Panasonic goes high-end and 4K for its latest bridge camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000
The FZ1000 sits at the top of Panasonic's bridge camera line-up

The Lumix DMC-FZ1000 is Panasonic's most advanced bridge camera to date and it starts a new line for the company. It features a 1-inch 20.1Mp High Sensitivity MOS sensor and a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit f/2.8-4.0 lens with an equivalent focal length of 25-400mm - that's a 16x zoom range.

The FZ1000 is also the first compact or bridge camera capable of recording 4K video. While few homes have a 4K TV right now, the ability to shoot 4K footage means that 8Mp (3840x2160) still images can be extracted from the footage, effectively turning the FZ1000 into a high-frame-rate stills camera. It is also possible to record lower-resolution movies, including Full HD footage.

Using a 1-inch sensor rather than the 1/2.3-inch device more commonly found in bridge cameras should enable the FZ1000 to produce higher quality images with better noise control and dynamic range. Data from the sensor is processed by a new Venus Engine, which Panasonic claims improves still and video image quality over what is produced by the FZ200.

This engine allows a native sensitivity range of ISO 125-12,800, with extensione settings to push the range to ISO 80-25,600.

The larger-than-average sensor combined with the large maximum aperture (f/2.8 at wide-angle and f/4.0 at telephoto) also allows photographers to restrict depth of field creatively.

In addition, Panasonic has given the FZ1000 Hybrid 5-axis Optical Image Stabilisation, Depth from Defocus technology for fast focusing and a rapid-burst shooting mode to help when shooting sport or action. Plus, there's focus peaking to aid manual focusing and azebra view to warn when bright areas are close to burning out.

Put on a display

Images can be composed and reviewed on the 2,359,000-dot OLED Live View Finder (LVF), more commonly know as an electronic viewfinder (EVF), or the 3-inch 921,000-dot LCD. Both of these displays show the image as it will be captured and preview the impact of the 22 filter effects available in Creative Control mode.

The FZ1000 has integrated Wi-Fi connectivity and an NFC chip so it can be connected to a smartphone or tablet for wireless image sharing and remote control.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 is set to go on sale in mid July and will retail for £749.99 (approximately US$798, AU$1,340).

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