Soon after the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 ($899.99) was announced, Sony dropped the retail price of its similar RX10 ( at Amazon) from $1,300 to $1,000. It had been a clear response to the FZ1000’s more aggressive price. The cameras are direct competitors; both use a 20-megapixel 1-inch image sensor, both have a bridge-style design with a built-in EVF, and both offer solid video capability. The FZ1000’s lens doubles the zoom selection of the RX10, but doesn’t accumulate as much light when moved beyond its widest angle, and its own much less sturdily built. However the Panasonic camera records video at 4K, that your Sony can’t do, and its own autofocus system is blisteringly fast. We’ve no trouble recommending the FZ1000-and recommending it highly-but it just falls short of getting our Editors’ Choice for bridge-style superzoom cameras. The RX10 may well not have for as long of a zoom range, but its construction and superior handling win out in the long run.
Design and Features
The FZ1000 ($497.99 at Amazon) is a bigger camera, not that remote in proportions from an SLR with an 18-55mm lens attached. It measures 3.9 by 5.4 by 5.1 inches (HWD) and weighs 1.8 pounds. The RX10 also weighs 1.8 pounds, but it’s somewhat smaller (3.5 by 5.1 by 4.1 inches). The RX10’s denser build is indicative of its internal magnesium alloy chassis and weather-sealed design. The FZ1000 feels as though an entry-level SLR in my own hands, however the RX10 is more consistent with a sturdier midrange model. Regardless of the resemblance to an SLR, don’t expect a 1-inch camera to provide the same degree of image quality as an SLR; you trade the features of a more substantial APS-C or full-frame image sensor in deference to size. SLR lenses that cover the same zoom range as the FZ1000 don’t project as much light on the sensor and aren’t practically as small.
The FZ1000’s lens doesn’t cover for as long of a variety as cameras with smaller image sensors, just like the company’s own 24x FZ200 ( at Amazon) . However the FZ1000’s 1-inch image sensor is a lot more than four times the size (in conditions of surface) as the 1/2.3-inch design that you will find in the FZ200 and all the models with 50x zoom ratios and higher available to buy, just like the Fujifilm FinePix S1 ( at Amazon) . Olympus has its compact zoom camera with a sensor that’s among 1/2.3-inch and 1-inch, the Stylus 1 ($626.00 at Adorama) runs on the 1/1.7-inch chip and sports a 10.7x (28-300mm f/2.8) contact lens.
The actual fact that Panasonic were able to squeeze a 16x zoom ratio (25-400mm full-frame equivalent) in a package that’s no bigger than an SLR with a kit lens is a feat. It’s a variable aperture design that opens up to f/2.8 at the wide end, but narrows to f/4 as you zoom. It drops half of a stop to f/3.5 around the 60mm equivalent and can be an f/4 lens by 170mm. The lens can focus as close as 3 centimeters at its widest angle, and 1 meter at its telephoto extreme. For wide-angle close-ups you need to permit macro focusing, but that isn’t essential to lock on at 1 meter when zoomed completely in. The Sony RX10 may also focus to 3cm at its wide angle, nonetheless it doesn’t need you to change the focus mode to take action. It also gets somewhat closer at its 200mm maximum, 30cm, and the shorter minimum focus distance offers a higher magnification at its maximum zoom compared to the FZ1000 can deliver at 400mm. But both cameras provide highest magnification at the widest angle and minimum focus distance.
Like the majority of fixed-lens cameras, the FZ1000 runs on the leaf shutter, to help you sync with a flash at high speeds, as short as 1/4,000-second. Additionally, there is an electric shutter option used full-time for silent shooting, or could be set to activate automatically when an exposure demands that short of an exposure (as short as 1/16,000-second), however the flash isn’t a choice when firing a go beyond 1/4,000-second. The Sony RX10 does not have an electronic shutter, nonetheless it does have a built-in 3-stop neutral density filter which can be activated to cut out the quantity of light to arrive through the lens. The FZ1000’s electronic shutter can sidestep that require when capturing stills, but in the event that you anticipate shooting wide-aperture video on bright days you will want to purchase an ND filter; even at a minimal ISOs it’s rather a challenge to keep exposure in order when shooting at the frame rates commonly used for video under bright conditions. The FZ1000 supports 62mm lens filters.
The FZ1000 includes a control ring around its lens which can be utilised to adapt the zoom or manually focus. A toggle activate the left side of the barrel switches that functionality, and another switch toggles the optical stabilization system. At the top plate you’ll discover a dial that adjusts the drive mode, a typical mode dial with integrated on / off switch, a movie button, programmable Fn1 and Fn2 buttons, and the zoom rocker and shutter release.
On the rear you will discover more programmable controls. The lone button left of the EVF may be the programmable Fn5 button; by default it toggles between your rear LCD, EVF, or eye sensor. To the proper of the EVF is a toggle switch to improve the focus mode with a button that activates focus and exposure lock when held down, and below that’s Fn3, another programmable control that launches an on-screen settings menu.
All of those other controls can be found to the proper of the vari-angle LCD. Included in these are menu, image playback, delete, and display controls. There’s a four-way toggle directional pad that may adapt ISO, white balance, the macro focusing range, and the active focus area. There are lots of focus areas that you can choose. Face/Eye Detection looks for folks and locks on, Tracking permits you to track an object since it moves through the frame, 49-Area allows the camera to opt for the focus point, Custom Multi permits you to select which focus points are active, 1-Area is a flexible box that you can maneuver around a grid, and Pinpoint is a smaller version of 1-Area, but is bound to about the guts third of the frame.
The FZ1000’s autofocus system is strong-it’s quick and accurate. I love how Pinpoint magnifies the view of the region which you’re focusing, in order to make certain the camera nails focus. I’ve a tendency to use 1-Area mode, and found the default approach to moving the focus indicate be cumbersome. To take action you should press left and down on the directional pad in succession, which isn’t the most intuitive sequence. You can dive in to the menu and activate direct focus point adjustment via the trunk directional pad, that i found to be quite useful. You need to utilize the Q.Menu to adapt the settings that are usually manipulated via the directional buttons, but that’s a tiny sacrifice for the opportunity to freely move the active focus point.
I’m not really a huge fan of just how that the trunk control dial works. By default it adjusts aperture or the shutter speed according to the mode you’ve set the camera. Pressing it in toggles between those two settings in Manual mode, and changes the function to Exposure Compensation control when shooting in Aperture or Shutter Priority. The camera always returns to the default aperture or shutter speed control after powering down or sleeping. I favor a physical EV control dial, just like the one on the Sony RX10, since it makes adjustments to exposure considerably quicker. The RX10 also offers a physical aperture ring to modify the f-stop, so its rear control dial is focused on shutter speed adjustment when shooting in Manual mode.
You can change greater than a dozen settings via the the Q.Menu: picture output mode, flash settings, video resolution, still aspect ratio, still image format, focus mode, focus area, metering pattern, aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation value, ISO, and white balance. Navigating through the Q.Menu is quick, however the FZ1000 doesn’t have an impression screen like other Panasonic cameras that employ the menu system, so you need to utilize the directional pad to navigate.
The 3-inch rear display is a vari-angle design with a 3:2 aspect ratio, matching that of the image sensor. Its 921k-dot is enough sharp, and the hinged design pays to for recording video or capturing still images from high and low angles alike. It could face completely forward, happy news for the selfie crowd. The RX10’s display is merely at sharp; its 1,228k-dot resolution is indicative of white dots as well as the standard red, green, and blue, which enhances visibility outdoors. But I had no issues framing or reviewing shots outside with the FZ1000’s display under late summer skies.
Gleam built-in EVF, and it’s really a great one. It is the same 2,359k-dot OLED display found in Panasonic’s premium GH4 Micro Four Thirds camera. It’s big and sharp and simply a pleasure to use. That is among those areas where in fact the FZ1000 edges out the RX10 regarding specs; Sony’s camera runs on the 1,440k-dot OLED EVF. The dissimilarities in quality between your two aren’t as drastic as the specs seem to be to point; the FZ1000 appeared slightly larger and sharper to my eye, nonetheless it required side-by-side analysis to essentially tell the difference.
Panasonic includes Wi-Fi, with support for NFC, in the FZ1000. It’s easy enough to pair with an NFC device, and if you are using an iPhone or other smartphone without NFC you can pair with a QR code or manually entering a password to gain access to the network that the FZ1000 broadcasts. You can transfer JPG images and HD video, but Raw shots and 4K clips can not be delivered to your smartphone.
Handy remote control via your iOS or Android phone or tablet can be possible via the free Panasonic Image app. Full manual control is available; you can adapt the lens, control the exposure, tap the phone’s screen to pick a focus point, and access the Q.Menu. The Live View feed to the phone’s screen is smooth-this is probably the better handy remote control implementations I’ve used.
Performance and Conclusions
Performance and Conclusions
The FZ1000 is quick to start out and shoot, requiring just 0.8-second. Its autofocus is pretty quick, locking on quickly at the widest angle and in only 0.1-second when zoomed completely in. The RX10 took its time starting up compared, requiring 1.7 seconds to take action, but its wide-angle focus speed is merely as quick. When zoomed completely in it lags behind the FZ1000 by simply a bit, requiring about 0.4-second to lock and fire.
There are several different burst shooting modes-the FZ1000 captures low-resolution 3-megapixel stills at 50fps when the electronic shutter is enabled-and keeps up an 11.8fps pace when shooting at full resolution with the mechanical shutter. The FZ1000 can capture 12 Raw+JPG or Raw images before slowing, and will manage 27 JPGs. In my own tests, writing a complete burst to a SanDisk 95MBps memory card took 18.9, 16.4, and 8 seconds respectively.
Those speeds are with the focus point locked, so they don’t do you much good if you are trying to capture a topic that’s moving toward or from the lens. When you permit tracking autofocus the FZ1000’s speed drops to 7fps, which isn’t shabby. The tracking focus system works quite nicely; it had no issues keeping focus locked on cars heading toward or from the lens.