Panasonic has released what looks to be a "bridge" camera between point and shoot and "complex, bulky DSLRs" called the DMC-FZ 1000. The fixed-lens 25-400mm f/2.8-4 on a 20.1MP 1-inch sensor performs up to ISO 25600 and 50 fps continuous shooting, and features 4K shooting at 30 fps, 1080 at 120 fps, 720 at 240fps and 480 at 360 fps all for under $900.
The new camera could prove to be quite popular with a wide range of shooters, offering 4K in such a small package. Some notable features:
20.1MP 1" High Sensitivity MOS Sensor
The large 20.1MP 1" High Sensitivity MOS Sensor enables high-resolution still image and 4K video recording with native sensitivity to ISO 12800, which can be further expanded to ISO 25600. The sensor and processor combination also avail notable speed throughout the camera, including the ability to record up to 50 fps using an electronic shutter, 12 fps with a mechanical shutter, or 7 fps with a mechanical shutter and continuous AF.
Benefitting a hybrid workflow, users can switch between recording 4K movies and still imagery instantly and there is also the ability to make in-camera 8MP screen grabs from 4K movies.
Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 16x Zoom Lens
Benefitting the image capabilities of the FZ1000, an expansive 16x optical zoom Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens is built-in, and provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 25-400mm with a maximum f/2.8-4 maximum aperture. The optical design comprises 15 elements in 11 groups, which includes five aspherical elements with eight aspherical surfaces and four extra-low dispersion elements to reduce chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range. To further extend the effective range of the zoom lens, both Extra Optical Zoom (EZ) and Intelligent Zoom technologies work to increase the reach with minimal image degradation.
Helping to maintain steady handling with the long zoom lens when recording full HD and HD movies, HYBRID O.I.S. image stabilization is available and minimizes the appearance of camera shake. This image stabilization system compensates for camera movement across five different axes-horizontal, vertical, axis of rotation, vertical rotation, and horizontal rotation-to benefit handheld recording. Additionally, a Level Shot Function works to detect an image's horizon line and maintain it even if the camera is tilted.
4K QFHD Video Recording
Benefitting from the 1" MOS image sensor, The FZ1000 is able to record 4K QFHD (3840 x 2160) video at 30p with a high bit rate of 100Mbps in the MP4 file format. Full HD 1080 video can also be recorded-at 60p, 30p, 24p, or 60i-in the AVCHD format, as well as full HD, HD, and SD formats in the MP4 format. Additionally, high speed video recording is possible at 1080p, 720p, and 480p with sensor output frame rates of 120 fps, 240 fps, and 360 fps, respectively. When recording 4K video, use of a UHS-3 memory card is recommended and continuous recording up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds is possible.
A built-in stereo zoom microphone records audio in either AAC or Dolby formats and a zoom noise reduction system, as well as an Auto Wind Cut function, helps to reduce background and internal camera noise during recording. Furthermore, a 3.5mm microphone input is available for utilizing an optional external mic to garner even high quality, more controlled sound.
Light Speed AF with LUMIX DFD Technology
Incorporated within the Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens is a linear AF motor, which works to achieve fast and precise focusing performance utilizing LUMIX DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology. This high speed focusing system shortens overall focusing time by comparing two images with different sharpness levels and then determines accurate subject distance information. At the wide end of the zoom range, AF times up to 0.09 sec. are possible and at the telephoto end, an AF time of 0.17 sec. is achieved.
When using autofocus, both Face and Eye Detection functions can be used to base focus on recognized aspects of a subject, and general subject Tracking AF can also be used to maintain sharpness on moving subjects. Furthermore, 49-area focus, with flexible and scalable single area settings, and Pinpoint AF can also to determine focus across the image. When working with manual focus, Focus Peaking is available to more objectively determine critical focus by highlighting sharp edges of contrast.
Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity
Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity enables seamless transferring of imagery from the FZ1000 to smartphones and tablets through the use of the Panasonic Image App, which also permits direct sharing to social media sites. Connection between devices is possible using a QR code system or through the use of NFC (Near Field Communication), which allows compatible devices to tap to connect. Linked mobile devices can also be used to geotag imagery in-camera, for plotting to interactive maps, and to remotely monitor and control the camera's zoom, focus, and shutter release from a distance.
The camera is available to pre-order for $898 and is expected to ship by the end of July.