For those of you who do not understand how and why a DIGITAL CAMERA SENSOR work, please read some of the articles here.
Sensor sizes are important in digital photography because in general, THE LARGER the sensor, THE BETTER image quality you will get.
But how true is that assumption?
Before we go on, let us look at the type of sensors that digital cameras come in.
The diagram, of course is NOT the actual size, to put it in perspective, see below...
This is the ACTUAL physical size of the sensors in your camera! Talk about tiny! And we expect them to capture all the details in the world!
The relationship in sizes between the 3 Lumix can be seen below.
This is when I found out that the FZ1000, a nearly similar super-zoom camera come with a sensor FOUR TIME LARGER than the FZ300.
Panasonic NZ inform me that the FZ1000 is the "Big Brother" of the FZ300 which is a newer model.
Four time larger sensor, but was it FOUR TIMES BETTER?
The first thing that strikes me when I received the camera from Panasonic New Zealand, was how heavy the FZ1000 is.
The weather sealed FZ300 weigh in at 691g, the FZ1000 a whooping 831g.
The FZ1000 is also BIGGER, 137 x 99 x 131 mm to 132 x 92 x 117 mm.
Yeah, but the SENSOR is FOUR TIMES LARGER ;)
As you can see from above, the FZ1000 also have MORE pixels than the 300, 8MP more.
This was shot with the FZ1000 and the picture below is a 100% from above.
The picture above was shot with the FZ300 which was returned, it look pretty good here, wish I had one nearer to the one shot with FZ1000.
My point is, even at 100% (see below), what the "Little Brother" produced is not bad at all! Except...
it started to get GRAINY, this is where SIZE MATTERS!
In my review of the FZ300, I did mention that the FZ300 can be a very unforgiving camera; what I meant was, because of the small sensor, there is only so much you can blow-up or crop your shot, before loss of quality becomes visible!
On the other hand, the FZ1000, with a 4 times larger sensor is more "forgiving" and allow you more allowance to crop and enlarge your image.
Something still nag me...
How good is the 1" sensor compare to a "full size" Four-Third sensor which is nearly TWICE AS LARGE as the sensor inside FZ1000, I did a simple test.
This sink full of fruits were photograph first with a FZ1000 and then with my GM1 which have a four-third sensor.
|100% crop from FZ1000 shot.|
|100% from the little GM1|
They look identical! Lets push it to 300%...
At a whopping THREE HUNDRED % enlargement, the bottom frame from the GM1 look SHARPER and more DETAILED.
Again, SIZE MATTER!
But then photography is not only about size of sensors! Below are more samples and blow-ups from this LUMIX DMC FZ1000 camera, which, I was told, has done a tour of duty of a SAFARI! Life of a review camera ;)
The shot of the runner give you an idea how "forgiving" this camera is, even with a huge amount of cropping, you still able to extract a good amount of details from your image. I doubt a "four time smaller" FZ300 is able to pull off the same stunt.
Famous Last Words...
Panasonic made the FZ1000 just to compete with the SONY RX10, both cameras used a 1" sensor, the Lumix zoom however, can zoom to 400 mm, 200mm MORE than the Sony.
I like the 25-400 "Leica" zoom on this heavy camera for its sharpness and good contrast, but I discovered how easily you can get lens flares in bright outdoor.
Like the ultra-zoom on the FZ300, the near protruding front lens element should always be protected with the supplied lens hood.
During my short two weeks using the FZ1000, that left dial allowed me to go from single frame to quick burst or to self-timer in a flash!
Why was such useful dial been taken away on the FZ300?
Overall though, I find the FZ1000 a bit long in the tooth, the FZ300 might not beat it in resolution but it came VERY NEAR. The "small brother" is much lighter, have a LONGER and BRIGHTER zoom lens and is WEATHER SEALED!
I think it is time for Panasonic to REPLACE the FZ1000.
A FZ300 with a 1" sensor will be a WORLD BEATER!