Panasonic FZ1000 for landscape

With it's remakable zoom range the Panasonic FZ1000 is an incredibly useful landscape / location camera. In fact the most useful and versatile I've used. That 1'' sensor which allows the zoom to be such a good lens is also of remarkable quality. 

Like many Leica branded lenses it has the 35mm approximation / 'equivalent' on the lens barrel. It says 25-400mm. Now whatever you think about about this way of describing lenses (and my views have been made pretty clear) it's an incredible range. As you can see above it's also flare free and very sharp. 

These pictures were taken in the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales and the camera + lens allowed me to capture the glory of the place on a beautiful late summer afternoon. I know I'm getting very 'gushy' about the FZ1000, but it's fully justified and for the professional travel photographer who works in daylight outdoors I really can't think of a better tool. I've already written about how fast it is, but it's virtues don't stop there and it is just so easy to use. Even on full auto it still turns out correctly exposed extremely high quality 20MP files and Sony, who make the sensor, have to be congratulated on turning out something this good. 

It doesn't take a great deal of insight to realise that sensor technology is making most progress at the smaller end. Because of the huge sales of camera phones, this is the area of maximum growth in the current camera market. And while it is true that the 'conventional' camera market is shrinking, I doubt that applies to the smartphone market. Sony make a lot of these small sensors that are just getting better and better and defying the commonly held belief that cameras in mobile phones are of uniformly poor quality. This clearly impacts on the next size up of sensors. Both 1" and m4/3 sensor quality has improved since the first examples appeared and certainly this unit that is in the Sony RX10 and the FZ1000 is a step on from the Nikon V1 that I used last year. 

And just digressing for a moment, I have to say that Nikon have surely seriously missed an opportunity here. By not exploiting the potential of their Nikon 1 system and by overpricing it, I believe they have made a huge mistake. The idea of buying into Nikon 1 at this moment in time when these demonstrably superior cameras from Sony and Panasonic are available is surely only for the most committed Nikon fanboy. OK it is smaller and has interchangeable lenses, but the promise I saw in the system I used extensively last year (and liked) hasn't materialised as far as I'm concerned. Nikon surely have to offer something other than DSLR's and point and shoot coolpix compacts and the Nikon 1 was their opportunity. But the Nikon V3 with its standard zoom is currently £800 here in the UK, which makes it more expensive than the FZ1000 with it's vastly superior performance and lens (and of course 4K video) and unless you are desperate for a 'pocketable' interchangeable lens 1'' sensor camera system the choice of the Panasonic is a no-brainer. And that's before you factor in the Sony RX100 as well.

I've also written before about how the FZ1000 is a very attractive alternative to those thinking about buying into m4/3. If you want / need to use some of those specialist Panasonic and Olympus lenses, then fair enough, but if you want a versatile well-specified camera for general use then the FZ1000 is difficult to beat. And of course it is a camera that anyone who has already invested in other systems can use. It's a standalone, you can't buy other lenses for it anyway, so it can be bought as an additional complementary camera for people who have bought into other brands. As far as I'm concerned it's worth buying for the 4K video alone and I suspect it would give the GH4 a run for it's money for the moving image.

So as you can see, from this post and my others previously, I'm VERY impressed with the FZ1000. It may not be the sexiest, it may not be coolest, but certainly the most useful and easy to use camera I've ever bought. I also think that with what it offers me, it's also the best value camera I've ever bought and to get the amazing 4K video footage that it produces at around £750 here in the UK, it's a steal. When it was first announced I was surprised at the price and now using it I'm even more surprised. So if you are interested in what this offers, get one quick. Panasonic may wake up to the fact that they could have charged a lot more for this!!!

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