Panasonic 4K-Capable FZ-1000 Superzoom May Be the Sony RX10’s Worst Nightmare


Late last night Panasonic added an exciting new camera to the superzoom category. Dubbed the Lumix FZ-1000, a more accurate name might have been “Sony RX10 Competitor” or, if you’re being bold, “Sony RX10 Killer.”

Now, we wouldn’t go so far as that second statement, but the intention is clear. This is a bridge camera that sports a 1-inch 20.1-megapixel sensor (supposedly the same one from Sony’s RX100M3), longer reaching 16x 25-400mm equivalent f/2.8-4.0 lens, 3-inch 921k-dot swiveling LCD, 2.36M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder, built-in WiFi and NFC, max ISO of 12,800 and, the headliner on the spec sheet, 4K 30fps video capability.

This is a potent superzoom that is clearly going after the exact same market as the Sony RX10, whose video capabilities, larger-than-average sensor and bright lens were much-lauded. And while we realize the RX10 holds a constant f/2.8 aperture, it tops out at 200mm equivalent, not 400mm.

Here are a few pictures of the potent Panasonic bridge cam:






The big feature here is definitely 4K capability, and Panasonic is hoping that this will give beginner videographers a cheaper entry point into the Panasonic family than the impressive GH4 offers. But what is that price point? The RX10’s MSRP is $1,300, so this slightly more capable bridge cam should cost about the same, right? Not so much.

The FZ-1000, which will arrive on store shelves in late July, will cost consumers only $900 (pre-order here). And with that, we’ll let you ponder whether or not this shooter deserves that “RX10 killer” designation some publications are throwing around.

  • palmbook

    I understand that concept. Because F/stop denotes the light falling on a certain amount of area. F/stop * sensor size on FF is obviously greater than APS-C.

    I am trying to point out several things here.

    1. Image noise is obviously affected by sensor size. However, the relationship is not linear. 2x crop factors do not necessarily mean 2 stops (1/4x the sensor area) worse than FF. It can be more. It can be less.

    2. When we expose a piece of light-sensitive material, we do exposure metering. The purpose is to ensure that we get the amount of light per “certain area” correctly. That is why it is possible to use the same shutter-speed/F-stop combination across all films and sensors with the same sensitivity.

    This is probably the primary reason why we keep F/stop the same way. People need to learn these basics. It is far more important than DoF or noise.

    3. The world has had photography for over a century. I personally shoot both digital and film. I also shoot APS, 35mm, 120 film, and 4×5 sheets with film. I have never seen anyone making that “F/stop equivalence” statements, even though the noise and DoF differ much greater from 35mm to 4×5 than from APS-C to FF sensors.

    4. The difference in DoF, in fact, arises from the greater distance APS-C shooters are from the subject than FF shooters. If you place the same lens on both an FF and an APS-C camera, take the pictures of the same subject from the exactly same distance, and use the same aperture; once you crop the FF picture to match the field-of-view of APS-C, you will notice that DoF is the same. Therefore, the difference in DoF is not from sensor size itself directly. This has been experimented a lot ten years ago.

    5. There are other ways to say the same thing that would be much easier to understand and cause less confusion …

  • palmbook

    That would be correct. Because APS-C sensors tend to have smaller pixels (Because it packs more pixels on smaller sensor), each pixel gets less photon than pixels on FF sensor with the same megapixels.

    However, if we primarily concern ourselves with high ISO noise, we can see that APS-C sensors and FF sensors with roughly the same pixel size (such as Nikon D7000 and Nikon D800) have about the same amount of noise at 100%. You can look this on DxOMark (be sure to select “screen” mode, because “print” mode will resize D800 down) and DPreview.

    Also, APS-C with newer technology tend to have less noise than old FF.

  • ReinoldFZ .

    Ok, let’s see. In first place I’ve to say why I believe what I believe: I use a cheap 2mpx cell phone camera, used an HP compact with little sensor, a bridge Olympus SP-550uz, a Sony R1 aps-c sensor, and a Canon EF 135mm film camera (what bad marketing calls, hehe, “full frame”) In all of them I’ve never need to change the f-stop to compensate the difference sensor of film area. Do you have the same experience?

    Now, when you say “As soon as you attach a FF lense to APS-C body – the situation changes dramaticaly. The whole world states – the focal length and so the field of view changes” I prefer to believe to Cambridge in colour when it says: “A common rule of thumb for estimating how fast the exposure needs to be for a given focal length is the one over focal length rule. This states that for a 35 mm camera, the exposure time needs to be at least as fast as one over the focal length in seconds. In other words, when using a 200 mm focal length on a 35 mm camera, the exposure time needs to be at least 1/200 seconds (…) For users of digital cameras with cropped sensors, one needs to convert into a 35 mm equivalent focal length” And besides I am afraid that you are wrong, he focal length doesn’t changes, just the field of view product of the size sensor, so a 16mm lens in aps-c is equivalent to 24 mm in full frame for the field of view but in medium format, 135mm, aps-c or compact size it’s still a 16mm focal length with different fields of view related to size sensor. Please review your concept here.

    I can’t find the source of your formula “”focal length / max apperture diameter = f-stop” Wikipedia says “In optics, the f-number (sometimes called focal ratio, f-ratio, f-stop, or relative aperture[1]) of an optical system is the ratio of the lens’s focal length to the diameter of the entrance pupil.[2] It is a dimensionless number that is a quantitative measure of lens speed, and an important concept in photography” It’s the same I said sourcing with Cambridgeincolour, f-stop is related to lenses, no with sensors with your formula that I thing applies to another concept.

    The change of DOF is related mainly to sensor size, I know because I shoot landscape and meanwhile more bigger the sensor, without pc lenses, to me is harder to achieve everything in focus and even I have to use focus stacking. But f 4.0, for experience, is the same exposure with the HP, Olympus or the Sony, just changes the DOF so, again, I know that what Cambridgeincolour says is the truth:

    “Note that focal length has not been listed as influencing depth of field, contrary to popular belief. (…)the total depth of field is virtually* constant with focal length!” and “Depth of field also appears shallower for SLR cameras than for compact digital cameras, because SLR cameras require a longer focal length to achieve the same field of view” a 16mm aps-c lens is 16mm too in 135mm and when a lens has a wider angle it has more depth of field, so it’s clearer why the dof seems shallower with bigger sensors or film cameras.
    Again if you have sources and experiences to back your argument I’d like to read it to change my opinion if that’s the truth. I think you are confusing aperture (lenses) with dof (size sensor and focal length)

  • Ondrej Vranka

    thank you very much for that “in depth” elaboration! I appreciate.