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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap at Twice the Price., 11 Aug 2014
S. Broadbent "cyberspaceexpress" (Exeter, Devon) - See all my reviews
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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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Bridge Camera ?, 14 Aug 2014
Antoine Camilleri - See all my reviews
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?
A quick answer is "Yes". 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 !!

Unlike what some online reviews claim, this camera 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 a 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!! Once again I find myself impressed by the clarity of this incredible viewfinder. It also offers 100% coverage and absolutely no lag whatsoever. Basically it is identical to the one found on the GH4 (body only), 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, weighing 831g, means that the button are optimally spaced and the ergonomic thumb wheel comes in so handy to control various functions. It really does feel as though you are handling a DSLR rather than a bridge camera. The large 62mm lens sports white notches to indicate the zoom extension.

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.

The photo quality this camera is able to capture is simply amazing with great colour saturation and sharpness. Dynamic range is as good as it gets, retaining incredible shadow and highlight detail thanks to the iDynamic modes. A point worthy of mention is the level of sharpness the lens maintains when zooming. The detail captured at the 16X zoom end is incredible.
You will be hard pressed to tell the difference between photos taken with this camera and a DSLR when shooting at low ISO settings.

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!!

* Premium LEICA DC Lens
* 20.1MP 1 inch (112mm x 88mm) High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and New Venus Engine
* Bright F2.8-4.0 / 25-400mm (35mm equivalent) 16X optical zoom
* Outstanding Image quality. Pin sharp, crisp and vibrant. Hard to differentiate from a DSLR up to ISO 400
* Impressive low light performance in still mode
* Outstanding 4K video quality at 100mb/s
* 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 contrast detect system resulting in "Light speed" focus
* A ton of customisation options !
* NFC / Wi-Fi enabling data transfer and control of the camera wirelessly via the Panasonic App

- 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

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. This is the first generation of bridge cameras offering 4K video. Other manufacturers will definitely hop onto the 4K wagon, resulting in stiffer competition and hopefully a drop in price.
2. The price of the Sony RX10 has dropped quite a lot since the release of the FZ1000 and some might understandably go Sony's route. However there is no denying that the FZ1000 is truly the "Ultimate Hybrid Camera".

I am thoroughly impressed with the performance and versatility of this incredible feat of engineering.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic all-rounder with 4K recording, 21 Sep 2014
D. Prescott (Leysdown, UK) - See all my reviews
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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7 of 9 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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