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Jul
25

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review:

Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-FZ1000THE GOOD The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 produces excellent photos and video; it has an expansive feature set to satisfy snapshooters and enthusiasts; it offers a lot of direct access to important settings and has a fantastic electronic viewfinder.

THE BAD Its maximum f/2.8 aperture is only available at its widest focal length. The plastic body and large lens makes it feel a bit off-balance. Controls and shooting options might be intimidating for some.

THE BOTTOM LINE With excellent photo and video quality and a deep feature set, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 is the perfect mix if you want dSLR-like controls and better than point-and-shoot performance with the convenience of a single fixed lens.
CNET Photography Cameras Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ 1000
If you were on the fence between an entry-level digital SLR and a compact camera with a long zoom lens, the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 might be all the camera you need.

Digital SLRs deliver high-quality photos and HD video and fast performance, but a dSLR might be too much camera for you in price, size and weight — and that’s without adding a long zoom lens to the equation. You can get smaller, lighter, long-zoom compact cameras at lower prices, but they come with a loss in image quality, features and control, and in most cases, aren’t nearly as quick to focus and shoot.

The FZ1000 truly bridges the two using a 1-inch 20-megapixel MOS sensor (four times larger than the 1/2.3-inch sensors you find in most long-zoom cameras like Panasonic’s FZ200) and a 16x f2.8-4.0 25-400mm lens (and yes, it’s a Leica).
Worthwhile trade-offs
The benefit to a larger image sensor is better image quality, but they also require larger lenses. While its zoom range might not seem impressive compared with the expansive 50x or longer zooms on other bridge cameras, the FZ1000 delivers superior image quality to those small-sensor compacts.

A dSLR or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera would get you better image quality still, but a zoom lens with similar specs for one of those would be large and heavy. It would also be more expensive than this camera alone, which is currently around $800 or £650 in the UK and AU$1,200 in Australia.

Because this is a variable aperture zoom lens, the aperture gets immediately smaller as you zoom out, letting less light reach the sensor. Giving the lens a constant f2.8 aperture through the zoom range, like Sony’s RX10, would have been nice, but it also would have made the lens bigger. The FZ1000’s variable aperture lens is a compromise, but for me, it’s worth it.

The RX10 features a 1-inch sensor as well, but its telephoto end stops at 200mm. The two cameras are roughly the same size and weight, too, so really it comes down to what you value more, the Sony’s constant f2.8 aperture or more zoom range.

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