Lumix FZ1000 camera offers 4K video for $899

This bridge camera brings 4K video within reach of many more photographers

By Tim Hornyak, IDG News Service |  

If the eye-popping visuals of 4K video appeal but the price is putting you off, Panasonic is offering the recording resolution in a camera with a suggested price of US$899.

The Lumix DMC-FZ1000 is being billed by Panasonic as the world's first digital compact camera that can record 4K video. It can shoot at 3840 x 2160 pixel video in MP4 format at 30 frames per second.

"Compact," however, is probably not a term most users would associate with the FZ1000: At 137 millimeters by 99 mm, and 131 mm deep with the zoom closed, it's about the size of a small digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera.

Like many other bridge cameras, it spans the divide between point-and-shoot cameras and more robust DSLRs. It has a long zoom lens and weighs 831 grams including the battery and memory card.

But at about half the price of Panasonic's high-end 4K shooter, the Lumix GH4, the FZ1000 may open up availability for the resolution format.

The camera also follows Sony's 4K-capable Alpha 7S mirrorless camera, of which the body alone is expected to go on sale for about $2,500 in July.

"We expect to expand the 4K photo users with this compact camera," a spokeswoman for Panasonic wrote in an email. "With the FZ1000, users can cut out 8-megapixel high-resolution photos from 4K video."

The FZ1000's 16x 25-400 mm Leica optical zoom lens cannot be detached, and is relatively small compared to very long zoom lenses on other bridge cameras.

The latest Lumix has a 1-inch, 20.1-megapixel sensor, a 3-inch rotating LCD screen and Wi-Fi and NFC wireless connectivity. It can also record videos at lower resolution such as Full HD.

It will be available from Panasonic's online shop and retailers in late July.

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