Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

Initial impressions based on test shots. Written in 2014.

Panasonic FZ1000 is right now the hottest camera on the planet. I have a principle to avoid anything that is very hot and wait a while to let it cool down. But this time I made an exception and decided to give FZ1000 a go as a replacement and update for Fujifilm X-S1.

Based on about a thousand test shots shot mostly indoors here are my first impressions:

  • FZ1000 is clearly a step up when comparing to Fujifilm X-S1.
  • FZ1000 has the best contrast-based autofocus that I've seen in any camera. It is quite fast and locks to targets even in normal indoor room lighting. I'm anxious to test what it can do in good light and in fast action sports.
  • The burst shooting capabilities of FZ1000 are much better than those of Fujifilm X-S1.
  • The sensor gives rather good results even on ISO 1600 or ISO 3200. I'd say that ISO 1600 is cleaner and has more dynamic range and details than Fujifilm X-S1's ISO 800 has. Of course DSLRs and especially full frame DSLRs like Canon EOS 6D are different beasts what comes to high ISO performance. But FZ1000 is a good upgrade compared to X-S1.
  • The lens is nice! Even at 400 mm it appears to have details and contrast. Compared to this Fujifilm X-S1 is really smudgy at 400 mm and beyond.
  • The build quality is adequate but not superior. It is all plastic. Fujifilm X-S1 feels much better. There is a some sort of motor running whole time even if the stabilizer is off. I think it must still be the stabilizer motor. I wonder how long it will last if it really is running constantly from power on to power off.
  • The camera has both a mechanical shutter and an electronic shutter. I have to study this more but the completely silent electronic shutter seems very interesting. The flash won't work with it, but I don't use flash. I wonder why do I even need a mechanical shutter.
  • Adobe Lightroom 5.6 opens the RAW files without issues.
  • My largest doubt is the electronic zoom. I'd much rather prefer a mechanical zoom like Fujifilm X-S1 has. The electronic zoom feels faster and better than I expected. I still doubt its usefulness in fast action sports. Time will tell. In general low-paced shooting it will be fine.

Please note that I'm a photographer so I have not tested anything related to video and so all the video features like 4K video were not deciding factors for me.