Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Review - Packing a 20.1-million-pixel 1in CMOS sensor and 4K-video recording, the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 pushes the bridge camera class in a new direction

Product Overview

Overall rating:

91%

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000

Overall score:91%
Performance:90%
Value:90%
Features:95%
Design:90%
Image Quality:90%

Pros:

  • 4K video capture a bonus; Excellent build quality

Cons:

  • Lack of touchscreen; Proliferation of buttons may intimidate inexperienced photographers

Product:

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£749.99

Best Price from Reevoo

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After the recent launch of the popular Lumix DMC-GH4, the first compact system camera to boast 4K-video recording, Panasonic has followed up by putting quad full high definition video recording capabilities inside a compact bridge camera in the Lumix FZ1000. Lowering the barrier to entry for would – be image makers to capture stunning stills and video content on a device that’s built to do it all.

Given its feature set there isn’t much in the way of direct competition from other manufacturers currently on the market, although the slightly pricier Sony Cyber-shot RX10 also features a 1in sensor with a focal range of 24-200mm that maintains a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture.

While the RX10 delivered some of the best in class performance and quality, it’s close to £900 price tag at launch and relatively limited focal range make it a tough sell, given that its just another bridge camera.

However the Lumix FZ1000 offers much more for the money, including a bright f/2.8-4.0 Leica DC lens with 16x Optical zoom, equivalent to 25-400mm, twice the range of Sony’s RX10.

Panasonic’s own 12.1-million-pixel FZ200 boasts a significantly greater reach of 25-600mm with a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture and at much more affordable price, however it does have a smaller 1.66in sensor and lacks the advanced technology packed into the FZ1000.

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Review - side on

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Review – Features

The inclusion of a large high sensitivity 1in 20.1-million-pixel MOS sensor puts the FZ1000 a cut above in the point-and-shoot camera class. The larger sensor means it will have a great signal to noise ratio, making it better for low light shooting at high ISO sensitivity settings.

Panasonic’s proprietary depth from defocusing technology, also featured in the GH4, is included in this new camera, delivering impressive autofocus processing speed, making it as much as 275% faster than the FZ1000’s nearest relation, the FZ200 according to the Japanese firm’s in-house testing.

In keeping with its all-in-one ethos, the FZ1000 also features a reasonably comprehensive in-camera raw conversion tool that make it possible to adjust settings as you would on a computer and save the tweaked version as a new file.

It’s obviously not going to replace dedicated conversion software on a separate device with a large screen, particularly because there’s no magnification option or side-by-side comparisons during editing – only after – but for quick experimental edits, it’s a positive feature to see included.

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Review - front higher angled

Video capabilities

Of course the headline feature of the FZ1000 is the inclusion of 4K-video and if you’re already beginning to switch off because you’re not interested in recording video, I implore you to stick with me. 4K-video recording is only half the story.

The FZ1000 features a fast readout quad-core Venus IV processor that enables smooth QFHD recording when a compatible UHS Speed Class 3 SD card is being used. The resulting video captured on the camera is four times the resolution of full HD and Panasonic has made it possible to scrub back through the footage in slow motion and grab 8-million-pixel 3840×2160 resolution at the touch of a button.

This opens up a great alternative way of taking pictures, particularly for unpredictable subjects such as wildlife and sports. However, the FZ1000 also features burst mode shooting up to 12 frames per second, if you want to capture full resolution stills of fast-moving targets.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Review - Design
  3. 3. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Review - Performance
  4. 4. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Review - Image Quality
  5. 5. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 Review - Verdict
  6. 6. Panasonic Lumix FX1000 - First Look
Page 1 of 6 - Show Full List
  • chris

    Hi Voyagerx, both actually. I’ve had the picture set to 16×9, but that affects the size of print which really bugs me! I print up to A2 using an Epson pro4000 but the A2 pictures are definitely not A2 size. I think I need to revert back to 4×3 to remedy this. As for picture size re:pixels, I cant find anywhere that tells me the file size until I upload to my computer. Any suggestions?

  • VOYAGERX

    Chris, if you change picture size or enable the info regarding your picture on playback they both tell you what the picture size is, do you mean in megapixels and/or physical size 16×9, 4×3, etc!

  • Guest

    Thanks Rudolf, they are both great cameras, although personally i prefer the FZ1000 for handling and speed with its superb viewfinder, you have made great and wise choices regarding them and i hope your wife and son have great fun picture taking, its a superb hobby!
    Regards, Allan.

  • Rudolf Kooijman

    I like your comment. It’s quite frustrating to read all reviews, because in the end one would never buy anything: every camera has it’s negative sides. You have done the one and only right thing with your test: it really does not matter much which camera you use, because the quality difference of the pictures is trivial.
    Just for fun I have bought this camera for my 18 year old son. And the Sony RX10 for my wife. Both cameras are great. Both my son and my wife will probably never use anything else but the automatic mode. I don’t care, because they make such beautiful pictures that they both discovered a “new world”.

  • chris

    I have been a very keen photographer for over 30 years, starting with 35mm SLR’s and moving to digital when they first hit the market. Following an accident in June, I am no longer able to use my digital SLR kit as I lost my left hand. This being the case, I began looking at alternative cameras and whilst looking at the various compact cameras, I met the Panasonic rep. He suggested I look at the FZ1000 and gave me a brochure. Now, I have never rated bridge cameras, considering them to be designed for those who cant be bothered to ‘do it properly’. How wrong I was! This camera is superb. It has given me back my hobby, almost to the same degree as my SLR kit. The only point I can pull it up on (and it may just be that I haven’t found it yet!) is that I cant find anywhere that tells me how big the files are. If you have impaired use of your left hand, try this camera, you wont be disappointed.

  • VOYAGERX

    I own it, after 1 days use, i auctioned my Canon Eos 600d, its 4 Canon lenses, also my Nikon 3200, its 2 lenses on E-bay, never looked back, thats how good this FZ1000 really is, its all the camera i could ever want, now i am not saying it is better than dedicated DSLR`s, but take it this way, i took 2 pictures, one with the 600D and one with my new FZ1000, same scene,same focal/expo f-stop settings etc, i removed all exif info on both pictures, then showed them side by side on a purchased good quality viewer on my 17″ HP Laptop to my partner and at least 12 of my friends, i asked them `Which one is the DSLR picture` no zooming no touching touchpad or mouse, nothing! `Which one` not one could answer that question as `both` pictures looked practically identical, if zoomed in there is very slightly more pic-noise on the FZ1000`s image, that being said i print all my best pics A4 size, not zoomed in or/and cropped, thats how good this camera is period, in my opinion it looks better than Sonys RX10, it handles better than the RX10, its picture also beats the Sony, and the 4k video is the winnner also for the FZ1000 and by now you will have read its very impressive features list, its a truly stunning camera, its everything for me, i love it, well done Panasonic!

  • Edinho Kunzler

    Great camera! Very good review!