (iA) adjusts the camera completely to the subject, with functions such as Face Detection, Scene Recognition, Intelligent ISO Auto with Motion Detection, etc. active to set the camera to the best possible setting. Only the flash must be opened manually if necessary. Unfortunately, the intelligent digital zoom is also active and can’t be switched off, so that you zoom into the range from 400 to 800 millimeters (35mm equivalent) faster than intended. This does not change if you activate iA+, which allows corrections of aperture or exposure time and image brightness. Panasonic has combined the pre-selectable motif programmes with a further selector wheel point, where a panorama mode can be found among other things. Another item on the wheel is dedicated to creative filters, where you can choose from 22 lavish effects. If you want, you can use your very powerful FZ1000 like an ordinary snapshot without having to deal with the technology.

However, it becomes interesting for ambitious users when they leave the pure automatic mode and can exert more influence on the image design in the program, aperture or aperture automatic mode as well as in the manual exposure mode. Thanks to the clickable control wheel on the back of the camera, the parameters can also be quickly adjusted with the thumb. A further dial on the left side of the case offers quick access to the shutter release mode, but with only five positions Panasonic was somewhat economical here. In addition to the interval function, the self-timer, the continuous shooting function and the continuous and single-frame modes, there would have been room for the HDR mode, for example, which is hidden in the menu. But let’s get back to the program selector wheel: This also offers two memory locations for individual camera settings and a position for accessing the full range of functions of the video function.

Although the FZ1000 records videos at any time via its own video trigger, which is easily accessible for the index finger behind the photo trigger, one does not see the cropping beforehand and the 4K resolution is also not available. Only if you turn the program selector wheel to the video mode, the full range of functions opens up. If the maximum resolution in AVCHD format is still Full HD (1,920 x 1,080), the option of recording in 4K resolution at 25 frames per second opens up after conversion to MP4. Even for photos of good quality, the 8 megapixel resolution single images of the videos are suitable. Even if you only want to present your video in full HD, there are some advantages with 4K, such as zooming or panning, without having zoomed or panned during the actual recording, or you use the high quality of the 4K videos down-calculated to full HD, which is not only reflected in the sharpness and resolution, but from 4:2:0 8 bits in 4K you can easily calculate 4:2:2 10 bits in 2K (full HD). During video recording, the exposure parameters can be changed, but it is recommended to use an external microphone, just like when zooming, otherwise operating and motor noises will land on the audio track. Zooming during video recording is actually a bit too fast. The autofocus works inaudibly and very quickly. The leveling of the sound is no problem either, the internal stereo microphone can even be zoomed in. The Zebra function and focus peaking are also very useful. Also not from bad parents is the high-speed video function with 100 frames per second at Full HD resolution, which allows smooth quad slow motion.

The continuous-advance function is also impressive, as according to the manufacturer it records 12 frames per second without AF tracking and 7 frames per second with AF tracking. However, the live image is no longer displayed on the screen or in the viewfinder, but always the last photo taken, which can be quite problematic with action motifs, as these threaten to run out of the picture. In fact, we could only measure a continuous shooting rate of 9.1 to 9.5 frames per second, but in JPEG the FZ1000 always keeps up this pace for five seconds, in Raw it’s over after 1.5 seconds. The bracketing function shoots three, five or seven images in a row with exposure distances from 1/3 to 1 EV, making it easy to get started with HDRs, for example.

While the image processing functions for JPEG are still limited, the Lumix offers a built-in converter for raw images, where for example exposure and white balance can be adjusted. The WLAN functionality, on the other hand, is very powerful. This unfolds when you install the free app on your Android or iOS device. The connection is established very easily via NFC or QR code, but those who wish can also enter the WLAN parameters manually. In addition to transmitting images and videos to the smart device, the camera can also be remote-controlled, including live image transmission. The Panasonic app is one of the most comprehensive in terms of configuring camera parameters.

Lens

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 has an impressive 16x zoom with a physical focal length of 9.12 to 146 millimetres. Due to the 1″ sensor with its screen diagonal of almost 15.9 millimetres (crop factor 2.7), this corresponds to a 35mm equivalent of 25 to 400 millimetres in the native 3:2 aspect ratio of the sensor, and that with an initial aperture of F2.8 to 4.0. Practically speaking, the camera not only displays the current 35mm equivalent zoom range on the screen, but also the currently set 35mm equivalent focal length. Depending on the aspect ratio, the focal length shifts in the direction of Tele, in video mode at 16:9 for example to 37 to 592 millimeters. Zoom is achieved electronically either by means of the zoom lever, which encloses the shutter release button, or by means of the electronic lens ring. Both controls support multiple speed levels, with the lens no longer able to follow particularly fast movements on the zoom ring, similar to the Sony RX10. Practically one can use beside the stepless zoom also one with given focal lengths, this function is alternatively put on the ring or the lever or both. This means that the zoom lever can be used, for example, to zoom continuously and the zoom ring can be used to zoom in fixed steps.

The large aperture can’t hold the lens for long, only F3.5 is available at 57 millimetres (KB), and from 170 millimetres the maximum aperture is F4.0. While the noise of the motor zoom and the crackling of the aperture can be heard quite quietly, the camera is able to release the shutter completely silently. Up to 1/4,000 second exposure time, you still have the choice of whether the shutter should work mechanically (quiet click) or electronically (inaudible), purely electronically, even 1/16,000 second short shutter speeds are possible.

The minimum focus distance of one meter with the zoom fully extended allows for proper magnifications at sufficient shooting distance to avoid larger insects from fleeing. Thanks to the 62 millimetre filter thread, close-up lenses can be used, which further improves macro capabilities. In addition, the FZ1000 offers a special macro mode with even higher magnification, but with wide-angle zoom. This leads not only to a visible curvature of the image field, but above all also to a shadow cast by the camera or the lens. By the way, Panasonic does not offer a teleconverter, for example. In view of the slight play of the extended tube and the large lever, a heavy teleconverter is not recommended anyway.

Panasonic promises a rapid autofocus even in the telephoto range, the FZ1000 should focus from infinity to two metres in the wide-angle range within 0.09 seconds, and within 0.17 seconds in the telescopic position. Normally, super zoom cameras in telescopic position are very sluggish and do not even come close to the fantasy values of the manufacturers, who only specify them for the fast wide angle as a precaution, often in the telephoto range, but this is different with the FZ1000. It is the first camera in which we were able to measure exactly the same pure focusing values in the test laboratory as the manufacturer had specified. In practice, a release delay of 0.04 seconds is added, also a very fast value. This masterpiece enables on the one hand the whisper-quiet linear drive, which allows a fast adjustment of the lenses despite the large zoom range, and on the other hand the Depth from Defocus (DFD) technology, which imitates a phase auto focus with the contrast autofocus method. When the focus position is current and slightly changed, measurements are taken and compared. Based on the values, the camera then knows, as with a phase autofocus, in which direction and how far the focus point has to be adjusted, so that only a short “pump” is required for fine focusing. In any case, the result is convincing in practice.

Panasonic FZ 1000 Review

In the compartment on the bottom of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000, the lithium-ion battery for 360 shots and the SD memory card are concealed.

Panasonic FZ 1000 Review

The metal tripod thread of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 not only lies outside the optical axis, but also far too close to the battery and memory card compartment, which is then blocked.

Panasonic FZ 1000 Review

On the handle side of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000, the three ports for HDMI, USB and remote release are hidden behind a flap that can be removed easily.

Panasonic FZ 1000 Review

The stereo microphone connector, on the other hand, is hidden on the other side of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000. In addition, the stopper can be loosened without breaking fingernails.

Not only the speed of the autofocus is impressive, but also its functionality. The FZ1000 has face and eye recognition, with the focus always on the eye closer to the camera. Instead of the 49 AF fields, the autofocus point can also be moved manually over the entire image field and its size adjusted. If you focus manually, the focus magnifier that can be adjusted in very fine steps as well as the focus peaking help further, the latter emphasizes the sharp contrast edges in color so that you can see where the focal plane is. The focus scale, on the other hand, is less helpful because it does not even show rough distances. By the way, the Lumix also has an optical image stabilizer, which is also very helpful for manual focusing, since the viewfinder image is calmer.

Picture quality

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 is equipped with a 1″ CMOS sensor, the origin of which Panasonic does not officially comment. Since the Japanese manufacturer is particularly proud of its own production of sensors and emphasizes this, if installed, it is probably a sensor from the competitor Sony, which is also supported by the technical parameters such as resolution or 4K capability (the RX10 uses the 1″ sensor without 4K capability).

Designing a lens with a large zoom range is a challenging task and involves certain compromises in image quality. With respect to a 20 x 30 centimetre exposed photo, a slight loss of sharpness from the centre of the image to the edge of the image can be measured, but in practice this does not play a role, since these differences occur in the barely perceptible area. The edge darkening with less than half a f-stop, which corresponds to only 30 percent light loss, is low, but the brightness does not decrease evenly, but at 25 and 100 millimeters quite spontaneously in the image corners. At 400 mm, on the other hand, no practical loss of brightness can be measured. Panasonic corrects the distortion very well, a barrel shape with 0.7 percent hardly disturbing can be measured in the wide angle, medium and long focal lengths are practically distortion-free. Even chromatic aberrations are perfectly under Panasonic’s control, they are measurable, but even at maximum they barely reach half a pixel width.

However, looking at the resolution values at 50 percent edge contrast reveals some weaknesses of the lens. Thus, the highest resolution is achieved nominally in wide-angle fading to F4 with around 48 line pairs per millimeter (lp/mm), which is 25 percent higher there than at F2.8 (38 lp/mm). Medium and telephoto focal lengths, however, resolve about 10 (44 lp/mm) and 20 percent (40 lp/mm) less than the center in wide-angle. At the edge of the picture there is a rather bad picture at all focal lengths compared to the centre of the picture, the loss of resolution is around 35 to 45 percent, only at F8 a reasonably even resolution from the centre of the picture (39 lp/mm) to the edge of the picture (36 lp/mm) can be achieved with an average focal length of 100 millimetres. The absolute resolution at medium focal length is below the critical 30 lp/mm mark at the edge of the image when the aperture is open, and even at all apertures when in telescopic position. Since the FZ1000 can only be dimmed up to F8, diffraction cannot occur in the center of the image to push the resolution to really bad values. But overall, the lens can’t meet the high expectations either with its absolute resolution, at least at medium and long focal lengths, or with the uniformity of the resolution from the center to the edge of the image. For comparison: The Sony RX10 has a higher resolution in absolute terms and only fights to the edge of the picture in wide angle with appreciable resolution losses.

A glance at the sensor-relevant measured values also shows that Panasonic can’t quite keep up with the “1” competition from Sony, Samsung and Nikon. Up to ISO 400, the signal-to-noise ratio is still within the almost good range of just under 40 dB, but drops rapidly from ISO 800 and becomes critical above ISO 1,600. Brightness noise becomes visible above ISO 3.200, but remains fine-grained, after all color noise plays no role. This doesn’t look so bad at first, but the texture sharpness shows that the noise reduction works too hard. Up to ISO 400, the sharpness of detail is flawless, but above this the measurement curve drops rapidly. ISO 800 still shows enough detail, but already at ISO 1.600 the images look soft, this “softness level” is only reached by the competition at ISO 3.200.

Panasonic has its input dynamics well under control, with good 9.5 to 10 f-stops processed up to ISO 6,400. Above this, the input dynamic drops slightly, but does not become critical. The tonal value curve runs divided, but remains in the pleasant and not exaggerated range. The output tonal range is only very good at ISO 80 and good up to ISO 800, from ISO 1.600 only less than 160 of 256 possible brightness gradations are output, above ISO 6.400 the value even becomes critical. The FZ1000 doesn’t take the colours too seriously either. Not only are warm hues exaggeratedly saturated, but pure blue, for example, visibly drifts off into violet, thus having an excessively high red content. After all, the manual white balance works flawlessly, and the automatic one is usually also convincing. The color variety is also good, up to ISO 1,600 more than four million color nuances are distinguished, even at ISO 6,400 there are still a good two million.

Even though the FZ1000 is still lagging behind its competitors with a large zoom and/or 1″ sensor, it still offers very good image quality compared to normal compact cameras. Especially if you work in raw format, you can get the color fastness and the offensive noise reduction well under control.

Bottom line

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 convinces above all with its inner values, which the Japanese manufacturer has packed into a rather disreputable plastic case in favor of a lower price. However, this is cleanly processed and ensures a relatively low weight. Due to the combination of sensor size and focal length, the FZ1000 is not really compact, but much smaller than a DSLR of similar focal length and speed. This makes the FZ1000 the ideal universal camera for those who don’t want to change lenses, let alone buy more. The FZ1000 not only impresses with its good features, but also with its high speed, which makes some DSLRs and the super zoom competition look old anyway, as well as its 4K video mode, which offers an enormous amount of detail. The image quality is especially good up to ISO 400, but also ISO 800 are still well usable. From ISO 1.600 the images become visibly softer, which can be remedied by using the raw format with individually adjusted noise reduction. The lens has a slightly high resolution at wide-angle, but unfortunately the edge of the picture can’t quite keep up with all focal lengths. At the targeted price of 850 Euros, the buyer receives an egg laying wool milk sow, which can cope with almost any photographic task in everyday life and offers plenty of scope for creativity.

Fact sheet

Fact sheet
Manufacturer Panasonic
Model Lumix DMC-FZ1000
Price approx. 850 EUR several years ago in 2014. Much cheaper now.
Sensor Resolution 20.1 megapixels
Max. Image resolution 5.472 x 3.648
(aspect ratio) (3:2)
Lens F2,8-4/25-400mm
Filter threads 62 mm
Viewfinder electronic
Enlargement 0,7-fold
Disbandment 2.359.000
Diopter correction yes
LCD monitor 3″
Disbandment 921.000
rotatable yes
swivelling yes
as seeker yes
Video output HDMI
as seeker yes
Program automation yes
Aperture priority yes
Aperture priority yes
manual exposure yes
BULB long-term exposure yes
Motif programmes
Portrait yes
Children/Babies yes
Countryside yes
Macro
Sports/Action yes
more 21
Exposure metering Multi-field, Centre-weighted Integral, Spot
Flash yes
Guide number 10.9 (measurement)
Flash connection ISO flash shoe with TTL
Remote release Cable, WLAN
Interval shooting yes
Storage medium SD/SDHC/SDXC
Video mode
Size AVCHD or MP4
Codec H.264/AVC
Resolution (max.) 3.840 x 2.160
at frame rate 25p
Sensitivity
automatic ISO 125-12.800
(upper limit adjustable)
manually ISO 80-25.600
White balance
Automatic yes
Sun yes
Clouds yes
Fluorescent lamp
Light bulb yes
Other Shadows, flash, manual selection of color temperature, fine correction
Manual yes
Autofocus
Number of measuring fields 49
AF auxiliary light Red-orange
Speed 0,1-0,2 s
Languages German
more 15
Switch-on time 0,8 s
One-hand operation
(zoom and shutter release)
yes
Weight
(ready)
830 g
Continuous shooting function*
Number of series images
46 (JPEG)
13 (RAW)
Frequency
(frames/s)
9.1 (JPEG)
9.5 (RAW)
Endurance run
(frames/s)
3.8 (JPEG)
1.5 (RAW)
with flash
Zoom
Zoom adjustment motorized via ring rocker or zoom ring
Zoom levels stepless, optional 12
Time WW to Tele 2,6 s
Memory speeds*
JPEG 0,7 s (6,8 MByte)
RAW 1,4 s (22,4 MByte)
Triggering during
.Save as possible.
yes
Battery life approx. 360 pictures (acc. to CIPA)
– = “not applicable” or “not available
“* with 16 GByte Panasonic Class 10 U3 SDHC memory card

Short evaluation

Pros

  • Rapid autofocus, even in the telephoto range
  • 4K video function with numerous setting options
  • Large, universal zoom range
  • Very good operation with many individualization possibilities

Cons

  • Tripod thread outside the optical axis and too close to memory card and battery compartment
  • Missing touch screen
  • It is all plastic, even if properly processed plastic housing
  • Lens with poor edge resolution, also soft images from ISO 1.600

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Datasheet

Electronics

Sensor CMOS sensor 1″ 13.2 x 8.8 mm (crop factor 2.7
)20.1 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 2.4 µm
Photo resolution
5.472 x 3.648 pixels (3:2)
5.472 x 3.080 Pixel (16:9)
4.864 x 3.080 Pixel
3.648 x 3.648 pixels (1:1)
Picture formats JPG, RAW
Colour depth 48 bit (16 bit per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.3), DCF standard
Video resolution
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 25 p 29 min
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 50 p 29 min
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 50 i 29 min
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 25 p 29 min
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 24 p
Maximum recording time 29 min 59 sec
Video format
MP4 (Codec H.264)

Lens

Focal length 25 to 400 mm (35mm equivalent
)16x zoom9
.12 to 146 mm (physical)
4x digital zoom
Focus range 30 cm to infinity (wide-angle
)100 cm to infinity (telephoto)
Macro sector 3 cm (wide-angle
)100 cm (telephoto)
Apertures F2.8 to F8 (wide-angle
)F4 to F8 (telephoto)
Autofocus yes
Autofocus Functions Single autofocus, Continuous autofocus, Tracking autofocus, Manual, AFL function, Focus Peaking
Filter threads 62 mm

Viewfinder and Monitor

Monitor 3.0″ (7.5 cm) TFT LCD monitor with 921,000 pixels, swivels 180°, rotates 270
Video viewfinder Video viewfinder (100 % field coverage) with 2,359,000 pixels, magnification factor 0.70x, diopter compensation (-3.0 to 3.0 dpt)

Exposure

Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement, spot measurement
Exposure times 1/4,000 to 60 s (Auto
)Bulb with maximum 120 s exposure time1/16
,000 to 1 s (Electronic)
Exposure control Fully automatic, Program automatic (with program shift), Aperture priority, Aperture priority, Manual, Scene automatic
Bracketing function Exposure bracketing function with a maximum of 7 shots, step size from 1/3 to 1 EV
Sensitivity to light ISO 100 to ISO 12.800 (automatic
)ISO 80 to ISO 25.600 (manual)
Remote access Cable release, remote control via Smartphone/Tablet
Motives Auto, Backlight, Skin, Night scene, Portrait, 20 more scene modes
Picture effects Cross development, High Key, Low Key, Miniature effect, Monochrome, Retro, Sepia, Toy camera, Star grid, Soft focus, Cross development, Expressionistic, High/Low Key, 12 more image effects
White balance Auto, Clouds, Sun, Fine tuning, Shadow, Flash, Fluorescent lamp, Kelvin input, Manual
Color space sRGB
Continuous shooting 7 fps at highest resolution, max. 50 fps with electronic shutter, 7 fps with tracking AF
Self-timer Self-timer with a distance of 2 s, special features: Self-timer with 10 seconds forward and 3 shots in a row, as well as only 10 seconds.
Shooting functions AEL function, AFL function, live histogram

Flashgun

Flash built-in flash (hinged
)Flash shoe: Olympus/Panasonic (also Leica compact camera), standard center contact
Flash range 0.3 to 13.5 m at wide-angle1
.0 to 9.5 m at telephoto flash range
at ISO auto
Flash functions Auto, Fill Flash, Flash On, Flash Off, Slow Sync, Flash On Second Shutter Curtain, Red-Eye Reduction

Equipment

Image stabilizer optical image stabilizer
Memory
SD (SDHC, SDXC)
Internal memory yes
GPS function GPS external (Smartphone as GPS-Logger)
Microphone Stereo
Power supply no power supply connection
Power supply 1 x lithium ion (Li-Ion) battery (7.2 V, 1,200 mAh
)360 images according to CIPA standard
Playback Functions Highlights / shadow warning, image index, slide show function
Face recognition Face recognition
Picture parameters Acuity
Grid can be faded in during recording yes
Special functions Electronic water level, orientation sensor, Live View
Ports Data interfaces: USBUSB type
: USB 2.0 High SpeedWLAN
: available (type: B, G, N)
NFC: availableAudio output
: noAudio input
: yes (3.5 mm stereo microphone jack)
Video output: yes (HDMI output Micro (type D))
Supported direct printing methods DPOF, PictBridge
Tripod socket 1/4″
Features and Miscellaneous scalable AF field electronic
shutter 1/16,000 to 1 second Shutter
speedVivid
video image styles,
monochrome, landscape, portrait, custom variant, cinema look-D and -Electronic
windshieldRAW processingMono-speaker fourstorable white balance settings

Size and weight

Weight 831 g (ready for operation)
Dimensions W x H x D 137 x 98 x 131 mm

Other

included accessories Lithium-Ion battery chargerBattery chargerUSB connector cableBacklight hood

, lens cap, hot shoe
coverPhotoFun Studio 9.5 Premium Edition
image editing software for Windows or

later

and for Macintosh system or laterPhotoFun
Studio
image editing software
Silkypix Developer Studio

optional accessory Olympus FL-700WR Slip-on flash with swivel reflector
USB
USB 2.0 High Speed (Micro-USB)

Firmware update 2.1 for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000: Further improvements

After Panasonic had already extended the functional range of the Lumix DMC-FZ1000 with a firmware update in October 2014, two minor improvements follow with firmware 2.1. The playback performance of 4K videos is improved and the interval function now also starts at daylight saving time at the pre-programmed time. As always, the update is free of charge and can be downloaded from the Panasonic website and installed by the user himself. The procedure is described in English. If you do not have the confidence to perform the update yourself, you can contact your dealer or Panasonic Service.

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