After hiking for miles and miles with my DSLR setup of a Canon 7D, 70-200mm 2.8L, 2X Extender, and Tokina 11-17mm, I needed something else that took great photos and video, wasn’t heavy, and didn’t take up a lot of space. I’ve been very pleased with the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000. With a 1″ sensor, Leica lens, 4K video, and 2.1 lbs, it’s the perfect balance of excellent image quality and weight. (Note that I’m not sponsored or in any way reimbursed by Panasonic, however the links for the camera, bag, and connection kit are affiliate links that provide reimbursement for sales.)
Awhile ago I did a video about the DSLR camera setup I have used well over 1,500 miles of hiking and how I carried my DSLR. Recently, I’ve found myself dreading taking it with me. First of all, the setup is heavy at around 9lbs. It’s also bulky and cumbersome when it comes time to take off my backpack as there are a few different connection points that must be disconnected. Finally, I have to always take an extended trip backpack as I need the extra support and girth of a larger pack.
I had been casually looking for another solution when a friend of mine recommended that I look into the superzoom, or bridge cameras, in Panasonic’s LUMIX line. I found they were just coming out with another one this past summer and it seemed right up my alley.
I ordered and received the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000last summer and began taking it with me on hikes. For starters, it’s only 2.1 lbs, but it is fantastic. There are definitely some ways in which my 7D with heavier and much more expensive glass are superior. With Canon’s longer lens and better image stabilization allow for capturing subjects further away and having it be smoother while holding in your hands. I’m a slightly bigger fan of Canon’s colors, while others disagree, but that’s a matter of taste. These sacrifices aren’t huge, however, when taken into account the pleasure of hiking with something much, much lighter.
Being lighter and more compact aren’t the only advantages this unit has. The camera has a 35mm equivalent 25-400mm Leica lens which takes nice sharp images. My old setup had a wide lens and a long lens with a gap between them. Since this is one lens, I get all the stops in between which would require another lens in the DSLR setup. It also shoots 4K video which is crazy for a camera in the sub-$1,000 price range. Being more of a consumer camera also gives it a few features such as an articulating viewfinder, autofocus on video, and the ability to connect with your smartphone to control it remotely and copy images from the camera. The latter makes it nice to take a photo with your camera, copy it to your phone, then easily share it to social channels.
If you’re looking at getting a new camera that’s much better than a point and shoot pocket camera, takes great photos and video, and doesn’t have the weight and bulk of a DSLR with multiple lenses, this might be the camera for you. I think it’s the best camera for hiking and backpacking out right now.
Specs and features are below.
- 20.1MP 1″ sensor
- Leica lens with 35mm equivalent 25-400mm at 2.8-4.0
- 4K video
- Autofocus on video
- Fast autofocus
- 2.1 lbs
- 5 axis image stabilization
- Connect to smartphone with Panasonic app allowing remote control and copy of images
- Articulating screen
- Bright electronic viewfinder
Here are a couple of photos taken with the camera.