Panasonic first with a compact capable of capturing 4K UHD

The next big thing in TVs is the world of Ultra HD, and while the TVs are gradually becoming larger in number for you to choose from, the content is not, with virtually nothing ready to play back in 4K’s native resolution. With a new product, Panasonic hopes to help provide a fix.

That fix comes in the form of a compact super zoom, the FZ1000, capable of providing 20 megapixel stills shooting, Full HD and Ultra HD video capture, and a long zoom range of 16x optical, which translates roughly to 25-400mm.

The sensor sits at 1 inch in size, making it larger than the 1/2.3 inch sensors used on many other compact cameras, which should result in more detail than competitors, some of which Panasonic itself make.

This image quality is helped by Panasonic’s processing engine, running with four cores and aimed at delivering better colour across the board, support for ISO up to 12800, which we expect will also be working away not just for stills, but with video too.

And that last part is also where good news comes in for the FZ1000, with Panasonic making it capable of capturing video at 3840×2160, the resolution commonly associated with Ultra High Definition. Eight megapixel images can be cut out of the 4K video, making it likely you’ll still have a nice photo to work with even if you’re shooting video, but Full HD video is also possible here if 4K is beyond your needs.

Videos shot on this camera will also be able to take advantage of a “creative mode” which lets the photographer — sorry, videographer — set the shutter speed and aperture, changing it to make the videos look better and more unique than what the automatic modes can do. Conversely, if you don’t need more than Full HD, you’ll find a high-speed video mode capable of recording at 100fps at 1080p.

There’s also very fast autofocus, an OLED live viewfinder built into the body working alongside a 3 inch multi-angle LCD, a zoom level with 5-step speed adjustment, Near-Field Communication, 802.11n WiFi support, and a macro mode capable of shooting as close as 3 centimetres.

Pricing for the camera hasn’t yet been finalised, but you should see it in stores in late July. We can’t imagine it’ll be more than a grand, but we’ll let you know when we know.