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We have collected 11 reviews of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200. Experts rate Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 8.6/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 and Panasonic Digital cameras.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 is a super-zoom camera featuring a wide-angle 24x zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture throughout its 25-600mm range. Successor to the FZ150 model, the bridge-style Panasonic FZ200 compact offers a 3-inch 460K-pixel rotating LCD screen, a 1.31-million-dot electronic viewfinder, 1920x1080 50p Full HD video recording, a 12.1 megapixel high-sensitivity MOS image sensor, and 12fps continuous shooting without autofocus and 5.5fps with autofocus. Other key features include Intelligent Resolution technology, Light Speed auto-focus, a port for an optional stereo microphone, and an accessory shoe for an external flash. The FZ200 also offers Power O.I.S anti-shake system, iA (intelligent auto) mode, manual shooting modes, 3D still images, RAW format support, an ISO range of 100-6400, and Creative Control Mode during recording and Creative Re-touch Mode in playback. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 is available in black and retails for £499.99 / $599.99.
The Lumix FZ200 is Panasonic's latest flagship super-zoom digital camera. Announced in July 2012 it replaces the best-selling Lumix FZ150 and shares the same 24x optical zoom range that's equivalent to 25-600mm. But crucially where its predecessor had a variable aperture of f2.8-5.2, the new model boasts nothing less than a constant aperture of f2.8 throughout the entire focal range. Yep, that's right, the FZ200 offers f2.8 all the way to its maximum equivalent focal length of 600mm. In another welcome move away from its rivals, Panasonic has also upgraded the resolution of the FZ200's electronic viewfinder from 201k pixels to 1312k dots; this delivers roughly the same degree of detail as the EVFs on the Lumix G products, albeit with a smaller apparent image size. Panasonic also claims to have improved the sensor, although I'm pleased to report it has resisted the opportunity to increase the resolution - so the FZ200 sports the same 12 Megapixel resolution as its predecessor and still allows you to record files in the RAW format too. In terms of other headline specifications the FZ200 inherits the 12fps continuous shooting rate and 1080/50p/60p movies of its predecessor along with its external microphone input, making it one of the most highly specified super-zoom cameras on the market.
What Digital Camera
The bridge camera market is one of the most competitive in photography, with manufacturers trying to outdo each other in order to differentiate themselves and grab a slice of the pie. One of the main features of this innovation is in lens technology, and often the focus is for a larger focal length. Although the FZ200 still features enough of a focal length to place it well and truly in the superzoom bridge category, Panasonic has focused on placing a different world first on the specification list, namely a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 through the zoom. There's no denying that the Panasonic Lumix FZ200 is something of an optical heavyweight. The 24x optical zoom offers a focal range of 25-600mm in 35mm equivalent terms, although as mentioned the main sell is with the camera's maximum aperture - this remains at f/2.8 throughout the 24x optical zoom, a world's first for a compact camera. When you consider the cost and bulk that an equivalent lens for a DSLR would cost you, you begin to get an idea of quite what an achievement this is. The lens technology doesn't end with the impressive constant maximum aperture.
One of the main issues where megazoom camera lenses (and point-and-shoot zoom lenses in general) are concerned is that, to keep size and cost down, the apertures get increasingly smaller as you extend the lens. That's not the case for the Panasonic Lumix FZ200, though. Smaller apertures mean you're letting in less and less light, which means you need to use high ISO settings to keep shutter speeds fast enough to prevent blur. While dSLRs and interchangeable lens cameras can turn out good high-ISO results, that's rarely the case with point-and-shoots. The FZ200's lens, however, has an f2.8 aperture through its entire zoom range: 25mm to 600mm. That means even if you don't have great lighting, the camera won't immediately need to ramp up ISO sensitivity to get a proper exposure when you start using the zoom. That doesn't automatically mean it's a better megazoom than anything else right now, but the rest of the camera puts it over the top. Many of its features are straight from its predecessor, the excellent FZ150, but you also get an improved autofocus system, a high-res electronic viewfinder (EVF), and a new high-sensitivity 12-megapixel MOS sensor. It's loaded with shooting options for every user level, plus an updated interface and more direct control over settings.
The Lumix DMC-FZ200 ($599) is Panasonic's flagship super-zoom digital camera. While recent models have been relatively minor upgrades, the FZ200 returns to its roots by featuring a lens with an F2.8 maximum aperture across its entire zoom range. The early models in the FZ series (FZ1 - FZ20) had lenses with constant maximum apertures, but that stopped with the FZ30, launched back in 2005. Last year's DMC-FZ150 had an F2.8 - F5.2 lens, so the lens on the FZ200 is a huge improvement, and the extra brightness should make a real difference at long focal lengths and/or in poor light, allowing you to shoot at lower, less noisy ISO settings. In combination with the newly-developed 12MP MOS sensor, this makes the FZ200, at least on paper, by far the best choice in the superzoom segment for low light shooting. That large aperture allows it to offer faster shutter speeds at the same ISO settings as its peers, or use lower sensitivities at the same shutter speeds as the competition. While the Leica-badged lens is definitely the number one head-turner on the FZ200's spec-sheet, the remainder reads very well too.
We've finally got our hands on Panasonic's Lumix FZ200, their top of the line superzoom for 2012 and replacement of the FZ150 which—as followers of the site may know—earned our Select Award for Best Ultra-zoom Camera late last year. Panasonic has made one especially significant improvement to this model: full f/2.8 aperture width all the way through the focal range. Almost all superzoom cameras have trouble maintaining image quality while also fully zooming in. The FZ200's ambitious lens will not only allow more light at the longest focal length, but enable gorgeous depth of field effects too. Panasonic’s latest ultrazoom retains the same DSLR-styled body as its predecessors, with one major exception: the addition of an f/2.8 lens that stays all the way open at maximum zoom. Otherwise, much of what we loved about the FZ150 remains. We’d guess the vast majority of the cash you’ll be spending on the FZ200 is going toward the ambitious new lens, which is something of an engineering marvel. Although optical zoom still maxes out at 24x, just like the FZ150, the aperture iris is now capable of staying all the way open at f/2.8 even at maximum zoom.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 ($599.99 direct) is the first superzoom camera to feature a fixed-aperture f/2.8 lens, which means that the same amount of light is captured, regardless of whether you are zoomed out at 25mm or all the way in at 600mm. It's a speedy performer, images are sharp, and videographers will appreciate the excellent 1080p30 video quality and the option to add an external microphone. The relatively fast aperture allows for shallow depth of field at longer focal lengths for stills and video alike. It's good enough to oust the Nikon Coolpix P510 as our Editors' Choice superzoom, although that camera remains a good buy for shooters on a tighter budget. Design and FeaturesLooking a lot like a scaled-down D-SLR, the FZ200 takes its design cues from other superzoom cameras. It measures 3.4 by 4.9 by 4.3 inches (HWD) and weighs about 1.3 pounds. A neck strap is included, but I found it most comfortable and convenient to use with a good wrist strap. The 24x lens is a power zoom design, which keeps the size down compared with a manual zoom camera like the Fujifilm X-S1, which measures 4.2 by 5.3 by 5.9 inches, and weighs 2.1 pounds. You get two zoom controls—one built into the shutter release and the other on the left side of the lens barrel.
Recommended awardBridge cameras are perhaps sometimes unfairly dismissed as not being tools for 'proper photographers'. Perhaps what this niche has needed is a newcomer to storm onto the scene with a specification list that will make all the dedicated DSLR users out there do a double-take. Perhaps the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 is that camera.With an impressive list of numbers and features, the Panasonic FZ200 could very well be the first small bridge camera to truly make DSLR owners - or those thinking about upgrading to a DSLR - rethink their plans.The signature feature of the Panasonic FZ200 is its 24x zoom lens, with a fast f/2.8 aperture that remains available across its entire equivalent 25-600mm (equivalent) focal length range.Sure, there are bigger zooms out there, such as the Nikon Coolpix P510's 41.7x, 24-1000mm zoom range, and even the Panasonic FZ200's predecessor, the Panasonic FZ150 boasts the same 25-600mm focal range.
With the ability to shoot raw files plus a long zoom and a bright lens, this larger-than-average superzoom has a lot to offer. It's positively brimming with controls, has a sharp eyepiece viewfinder to back up the 3-inch display, and if you're an ambitious photography enthusiast, it could be well enough specced to dissuade you from upgrading to a dSLR.You can pick up the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 from around £470 online. It's not a small camera by any means, on account of the mammoth 24x zoom, which is equivalent to 25-600mm on a conventional 35mm camera. That's only half the story though. The zoom may explain the length of the body, front to back, but the width of that barrel is accounted for by the constant f/2.8 aperture throughout the range. The minimum aperture at any zoom level is f/8. At the furthest end of the zoom, that's a pretty impressive achievement, and buying an equivalent lens for a conventional dSLR would cost several thousand pounds. You can't compare removable lenses directly with this model, but to give you some idea of what you'd pay for similar apertures or zooms when not fixed to the body, Canon's 400mm f/2.8 costs on average £7,000, while Sigma's 200-600mm f/2.8 costs in excess of £16,000.
The most obvious way to upgrade a superzoom is to extended the zoom range, but Panasonic is tossing us a curveball with the FZ200. The lens is still the headline feature, but it isn't because of a longer zoom—it's the constant f/2.8 aperture throughout its 24x zoom range. In an oversimplified nutshell, it'll be easier to take zoomed-in photos indoors with the FZ200 than other superzooms. Most of the vital specs are held over from last year's excellent FZ150 superzoom—still the top-scoring fixed-lens camera on DigitalCameraInfo.com—including a 24x zoom range, an articulating 3-inch LCD, manual exposure control, RAW capture, and 12fps burst shooting. We got some hands-on time with the FZ200 at a press briefing last month. Read on for our first impressions. Pricing and launch date haven't officially been announced, but Panasonic tells us that the FZ200 will debut at $599—up $100 from the FZ150's original launch price—and will be available in black.
Despite the hype surrounding mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, and the fact that entry level DSLRs are becoming more and more affordable, superzoom cameras are as popular with consumers as ever. It is easy to see why. The combination of a large zoom range from wideangle to super telephoto, DSLR-like appearance and an attractive price point guarantee that these cameras appeal to a very broad audience. Panasonic was arguably the first manufacturer to popularize the superzoom concept with the Lumix DMC- FZ10 in 2002 which sported a 12x 35-400mm zoom lens. Over the years zooms have been steadily growing, at both the wide-angle (again spearheaded by Panasonic) and telephoto ends. The more recent Panasonic models such as the FZ150 which was launched last year come with a 24x, 25-600mm zoom lens. But this is far from the most extreme model in the superzoom sector: Nikon's Coolpix P510 for example comes with a whopping 24-1000mm (41.7x) zoom range. This abundance of focal length comes at a cost though. Even Japanese camera manufacturers cannot defy the laws of physics and as the zoom lenses were getting longer and longer the maximum apertures had to be reduced in order to keep the camera and lens dimensions in check.
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