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The FZ200 is Panasonic's return to a fixed aperture, ultra zoom camera, something Panasonic were previously known for with their first FZ1/2/3 models that featured a 12x optical zoom lens and f/2.8 aperture right through the zoom range. This model features an f/2.8 24x optical zoom lens equivalent to 25-600mm with Mega optical image stabilisation (O.I.S), 12.1 megapixel sensor, high speed shooting, 3inch screen, and high resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF).
The FZ200 features a zoom control on the side of the lens, as well as a switch for focus, including manual focus. The Panasonic ultra zoom series hasn't has a constant f/2.8 aperture, since the FZ1/FZ2/FZ3 and FZ10/15/20 series which were available in 2002-2004, so it's impressive to see this has been re-introduced, although this time, instead of 12x optical zoom, the camera now has 24x optical zoom.
Panasonic Lumix FZ200 Full Zoom
- 12.1 megapixel MOS sensor
- Full range f/2.8 lens, equivalent to 25-600mm
- 24x optical zoom Leica DX lens with Nano surface coating
- Power Optical Image Stabilisation (O.I.S)
- 3 inch 460k dot tilting screen
- 1.31million dot EVF, 60fps
- 1080p Full HD video with stereo sound
- ISO100 - 6400
- 1cm macro mode
- 12fps continuous shooting
- HDR / Sweep Panorama
- 540 shot battery rating
Handling - The FZ200 is a large bridge style ultra zoom camera with a large rubber hand grip and a textured thumb grip on the rear. On the left side of the zoom barrel is a zoom control as well as a manual focus mode switch, letting you choose between AF / AF-Macro / Manual. A focus button lets you set the focus point. The build quality feels very good with a rigid body and the inclusion of a lens hood, and neck strap add to the quality feel of the camera. The camera features a number of customisable function buttons dotted around the camera, as well as dedicated buttons for continuous shooting.
Menus – 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.
Battery life - Battery life is rated at 540 shots according to CIPA standards.
Speed – Focus seemed quick and reliable. Continuous shooting was certainly impressive offering 12fps continuous shooting at full resolution, or 5fps continuos shooting with C-AF.
Equipment Database, where you can add your own review and product ratings. Pre-production sample photos, resized to 5mp at Panasonic's request.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Other sample images
Wide | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
Full Zoom | 1/1000 sec | f/4.0 | 108.0 mm | ISO 100
Wide | 1/1000 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
Zoom | 1/1000 sec | f/4.0 | 108.0 mm | ISO 100
Cathedral | 1/400 sec | f/4.5 | 16.9 mm | ISO 100
Some Zoom | 1/1000 sec | f/4.5 | 17.8 mm | ISO 100
Tower | 1/1000 sec | f/4.0 | 21.4 mm | ISO 100
Into Sun | 1/1000 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
Tiles | 1/400 sec | f/4.0 | 108.0 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 9.1 mm | ISO 100
Moon | 1/125 sec | f/2.8 | 108.0 mm | ISO 400
Indoors | 1/30 sec | f/2.8 | 7.1 mm | ISO 400
Horse | 1/400 sec | f/4.0 | 24.3 mm | ISO 100
Horse Again | 1/500 sec | f/4.0 | 108.0 mm | ISO 100
HDR Off | 1/800 sec | f/4.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
HDR On | 1/640 sec | f/6.3 | 4.5 mm | ISO 200
Sample Photos - Colour reproduction appears to be very good, and it's possible to expand dynamic range using either iDynamic or the camera's HDR mode. The lens is resistant to flare and shooting into the sun there was little flare. Exposure was good and the camera allows you to focus on subjects just 1cm from the front of the lens in macro mode.
Value For MoneyThe nearest competitors includes the Fujifilm X-S1 with x zoom lens, and larger than normal sensor, available for £489 it's one of the larger bridge cameras available. Others include the Nikon Coolpix P510 with 42x optical zoom lens, Sony Cybershot HX200v with 30x optical zoom and GPS, Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR with 30x optical zoom, Canon Powershot SX40 HS with 35x optical zoom, Olympus SP-810 with 36x optical zoom. Have a look at other Bridge cameras here. 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-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|