Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review
Operation and controls
The FZ1000 offers an on-screen quick menu, assigned by default to the Fn3 button. Left and Right directional buttons and the rear control dial can be used to navigate between settings. Highlighting a setting can be done by using Up or Down directional buttons or by pressing the command dial. This means you can operate the Quick menu entirely with the command wheel, making it easy to get to frequently-used settings quickly.
|A few live view display options are available via the Disp. button on the back panel, including options to black out the rear LCD entirely or use it as a DSLR-style info panel that keeps Quick menu options on the screen at all times. This screen won't be displayed in the EVF, so you can leave it engaged for a DSLR-like experience. Sadly, the FZ1000 doesn't offer a touch screen.|
|We noticed an unusual quirk in dealing with changing the AF point. If you arrive at the AF Mode menu from the Quick Menu, you'll find that you can adjust the mode but are presented with no option to change AF Area.|
|If you get to (what appears to be) the very same menu via the AF Mode shortcut on the Left directional button, you'll find you can suddenly set AF point by pressing the Down button. This leads to confusion since the two menus look almost exactly the same.|
|The main camera menu is divided into five tabs: Rec, Motion Picture, Custom, Setup and Playback. They can also be navigated via directional buttons or the command dial.|
The ring around the FZ1000's lens can be used to control zoom or focus, as determined by a switch on the side of the lens. It can't be customized to change other settings like aperture, which is a shame - the smooth-turning dial would be useful for changing settings during video recording, as opposed to using a somewhat noisier rear dial.
In addition to the zoom control on the lens, there's a more traditionally-superzoom-style zoom control around the shutter button. Interestingly, you can customize this secondary zoom ring as a shortcut to exposure compensation. You can also set the ring to operate the zoom in steps, rather than moving continuously through the focal range.
The FZ1000 hosts five customizable Fn buttons - two on the top panel, two on the right rear of the camera and one to the left of the viewfinder. On the control-dense back panel you'll also find the usual suspects including a four-way directional pad, playback button, focus mode switch and a rear command dial.
The FZ1000 supplies a single, clickable rear command dial. In full manual mode, pressing the command dial shifts between shutter and aperture priority. In semi-manual modes, pressing the dial toggles between exposure compensation and aperture, shutter or program shift, depending on your mode. Exposure compensation is not available in manual mode.
Setting functions for the customizable buttons is available on page seven of a long eight-page menu. The Fn buttons can be set to behave differently in record and play modes.
Default button assignments are marked in green.
The upper ISO limit can be set anywhere from ISO 200-12800. There's also an i.ISO mode that claims to adjust ISO based on how quickly a subject is moving.
Auto ISO is available in Manual exposure mode, but there's no way way to access exposure compensation, which limits the usefulness of this combination. If you're really keen, it's possible to work around this limitation by combining Manual exposure mode, Auto ISO and Auto Bracketing. The camera's bracketing mode lets you define the extent to which it changes exposure between shots and, in Manual mode, this means it only has ISO to adjust - it just means you get at least two shots that you probably didn't want.
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