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Panasonic Announces Consumer 4K Superzoom

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

This week, Panasonic announced a follow up 4K camera to the GH4, for under $1,000, which will be sure to make ultra high def geeks take notice. But while the Lumix FZ1000 does indeed shoot in ultra high definition, it may be hampered by the fact that it’s a super zoom without the ability to swap out lenses and can only record at 30 fps. But hey, we’re talking consumer grade here.


Here’s a quick breakdown of the specs -

  • 20.1 megapixel 1″-type MOS sensor
  • 25-400mm equiv. F2.8-4 Leica lens
  • 5-axis ‘Power OIS’ stabilization
  • XGA OLED electronic viewfinder with 2.36M dots
  • 3-inch fully-articulated LCD with 920K dots
  • 4K (3840?2160) video at 30p, 100Mbps MP4
  • 1080p at up to 60p, 28Mbps (MP4 or AVCHD)
  • 120fps quarter-speed 1080p
  • 3.5mm microphone socket
  • Clean HDMI output
  • Zebra pattern and focus peaking
  • Wi-Fi with NFC
  • 360 shots per charge (CIPA standard)

While it’s a drag that this super zoom-only camera lets users rely on one lens choice, the focal length is fairly vast, at the equivalent of 25-400mm. And even though it shoots only 30 frames per second in 4K, it does so at 100Mbps and can shoot 1080p at 60p, and even 120 fps at quarter speed 1080p (nice slow-mo). If you need 24p, you can always use Twixtor to convert the 30p video to 24 fps.

The FZ1000?also has an external mic jack, nice feature if you want to plug in a Rode Video Mic. It also has a 5-axis power optical image stabilization, but sadly only in 1080p and below. Once you go into 4K, you lose all IS completely. But at least users can also control zoom with a five-step zoom control for smoother zooming in and out.

WiFi with NFC gives shooters the ability to offload their images to a smartphone or tablet wirelessly through Panasonic’s dedicated app, and can shoot?up to 12 shots per second in burst mode at full resolution. Panasonic even tossed in a clean HDMI out, which points to it wanting to court wedding photographers and?corporate video?types, I guess.

But what may be its best feature, the FZ1000 sells for $899. That’s a very tempting price for a 4K camera that definitely has the?GH4′s influence on it through the Venus IV engine they share, as well as the DFD focusing feature.?For that price, I think I’d rather stick to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, change my lenses and deal with a Raw workflow. Because whatever this camera gives, it also takes away with its quirks that short-change the ultra high def experience.

From a filmmaking perspective, I think shooters are better served saving a little extra money and picking up either the afore mentioned BMPCC, or if you have to have 4K, at an affordable price, then the GH4 or Sony A7S. But if you’re one of those early adopters who just has to have a killer vacation camera, then hey, go for it. But remember, you can do 2.5K on your iPhone with UltraKam.

But that’s just me.


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