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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One fine do-it-all camera
I'm the previous owner of a Canon Rebel XSi DSLR and a Canon SX20. I loved my Rebel, which I bought to take Photography and Graphic Design classes in college. After owning it for two years (and investing $1500 into it, lenses, and other equipment), it was stolen. Not wanting or able to afford investing into another DSLR, I stuck with the Canon brand and bought an SX20...
Published 13 months ago by Dustin C Beach

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Problem with shutter!
I bought my Lumix in March and started to use it at the end of May when I went on a trip. It was working fine for 2 weeks. I then used it again in June when I went on my 2nd trip and this is when I started to have issues with the shutter. One day while taking photos, the shutter just froze, it seemed to be stuck for a couple of seconds so I couldn't take pictures. I had...
Published 15 months ago by Sarah S Pouzet


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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One fine do-it-all camera, July 11, 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom - Black - DMC-FZ200K +4GB SDHC CARD (Electronics)
I'm the previous owner of a Canon Rebel XSi DSLR and a Canon SX20. I loved my Rebel, which I bought to take Photography and Graphic Design classes in college. After owning it for two years (and investing $1500 into it, lenses, and other equipment), it was stolen. Not wanting or able to afford investing into another DSLR, I stuck with the Canon brand and bought an SX20 "superzoom" camera. It worked well, but I ended up using it mostly for video work for my church. Then I let a "friend" borrow it for school and never saw him or the camera again. Notice a pattern here? Now that I'm doing freelance work, photos/video for my church, and wanting to keep up with doing amateur nature photography, I went camera shopping once again.

I've always been a fan of Canon, but I'm also a fan of having the best you can afford, and brand loyalty only goes so far. One of my major gripes with the SX20 was it's crappy low-light abilites. And even though Canon's new SX50 is cheaper than the FZ200 and has a 50X lens, it has a maximum aperature of 3.4 (that goes to 6.5 zoomed all the way in) - not good for low light and for a lens that long. I'd had friends recommend cameras from Sony and Panasonic, and after some research, came across the FZ200. I liked the basic specs - 12.1MP, 24X zoom, full manual controls - plus it shoots RAW, has a hotshoe, a microphone jack and 1080p video (remember, I shoot movies too), and - this sealed the deal for me - an aperture of f2.8 through the entire zoom range.

After having it for a few months and taking trips to parks, DC, and a few zoos, here's what I love about it:

Everything.

There's nothing this camera can't do. Want usable pictures and video in stupid low light? It'll do it. Like to edit RAW? It'll do it. Fully manual controls with a second rocker switch on the side of the lens barrel that will allow you to manually focus and zoom seperately? It's got that. In-camera Sweep Panoramas and HDR images that actually work? Yup. Great battery life, always good images (you can often just leave it in Program mode and get images as good as or better than those that you tinkered with in Manual mode), gorgeous video, not too heavy, no need to lug around extra lenses and stuff.

The ONLY issues I have with this camera is that if you have a tripod shoe on it, you can't get to the battery or SD card without removing it. It's a little plasticky if you're used to an SLR. And sometimes highlights get blown out if you're not careful with your exposure. And, well, it's still not quite as good as a DSLR. The price puts it right up against entry-level DSLRs, but you won't get the zoom range (and convenience of a single do-it-all lens) and it works better as a casual video camera - most DSLRs require special lenses if you want autofocus.

If you want a really really nice camera that does everything and want to do hobby photography/video without investing in a DSLR system, you really can't go wrong with this camera.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great camera with a few flaws., February 25, 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom - Black - DMC-FZ200K +4GB SDHC CARD (Electronics)
This is a very capable gem of a camera, and if you're persistent and patient, you'll be able to get some truly terrific images with it. I photograph birds 99% of the time, quite a demanding discipline. In good light, the FZ200 is wonderful. (Though even then, the auto focus could be better.) In lower light, the AF is slow or painfully and practically non-existant for a subject that is usually moving around a lot. For non-moving subjects, you'd fare better.
I have other complaints; for example, the four-way controller is far too easily influenced by my hand when I don't want it to be, as in when I'm simply using the grip to try to take a photo. It's very easy to accidentally influence the "WB" (white balance) when gripping the camera. I've learned to grip the camera in a rather uncomfortable way so as not to turn on the WB, but it should be designed so this is not a problem.
As said, it's not a perfect instrument, but for the price and abilities of the camera, I feel it's quite a bargain. Overall, I am very happy with my purchase. (One more item: If you're used to using a DSLR with a big lens, (I also own and use a Nikon D7000 and have a Sigma 150-500mm lens on it,) you'll love the convenience, weight, and size of the Panasonic FZ200. I often use it without a tripod and the image stabilization works very well. (And using it minus the tripod allows far more mobility, meaning you'll get shots you can't get with a tripod.) On the other hand, a tripod has its place.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best for traveling, February 5, 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom - Black - DMC-FZ200K +4GB SDHC CARD (Electronics)
I have my days of Range cameras, SLR and DSLR. Cano, Nikon, Rollie. . . Really getting tired of carrying heavy load when I travel. Several years ago start using Panasonic TZ1, ZS10, ZS20. When Panasonic came out FZ200 with 25-600 mm F2.8 Leica lenses I just got to have it! Very nicely built with all kinds of useful features, pictures came crispy sharp. Oh, boy, I would never have a shot in a 600mm F2,8 lenses in DSLR. And it's a LEICA!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sports camera, March 30, 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom - Black - DMC-FZ200K +4GB SDHC CARD (Electronics)
Greatest performing camera short of a true DSLR. Maintaining the f2.8 Aperature thru the entire 600mm range is impt for indoor gymnastics photos where light is limited.
Also, as a PGA golf instructor, the 120fps is great to capture slo mo golf swings of my students.
I look forward to years of great photos.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic Lumix FZ 200, January 14, 2013
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom - Black - DMC-FZ200K +4GB SDHC CARD (Electronics)
I, just bought this camera before Christmas. I LOVE IT. I sold my Nikon D-3000 and five lenses. I, was tired of lugging all this equipment around. The Panasonic does more then my older camera did. I also get a video camera.I love the white balance that you can view right in the view finder. There is some other bells and whistle also, that my other camera didn't have. Leica lens is crisp and clear. I recommend this to people who want somethig simple, but still have control of your camera. All the review where right. GET IT!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Lumix camera, March 6, 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom - Black - DMC-FZ200K +4GB SDHC CARD (Electronics)
This is the 3rd Panasonic Lumix DMC camera I've owned. I keep getting new ones because they keep getting better. This one did not disappoint. The picture quality is excellent and the lens is awesome.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new GH3 has sat on the shelf since I got this!, May 28, 2013
By 
Yakkster (CA, Foothills) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom - Black - DMC-FZ200K +4GB SDHC CARD (Electronics)
I'm a dedicated Panny shooter. Started with their FZ50 superzoom about 6 years ago and in recent years have stepped up. I own both a GH2 and also the new GH3 4/3 models. Both those have their own great features and strong points, but now that I've had the FZ200 I see they do not have the convenience and light weight that makes it my first choice when I wanna grab a few quick shots.

Image quality is EXCELLENT. I prefer to shoot JPG (tho this'll do RAW) and like to use Photoshop CS6 to enhance every image I post. FZ200 images are a joy to edit requiring less work than those from either GH2 or GH3.

I shoot mostly at the max telephoto end of the zoom with subjects being birds and wildlife or boaters out on the lake. The OIS works great even with my old man's shakes and the f2.8 aperture gives me benefit in low light and for depth of field control.

Find out more in dpReview's Compact Panasonic forum where much discussion and real world sample images can be found.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought this camera for birding., December 10, 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom - Black - DMC-FZ200K +4GB SDHC CARD (Electronics)
I thought long and hard about this purchase. Been watching the price, reading reviews, etc since June. I recently pulled trigger when the price was at $450. I am rating this camera five stars for what the camera is, not what it isn't. What do I mean? This camera has a certain purpose and it is not to take a nature photo for the cover of National Geographic. It is excellent for being easy to use, amazing zoom, and taking great pictures at the end of the zoom.

I bought this camera for birding. I have seen many other birders with this camera and talked with them as well before making the purchase. In my own experience in the field, I have been more than pleased with the purchase. Things I can hardly see with my naked eye, like a snowy owl this past weekend, I can zoom in 48x (up to 24x, but will go to 48x digitally) and make out what kind of bird is in the distance. You would need a scope otherwise. Other people with DLSR cameras and huge lenses next to me are getting less zoom. It is very easy to use and carry. This was very important to me because I often hike long distance to find birds. This would not be fun with a huge lens and tripod.

I have seen nature photographers with $20,000 cameras and lenses. Those cameras will take better photos then this camera. This fact does not mean this camera takes poor photos. I have taken excellent photos indoors and outside. The record function for the video is easy to use. I have operated this camera with mittens on (there is a zoom control that is easy to use on the left side of the lens.

I have put some photos on Flickr mostly to document what birds I saw on Ebird. I did not use Photoshop. Some of the photos may seem a little blurry. Those were taken at very far distances - in some cases I could barely see a brown bump which turned out to be an eagle. Take a look: http://flic.kr/ps/2w2bfd

For the amount of money you spend on this camera, you are getting an excellent camera, Leica lens, amazing zoom, simple to use.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ200, September 22, 2013
By 
E. Villanueva (Porter Ranch, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom - Black - DMC-FZ200K +4GB SDHC CARD (Electronics)
One of the best super zoom camera I have ever owned. I also own the Lumix LX7 compact, Nikon 12x super zoom Coolpix P100 & P510 (50x), Nikon DSLR D70, D7000 & D600. I have been using film cameras since I was 12 and owned some nostalgic cameras from Nikon, like the Nikkormats and the F series cameras. This Lumix FZ200 is way ahead of it's competition mainly because of it's Leica designed constant aperture zoom lens. I was also impressed with the algorythm used on it's iA setting. The only thing I wish they incorporated on this compact was a 4/3 sensor. However, I understand that the lens design using a fixed aperture lens on a 4/3 sensor may be cost prohibitive. Hello, Panasonic or Leica: I would like to see a 4/3 sensor camera with a fixed 25x zoom with f/2.0 constant aperture camera for about $1500 in the near future. I hope I don't have to wait too long. For now, the FZ200 beats all of them (compact super zooms) in performance including the Sony 50x HX300, especially at dusk. This Lumix is a great deal for $499. The cost alone of a lens of this caliber is well worth it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Camera - Excellent Value, May 16, 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom - Black - DMC-FZ200K +4GB SDHC CARD (Electronics)
The Panasonic FZ200 is a wonderful photographic system. The lens is superb. The feature set is outstanding. The results are in the pictures. They are clear and well exposed. Color saturation is quite good. The screen is clear and quite flexible. The EVF is a big plus. Also, the camera is surprisingly compact. The features are easily accessed. Overall the camera is a dream to hold and use and the results are excellent. I have been in photography since the late 50's. I have owned several pro level SLR's, a digital DLR with multiple lenses and a a digital point & shoot camera. This is a great digital camera. Super hi speed (F 2.8 throughout) 25mm-600mm zoom lens. With almost any feature you might want.

If there is a deficiency, it is in the instructional manual! Panasonic does not provide a printed manual, just a PDF file. Additionally, the manual is poorly organized. The camera has so, so many features - bells and whistles that it is quite intimidating to get started. Nevertheless, if the only complaint I can register is the manual, that says a lot!

After using the camera - Absolutely great pictures. Many features, easy to access; just a fine all around camera.
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