Panasonic’s new FZ2000: a worthy successor to a true game-changer

Written by David Shapton

PanasonicThe new Panasonic FZ2000

Panasonic’s FZ1000 stunned the industry when it was launched just over two years ago, and while its successor doesn’t represent quite the same great leap forward it provides a serious amount of camera in the £1000 bracket.

Two years ago, Panasonic, in a moment that sucked all the air from the room, announced the FZ1000, an extremely keenly priced 4K "bridge" camera (ie one with a fixed by high quality lens) that was way in advance of anything available at the time, and with a much higher specification than anyone was reasonably expecting.

If Panasonic, with its new FZ2000, made a leap forward as big as that again then no-one would ever need to buy another camera. So, that hasn't happened. Nevertheless, the new camera appears to be a worthy successor.

We've said it before and we still think it: while it's tempting to call this a "bridge" camera, that doesn't do it justice. Because this is a powerful camera form factor in its own right. It's the type of camera you'd want to take with you if you had no other professional option. In fact, it's one you might choose over almost everything else because it does everything so well, at a low cost, and without the bulk normally associated with pro-equipment.

While the newly announced GH5 prototype is pushing boundaries with its 6K Photo/Video hybrid mode, the FZ2000 is merely somewhat better than its predecessor, and that's hardly a bad thing.

For a start, the lens is more ‘zoomy': it's now a 20x zoom (that's 24-480mm in 35mm camera terms) and it's designed by Leica. Lenses on fixed lens cameras can perform even better than expected because every aspect of the glass is known to the camera, which means that known issues can be corrected in software. Aperture changes between F2.8 - F 4.5 at opposite ends of the zoom range

The new camera is capable of recording "unlimited" 4K recording in both Cinema DCI and UHD resolutions. DCI (4096 x 2160) is limited to 24 fps and UHD (3840 x 2160) is up to 30 fps. We're not told what bitrates to expect for 4K, nor do we know if 4K is output over HDMI. We do know that there is at least a clean 4:2:2 8-bit output over HDMI, and that it's possible to record internally in 4:2:0 while doing this.

A log mode for HDR and detailed grading, V-Log L, is available as a paid upgrade.

And there's a new OLED viewfinder with 2360 K resolution and a contrast ratio of 10,000:1.

We don't know what the price is but assuming it's not out of line with the FZ1000, then we can probably say quite safely that this is a lot of camera for the money.

See the full press release over the page.


Panasonic Press Release in full

These features elevate the LUMIX FZ2000 far beyond the limitations of a conventional compact camera with high-performance photography and outstanding video recording. The LUMIX FZ2000 is the perfect device for both semi-professional videographers and photography enthusiasts wishing to experience professional shooting capabilities in a compact device.

Featuring the new LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT photo/video hybrid lens

The LUMIX FZ2000 features the newly-developed LEICA DC VARIO-ELMART lens system which has a 20x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 24-480mm) and F2.8-4.5. Comprising of 16 lenses in 11 groups, the lens system boasts high optical performance with minimum ghost and flaring and a guide-pole mechanism commonly used in professional video cameras.

Together with the inner zoom structure, the guide-pole realises exceptional barycentric stability for smooth, stable zooming, where image shift is dramatically suppressed by approximately 80% compared with its predecessor, the LUMIX FZ1000.

The LEICA DC VARIO-ELMART lens also incorporates a nine aperture diaphragm to realise soft, rounded defocus, which effortlessly matches sudden changes of brightness thanks to the adoption of a galvanometer also used in professional video cameras.

High-quality video capability elevates the compact camera to professional standards

The LUMIX FZ2000 boasts exceptional video recording performance which has never been seen in a bridge camera. It is capable of unlimited[1] 4K video recording (Cinema 4K: 4096x2160 / 24 fps and QFHD 4K: 3840x2160 / up to 30 fps) in MOV/MP4[2] and Full HD video at an ultra-high bitrate of 200 Mbps (ALL-Intra) or 100 Mbps (IPB).

Users can freely choose from MOV, MP4, AVCHD[3] Progressive and AVCHD at a variety of frame rates according to the usage. For professional users, the system frequency can be flexibly selected between59.94Hz (23.98Hz) / 50.00Hz / 24.00Hz. The LUMIX FZ2000 is alsocapable of real-time image output to an external monitor via an optional micro HDMI cable simultaneously while recording video. In addition, for more unique video expression, the LUMIX FZ2000 comes with further professional features such as VFR (Variable Frame Rate), Dolly Zoom, Time Lapse and Stop Motion Animation.

In further response to film production market demands, Panasonic offers an optional paid software upgrade for the LUMIX FZ2000 to comply with V-Log L video recording.[4]

Capture unmissable moments in high picture quality

The LUMIX FZ2000 incorporates a 1-inch High Sensitivity MOS Sensor with 20.1-megapixel high resolution. This large MOS Sensor improves S/N ratio, resulting in dramatic reduction of noise – even when shooting at ISO 12800.

The LUMIX FZ2000 also achieves ultra-high speed AF of approx. 0.09 sec[5] and high-speed burst shooting at 12 fps (AFS) / 7 fps (AFC) to capture fast-moving subjects in-focus up to 100 (JPEG) / 30 (RAW) images.

An additional 4K PHOTO feature captures unmissable photo opportunities at 30 fps by extracting the most photogenic frame from the 4K burst file to save as a photo. Users can save pictures in 8-megapixel equivalent high resolution, which is suitable for printing up to A3 size.

The integrated Post Focus function enables the selection of the in-focus area of a single frame even after shooting, whilst Panasonic’s new Focus Stacking function enables users to take multiple images of the same frame with different areas in focus, then combine all or selected focus areas into one image. Focus Stacking is particularly beneficial for shooting macro images.

The LUMIX FZ2000 offers sleek design and intuitive control

The LUMIX FZ2000 integrates an OLED Live View Finder (LVF) with a 2360K-dot equivalent high resolution in approx. 2.18x / 0.74x (35mm camera equivalent in 4:3) magnification capability. Adoption of OLED for the LVF achieves a high-speed response with minimum time lag of less than 0.01 sec as well as 10,000:1 high contrast for exceptional visibility. With an eye-point of approximately 20 mm, it also offers high visibility with comfort for users wearing glasses.

The LUMIX FZ2000 also features a well-defined grip for a stable hold and minimum fatigue when consistently using the camera over a longer period of time. The front/rear dual dial system enables direct setting over shutter speed and aperture, and an optimum layout of dials, buttons, lever and switch offers intuitive control with comfort for both photo and video shooting.

For further intuitive control, the 3.0-inch large, approx.1040K-dot rear vary-angle touchscreen with approximately 100% of field of view enables shooting in either high or low angle easier.

A host of other exciting features

3.5mm Microphone Jack / 3.5mm Headphone Jack
The 3.5mm microphone jack is for high-quality audio recording using an external microphone and the 3.5mm headphone jack enables monitoring recording audio while shooting video real-time.

Easy Wireless Connectivity via Wi-Fi with Smartphones
The LUMIX FZ2000 integrates Wi-Fi connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation.

Optional Accessories[6]
A variety of optional professional accessories including External Flash (DMW-FL580L, DMW-FL360L, DMW-FL200L), Stereo Shotgun Microphone (DMW-MS2), LED Video Light (VW-LED1), Remote Shutter (DMW-RSL1), 67mm PL Filter (DMW-LPL67) and MC Protector (DMW-LMCH67) are also offered for more creative freedom.

[1] Use SDXC/SDHC Memory Card compatible with UHS-1 Speed Class 3 (U3) when using high bitrate video recording mode of 100 Mbps or greater

[2] Setting the HDMI output picture quality:

[4:2:2 10bit]: Users can output the image through the HDMI connection in higher picture quality, but cannot record it as a motion picture or still pictures. Ideal when the HDMI output is to be saved on external devices.

[4:2:2 8bit]: Users can record the image while outputting it through the HDMI connection. Ideal for recording while checking the motion picture on an external monitor. When using 4:2:2 / 8-bit output, video is recorded in 4:2:0 / 8-bit on SDXC/SDHC Memory Card.

[3] AVCHD is a high definition (HD) digital video recording / playback format jointly established by Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation

[4] With a purchase of Upgrade Software Key DMW-SFU1

[5] Based on the CIPA standard.

[6] Some accessories are not available in some countries.

Tags: Production

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