Panasonic has entered the premium superzoom market with the announcement of the Lumix FZ1000. Its a big-bodied camera but with equally big features it's sure to give even the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 a run for its money.
The concept of the Panasonic FZ1000 is fairly simple: take a large 1-inch 20.1-megapixel sensor, wrap a 25-400mm f/2.8-4.0 equivalent around it and then throw in as much top-spec tech from the top-of-the-line Lumix range as possible.
If you've been contemplating buying a serious camera then the FZ1000 is the all-in-one solution. It's not going to slip into a back pocket by any means, but its mixture of wide-angle and medium-zoom is unlike pretty much anything else on the market. There is the Sony RX10, as mentioned, but the Panasonic's lens offers double the reach. If you want top image quality, greater control over image capture than a standard superzoom and yet still an ample zoom then the FZ1000 could be the model for you.
A lot of the tech inside is pinched from the top-spec Lumix GH4 too. The 49-area autofocus system, for example, includes full-area AF across the entire screen and an array of focus modes, including pinpoint focus for maximum accuracy. Sometimes it goes one better: sensitivity to -4EV means focusing in low-light should be no problem at all.
With a built-in 2,359k-dot OLED viewfinder and 3-inch, 921k-dot tilt-angle viewfinder you'll be able to look onto the world from almost any angle. A raft of function buttons and physical mode dials make light work of getting to the settings you need, while a physical lens ring can be used to control zoom or manual focus via the flick of a switch.
If you're into video capture then the FZ1000 is the first "compact" camera to offer 4K capture at 30fps; it's even possible to extract 8MP stills from the footage. If 1080p is more your thing then 100fps capture options are available which makes for ideal slow-motion playback.
Elsewhere there's Wi-Fi, GPS, 12fps burst shooting at full resolution, 1/4000th sec mechanical shutter (1/16,000th sec if using the electronic one) and plenty more. Indeed there's so much to mention why not read our full hands-on preview of the Panasonic FZ1000 that we were lucky enough to use for the day ahead of today's announcement? Here's what we made of it:
The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 will be available from mid July, priced £750. Pre-orders will received an additional battery and carry case without needing to part with a penny more.