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Panasonic FZ1000 review

Ben Pitt Matt Breen
19 Jun 2019
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
749
inc VAT

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

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Specifications

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

FZ1000 VIDEO QUALITY

The RX10 excels for video capture, but the FZ1000 ups the stakes with its ability to record 4K video. It's recorded at 3,840x2,160 pixels at 25p, and encoded in AVC format at 100Mbit/s. There's no Cinema 4K (4,096x2,160 at 24p) as per the Panasonic GH4, but considering the significantly lower price it's a reasonable omission.

As with the GH4, the FZ1000 uses a 1:1 pixel ratio for its 4K output, which means video is captured using a 3,840x2,160 crop of the sensor's full 5,472x3,648 resolution. This equates to a 37-592mm (equivalent) focal length range for 4K video, trading some wide-angle range for an extended telephoto capability. We particularly like the ability to pause playback of 4K footage and save the current frame as an 8-megapixel JPEG with a couple of button pushes.

Comparing the GH4 and FZ1000's 4K output, the GH4's details were a little finer and more natural looking. However, resizing their 4K output to 1080p made both looked equally stunning, and way beyond the RX10 for detail levels. As with the GH4, shooting 4K gives a significant boost to video details even when distributing the final edit at 1080p.

^ The FZ1000's 1080p output looks sharp… until you compare it with the 4K footage downscaled to 1080p (view at 1080p on a high-resolution monitor to see the difference)

Autofocus in videos was smooth and responsive, but the lack of a touchscreen meant moving the autofocus point while recording was slow and clumsy. However, it is possible to do so by tapping the touchscreen of a connected Android or iOS device. Manual focus is well implemented, with the substantial lens barrel and a peaking mode that highlights sharply-focused areas of the frame. Meanwhile, the Cinelike D colour preset (only available for video capture) gives a flat contrast to preserve as much dynamic range as possible. This doesn't necessarily flatter subjects but it's ideal if you're planning to apply colour correction in editing software later.

The FZ1000's 1080p capture was extremely impressive too, narrowly beating the RX10 for detail levels. There's a choice of 24p, 25p, 50i and 50p frame rates, although bit rates up to 28Mbit/s don't match the huge bit rates available in the GH4. There's also an option to record 1080p video at 100fps, playing back at 25fps for quarter-speed slow motion. However, focus and exposure are fixed in this mode, and optical stabilisation is disabled. Details didn't appear as crisp as in normal-speed 1080p footage – our guess is that a lower-quality algorithm is being used to resize the 20-megapixel sensor output. Even so, it's a real treat to be able to shoot slow motion at 1080p.

^ 100fps capture at 1080p delivers slow motion without compromising on resolution