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Panasonic FZ1000 review

Our Rating :
£775.31 from
Price when reviewed : £749
inc VAT

A stunning all-round talent, the Panasonic FZ1000 excels both indoors and out


Sensor resolution: 20 megapixels, Sensor size: 20 megapixels, Viewfinder: electronic (2,359,000 dots), LCD screen: 3in (921,000 dots), Optical zoom (35mm-equivalent focal lengths): 16 (25-400mm), 35mm-equivalent aperture: f/7.6-10.8, Weight: 834g, Size (HxWxD): 99x137x137mm



The FZ1000’s photos look superb, with a clarity of detail that’s much closer to an SLR or CSC than bridge cameras that use tiny 1/2.3in sensors. However, the lens didn’t deliver the same sharpness that we saw from the Sony RX10, with a slightly soft focus towards the edges at wide apertures. The RX10’s superiority was obvious in our studio test scene, although it evened out by f/8. We also noticed a slight softening of details at focal lengths beyond 200mm, but it still succeeded in capturing more detail in distant subjects than the RX10 with its shorter zoom range.

Click images to enlarge, and then click the icon to see them at their full, native resolution

^ 1/640s, f/3.9, ISO 125, 115mm – Clean, detailed skin and hair textures could easily be mistaken for an SLR or CSC’s output

^ 1/1600s, f/3.2, ISO 125, 25mm – The centre of this wide-angle shot is pin sharp but the edges aren’t quite as crisp

^ 1/640s, f/4, ISO 125, 221mm – Focus is looking pretty good at a 221mm (equivalent) focal length…

^ 1/400s, f/4, ISO 125, 400mm … but it deteriorates towards the edges at 400mm.

^ 1/1300s, f/4, ISO 125, 400mm – There’s no faulting the focus on this shot taken at the full zoom extension. f/4 at 400mm (equivalent) gives a narrow depth of field to blur the background in close-up shots

The large sensor and reasonably bright lens performed superbly in low light, producing photos that were good enough for big prints at ISO 1600. Comparing our studio test scene with the RX10 once again, we preferred the look of the FZ1000’s noise reduction at ISO 1600 and above. However, in practice, the RX10’s constant f/2.8 aperture meant it reclaims the advantage at most focal lengths.

^ 1/80s, f/2.9, ISO 1600, 28mm – Shooting indoors in ambient sunlight, there’s some evidence of noise reduction on close inspection but it’s an excellent result nonetheless

^ 1/5s, f/3.8, ISO 5000, 90mm – The FZ1000 still turns in respectable snaps under street lighting at ISO 5000 – a superb achievement


This is a camera that really can do it all. It has a decent telephoto range and fast performance for sports and wildlife, excellent image quality in low light and convincingly the best video mode we’ve seen this side of £1,000. However, we’re still sorely tempted by the Sony RX10, which has recently dropped in price to around £700, or £650 with a £50 cashback offer (valid until 31 August). The RX10 can’t shoot 4K video and it has a shorter zoom range, but its lens is sharper and brighter and its magnesium body is more upmarket.

We also have to wonder how many people want 4K and yet would be happy to forego the flexibility of the GH4’s interchangeable lenses. Then again, a GH4 plus a collection of lenses could easily exceed £2,000. For a small fraction of that price, the FZ1000 delivers exceptional photos and videos in a convenient, highly rewarding package. All three cameras are among the most exciting models currently available. The FZ1000 joins the RX10 and GH4 in receiving a wholehearted recommendation from us.

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Sensor resolution20 megapixels
Sensor size1in (13.2×8.8mm)
Focal length multiplier2.7x
Viewfinderelectronic (2,359,000 dots)
Viewfinder magnification (35m-equivalent), coverage0.7x, 100%
LCD screen3in (921,000 dots)
Orientation sensorYes
Photo file formatsJPEG, RAW (RW2)
Maximum photo resolution5,472×3,648
Photo aspect ratios4:3, 3:2, 16:9 1:1
Video compression formatMP4 (AVC) up to 100Mbit/s, AVCHD up to 28Mbit/s
Video resolutions4K (3840×2160) at 25fps, 1080p at 24/25/50fps, 1080i at 25fps, 720p at 25fps, VGA at 25fps
Slow motion video modes1080p at 100fps (1/4x)
Maximum video clip length (at highest quality)30m 0s
Exposure modesProgram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed range60 to 1/4,000 seconds
ISO speed range125 to 12800
Exposure compensation
White balanceAuto, 5 presets with fine tuning, manual, Kelvin
Auto-focus modesMulti, flexible spot, custom shape, pinpoint, face/eye detect, tracking
Metering modesMulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash modesAuto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modesSingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, time lapse, stop-motion animation, HDR
Optical stabilisationYes
Optical zoom (35mm-equivalent focal lengths)16 (25-400mm)
Maximum aperture (wide-tele)f/2.8-4
35mm-equivalent aperturef/7.6-10.8
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus (wide)3cm
Closest macro focus (tele)1m
Card slotSDXC
Memory suppliedNone
Battery typeLi-ion
ConnectivityUSB, AV, micro HDMI, 2.5mm remote, 3.5mm microphone
WirelessWi-Fi, NFC
GPSvia smartphone app
HotshoePanasonic TTL
Body materialPlastic
AccessoriesUSB cable, neck strap
Size (HxWxD)99x137x137mm
Buying information
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Price including VAT£749
Part codeDMC-FZ1000EB