Customer Review

82 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the FZ150, September 4, 2012
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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 (Electronics)
My conclusion so far is that the FZ200 images are clearly sharper than those from the FZ150. It's also much better in low light conditions. I have a great picture of a magnolia blossom from about 8 feet away and you can see the individual hairs on the stem. The FZ200 does weigh more than the FZ150. By sharp I mean when a. Viewed in review mode on the camera LCD using zoom, b. Viewed on a 27inch Dell HD monitor at about 12inches, and c. When printed on a Canon iP100 which has a decent resolution.

Other things I like:

-The higher resolution EVF which I use when shooting makes composition easier (I only use the LCD for menu changing/reviewing pictures). It works quite well actually, because when the LCD is closed up face in, the EVF comes on.
-Same 52mm filter size.
-Same camera case fits although the FZ200 is a little larger than the FZ150.
-Same cables.
-Larger capacity battery.
-The new FZ200 body is slightly taller than that of the FZ150 so there is more thumb room on the right side of the LCD, especially useful when holding the FZ200 in one hand while standing in a pop top safari van.
-The FZ150 was great as a safari camera, and this one is even better.
-iZOOM now gives an additional 2X magnification. If you are concerned about the potential reduction in image quality (after all there is no free lunch), you can either stay out of the iZOOM area using the ZOOM bar at the bottom of the screen or if using P mode simply turn iZOOM off. I tried a few repeat tests (handheld) shots using iZOOM and they looked great at 48X. Useful on safari for rare shots (maybe 1 in 400) where 24X just isn't enough.
-I don't use flash and it's not allowed in many galleries and museums, so it's nice that it has to be mechanically switched on, and not on by default at power on. Not much new here versus the FZ150.

Things I didn't like:

-My unit makes a slight random buzzing noise when just sitting there, not sure what that is yet. Seems to be in present in record mode only. Since it might show up on the sound track and also shorten the battery life I am going to return it and get a replacement. Update: I found that the second unit behaved the same, and since I have to crank the volume up to the max to hear it on the audio track (where I can also hear my breathing) I decided it isn't a problem. The second unit is virtually the same as the first one as far as IQ, so that's encouraging.
-There is less room between the grip and the lens barrel, so I can no longer have the lenshood
stored backwards without scrunching my fingers. I found this useful for hiding the chrome and other flashy stuff around the lens. Plan to NOT carry a lens hood now as I seldom if ever use one.

I suggest the photo review au FZ200 review for assessing performance, and comparing with other cameras i.e. G1X, FZ150, RX100, etc. I set up 2 reviews in windows next to each other, for comparing each section.

(My FZ200 equipment list is much the same as before-no tripod, no lens hood, Nikon 52mm clear filter for lens protection, Crumpler The Noose wrist strap, Rip Off's Belt Pouch, and one spare battery in pants pocket).
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Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 9, 2012 8:36:11 AM PDT
tvtrouble says:
Picture quality of the FZ200 is actually worse than the FZ150. I've just read an article in one of our leading computer magazines and their test found out the FZ200 (1.044 line pairs) produces about 200 lines less than the FZ150 (1.222 line pairs) at ISO 100. They rated picture quality of the FZ200 below average.
Here's the link:
http://www.chip.de/artikel/Panasonic-Lumix_DMC-FZ200-Digitalkamera-Test_57175869.html
(unfortunately in German)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2012 4:20:14 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 29, 2012 8:23:17 PM PDT
Art says:
Thanks, also see http://www.photoreview.com.au/reviews/advanced-compact-cameras/fixed-lens/panasonic-lumix-dmc-fz200
Also http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/sharp.shtml

Posted on Sep 29, 2012 4:50:43 PM PDT
Very helpful review. I've tried searching on line for the Rip Off Belt Pouch, with no success. Where did you find it ?

Thank you very much !

Rafi
Visalia, California

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2012 7:43:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 30, 2012 10:45:09 AM PDT
Art says:
Make sure it has extra padding, and choose loop or clip, also check the size as there have been problems since I purchased mine with the published dimensions not matching the actual bag. Look under FZ150 Rip Off's belt pouch, also here...

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1033&message=39553809&changemode=1

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 8:16:24 AM PDT
I believe the buzzing you're hearing is the OIS making minor corrections; but it also might be the autofocus since that is fully active while recording. Thanks for the comparison and review!

Posted on Nov 9, 2012 1:25:10 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 9, 2012 1:27:57 PM PST
Jimmystl says:
I just recieved the FZ200 and have noticed the buzzing noise you mentioned. My first videoes have audio noise, but then the room itself has background noise, so I will try other room later. On your second camera was the noise issue the same or worse? Have you found that the noise is less or goes away in different camera/video modes? Is the buzzing noise there when you turn off the OIS and/or turn off auto focus? Thanks for any and all help.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 7:59:11 AM PST
Art says:
Both cameras were about the same -in record mode only. I did try manual focus mode but it didn't make any difference.

Posted on Feb 12, 2013 4:27:12 PM PST
Art says:
If you are planning to use your fz200 on a safari check out the dpreview post by Hans Gruber, among other suggestions he recommends using burst mode, and also a lens hood. The photos are great.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50483649
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