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Mirrorless News

Date: 05/01/2016 | By: Heather

Panasonic announces the Leica 100-400mm f/4-6.3 & Lumix TZ100

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Panasonic announces the Leica 100-400mm f/4-6.3 & Lumix TZ100

Today at CES 2016, Panasonic announced two new products that have ties to the mirrorless segment. On one hand, we have the Panasonic Leica 100-400mm f/4-6.3, the first of many mirrorless extreme telephoto zooms expected this year. On the other, there is the Panasonic Lumix TZ100 (otherwise known as the ZS100 in the US), a new arrival in the 1-inch compact camera arena and competitor for the likes of the Sony RX100 series and the Canon G7x.

Panasonic Leica 100-400mm f/4-6.3 DG Vario-Elmar Asph. Power OIS

Panasonic Leica 100-400mm f/4-6.3
Panasonic Leica 100-400mm f/4-6.3

It is fair to say that 2016 is shaping up to be the year of the extreme telephoto lens, at least as far as the mirrorless world is concerned. The Panasonic Leica 100-400mm (200-800mm equivalent on full-frame) is the first to be made official, providing the longest focal length the Micro Four Thirds world has seen thus far.

Of course, having such a long telephoto range doesn’t come without its caveats. You are confined to an aperture range of f/4-6.3, which is fine for daylight shooting but may prove limiting in low-light if you are shooting fast-moving subjects.

The lens has 20 elements in 13 groups, a 72mm filter and is 100% weather sealed, making it a good match for professional bodies like the GH4 or GX8. It has an excellent close-focusing distance of 1.3m and since it incorporates Panasonic’s Power Optical Image Stabilisation, it is also compatible with the GX8’s Dual I.S. system. According to the press release, the lens is fast and silent thanks to its high speed and precise 240 fps AF-motor.

Being a professional telephoto zoom, it is also one of the largest and heaviest Micro Four Thirds lenses on the market today, weighing 985 grams and measuring 172mm in length and 83mm in width. It comes with a compact, two-part tripod mount that enables faster conversion between landscape and portrait orientation and an integrated hide-away hood. It will cost just under $1,800.

Panasonic Lumix TZ100 / ZS100

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Panasonic TZ100 / ZS100

Since Sony first released the first RX100, 1-inch sensor compacts have become all the rage because they provide exceptional image quality in a very pocketable package. Up until last year, only two companies had ventured into the 1-inch compact realm – Sony, which amplified its RX100 line to include four cameras and Canon with its G7x, G5x and G9x. Now, to ring in 2016, Panasonic has joined the party with the Lumix TZ100 (otherwise known as the ZS100 in the US).

The TZ100 has a 20MP CMOS 1-inch sensor with high ISO performance up to 25600. Of all the 1-inch compact cameras on the market, the TZ100’s Leica DC Vario-Elmarit zoom provides the widest focal range by a long shot. While the equivalent focal ranges of the RX100/RX100 II, RX100 III/IV, G7x/G5x, and G9x are 28-100mm, 24-70mm, 24-100mm and 24-84mm respectively, the TZ101 has an impressive equivalent range of 25-250mm, although the variable aperture isn’t as bright as any of its competitors at f/2.8-5.9. The TZ100’s lens also employs 5-axis optical stabilisation to compensate for shakes. It is called 5-axis Hybrid O.I.S. and has mainly been integrated into Panasonic camcorders in the past.

Since we are talking about Panasonic, it is unsurprising that the ability to record in 4K has trickled down to the TZ100. Not only can you shoot 4K video, but you also get 4K Photo and Post Focus, both of which are found on Panasonic’s high end models. Other significant features include a (fixed) touchscreen, WiFi capabilities, and an electronic viewfinder.

At 110.5 x 64.5 x 44.3mm and 312 grams, the TZ100 is only a little larger than the RX100 series. It will be available at the price of just under $700.

Are you interested in either of these Panasonic products? Tell us why (or why not) below!

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About the author: Heather Broster

Heather Broster was born in Canada, has lived in Japan and Italy but currently calls Wales home. She is a full-time gear tester at MirrorLessons. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter or Facebook!

  • Dustin

    Thank for the write up on the 100-400, Heather. I just watched Matthew’s video review of the Olympus 300 F4. As an EM1 shooter, I’d really like to know how well the Power I.S. on the Pana 100-400 works ( I know it won’t work in conjunction with the IBIS on the EM1, like it does on the GX8). Are you impressed, or does it leave much to be desired? I currently own the Oly 75-300mm, and I’d really like the extra reach of the Pana 100-400, without the extra cost of having to by the Olympus 300 F4 and the teleconverter to get a similar reach. Know what I mean? Lastly, I love your blog. Such a great idea to release it on Sunday when everyone has time to read it. I look forward it every week. Cheers, Dustin

  • waledro

    Add a fully articulated LCD and it’s on my wish list.

  • Jeffrey Bleaman

    As an E-M1 shooter (actually 2 of them) I am most interested in these two new offerings from P-L and Oly. Heather, I was wondering if you might be able to provide any review of the pros and cons of both the PL 100-400mm vs Oly 300mm and how each performed on the E-M1. The differences (pros and cons) in specs are obvious but wondering that “penalties”, if any, using the PL 100-300 on a Oly body you might experience.

  • Mathieu

    Fujifilm should announce their 100-400mm and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see something from Sony as well.

  • André

    quote “the first of many mirrorless extreme telephoto zooms expected this year”.
    I only know of the Pana 100-400 and the Olympus 300/4 that is expected in 2016.
    Are there any other? many others? that would be great

  • Keshav Khera

    The point and shoot looks rather interesting and at a good price point as well.

  • soundimageplus

    The TZ100 has very impressive specs. and with Panasonic’s track record I have no doubt it will perform well too. Will it make any inroads whatsoever into the smartphone market? Probably not, but a lot of serious photographers will love it as a ‘pocket rocket.’ Tradeoff is of course squeezing all those controls into a very small space and I have no doubt it will have a menu stuffed with ‘fluff.’ But I have no doubt it will deliver excellent stills and video. A ‘shrunk’ FZ1000. What’s not to like?

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