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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap at Twice the Price., 11 Aug 2014
By 
S. Broadbent "cyberspaceexpress" (Devon) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Panasonic DMC-FZ1000EB Lumix Bridge Camera (25-400mm LEICA DC Lens, 20.1MP) (Electronics)
For health and fitness reasons I sold my Nikon equipment and decided to get a high end "Bridge" camera, a one size fits all solution, about a year ago.
I have spent that year trying to find a camera that comes close to replacing a DSLR and the lenses etc.
Finally along comes the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000.
The Killer selling point for me was the 25mm to 400mm lens.
This zoom range is sufficient for almost every event and purpose.
However in addition there is a switchable digital zoom option in two stages, either increasing the range to 800mm (really high quality images as well) or then up to 1600mm.
The 1600mm is usable but for this you will need a tripod.
There is an image stabilisation system again with two settings.
ISO ranges from 100 to beyond 12,000. So far I have found no discernible noise at 3200 iso which allows for very dim light shooting handheld photography.
The Lumix has a 20 mega-pixel sensor and the lens quality is simply stunning with an aperture range of f2.8 to f8.
I was standing on the bank of the river Exe when I shot a lady walking on the other side. She was carrying a paperback and when I enlarged the image on my computer I could read that the author was Wilbur Smith, and it was sharp.
The controls are intuitive and come to hand easily.
The Lumix is light and easy to hold thanks to the grip design.
It is the size of a starter DSLR.
What is also incredible is the ability to change and adjust almost every conceivable setting and function, even more than my previous Nikon.
For example you can tailor the 49 point auto focus system to your exact requirements.
The Lumix has a range of special effect filters built in which replaces my older Cokin filter system. All I have bought in addition is an UV skylight, ND and Polarising filters (62mm)
Another feature that has bowled me over is the "Panoramic Image" setting.
This works best with a tripod and the camera tells you via the monitor which way to pan. After pressing the shutter release, Pan slowly in the set direction (You can set the direction in the menu), the camera then shoots multiple images and stitches them together. The finished picture is a seriously impressive Panorama.
It looks like one shot taken with a specialist lens, amazing.
This camera takes simply stunning images and is a joy to use.
Then comes the Video, 4K Ultra HD.
I set the camera to shoot in the MP4 format and the quality of picture is fantastic. I would say broadcast quality.
Build quality is good, the body is plastic not alloy like the Nikon and so it is not weather sealed.
But this is not a problem for me.
All in all I could go on all day about this brilliant camera.
Battery life is good and full charge time surprisingly short.
The only critical thing i would say is if you want to shoot in RAW mode virtually the only software that can process the files is "Silkypix" supplied by
Panasonic on disc with the camera. This is a limited image processor that i find difficult to make work for me. Frankly it is the worst Photo Editing Software i have ever used. Fortunately the best quality JPEGS are more than enough and can be processed by any editing software, i use Aperture. But if RAW is really important to you then you need to find software that can do the job. I believe Adobe Photoshop CS works but is expensive. Other than that we all have to wait for a plugin or upgrade to come out. (I am a MAC user, and therefore cannot comment on the Windows versions.) Also you can shoot Raw and JPEG simultaneously which helps.
I do not miss my DSLR gear and have not found myself limited with the Panasonic.
In summary I can honestly say that I would have been happy to pay over a thousand pounds for this camera.
At £749.00 it is unbelievable value and I would say without a doubt, buy this camera. I have now come to think that this is the finest camera i have ever purchased, i predict this model will be a world beater, it has set a new benchmark for consumer photography.
If you want a high end bridge camera I cannot think there is a better model out there.
Especially at this price.
P.S. since writing i have added two pictures showing the scope of the lens / zoom. One Panoramic and one of a Police helicopter high in the sky. Click on "See All Product Description" and then images to find them, again i really hope this can help the decision making process.
P.P.S Apple have released a plug-in for RAW files on the FZ1000, 24/09/14 RAW now works in Aperture, Hooray!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic all-rounder with 4K recording, 21 Sep 2014
By 
D. Prescott (Leysdown, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic DMC-FZ1000EB Lumix Bridge Camera (25-400mm LEICA DC Lens, 20.1MP) (Electronics)
I've had several cameras over the past few years, all of which have been Olympus superzooms. I was a bit disappointed with the last one of those (an SP820) as the picture quality didn't seem as good as the ones I'd had before. Thus when it came to replace the SP820 I looked elsewhere - and this camera immediately caught my eye.

The headline for me is the 4K video support, something which at the time of writing is a unique feature for this category of camera. It doesn't disappoint either, with 4K videos looking remarkably sharp and displaying a distinct lack of MPEG compression artefacts. Image stabilisation is disabled when shooting 4K, so a support or tripod is useful. A side effect of supporting 4K is that you can record at 100fps in regular HD, meaning you can film some fantastic slow-motion videos.

This camera has a much larger sensor than the ultrazooms I'd had before and with a larger aperture it means the picture quality is much improved compared to what I'm used to - and depth-of-field shots are far easier to take. I gave the camera a thorough testing at a wolf centre and although the zoom can't match what I had before (16x versus 40x) there's no chromatic abberation whatsoever at full zoom - no purple fringing.

There are some useful modes too, such as the "freeze animal action" mode, which detects a moving subject (ie a wolf) and adjusts the focus and shutter speed etc for you. There's a small green cross-hair which appears when the camera is tracking the subject and yes, it really does work - I was able to get in-focus shots of the wolves in mid-run, something which was nigh on impossible with the old camera.

The viewfinder screen is suberb, it's bright when outdoors and comes with the ability to rotate and swivel it to suit. The OLED viewfinder actually made others exclaim out loud when I showed it to them - it's like looking through the viewfinder of an SLR rather than staring at a tiny screen. There are a plethora of dials and custom function buttons, meaning you can tie commonly used settings to buttons rather than having to dig through menus. There's also a manual focus / zoom ring, much like you'd find on an SLR.

To get the best from this camera you'll need a UHS-Class 3 memory card, with a 32GB card giving around 40 minutes in total of 4K filming (there's a hard limit of 30 minutes per clip though).

The camera supports wifi for transfer of files, although it only works with workgroup computers rather than those on a domain.

All in all, this is a world away from the Olympus superzooms I'd had before. The camera has all the features you could want (including full manual and RAW support) and it has some cutting-edge features too, such as 4K, wifi and the ability to be remote-controlled by a phone app. Highly recommended!
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of both worlds ?, 14 Aug 2014
By 
Antoine Camilleri - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Panasonic DMC-FZ1000EB Lumix Bridge Camera (25-400mm LEICA DC Lens, 20.1MP) (Electronics)
Panasonic has once again pushed the boundaries by incorporating 4K video in a bridge camera. Now referred to as the "Ultimate Hybrid Camera" the FZ1000 has set a new benchmark.

So does this camera live up to the hype?
There is no quick answer unfortunately. So I will try to give an in depth review hoping to help you make a more informed decision. Update: Graham Houghton has some great instructional videos on youtube.
The FZ1000 is such a pleasure to handle, capable of taking stunning photos and videos. It is not perfect and certain trade off's have been made to contain the price, however I honestly feel that this is presently the best bridge camera money can buy. It sports a 1 inch sensor, arguably the same one found on the Sony RX10 and the flagship Sony AX100 !!

CAMERA GENERAL:
The FZ1000 is as large as a DSLR and weighs a tad over 860g. Unlike what some online reviews claim, it is not made of metal but ABS plastic. I was initially disappointed to find that it does feel a bit plasticky, due to the fact that I was expecting that metal body, however it makes up for this in other departments.

When I reviewed the brilliant FZ200 a couple of years ago I was simply blown away by it's brilliant EVF. The FZ1000 sports nearly twice that amount ... a staggering 2,359,000 pixels!! It offers 100% coverage and absolutely no lag whatsoever. Basically it is identical to the one found on the GH4, to which this camera bears a striking resemblance. Rubber padding around the EVF itself makes for very comfortable shooting experience. Whenever possible I use the EVF to compose my photos and hence give it a lot of weight when evaluating cameras.
A 3 inch fully articulating 920K LCD display comes to the rescue for those awkward shooting angles and selfies. It is very bright and usable in direct sunlight.
The large body means that the button are optimally spaced and the ergonomic thumb wheel comes in so handy to control various functions. A large 62mm lens sports white notches to indicate the zoom extension.

PERFORMANCE
I have used this camera on a day outing and was continuously looking around for things to photograph as it is such an enjoyable experience to handle such a gem of a camera. Focus is truly lightning fast, not to mention the accurate tracking of moving objects. The camera tracked birds spot on using single shot. I did not have much success with tracking tiny birds in 12fps burst mode. (Larger objects and birds were dead accurate though).

The camera can focus from 3cm on wide to 1m when fully zoomed, great for macro work. And even though the lens is not a fixed aperture, it only drops to f4.0 at the tele end thanks to the large 62mm bright lens. The 5 axis OIS works remarkably well in still and video mode and I was able to capture some great smooth footage without the need for a tripod. However once you go beyond 16X zoom you would understandably need to use one.

PHOTO QUALITY:
The photo quality this camera is able to capture is simply amazing with great colour saturation and sharpness. Dynamic range is very good, retaining incredible shadow and highlight detail thanks to the iDynamic modes. A point worthy of mention is the high level of sharpness the lens maintains when zooming.
You will be hard pressed to tell the difference between photos taken with this camera and an entry level DSLR when shooting at low ISO settings. It has to be said though that the claimed Type 1" sensor actually measures 13.3mm x 8.8mm, which is significantly smaller than APS-C found on crop factor DSLR cameras.

VIDEO:
I am not used to doing video with a still camera style body. Yet I was pleasantly surprised to find how easy it is to get used to shooting video with the FZ1000. It also proved to be such an enjoyable experience and the results are simply jaw dropping!! Once again this is the same codec (MP4) and bitrate found on the GH4.
Shooting in 4K means approx. 4 times the resolution of 1080 HD. You can grab 8MP stills from your footage! Yes, every frame is 8MP... incredible. However this means that you would need to invest in large capacity, fast SD cards.
Another feature which I simply love is the high speed video. You can shoot 1080p at 120fps and 720p at 240 fps!!

Likes:
* Premium LEICA DC Lens
* 20.1MP 1 inch (113.2mm x 8.8mm) High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and New Venus Engine
* Bright F2.8-4.0 / 25-400mm (35mm equivalent) 16X optical zoom
* Great Image quality. Pin sharp, crisp and vibrant with excellent dynamic range
* Impressive low light performance in still mode
* Outstanding 4K video quality
* High speed HD video: 120fps at 1080p and 240fps at 720p - Great for slow motion playback
* Excellent 5 axis optical image stabilisation
* 100% EVF coverage sporting 2.36 million pixels
* Focus peaking / Zebra found on much more expensive gear
* Timelapse Recording and multi exposure on same frame
* In Camera RAW Image processing
* 49 point AF system resulting in very fast focus
* A ton of customisation options
* NFC (although oddly placed on the bottom) / Wi-Fi enabling data transfer and control of the camera wirelessly via the Panasonic App

Dislikes:
- Crop factor when shooting in 4K. The widest field of view drops from 25mm to around 35mm
- Noisy O.I.S. evident when shooting video in quiet environments
- Zoom ring on lens results in jerky motion
- Small capacity battery

What I would have liked to see on the FZ1000:
○ Headphone jack to monitor sound levels as on the Sony RX10
○ ND filters and build quality as on the Sony RX10
○ Smoother operation of the zoom when controlled via the barrel zoom ring. The lens tends to move in steps and is electronically coupled rather than mechanically; not a problem when using the zoom rocker on the shutter release button.
○ SD card slot on the side (Tripod work). 4K video chews through memory!!

Considerations and Conclusion:
1. The Sony RX10 has dropped in price considerably since the release of the FZ1000 and although it does not offer 4K, some might understandably go Sony's route.
2. This is the first generation of bridge cameras offering 4K video. Other manufacturers will definitely hop onto the 4K wagon in the very near future.

I am thoroughly impressed with the performance and versatility of this incredible feat of engineering. As described it does have its shortcomings, which might be a deal breaker for some.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Compromise?, 28 Nov 2014
By 
Hakon Soreide "Gallery Hakon" (Inverness, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Panasonic DMC-FZ1000EB Lumix Bridge Camera (25-400mm LEICA DC Lens, 20.1MP) (Electronics)
It's perhaps not a perfect camera, but it might just be the perfect compromise within the limitations of today's technology and at this price point.

I have been eying superzoom cameras since the Panasonic FZ30, though I felt that the image quality with prevalent noise even at base ISO (80) wasn't what I wanted, and so I went down the route of a DSLR (The Canon 350D) instead, later upgrading to Canon 5D before moving to Micro Four Thirds and via various compact cameras along the way too.

Lately, I have enjoyed the very compact size of the Panasonic GM1, so why would I go back to something big like the FZ1000? Well, if I were to get the same kind of reach - and lens brightness - out of that compact system, I would easily have had a kit weighing the same or even more than the FZ1000 - and I'd have had to change lenses. A small system camera is also not very well suited for long lenses, being very unbalanced and therefore harder to hold steady at long focal lengths.

The FZ1000 ticks a lot of boxes for me. I enjoy taking pictures of the occasional bird or squirrel, or going to the zoo when the 400mm (equivalent) will get me as close as I can usually wish, and I love picking out detail in buildings and monuments that are too far away to reach with "leg focusing". I also like wider shots, taking in landscapes, trees, urban environments. In short, the 25-400mm range is perfect. For me.

I was also surprised how sharp the lens is. In the past I've been known occasionally to pooh-pooh the 1" sensor twinned with 20 megapixels as the theoretical limit of how much detail you can get out of it is so much less than 20 megapixels - or so I thought when I saw the results from the Sony RX100 a few years ago. I was also frustrated with the dynamic range of that camera. I still think a 1" sensor would be better at 16 megapixels.

The FZ1000, however, holds its own rather well, pictures looking good even when viewed 100% on the screen with good detail, much due as well to the excellent lens, a lens that, with its range and brightness would have been impossible only a few years ago. Recent advances in lens production technology have made such lenses as the Panasonic LX100's 24-75mm F1.7-2.8 lens possible, and now also the FZ1000's lens. Multiple extra dispersion aspherical elements, multiple moving groups - it is a quiet revolution that has been going on behind the scenes that we now can reap the benefits of as photographers.

Also, its 3cm macro focusing ability (at 25mm) would have been unheard of for a lens made for such a large sensor a few years ago. One can also get a decent magnification ratio at 400mm and at the 1m minimum focusing distance, which I find a lot more comfortable to use than the 3cm macro and also offers some control of background softening.

I was not expecting the 400mm end to be as sharp as it is. Not after seeing the disappointingly soft long-end performances of Panasonic's 45-200mm and 100-300mm lenses for micro four thirds, but I was pleasantly surprised. At 25mm, the corners are a bit soft - as one would expect - but not worryingly so, and quite a decent performance for a lens with such a long range. I have not quantified it yet, but from the photos I've taken so far, I'd guess the 70-300mm range should offer optimum sharpness when needed.

Ergonomics are excellent. When you hold the camera for the first time, part of the body actually feels hollow. They simply don't need all the space in there for electronics and mechanics, but it is perfectly sized to balance with the lens, the hand grip is comfortable, and it's easy to hold the camera steady, all the other buttons and dials seem well placed and easy to reach. Coming from smaller cameras over the last five years or so, it's refreshing to see a bigger control layout again.

Despite its size, it is hands down the most comfortable camera I have worn. Because it is perfectly balanced with the lens, the camera doesn't tilt forward when hanging from your neck, meaning that you get the nice, wide surface of the camera back dangling against your body, and in area relative to weight that means less of an impact than you might get from a smaller camera. Smaller cameras are also more likely to bounce around and strike you with their edge - not the most comfortable. Also, it annoys me when a camera jumps and twists when I walk briskly, meaning I have to hold it to avoid its moving too much. With the FZ1000 I have no such problem. With a wide strap, which is what I've always used for bigger cameras, it surprisingly feels lighter and more comfortable even than my diminutive Panasonic GM1 to wear. I was not expecting that.

I have heard some people lament the absence of a mechanically coupled zoom. Starting out using the very wide and comfortable focus/zoom ring on the lens, I quickly realised that it is faster and easier zooming with the compact-style zoom ring around the shutter button, leaving the lens ring for manual focus when needed. Given the complex design of the lens, presumably also using multiple moving elements like the LX100, I presume that a zoom-by-wire is probably the easiest design, and it probably saves a lot of weight and size too as a mechanically coupled version of the lens would have had to be considerably bigger and heavier.

I have almost got used to it already, but when manual focusing, it only moves focus when you turn the ring a certain speed. I presume they did this to avoid losing focus easily just by bumping into the ring, but the response should have been user adjustable as it is a bit on the careful side, making fine focusing just a tad more difficult. This would be firmware upgradeable, though, so one could hope that Panasonic lets the user decide how they want it at some point in the future.

A word about the eye-level finder. Stunning. Sharp, very high resolution, and I noticed no lag as I moved it around. Of the cameras I have used so far with digital finders, it came the closest to the feel of an SLR. I tend only to use it on bright days when it is hard to see the screen. I'll therefore be using it more in summer than these days.

The Panasonic menu system, while still being the Panasonic menu system, felt more intuitive than I have seen it in previous implementations. I found the features I needed quickly and easily, as well as discovering some I didn't expect to see:

For monochrome shooting, it's possible to turn the screen image black and white. I think that's a brilliant idea. I also noted that there is a function for zooming back to where the zoom was when you switch the camera back on - perfect for birding or wildlife shooting when you'd be at the long end all the time, but you'd not want to walk around with the camera on and the lens extended all the time.

The stabiliser needs mentioning. It's 5-axis and my experience so far is that most of my 1/60 shots at 400mm equivalent come out sharp, which I'd call excellent performance. I even did a shot braced against a door frame at 1/4 and 400mm that came out sharp. As a photographer who likes taking pictures indoors without flash, this is good news.

ISO performance is good. I'd not hesitate using it up to 1600. It has a tad of nice-looking film-like grainy noise at 1600, but I actually like that. 3200 is fine too, but 6400 starts getting a bit too noisy for my taste. This is all with raw photography, of course. I'd rather be in control of detail and noise myself than leave it up to the in-camera jpeg engine, which albeit seems to do a decent job up to ISO 1600 when I accidentally left the camera in the default jpeg mode as I started using it. Better than I have seen from previous iterations of Panasonic jpegs.

My old M43 system is at least 1 stop better in the noise department, but FZ1000's stabiliser and ergonomics make up for that shortcoming many times over.

Dynamic range, though I have not done any extensive testing, seems good, and pretty much on par with what I've come to expect from Panasonic M43 cameras since the GH2, which is quite good considering the smaller sensor of the FZ1000.

I will not say much about 4K and video shooting. I am a stills photographer. I am sure others will cover this extensively in their reviews, especially on YouTube.

Yes, it's a sizable camera. But I think for many users, such as myself, it is - at the moment - the perfect compromise between size, range, lens quality and brightness, features, and price: many people seem to forget that to get a combination of lenses of similar quality to cover the same range, or even just this one lens sold separately for a different camera system, you might easily have had to pay the same of not more than what this camera costs. As such, it is a brilliant deal and excellent value for money.

Highly recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go for it!, 3 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panasonic DMC-FZ1000EB Lumix Bridge Camera (25-400mm LEICA DC Lens, 20.1MP) (Electronics)
Although all the reviews I read praised this camera, I was a little sceptical in view of its comparatively small sensor. I have not been over-impressed with the results from micro four-thirds and this sensor is smaller. I needn't have worried though. I took it for a test run this morning and was blown away with the results, which are hard to distinguish from those I get from my Nikon SLR. The pictures are sharp and well exposed with a great dynamic range. Even pictures taken at full telephoto are also sharp and contrasty. Video is very sharp and the image stabiliser works very well even at maximum zoom.

The only possible drawback with the FZ1000, depending on what you want, is that this is quite a large camera. It is the same size as an entry level SLR with kit lens, but it is not as heavy. Try getting a 25mm to 400mm lens for an SLR though!

I can thoroughly recommend this camera.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST BRIDGE CAMERAS I HAVE EVER USED !!!!!!, 23 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Panasonic DMC-FZ1000EB Lumix Bridge Camera (25-400mm LEICA DC Lens, 20.1MP) (Electronics)
I hardly ever write reviews but thought I would this time,I am so delighted with this camera I've only had it 3 days the photos are so sharp due to the 20.1 pixel,( The picks are still good even with 4x digital) , the view finder is also so sharp.
Haven't even started playing with the 4k video yet !!! Will let you know later. :-))
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is a great camera. Previously have used a FZ38 which was ..., 12 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Panasonic DMC-FZ1000EB Lumix Bridge Camera (25-400mm LEICA DC Lens, 20.1MP) (Electronics)
It is a great camera. Previously have used a FZ38 which was easier to handle.
This camera is bulkier and heavily. You might need a quadropod, tripod, monopod or even a string pod
to handle. Seriously it can be held without too much trouble 'though like any very long zoom.
it may well need a little support at the far end of the zoom.
What it can do makes it very versatile. There must be quite a bit of
computer chip power inside. The good instruction book helps in setting it up.
There are few, if any, situations/scenes it does not cover well..
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