Panasonic FZ1000 beats Sony RX10 with 4K video, more zoom for $400 less! Can it dethrone the king?


posted Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM EDT


Finally, the large-sensor, superzoom camera category has a battle on its hands! The 20.1-megapixel Panasonic FZ1000 is a camera whose competitor is clear: This is a challenger for the Sony RX10's crown, and as you'll see in our Panasonic FZ1000 hands-on preview, it looks to be a mighty impressive one indeed.

At heart, both cameras are quite similar. The Panasonic FZ1000 and Sony RX10 are each based around 20-megapixel, 1.0-inch type CMOS image sensors. But the FZ1000 differs from the RX10 (and looks in some ways to be better) in a number of key ways. It's more affordable, yet has a significantly longer 16x zoom range, a noticeably-faster 12 frames-per-second burst capture rate and has 4K video support. It also has a more versatile tilt/swivel LCD monitor, a much higher-resolution electronic viewfinder, a wider shutter speed range, and slightly better battery life.

The Panasonic FZ1000 looks set to offer a very strong challenge to Sony's RX10, with the same sensor size and resolution, but double the zoom reach and greater performance in an only slightly larger package.

On the flip side of the coin, it's rather big compared to its rival, especially in terms of depth. And perhaps not surprisingly, given the much greater zoom reach, it can't boast a constant aperture lens. Instead, its aperture lags that of the RX10 just slightly across most of the range where both lenses overlap. And nor does it provide quite the same wide-angle shooting opportunities.

In most respects, though, the Panasonic FZ1000 looks to give you a similar feature-set to its incredibly popular rival, just with a more affordable price tag and a whole lot more zoom range in a slightly bigger package, plus souped-up video recording with 4K resolution. It's early days yet, but we're already expecting this to be just as hot a camera as the RX10, if not more so.

Unlike the Sony RX10, the Panasonic FZ1000 has a side-mounted tilt/swivel LCD monitor.

Panasonic has set pricing for the FZ1000 at US$900, with availability expected from late July 2014. That makes the new model nearly one-third cheaper than what is, realistically, it's only significant fixed-lens rival, and that's huge news if you're in the market for a large-sensor, long-zoom camera!

Keen to learn more? We're not surprised, and we're here to help! Read our hands-on Panasonic FZ1000 preview for insight into this interesting camera, and direct comparisons against the Sony RX10 based on an in-hand comparison of the two cameras.

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