Panasonic’s zoom cameras just got a refresh. On Monday, February 18, Panasonic unveiled The Lumix FZ1000 II and the ZS80, the first a bridge-style zoom and the second a compact zoom camera. Both cameras were announced on YouTube.
The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 II
The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 II, like the predecessor, packs in a larger 1-inch 20.1-megapixel sensor. Panasonic says the processor also has several algorithms designed to fight noise.
In front of that sensor is a 16x optical zoom lens, equivalent to a 25-400mm reach. The lens has a bright f/2.8-f/4 aperture, with the minimum aperture now at f/11 instead of the f/8 of the predecessor. To steady that long lens, the FZ1000 II uses a five-axis hybrid optical stabilization system.
Speed hits up to 12 fps for stills or 7 fps with continuous autofocus. With a Depth from Defocus autofocus system, Panasonic says the camera locks focus in about 0.09 seconds.
The FZ1000 II shoots 4K video at 30 or 24 fps. Like Panasonic’s other recent 4K-equipped cameras, photographers can also pull still photos out of a 4K sequence or use 4K photo modes to shoot first and focus later. New to the camera (and also included on the ZS80), is an auto-marking tool that makes it easier to choose the best shot. The 4K photo modes also now include photo sequencing, which will repeat a moving subject in the same image.
The camera body, which uses both a new 2,360K dot electronic viewfinder and a 3-inch rotating touchscreen, also sees a few upgrades. The FZ1000 II now has dual-control wheels on the grip, in addition to the focus ring around the lens. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are included. Battery life is rated at 440 shots.
The FZ1000 was overdue for an update as a lower-priced competitor to the Sony RX10 series. The new Panasonic FZ1000 II is available for pre-order, shipping in March, for about $900.
The Panasonic ZS80
Instead of the larger 1-inch sensor of the FZ1000 series, the Panasonic Lumix ZS80 uses a smaller and more typical 1/2.3-inch sensor. But, that smaller sensor allows for a bigger zoom — 30x or a 24-720 equivalent– and a lower price inside a more compact body. Like the ZS70, the ZS80 uses a 20.3-megapixel sensor.
The travel zoom uses a Depth From Defocus autofocus system, allowing for faster autofocus. That is mixed with a 10 fps burst speed in AF-S or 5 fps with continuous autofocus. The camera also uses optical image stabilization.
Like the FZ1000 II, the ZS80 also shoots 4K video at 30 or 24 fps and builds in several different 4K photo modes to refocus the shot or shoot faster bursts at a lower resolution. The new auto marking and sequence composition is also included.
While the camera maintains a small body, there is still enough space for a newly updated 2,330K dot equivalent electronic viewfinder and a three-inch tilting touchscreen. Flipping up the screen automatically brings up the Self Shot mode, which also has beauty retouch options. The camera also includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, with a battery life rated at 380 shots.
Compared to the FZ1000 II, the ZS80 is smaller and cheaper, though with that smaller sensor. The camera lists for $450, with shipping expected sometime in April. Pre-orders for both new cameras are live on Panasonic’s website.
Updated on March 27: Corrected an error stating the sensor had new noise reduction capabilities.
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