In good light, the Panasonic FZ1000 takes some beating as an all in one carry around camera. The lens is superb and I have to say makes some dedicated so-called 'pro spec' zooms look pretty run of the mill. The camera is also lightning quick to use and has outrageously fast auto focus.
It's not a low light camera and there is no point in pretending otherwise, but when it's able to be used at base ISO (125) or near to that, the results are often indistinguishable from the output of larger sensors. And for many of the uses I put it too, it takes a jump to a 35mm film size / 'full-frame' sensor to get any significant increase in image quality.
The pictures above are from a large country estate with extensive views across sumptious English countryside on an Autumn day with strong bright light. Just about the perfect conditions for the camera to show off it's abilities. As I've written many times, I use various size sensors from smartphones to my Nikon Df and Sony FE series. All of them give me something different and each and every one is useful in a given situation.
That zoom is spectacular, both in terms of reach and quality. The 1" sensor allows a relatively compact high quality lens that is optimised for the camera. Corrected? yes of course but the fact it's all happening in camera means that I can concentrate on picture taking and forget about constantly selecting and changing lenses. And I'll take the output from this camera any day over many of it's supposed 'betters' in terms of sensor size.
Someone once wrote that 'pixel envy' has been overtaken by 'sensor size envy' and I think there is a lot a truth in that. There are cases when my Nikon Df or Sony A7s is just what I need and give me a quality and a series of options and possibilities that the FZ1000 can't. But the day I shot these pictures wasn't one of them. I walked a fair distance and the lightweight polycarbonate body of the Panasonic was very welcome. And while it's true that a lot of Panasonic bodies feel and look somewhat cheap and fragile, in reality they are in fact pretty tough, rugged and capable of handling all but the most extreme conditions.
It's a camera that seems to get little attention these days. After the initial rush of attention when it was first announced, it seems to be written about very little now. I have to say I can understand this as it's far from the sexiest camera out there and many less capable cameras whose looks flatter to deceive get all the plaudits, even though in many cases that offer no better in terms of flexibility, features and quality of output.
I still think the Panasonic FZ1000 is a fantastic camera and for a stock / travel / landscape / location photographer who works mostly in good light, it's hard to think of a more useful option. Hang on a minute, isn't that me? Well yes it is and it's about time I put it through it's paces again.
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There is an interesting article on the BBC website HERE, which deals with many of the issues above.