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Panasonic FZ1000 review - the bargain 4K super-zoom


Andrew Reid

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I've got ready access to the FZ1000 and have used it a few times.  My take: There are a lot of things to like - 4k, decent lens etc. Image stabilisation is superb. I never normally use autofocus, but

The Panasonic FZ1000 is a bridge camera, but is it a bridge that actually leads anywhere? Read my FZ1000 review to find out... http://www.eoshd.com/2014/11/panasonic-fz1000-review-bargain-4k-super-zo

About "“4K, so what, it isn’t all about resolutionâ€.  I'd extend your answer to point out that most 1080 is not really 1080 in actual resolution because of the space between pixels on a sensor an

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@Cinegain, yeah.. though it's not exactly cheap.. it's not that pricey either. I don't want to have to carry a bunch of lenses with me since I'm carrying everything on my back for these trips. I think all I'd need would be a load of SC cards, a couple spare batteries, my compact tripod, and the external portable audio I'd be taking anyway. 

 

I like Andrews shooting for the most part, just wasn't crazy about the "look" on this one. Wasn't sure if he hit the limitations of the camera frequently, or if these were aesthetic choices I wasn't crazy about.

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Not seeing that much chit-chat on this site about this cam, but it's not really a fiddly, raw, rigged up, etc. cam. Appears to be a no-nonsense, good grab-n-go all-in-one.. pretty much what Andrew concludes. So, I just ordered one. Taking it to the Yucatan of Mexico again to play. That long lens and stabilization will be fun on the street, and the stills look decent too. :)

 

Ordered a fast  64GB UHS-1 card, a Neutral density filter, and will pick up a couple extra batteries too.

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Hey Guys

I hate to be a bubble burster on this cam as i was in the market for one since I heard about it earlier this year. I posted on here a while ago asking Andrew about shooting 100fps.

Since then I've had a chance to have a play with the camera and it seems that they've choked a few of the manual controls, zoom and focu,s while shooting at 100fps. I shoot a lot of telephoto shots that require manual focus pulling and thought this would be a great way of shooting slow mo on a budget so I'm pretty disappointed that these controls are locked in this mode.

I would love to be proven wrong on this by someone who knows better but for now I think I'll be steering clear until Panasonic fix the problem with an FW update it another company releases a similar camera.

John

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I've read a lot of posts and talk regarding the HDMI being "clean" out of the FZ1000, but most of the posts I've read are that the current firmware doesn't really allow for progressive 4k external recording and monitoring, with something like the Atmos. At least, from what I've read so far it doesn't seem possible to do with any of the current available recorders. 

 

Somewhere I read someone was able to record interlaced to a Ninja, but the AF doesn't work (and I'm assuming the electronic manual focus either) when you're recording externally. 

 

I wonder if this might be doable later via firmware update? Or, is that completely unlikely possibility?

 

Not that it matters much to me at this point. I bought it as a cheap all in one for travel, but it if could... that'd be incredible. 

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Not seeing that much chit-chat on this site about this cam, but it's not really a fiddly, raw, rigged up, etc. cam.

Appears to be a no-nonsense, good grab-n-go all-in-oneTaking it to the Yucatan of Mexico again to play. That long lens and stabilization will be fun on the street, and the stills look decent too.:)

[..] Not that it matters much to me at this point.

I bought it as a cheap all in one for travel

[..] abandoned

I've read what you wrote down earlier, but it was during my break and had to get back to work. But let me toss my 2 cents in here for a sec.

The FZ1000 is perfect for what you're talking about. Listen, the reason there's not so much 'chit-chat' about this camera is the fact that people here are mostly dealing with certain projects. Lets be honest here for a second, you know you're not going to use this to shoot tv broadcast commercials and feature films. If you're doing some kind of paid job, you probably have a location, talent (actors), make-up & wardrobe, a light setup, an audio kit and you probably had a certain look in mind for your shoot, so you pick out a lens that will give you that look, range and light sensitivity and get a camera with tons of control and features for video to record the image the lens projects. The GH4, G6, GX7, BMPCC, A7S, NX1, 5DmkIII... all cameras that can have the lenses exchanged; cameras that can be rigged and equipped with a follow focus. Cameras that allow for high quality output and have tons of features. Also cameras that feature a rather sizeable sensor which allows to quite easily get some creamy bokeh going on.

It's a little less easier to get that shallow depth of field people like so much with the FZ1000. It has a 1" sensor, which is very respectable, certainly in its segment, but if you compare it to most stuff that comes across on EOSHD, yeah, not quite the same level of easy to get shallow depth of field. In low light it's even harder, you can of course zoom in on your subject, which will allow you to throw the background out of focus a little easier, but it drops from f/2.8 to f/4 pretty quickly. Get a Sigma ART 18-35mm f/1.8 with a speedbooster/lens turbo for your GH4 and it's bright, it's bokehlicious... but it's also apples VS oranges. The FZ1000 covers a sick range of lenses... if you want production quality stuff, get ready to take a A and B cam with you... a wide selection of lenses, a tripod is a must, you don't want to run out of batteries, so take some of those... don't forget filters, lights, audio stuff, I mean... does it start to dawn on you already? You'd take all of that with you to Yucatan? Either you'd almost need a roadie to help you out with your gear, or you're very uncomfortable carrying around lots of stuff (especially in hot and moist climates) and have your feet and back killing you, draining you from any energy to go party at night getting back to your hotel.

I mean, I understand you desire to have the best of all worlds, who wouldn't like a pocketsized 6K RAW recording 18-600mm T0.95 IBIS camera with high quality audio capture and what not, but you're going to have to make some compromises. And again, for your purpose, this seems to be an ideal match. It's a nice allround camera that covers wide angle to tele, it shoots 4K video, has built-in stabilization, does have that EVF and tiltable screen, is excellent for pictures and is super convenient to take with you. I mean... what's not to like here? If you're complaining this is not really the best choice for more production/studio work... well yeah, that's maybe not really where it truelly excells, but it does so in other areas. Although still, if you're shooting an interview and have a nice setup with some lights and audio with lets say the main camera being a GH4, the FZ1000 will be very nice to get an alternative angle (same goes for the LX100). But I can also see you shooting a little documentary on this or it being used at companies to shoot videos for internal use. I mean, it's a flippin' good camera. But for ultimate creative control and high quality productions, people are going to want to use bigger sensors, interchange lenses and use more expensive cameras/more extensive gear along with it; myself included. If I've got something to shoot and the bulk of a tripod, the GH4, maybe the BMPCC, some zooms and primes, filters, batteries, lights, audio equipment, etc, isn't a burden... then why not? But as a hybrid camera for stills and video, throwing it in a backpack and not having to worry about gear and being a breeze to carry around when you're on-the-go/travelling. No question, the FZ1000 it is. But I'm using it 'as is'. I'm not gonna throw it on a rig, I'm not gonna use it with a Atomos anything, to me it just doesn't make that much sense. This is an all-in-one camera, not an add-everything-camera. Get a GH4 if you want to add stuff.

One more thing... Andrew gives you solid information and his opinion. What you do with those is up to you, he's not forcing you to do anything. Also, I do hope you explore and research the w3bz a little bit beyond EOSHD before you make any decisions... make your decisions well informed and list the pros and cons that are applicable to your personal situation. What works for person A, might not be right for person B... although for the third time I believe I'll be saying this: it actually sounds like this camera will suit your needs just fine.

So yeah, consider my 2 cents tossed. ;)

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Cinegain, yeah... I sort of already came to that conclusion. For my specific needs this camera I believe will more than suffice. I was trying to get more info from a community who's interests are different than mine. 

I don't make any buying decisions based solely on what Andrew says about anything. But, if I'm already looking at a specific camera and see that he's done a solid assessment of a product, that does help sway me somewhat. 

I'd planned on going the LX100 route for the larger sensor and more compact. But a friend has that camera and there were a few things he didn't like. I was still interested in it, but then someone mentioned the FZ1000. I didn't even know that camera existed until about 2 weeks ago I think. I'm not the sort that looks at every new camera that comes out and reads all the reviews, and compares a bunch of test footage, etc. I don't drool for every little add-on rig gadget that comes on the market like some seem to, ie. those who're all about the gear and have in the back of their mind that they just have to buy just one more thing to make their "vision" happen. That's not me. 

The only reason I was looking at the LX100 for travel is because I wanted to get short 4k clips while I'm shooting decent stills. The stock video market is getting nearly as saturated as the still market has, but there's still room in the 4k markets (somewhat). I was completely ready to buy the LX100 until I searche the FZ1000, saw that it had a flip lcd, external mic port, stabilized long lens, etc. Everything I felt like I'd miss with the LX100. So I did a search and saw Andrew's write-up. Boom. What he wrote pretty much confirmed what it looked like on paper. And his sample footage looks good, but I'm not wild about the grading. I've since found other samples that prove the FZ1000 is indeed capable of meeting my needs for the price I'm willing to pay, and without having to carry loads of gear. 

That's why I edited my last comment to "abandoned". I'm done "shopping" and will go shoot now. Will check back at some point when/if I'm curious about what the new flavor of the month is. ;)

So thanks for your 2 cents.

Cheers,

Skip

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Cinegain, yeah... I sort of already came to that conclusion. For my specific needs this camera I believe will more than suffice. I was trying to get more info from a community who's interests are different than mine. 

I don't make any buying decisions based solely on what Andrew says about anything. But, if I'm already looking at a specific camera and see that he's done a solid assessment of a product, that does help sway me somewhat. 

I'd planned on going the LX100 route for the larger sensor and more compact. But a friend has that camera and there were a few things he didn't like. I was still interested in it, but then someone mentioned the FZ1000. I didn't even know that camera existed until about 2 weeks ago I think. I'm not the sort that looks at every new camera that comes out and reads all the reviews, and compares a bunch of test footage, etc. I don't drool for every little add-on rig gadget that comes on the market like some seem to, ie. those who're all about the gear and have in the back of their mind that they just have to buy just one more thing to make their "vision" happen. That's not me. 

The only reason I was looking at the LX100 for travel is because I wanted to get short 4k clips while I'm shooting decent stills. The stock video market is getting nearly as saturated as the still market has, but there's still room in the 4k markets (somewhat). I was completely ready to buy the LX100 until I searche the FZ1000, saw that it had a flip lcd, external mic port, stabilized long lens, etc. Everything I felt like I'd miss with the LX100. So I did a search and saw Andrew's write-up. Boom. What he wrote pretty much confirmed what it looked like on paper. And his sample footage looks good, but I'm not wild about the grading. I've since found other samples that prove the FZ1000 is indeed capable of meeting my needs for the price I'm willing to pay, and without having to carry loads of gear. 

That's why I edited my last comment to "abandoned". I'm done "shopping" and will go shoot now. Will check back at some point when/if I'm curious about what the new flavor of the month is. ;)

So thanks for your 2 cents.

Cheers,

Skip

​Ah ok. ;) The LX100 is marvelous too. I do like the high megapixel count on the FZ1000 though, it captures so much detail. I've shot some panoramas and usually (with regular cameras) they are not tall enough and lack detail, well I could capture quite of bit of height imagewise and you could almost count the leaves on trees far away, it's just so crisp and detailed. I've found the video is really enjoyable too. The FZ1000 just has that range to capture interesting stuff, be it wide angle or something very zoomed in (which you usually wouldn't get). I love this flexibility. If you don't mind the limited range, the LX100 is really nice as well though, I took a couple of pictures of my brother's newborn recently and it's just awesomeness. And video quality is very nice too. Yeah, also the LX100 isn't perfect either... but in the end it also comes down to: would've you have something different/better with you if it weren't for the FZ1000/LX100? The LX100 I awesome to have lying around, carry around in a bag or your coat's pocket. I wouldn't just have a GH4 on me all day everyday like I would have a wallet or a smartphone, but the LX100? Sure! The FZ1000 is awesome to put in a backpack and go explore. Hike up a trail, maybe climb a few rocks near the beach. You don't want to do that carrying around a bunch of stuff. For me personally as soon as 'the mission' becomes exclusively taking video though, only then I would start thinking the FZ1000 and LX100 might not be ideal for that particular situation and just as I would pick the OM-D E-M1 for a stills/photography 'mission', I'd probably go with the GH4/BMPCC with a bunch of lenses and accessories when I need to shoot a little more serious stuff videowise. In the end every camera has limits, but despite those, if you know the boundaries, you also know how to stay inside those and do not have to be surprised. And you can capture great things with just about any camera and the FZ1000 sure has a lot of potential. So enjoy shooting! I'm pretty sure after using it for a while, you'll find it really worth while.

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@Cinegain, My FZ1000 arrived this afternoon. There was a little charge in the battery so I messed around with it a bit. Didn't shoot anything, but just pretended and played with the various controls. So, my first initial impression is that... I'm in love. ;)

I may be disappointed a little with it's actual output, or not... but the size, weight, ergonomics, etc. so far has me saying "Hey Gorgeous, where ya been all my life?"

If it meets my expectations during the Yucatan and possibly Cuba trip, I may sell off all my Nikon stuff and get a GH4 AND LX100. :)

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Hi,

I read all the posts and reviews about the SD card speed needed for 4k video using the FZ1000, so I bought a couple 64GB UHS-1 90MB/ps cards... However, I've been trying out all of my regular 8-32GB standard SD cards and all of them seem to work fine recording 4k/30fps and 1080 120fps.

All of the cards are class 10 except for one old 8GB card is class 2. The only card that gives me the message on the screen saying the media isn't fast enough to record 4k is the old class 2 card.

What am I missing? Why did I need to buy a couple 64GB UHS-1 90MB/ps cards? Seems plain ole bargain class 10 cards work just fine. Would they start failing with longer record times? I only recorded a few seconds but it seems to work fine for everything other than the class 2 card.

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thats interesting - good to know - put one of you class 10 cards in hit record and see how long it records for - to make sure there are no long record time issues for you with them

​I just let it record at 4k 30fps for over 10mins straight, panning back and forth, zooming in and out, auto focussing, etc. It never skipped or gave me any warnings. This is a cheapo WinTec filemate class 10  SD 16GB card. Worked just fine. Just played back the footage off the card to verify it's actually 4k. 

The only thing I noticed is that it split the recording after 4GB so that my one movie was 4GB and the second half is 3GB. I'm guessing that's the only reason for the UHS-1 cards, ie. because they are formatted as exFAT, they shouldn't split the recording after 4GB. But for me, I'm only doing few seconds of recording at a time so all my standard class 10 SDHC cards should work just fine. 

Another thing I noticed is that in some of the review videos on YouTube, they complain that the manual zoom on the lens barrel doesn't smoothly zoom. They say it jumps to each focal length in steps. But, that's not so with mine. It zooms smoothly via rocker or the "manual" zoom on the lens barrel.. all the way from wide to full zoom.

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Well, I just tried my 64GB UHS-3 class 10 card and it too split/continued the recording after the 4.27GB file size. 

So, I'm not really sure why all the articles, posts, reviews, etc. say you have to have these fast cards. I'm getting pretty much the same performance from a plain-ole bargain/budget 16GB class 10 card. 

Anyone know? All I read before buying this camera said that you needed these fast UHS cards, but it doesn't appear to matter. I don't have anything between class 10 and class 2, but everything in class 10 works just fine. The class 2 card gives me a warning that it's not fast enough to record 4k video.

I just tried my slowest class 2 8GB card, and although it's not fast enough to record 4k video, it will actually record 1080p 24/30fps just fine. 1080p 60fps records too, but only about 30secs before I get the media isn't fast enough warning.

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Ordered an ND8 Neutral density filter off Amazon, but the vendor sent me an ND4 instead. Looks like the sticker on the back says ND8 but the filter and card in the plastic box say it's an ND4.

Before I go through the hassle of trying to exchange this... if I'm also taking with me to Mexico a circular polarizer with me that will likely cut light by a stop or 2, and this ND4 is 2 stops cut... would I actually be better off keeping the ND4 that was sent by mistake if I don't want to spend the dough on a vari-ND? Or, will I regret not swapping out this ND4 for the ND8 that I originally ordered?

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Sure, I get that. But so far... it appears there's no difference in performance at all. Did not claim it was any "problem". But, I do think I'm going to return one of the 64GB cards since I have several 16-32GB class 10 cards that are working just fine.

​For the GH2 it was a reliability problem if you got anything else than the SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC 64GB 95MB/s Class 10 UHS-I. Still shooting with the GH2 from time to time, so I kinda still stick with those cards. Also, because they handle 4K just fine as well I can keep using 'em throughout cameras. I haven't had the need for something U3 class yet. Could well be that the FZ1000 does fine enough with lower specs cards, although, I'm not sure how thoroughly you've checked your footage for dropped frames and such, but it never hurts to be on the safe side of things of course... and keep yourself futureready. I'm not expecting the FZ1000 suddenly to do RAW recording, but I do have the GH4 as well, and who knows, maybe for V-LOG stuff (2015 Q1 FW Update?) cheap cards won't do the trick anymore.

Ordered an ND8 Neutral density filter off Amazon, but the vendor sent me an ND4 instead. Looks like the sticker on the back says ND8 but the filter and card in the plastic box say it's an ND4.

Before I go through the hassle of trying to exchange this... if I'm also taking with me to Mexico a circular polarizer with me that will likely cut light by a stop or 2, and this ND4 is 2 stops cut... would I actually be better off keeping the ND4 that was sent by mistake if I don't want to spend the dough on a vari-ND? Or, will I regret not swapping out this ND4 for the ND8 that I originally ordered?

​I have recently back this Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/breakthrough/x-series-traction-filters for the ND3 and ND6 (77mm to use with step rings for fitting anything with smaller threads). Been actually using a variable ND filter before, just for the sake of being convenient and making slight adjustments on exposure on the fly. But since it works with two polarizing filters cancelling eachother out to get a darker image, there are certain side-effects... Like you said, if you get something a bit less powerful for blocking light, you can always combine it with an additional ND (or a CPL). So, Imma try that. You also gotta mind brands. There were a few topics recently about ND filters. Perhaps you might want to look 'em up for more information/opinions (e.g. http://www.eoshd.com/comments/topic/7384-gh4-variable-nd-recomendation/ & http://www.eoshd.com/comments/topic/7522-all-i-want-for-christmas-is-you33-heliopan/?do=findComment&comment=77894 ). ;)

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