FZ1000 Impressions from an FZ30 user

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ChaosCloud
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FZ1000 Impressions from an FZ30 user
3 months ago

Purchased this camera yesterday and have been evaluating it in detail since. Some see the FZ1000 as a spiritual successor to the FZ30/FZ50. I think that any resemblance is coincidental only - the FZ1000 is simply Panasonic's response to Sony's RX10. I would be surprised to find out that the designers handled the FZ50 during development.

Build Quality:

The body of the camera is plastic, a rather brittle feeling one (I feel that it would crack should it suffer a relatively minor impact). It is well put together, however, and solid feeling in hand. Rubberized patches appear around the main grip, also at the left side of the body, suggesting that the left hand should grip it there.

The lens barrel and zoom ring are impressive. All metal, nicely machined and finished. The ring turns very smoothly, and like the ring on the FZ30/FZ50, is a pleasure to turn. Alas, the buttons on the lens barrel have some play to them and can rattle.

I'm impressed by the main mode dial and drive mode dial - metal, very finely machined, very grippy, almost sharp. They turn with just the right amount of resistance.

Less impressive is the on-off switch which is not rigid enough for the force it takes to turn it. This part should be metal, or made more solid.

Shutter button - very finely textured plastic, like the other buttons. Whereas the FZ30 has a very clean 2-stage button, on the FZ1000 it feels rather mushy. The difference between half and fully depressed is less distinct.

The rear control dial feels cheap. It is a hard plastic. The sharp mold seam is right on the bottom edge. It has some play to it and can rattle slightly. Turning/clicking resistance is good. The dials on the FZ30 feel much better, and there are 2 of them!

The remaining buttons/switches (including the 4 way controller) are of similar quality to each other, and adequate.

The lens cap is vastly inferior to the one on the FZ30. Firstly, the plastic feels more brittle and "hollow". Second, and more importantly, the spring-loaded surfaces where one is to grip it are flat, making it easy for the fingers to slide off. The FZ30 tabs had a recess for the figertips to hook into, providing a very secure grip. (On the plus side, the FZ1000 cap has a hole for a tether.)

The tripod hole is off center. My tripod hotshoe blocks access to the battery/SD card door. Even my mini-tripod (Pedco ultra-pod II) prevents the door from opening fully. I think that the battery is better placed in the grip like on the FZ30.

The strap lugs are the dangly kind which can make noise during recording. I much prefer the fixed lugs of the FZ30.

Will post more on operation and image quality after more testing. For now I will say that noise reduction (aka detail reduction) is much too strong, even at -5.

Greatest annoyance so far is that the lens retracts after about 15 seconds of reviewing photos or navigating the menu.

 ChaosCloud's gear list:ChaosCloud's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
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