Panasonic dipped its toe again into the world of affordable 4K video this morning, with the LUMIX DMC-FZ1000, which the company is saying is the world’s first digital compact camera with 4K video recording capability.
The Panasonic FZ1000 uses a 1-inch, 20.1-megapixel sensor that’s larger than what you’d find in most compact cameras. It also sports a built-in superzoom lens with an impressive range: a Leica-branded DC Vario-Elmarit 16x optical zoom, that can zoom to the equivalent of 25-400mm. Aperture range on the lens is F/2.8 to F/4.
The FZ1000 is the latest compact superzoom camera to feature a larger sensor and higher end optics, in an effort to appeal to more serious photographers.
Superzoom cameras with their incredible focal ranges but middling image quality have, so far, appealed mainly to amateur family photographers and tourists. Last year, Sony launched the 20MP RX10 superzoom camera, which features 24-200mm (equivalent) Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture and a 1-inch sensor.
But that Sony camera doesn’t shoot 4K video. The Panasonic FZ1000, like its big brother, the Panasonic GH4, which it resembles but with a bigger lens barrel, can record 4K (QFHD 4K: 3840×2160) at up to 30 fps in the MP4 format.
The FZ1000 also features a way to capture 8MP equivalent (3840×2160) images right from the 4K video footage. Videos can also be recorded in full-HD (1,920 x 1,080) 60p in AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4 / H.264) format or MP4 at 60p.
The Panasonic FZ1000 will go on sale in July for $899. More details in the press release below.
Panasonic Announces LUMIX DMC-FZ1000 – The World’s First Digital Compact Camera with 4K Video Recording Capability
One-Inch, High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and 16x Optical Zoom for the Ultimate Picture Quality
NEWARK, NJ (June 12, 2014) – Panasonic announced today the new LUMIX DMC-FZ1000 (FZ1000) — the world’s first digital compact camera to offer 4K video recording capability*. The FZ1000 boasts a one-inch, High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and 4K video recording capability. The latest member of the popular LUMIX FZ series, the FZ1000 will be available at www.shop.panasonic.com and select channel partners in late July with an MSRP of $899.99.
*For a digital compact camera as of June 12, 2014
The integration of a newly developed LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 16x optical zoom lens achieves high resolution edge to edge. It also produces stunningly beautiful defocus together with the large-sized MOS Sensor.
The 1-inch large 20.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS Sensor dramatically improves S/N (signal to noise) ratio, making it possible to capture a clear image with minimum noise even when it is shot at a high ISO. The Venus Engine is also newly developed to feature multiple noise reduction systems such as Multi Process NR, Random Filter and Aperture Filter, to achieve high color reproduction and high image quality with a natural look.
The FZ1000 incorporates 4K (QFHD 4K: 3840×2160, up to 30 fps in MP4) video recording capability for the first time with a digital compact camera*1. Panasonic is also proposing a new solution to capture 3840×2160 8-megapixel equivalent images from the 4K video footage which is normally difficult to photograph. Also, videos can be recorded in full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60p in AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4 / H.264) format or MP4 at 60p. A powerful 16x optical zoom with 5-step speed control enables smooth zoom adjustment even while video recording. The 5-axis HYBRID O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)+ with Active Mode effectively compensates for vibration. Creative Video mode, High Speed video in full-HD at 120fps, Time Lapse Shot and Stop Motion Animation are all available for a variety of video effects..
The FZ1000 also features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology, for its focusing accuracy and improved Light Speed AF of approx. 0.09 sec*2. Together with the quick start-up time of approx.0.66 sec, the DMC-FZ1000 never misses a shooting opportunity. High speed burst shooting can be shot at 12 fps in 20.1-megapixel full resolution. It also offers a max.1/4,000 (mechanical) and 1/16,000 (electronic) shutter speed.
The FZ1000 boasts a high-precision, high-speed OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) LVF (Live View Finder). With 0.39-inch 2,359k-dot high resolution in 4:3 aspect ratio, the new LVF boasts approx.1.88x / 0.7x (35mm camera equiv.) magnification and 100% field of view. The 3.0-inch 921k-dot free-angle LCD with its wide-viewing angle rotates 180° to the side and tilts 270° up and down. Operability is also improved with a newly added zoom lever, zoom ring and drive mode dial for more intuitive operation. For more creative freedom, Creative Control, Creative Panorama and Photo Style are available.
The FZ1000 integrates Wi-Fi® connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) with NFC (Near Field Communication) to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with a simple operation. The FZ1000 also comes with a 3.5mm jack for an external microphone connection. In addition, RAW data can be processed in camera.
*1As of June 12, 2014
*2*Based on the CIPA standard, when using Live View Finder.
1. Bright Leica DC Lens 25-400mm F2.8-4.0
Panasonic newly developed LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens system (F2.8-F4.0) with 16x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 25-400mm). Comprised of 15 elements in 11 groups, including 4 ED lenses and 5 aspherical lenses with 8 aspherical surfaces, this advanced lens unit achieves high MTF value.
2. Large 1-inch 20.1MP MOS Sensor for Amazing Defocus Control
The DMC-FZ1000 incorporates a 1-inch large High Sensitivity MOS Sensor with 20.1-megapixel high resolution. The new 1-inch sensor is 4x larger than conventional 1/2.3-inch sensor in size. This new large MOS Sensor improves S/N ratio, resulting in dramatic reduction of noise even when shooting at ISO 12,800.
The Venus Engine image processor was developed for the DMC-FZ1000 to dramatically boost its performance with a new quad-core CPU providing high speed signal processing required for rich 4K video recording . The advanced Multi-process NR (Noise Reduction) applies effective noise reduction and detail processing according to each component frequency. Plus, newly added Random Filter granulates chromatic noise to be blended into the image even more naturally.
3. The World’s First Digital Compact Camera Recording High Quality Video in 4K
The LUMIX FZ1000 is not only for capturing still images but also high quality video in 4K. It features outstanding 4K video recording capability (QFHD 4K: 3840×2160, up to 30 fps (NTSC) / in MP4*1. Users can enjoy recording video in ultra high definition and even grab an 8-megapixel frame as still image. After recording video in 4K, users can cut out a single frame to choose the best still image in rich resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. The FZ1000 should be used with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3). The UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) guarantees a constant minimum write speed of 30MB/s to respond to market needs for 4K video.
*1 4K video can be recorded up to 29 minutes 59second. Use SDXC/SDHC Memory Card compatible with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) when using high bitrate video recording mode of 100 Mbps or greater.
4. Super-fast LUMIX DFD Focusing Technology
For even faster response and higher mobility, the FZ1000 newly integrates a dedicated motor into the focus system to achieve extremely fast focusing. In addition, the Light Speed AF is further enhanced with an adoption of DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology which even shortens the time to set focus. It calculates the distance to the subject by evaluating 2 images with different sharpness level while consulting the data of optical characteristics of the current lens in a moment. As a result, the DMC-FZ1000 achieves ultra high speed AF of approx.0.09 sec*2 at wide end and even approx.0.17 sec at tele-end.*3 Together with the quick start-up of approx.0.66 sec and short release time lag, the DMC-FZ1000 never lets photographers miss fleeting shooting opportunities.
*2*Based on the CIPA standard, when using Live View Finder.
*3Panasonic in-house examination (infinity to 2m shooting time lag)
5. Integrated Smartphone/Tablet Wi-Fi® for Remote Imaging Control
The FZ1000 integrates Wi-Fi® connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology camera to offer more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing. With the Panasonic “Image App”, remote shooting of both stills and video is possible by using the smartphone/tablet for a remote shutter with a monitor. You can release the shutter, zoom, focus and set shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation with a smartphone / tablet.
6. Other Features
3cm Macro Shooting
Stunning macro shots can be shot with minimum focusing distance of 3cm.
The Live View function is also advanced digitally making it possible to adjust highlight / shadow separately with the front/rear dial. 3 patterns of settings can be customized in addition to 3 patterns of preset.
RAW data development in Camera
The FZ1000 is capable of processing RAW images in camera.
The DMC-FZ1000 is equipped with Level Gauge to detect the horizontal / vertical angle of view.
iA+ (Intelligent Auto Plus) Mode for Photo and Video
For beginners, iA (Intelligent Auto) mode supports taking beautiful pictures with a variety of shooting-assist functions including AF Tracking, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Recognition, Intelligent ISO Control and Food Recognition.
A GN58 powerful External Flash (DMW-FL580L) is newly added to the LUMIX optional accessories which allow high speed charging of approx.1.7 sec. Not only wireless control but also LED video light functions are available. The Stereo / Shotgun Microphone (DMW-MS2) which enables stereo/shotgun switch. The 62mm diameter of ND Filter (DMW-LND62), PL Filter (DMW-LPL62) and MC Protector (DMW-LMCH62) are also offered for more creative freedom.