At first sight, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 looks a ton like the large Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 sensor, the long zoom camera, but inside the company’s own spectrum there is a precedent. It’s been eight years since the launch of the FZ50, so we can’t believe that too many people are still waiting, but Panasonic has finally produced a substitute for that much-missed platform in certain respects. Taken as a whole, between the two cameras, the FZ1000 can almost be used as a synthesis.
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000: Price
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Panasonic Lumix FZ1000: Performance
We have found that the compact system cameras of Panasonic’s G-series have outstanding metering systems and there is seldom a need to move from the Multi option for general purposes. The FZ1000 Dual metering device is almost as strong and, in a wide range of conditions, the sensor delivers ideal exposures. In reality, when some smaller cameras are struggling, it manages to generate a correctly exposed subject. For example, it creates a correctly exposed foreground under a bright overcast sky, even though the subject under the active AF point is itself considerably brighter than a mid tone.
Another good news is that, due to the wide dynamic range of the FZ1000, the bright sky is not burnt out in certain cases and some tonal variety is preserved.
The iDynamic dynamic range boosting device of the FZ1000 will help to expand the range of tones noticeable in the shadows and highlights in very high contrast situations, but the effect is gradual and not excessively ‘HDR’ (high dynamic range). Similarly, even when forced to the highest setting (+/-3EV), the camera’s in-built JPEG-only HDR system delivers natural-looking results.
In the default ‘Ordinary’ Picture Format, colors are also usually fine straight from the camera. The ‘Vivid’ option can be helpful for injecting a bit more vibrancy on occasion, and when the ‘Scenery’ Picture Style is used, certain landscapes look better, but it can render blue skies a little too vivid and also greens very acidic.
The automatic white balance (AWB) system of the FZ1000 also works well in most natural light environments on the subject of colour, managing to maintain some of the aura of the shooting conditions. The findings are also almost indistinguishable from those taken with the Sunny white balance setup by using the AWB settings in strong sunshine. The Sunshine atmosphere, however, is often preferable in shade as it imparts a little warmth. The Shade setting does it a bit, as is always the case.
The native sensitivity range of the FZ1000 runs from ISO 125-12,800, but extension settings to push the range to ISO 80-25,600 are available. JPEG images usually look fine in the native sensitivity spectrum at standard viewing sizes. However, even ISO125 pictures have a faint stippled texture noticeable at 100 percent on-screen and this steadily becomes better at the loss of detail as sensitivity grows. The stippled texture of luminance noise is very noticeable at 100% on screen by ISO 6400, but pictures still look pretty good at standard viewing sizes. Push up to the expansion settings and color saturation still tends to suffer and fairly tiny photos are better retained.
In Sony cameras like the RX100 III, we have seen a similar approach to noise reduction, and although it makes shots look less than perfect at 100 percent on the frame, they typically look really fine, with a lot of clarity. The findings of our laboratory demonstrate that the FZ1000 is able to resolve more information than the Sony RX10.
Naturally, when they are stored, raw files may be subject to bespoke noise reduction. Chroma noise (colored speckling) is noticeable at 100 percent in photographs taken at ISO 400 and above without any noise reduction being added. The picture is nearly obliterated by ISO 12,800 coloured speckling.
In JPEG pictures, chromatic aberration is normally well managed, but you can see signs of it here and there at 100 percent on-screen, along with greyish spots that indicate it has been hidden, if you try to search for it. But it’s not at all a big problem.
In recent years, Panasonic has made great strides with its AF systems, and the FZ1000 gains from this as it works on the subject easily, even in relatively low light environments. I find that if the active AF point is above the subject, it can also get fast moving objects sharp and track them as they run towards the camera. However, as we have seen before, the Monitoring AF mode can only keep up with relatively slow moving subjects as they move through the frame and everyone shooting rapid sport or action is of no value.
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000: Key Features
- 20.1 megapixel 1″-type MOS sensor
- 25-400mm equiv. F2.8-4 Leica lens
- 5-axis ‘Power OIS’ stabilization
- XGA OLED electronic viewfinder with 2.36M dots
- 3-inch fully-articulated LCD with 920K dots
- 4K (3840×2160) video at 30p, 100Mbps MP4
- 1080p at up to 60p, 28Mbps (MP4 or AVCHD)
- 120fps quarter-speed 1080p
- 3.5mm microphone socket
- Clean HDMI output
- Zebra pattern and focus peaking
- Wi-Fi with NFC
- 360 shots per charge (CIPA standard)
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000: Conclusion
The Panasonic FZ1000 is a decent camera, but it is pricey. If you want to buy an SLR (single-lens reflex) like the Nikon D3300 and a superzoom like the Nikkor 18-300mm and other small compact cameras like the Panasonic G6, they might be better choices. This opportunity offers more space for people to consider how they can develop their photography skills. However, the opportunity to adjust lenses is exactly what certain people expect with a bridge camera and would not be disappointed. It offers a number of different shooting styles, a wide scope for customization, and a lens with a decent spread. Furthermore, the pictures are fun and of high quality.
Panasonic is specifically dealing with the Sony RX10, but in my view, it doesn’t win. The lens is a bit larger and not as high-quality feeling but is an f/2.8-4.0 max aperture and more than a set f/2.8. Our lab findings also reveal that the Panasonic camera outperforms the Sony camera. There is not a large amount of variance between them, though.