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The FZ200 is Panasonic's return to a fixed aperture, ultra zoom camera, something they were previously known for with their first FZ1/2/3 models. It is available now, priced at £469.95.
To make shooting as easy as possible there is iA (Intelligent Auto) mode which changes the appropriate camera settings automatically for the scene. There is also full manual controls as well as a range of scene modes. Creative Control allows you to choose from 14 artistic effects when shooting, as well as HDR and panoramas. The FZ200 also as an approximate 0.95 sec quick start-up and Light Speed AF. As well as using the screen to frame your shots, there is a 0.2 inch Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) with a 1,312,000 dot equivalent resolution and 100% field of view.
Videos are recorded at full 1080p HD in AVCHD and MP4 format with stereo sound. The 24x optical zoom, Power OIS, iA (Intelligent Auto) mode and creative control are also available in video recording. There is also a zoom noise reduction system and auto wind cut function. High-speed videos can be recorded at 120 fps in 720p HD or 240 fps in VGA (640 x 480) format.
- 12.1 megapixel MOS sensor
- 24x optical zoom, f/2.8 lens (35mm equiv: 25-600mm)
- Power Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)
- 3 inch 460k dot tilting screen
- 1.31million dot EVF, 60fps
- Full 1080p HD video with stereo sound
- ISO 100-6400
- 1cm minimum focusing distance
- HDR / Sweep Panorama
- 12fps full resolution continuous shooting
- 540 shot battery rating
The Panasonic menus are well laid out with Q. Menu (Quick) giving quick access to the most common settings at the top of the screen. Within the photo menus there are new options including an auto-HDR mode that combines three photos into one. The iA button and mode dial makes it easy to get good results even if you're a beginner, making it easy to use.
The LCD screen is adjustable into many angles, making it easy to shoot with the camera low down or high up. If you prefer to use the EVF you won't be disappointed, it's extremely bright - ideal for use in low light or in bright sunlight where the screen is difficult to see clearly.
The battery has an impressive CIPA rating of 540 shots, we managed well over this number and the battery was still going strong. We tested the camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average.
|Shutter Response||0.05 seconds|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.2 seconds|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.3 seconds|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||1.5 seconds|
|Shot to Shot (without flash)||0.98 seconds|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||1.28 seconds|
|Burst Shooting 2||2.1 fps|
|Burst Shooting 5.5||5 fps|
|Burst Shooting 12||12 fps|
|Burst Shooting 40||39 fps|
|Burst Shooting 60||59 fps|
|Flash burst||1.2 fps|
The burst modes recorded at full 12 megapixel resolution at the stated fps, we couldn't achieve 12 fps when shooting RAW, just when switched to JPEG only. Burst Shooting 40 and 60 recorded at a reduced number of megapixels (5 and 2.5 respectively).
Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 12.5 mm | ISO 250
Landscape | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
HDR | 1/800 sec | f/4.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 200
Sample Photos - The FZ200 does an excellent job at portraits, with pleasant skin tones and no red-eye. Colour reproduction is good and images are well exposed.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/640 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
Full Optical Zoom | 1/1000 sec | f/4.0 | 108.0 mm | ISO 100
Trees | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 1/13 sec | f/2.8 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
Lens Performance - Detail is good when shooting at both ends of the lens, with a good control over purple fringing, although there is some in contrasting areas. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm which allows you to get really close for an impressive macro shot.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 ISO test images
ISO100 | 1/25 sec | f/2.8 | 13.0 mm
ISO200 | 1/50 sec | f/2.8 | 13.0 mm
ISO400 | 1/100 sec | f/2.8 | 13.0 mm
ISO800 | 1/100 sec | f/4.0 | 13.0 mm
ISO1600 | 1/250 sec | f/4.0 | 13.0 mm
ISO3200 | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 13.0 mm
ISO Noise Performance - With no noise at ISO 100, there is only a small increase when you start to go through the ISO range, including ISO 200, 400 and 800. Images at ISO 1600 are a little soft in places, with the first signs that image quality has decreased with any significance. ISO 3200 takes an even softer picture, with quite a lot of detail lost. Yes, probably best avoided, but image quality is decent enough if you do need to go to this setting.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/30 sec | f/2.8 | 5.6 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/30 sec | f/2.8 | 5.6 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/2.8 | 5.6 mm | ISO 100
White Balance Performance - Under both our incandescent and fluorescent lights, the AWB preset copes really well. The incandescent preset has a slight orange cast in the image, there is no fluorescent preset available, this isn't a problem given the impressive AWB performance.
Panorama | 1/100 sec | f/8.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
Panorama mode - Panorama images are taken using a sweeping method while holding the shutter release. They have a decent amount of detail and are stitched together really well.
Zoom Example 1 | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 108.0 mm | ISO 100
Action Shot | 1/800 sec | f/5.0 | 41.1 mm | ISO 100
Low Light | 0.3 sec | f/2.8 | 17.8 mm | ISO 100
Fast Shutter Speed | 1/2000 sec | f/2.8 | 70.5 mm | ISO 100
The first image above shots the camera using the lens at its longest length. The second shot has utilised the FZ200's fast continuous shooting modes to capture the running dog. The third image has been taken using our studio lights turned down as low as possible.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Digital filters
Photo Style - Monochrome | 1/20 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 100
Photo Style - Natural | 1/20 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 100
Photo Style - Portrait | 1/20 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 100
Photo Style - Standard | 1/20 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 100
Photo Style - Vivid | 1/15 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 100
Photo Style - Scenery | 1/640 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
Creative Control - Cross Process | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Dynamic Monochrome | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Expressive | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - High Dynamic | 1/6 sec | f/5.6 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - High Key | 1/30 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Impressive Art | 1/50 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Low Key | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 320
Creative Control - One Point Colour | 1/50 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Retro | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Sepia | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Soft Focus | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Star Filter | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Toy Effect | 1/30 sec | f/2.8 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Miniature | 1/400 sec | f/4.0 | 14.5 mm | ISO 100
Digital Filters - There are a number of picture styles which can be used when shooting in modes such as manual, aperture and shutter priority. The creative control modes can only be used as their own independent modes, but you can increase or decrease the level of their affect.
Video - Below is a video recorded at full 1080p HD. Quality is good, with excellent stabilisation even in windy conditions. Optical zoom is available during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Page. where you'll also be able to watch a video using the high-speed mode.
Value For MoneyPanasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 (24x zoom) at £469.95, it's one of the higher priced super-zoom cameras around, but there are options for all budgets.
|Pentax X-5||Canon PowerShot SX260 HS||Olympus SZ-31MR||Sony Cybershot DSC-HX20V||Fujifilm X-S1|
|Not yet scored|
You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ62. The FZ200 is very similar with a few extras for the extra money. On the FZ200 you'll find that the screen rotates, has 12 fps continuous shooting (10 fps on the FZ62), a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 through the lens range and better, if only slightly, image quality. If none of these extra features are appealing to you, the FZ62 won't disappoint, but this higher spec version is great if you want to try your hand at shooting sports or other fast moving objects, whether they are close-up or in the distance.
As per the FZ62, the FZ200 looks and feels very much like a DSLR - it has a mode dial with full manual controls, plenty of buttons for easy access to many settings and an electronic viewfinder and the battery life is excellent. Overall we are happy to highly recommend the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200.
|The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 offers fantastic image quality and has a fast maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout its lens range.|
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 ProsFeature packed
Good image quality
Plenty of rubber grip
Full manual controls
Excellent battery life
Decent value for money
12 fps full resolution recording
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 ConsThere are smaller cameras with 24x optical zoom
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Specifications
|35mm equivalent||25mm - 600mm|
|CCD pixels||12.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Type||Live MOS Sensor|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Screen resolution||460k dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/4000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||60sec|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 6400|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Box Contents||Battery Charger, Battery Pack, USB Cable, AC Cable, Shoulder Strap, CD-ROM, Lens Hood, Lens Cap, Lens Cap String|