Panasonic has announced a new compact stills camera that will be one of the first of its kind to utilize 4K video.
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ1000 is a bridge camera, which in essence is a hybrid of a DSLR and a mirrorless camera. For professionals this form factor may be a little stuck in no mans land; it doesn’t offer the speed and flexibility of a DSLR, and does not offer the form factor of a mirrorless system.
To the consumer these systems have great benefits offering an all-in-one package; a high performing large sensor (when comparing to a conventional point and shoot) with a wide range focal length lens.
The FZ1000 offers exactly this. It utilises a 1″ 20.1 megapixel sensor with a fixed 25-400mm f/2.8-f4 lens (or 16x optical as this format usually goes by). The camera has a host of features for photography, but lets skip straight to the video.
It shoots 4K video up to 30p, the ultra HD kind so a resolution of 3840 x 2160. This is exciting news as its one of the first consumer cameras to offer this. In addition it is also possible to shoot up to 60p in fullHD.
Other video aids include a 3″ swivel screen, OLED viewfinder and 3.5mm jack for an external microphone. More interestingly however is hybrid image stabilization; this will be a warmly welcomed feature for the camera considering its form factor and maximum 400mm focal length.
Here is a list of further specifications:
Sensor 1″ MOS 20.1 Effective Megapixels
Image Stabilization Optical, 5-Way
Lens Leica DC Vario-Elmarit, 15 elements in 11 groups
Lens Spec 9.12-146 mm f/2.8-4 (35 mm equivalent: 25-400 mm)
Filter Thread 62 mm
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 125-12800 (Extended Mode: 80-25600)
Shutter Speed: 60 – 1/4000 sec
Memory Card Type SD/SDHC/SDXC
Video Recording NTSC
Resolution 3840×2160 30p 1920×1080 60/30/24p 1280×720 30p
Video Clip Length Up to 29 Min 59 Sec
Audio Recording Stereo Built-in Mic/External Mic
Viewfinder Type Electronic
Screen 3.0″ LCD Rear Screen Swivel (921,000 pixels)
Connectivity 1/8″ Microphone, 2.5mm Sub-mini (3-Ring), HDMI D, USB 2.0
Dimensions (WxHxD) 5.4 x 3.9 x 5.1″ / 136.8 x 98.5 x 130.7 mm
Weight 1.83 lb / 831 g with battery and memory card
The inclusion of 4K video into a camera this low down in a line up, is an exciting prospect. Whilst a bridge camera by its very nature won’t be turning the heads of many professionals, the camera offers a very nice package for the low budget run and gun shooter (perhaps on a family holiday), and at a retail price of just $897.99 it’s got to be close to one of the cheapest 4K cameras to enter the market.
For anyone keeping up to date with MFT news will be aware of this little beauty – the Panasonic Lumix GX7, a compact mirrorless 16-megapixel micro 4/3s camera, with similar video functions to the flagship GH3.
The GX7 is Panasonic’s latest release in their Lumix G line. The predecessor GX1 fell a little short in the video department, with capped bitrates for video, and no manual exposure control (out of the box). However the GX7 looks set to be a great contender for an ultra compact video camera, albeit one major sting in it’s tail (more on that later).