Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Review

October 11, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 Coffee

Thanks for a comprehensive review of this interesting camera! It’s a shame really, that just when bridge cameras begin to deliver fairly decent IQ, this type of camera seems to have fallen out of favor with many people, which is of course the result of a decade of lousy IQ from small sensor cameras.

6:02 pm - Thursday, October 11, 2012

#2 zebarnabe

Imagine this camera with Canon SX50 HS sensor ...

8:54 pm - Thursday, October 11, 2012

#3 Roberto

In my opinion, the bridge segment has been a damn one until the introduction of CMOS sensors.And there were good reasons for that.Many people have felt deceived by the fake appearance of this cameras, DSLR at the exterior but P&S at the heart.

Not too much has changed; after all, is a 1/2.3” sensor inside. Aside optics, a bridge is more or less the same camera as a compact superzoom.Very often, they share the same sensor, the same processor and the same controls.

This cameras define itself only by their optics. If focal range is not crucial, there´s no reason to spend that amount of money when you can achieve the same IQ with almost half the $, or achieve a way better IQ with a big sensor compact for a similar price.

And Panasonic demonstrates once more that their sensors are not competitive at all. Nothing to do with the Sony´s nor the home-built Canons.The same song since…how long already?

10:38 pm - Thursday, October 11, 2012

#4 Russell

what Deborah implied I am impressed that someone able to make $8541 in 4 weeks on the computer. did you see this link (Click on menu Home more information)   

1:22 am - Friday, October 12, 2012

#5 AMC Volunteer

This is a great camera.  Any negative reviews I have seen are usually by people who do not understand basic exposure fundamentals, used the camera in Auto mode, did not bother to study the user’s Guide to Advanced Features, and wrote reviews after just a day or two.  I have had this camera for three weeks.  It is light enough for me to have around my neck for a 11 mile tough hike in the mountains of Maine,  provides crisp photos at maximum optical extension, amazing macro capability, and has tons of features and potential.  I would advise people to print out and study the manual, experiment, and learn the camera.

2:53 am - Friday, October 12, 2012

#6 Ian knight

Surely the way things seem to have progressed with the small 1/2.33 sensor technology if manufacturers concentrated on the optic quality at the expense of the actual zoom length, bridge cameras could stand a chance of being taken seriously.
How does the Canon HS sensor differ from the Lumix sensor technology?
Does it compare well with the Fujifilm EXR sensor?
Cheers Ian

8:41 am - Friday, October 12, 2012

#7 Richard Hannam

After a lot of research, I recently purchased the FZ200, primarily to save lugging around my heavy SLR’s on holiday etc. But I have been surprised at just how good it is.
As usual, the vast majority of negative comments come from those who know little about photographic basics.
As a pro, using the FZ200 is a significant departure from my Canon cameras. So, I’m making a point of studying the, as usual, highly comprehensive Panasonic manual plus the excellent Graham Hough videos on You Tube.
I’ve therefore only just begun to explore the considerable capabilities of this camera. Thus far, I’m very impressed & I’m sure that opinion will only improve. In fact, I would actually consider using the FZ200 for certain situations in my pro shoots.
Within the constraints of a bridge camera it has all the capabilities & more of my existing & very expensive equipment. For example, I don’t know of any SLR which actually calculates & shows the hyperfocal distance for perfect DoF every time.
This is not a camera for the casual amateur. It is for an amateur that seriously wants to learn good techniques, a serious amateur or as a professional back up camera. Well done Panasonic…again.

2:02 pm - Friday, October 12, 2012

#8 Richard Hannam

So, and following on from my lager comment, I totally agree with AMC Volunteer’s post above.

2:04 pm - Friday, October 12, 2012

#9 Joe

Impressive photos. But I’ll wait for the next one with GPS location tagging. Until then, I’ll keep my FZ35.

1:52 am - Saturday, October 13, 2012

#10 Fabio

Since I decided to quit using DSLRs for casual shooting due to size and weight, I turned to small sensor cameras and my aproach is to have different small cameras as I would have different lenses.
    I tried this Panasonic in a photo show and wasn’t really impressed by the results, it was a low light situation and I compared it with other 4/3 Panasonics and my Fuji X10. Of course I was just looking the results on the LCD, I like Panasonic a lot but my experience is that they suffer in low light, maybe that’s why they decided to put a constant 2.8 lens, a great achievement.  I like the results here and maybe I was unfair by comparing it with better cameras that don’t have that zoom range.
    At the same show I tried the Nikon P510 and was impressed by the results shooting models in low light ,  I got one and I’m very happy with the 1000 mm zoom, very sharp.
    I would buy this Panasonic as a lens for sport and shows even though I would probably have problems with security people, but for distant moving subjects in low light it is really the best, for nature shots it will work sometimes but 600 mm is not enough, small sensors must be filled with the image of the main subject, we don’t have much room for cropping
    I also have the Sony HX200, wich I think is the best compromise, fast focus and good movies,  in camera tone mapping HDR, good low light , but I replaced it with a Sony HX30 a pocket camera with the same features and 20x zoom, and better macro performance, really outstanding and the Nikon P510 for the excellent zoom quality, after all most photos at long zoom will be taken in good light conditions
    To be honest I don’t like bridge cameras, for me they are a cheap replacement for a heavy and costly lens,  if I can get a 1000 mm lens that I will use 90% of the time in good light instead of a 600 mm , then I will get the longer one, Canon SX50 even goes to 1200mm, but it doesn’t look good , heavy chromatic aberrations and the need to use high ISO are serious problems, even though noise performance is very good.
  A 24-600 2.8 lens for about $500 with fast focus and good stabilization?  When we see it that way, it’s impossible not to buy one, need to save some money.

2:34 am - Saturday, October 13, 2012

#11 MickeyD

Looks just like the Fz150 and probably shoots the same way! What these camera’s need is to have a 4/3rd’s sensor installed in there bodies and this way you will be ahead of all the competation from Nikon & Canon & Pentax & Olympus. The sensor size at 1/2.3” CMOS is just too small to produce those large detailed prints that us folks want & need. For a few bucks more I can purchase an Entry Level DSLR with Basic Lens Kit that has an APS-C sensor that is at least 7 times larger than this sensor size!

2:48 am - Saturday, October 13, 2012

#12 zebarnabe

For the camera like this to have a bigger sensor it would need lens proportionally bigger to cover it… 4 times the area would mean 8 times the volume (and weight)

2:57 am - Saturday, October 13, 2012

#13 Richard Hannam

Anyone getting poor shots with this camera either doesn’t know photography basics or hasn’t read the manual. Yes, it’s a bridge camera with a small sensor so it has limitations…so does my Canon 1DS!!
As one of many examples I could give, let’s take the FZ200’s low light performance. I can get superb shots at ISO200. How? I use a tripod.
Let’s take another - blurring action like water. Bridge camera sensors limit the aperture to f/8. So with, say, a 1/10sec shutter speed & maximum negative exposure compensation, the shot will always be over exposed. But, just add an ND4 filter or stronger & problem solved. There’s a great range of filters available for this camera.
I could go on!

10:38 am - Saturday, October 13, 2012

#14 Tim Richads

The fact that this camera has the equivalent of a 600mm F2.8 lens makes it unique. I just checked B & H Photo in New York and the closest you can get to a 600mm F2.8 lens is either the Sigma 500mm F4.5 which presently costs $4999 or the Sigma 300 F2.8 which costs $3399. Both of these are huge lenses. When you add a camera body, you’re looking at a lot of money and some serious weight as well.
I’m a semi-pro myself with two DSLRs and a bag full of pretty good glass so I am well aware that this camera isn’t going to produce the image quality of a professional camera and lens, but at around $600 what Panasonic has managed to do is nothing short of spectacular.
At present I’m looking for a camera I can carry in my pocket when I don’t want to pack a DSLR. Though this one may be too large for that I’m intrigued enough that I plan to take a look at it before I purchase a compact zoom. Well done Panasonic.

10:08 pm - Wednesday, October 17, 2012

#15 zebarnabe

Tim Richards,

While I agree with you regarding the unique and usefulness of the 600mm f/2.8 on FZ200, please note that in reality it is a 108mm f/2.8 lens.

To proper compare it to a DSLR you need to look at a cropped image of a 108mm f/2.8 lens on a fullframe DSLR. A 108mm f/2.8 lens (probably 100mm is the closest you can find) is still very expensive though (and the detail resolved would be limited).

A more close comparison would be something like a 400mm f/5.6 lens, aperture makes DoF roughly equivalent to 108mm f/2.8, cropping required would be small, the 2 extra stops of light needed mean that ISO would had to go up on the DSLR making it closer (but still better) than what FZ200 delivers. Price wise FZ200 would win with no doubt.

Obviously an DSLR is in another league altogether, and image quality is much superior specially when ISO is high, however most people don’t need the quality of a DSLR.

12:35 am - Thursday, October 18, 2012

#16 Richard Hannam

I think Tim’s comment sums it up for all of us! The FZ200 is certainly a viable back up for pro kit. And that’s what I’m doing with it…as well as just a great camera for holidays etc.

12:40 am - Thursday, October 18, 2012

#17 Tim Richards

I know the lens isn’t technically a 600mm lens at the long end, but it’s effectively that. If the sensor were larger, it would require a much much larger lens. While the tiny size of the sensor in this camera is certainly a huge limiting factor, the fact that no other manufacturer has come up with the equivalent of this length at F2.8 still makes this pretty remarkable.

4:54 am - Thursday, October 18, 2012

#18 Richard Hannam

Re - Zebarnabe’s comment. That’s like saying that a 200m lens isn’t really that on a Canon 7D but it is on a Canon 5D. Is he asking all manufacturers to always state their 35mm equivalents?

9:21 am - Thursday, October 18, 2012

#19 zebarnabe

“Is he asking all
manufacturers to always state their 35mm equivalents?”

No, not really, but price wise there is a big difference between 600mm and 100mm f/2.8 lens (I don’t think you can find a 600mm one even)... FZ200 has a 108mm f/2.8 spec at the long end on the zoom, price wise it is very good, but it shouldn’t be compared with a 600mm f/2.8 (or something similar) in that regard.

9:29 am - Thursday, October 18, 2012

#20 Richard Hannam

Re - Zebarnabe. The point is that the vast majority of buyers don’t understand these issues. They do understand expressions like 24x zoom. Everyone else understands anyway. The market place doesn’t need to be confused by relatively unnecessary technicalities.

10:38 am - Thursday, October 18, 2012

#21 zebarnabe

I was replying to the previous comment, but your observation is equally valid, most users don’t mind that and just want to know what are the results possible when using the camera.

Regarding that, with those lens and when compared with the other bridge cameras available, FZ200 can blur the background more when taking portraits, works better at telephoto (specially when shooting fast moving subjects) and video quality is excellent.

The only points where the camera not so good is the extra size (not exceedingly big, but noticeable bigger than most of the other bridges) and the less stellar noise performance (but the f/2.8 aperture helps with that)

In a kind of joke/conspiracy theory, I guess Panny released this camera with a sensor similar to FZ150 to have room for improvement in the next iteration :]

10:49 am - Thursday, October 18, 2012

#22 Richard Hannam

It’s tiny & light for me, but that’s because I’m used to lugging around a 5D & 7D with large lenses like a 70-200mm…35mmm equivalent of course!!
Not sure that the sensor size can be moved much or the camera will be more than twice the size!!
Anyway, just trying to keep it all simple for the mass market that generally doesn’t understand the techno babble.

12:16 pm - Thursday, October 18, 2012

#23 Chris


“What these camera’s need is to have a 4/3rd’s sensor installed in there bodies and this way you will be ahead of all the competation…”

Ha ha why not FF or MF ha ha ha

Good entertainment…

1:51 pm - Thursday, October 18, 2012

#24 oliver

Hopefully could sell my 150 to upgrade to the 200. Will never really need an SLR with many lenses anymore. Although it has a small sensor, the quality is good enough for many uses. Been very happy with the 150 but just would like 2.8 all the way to 600mm.

12:57 pm - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#25 Maxx

I shoot images that rarely are seen beyond what my 28-inch computer monitor presents and thus this FZ200 I recently purchased exceeds my wildest expectations.  However, this is not a “point and shoot, turn it on and go” bridge camera.  Buyers need to spend time with the manual and cut that “automatic mode” umbilical cord to get to the goods this beauty provides.  I suspect many of the poor reviews potential buyers are reading came from those who did not dive into the manual and simply aimed and fired, expecting to see DSLR-results.  The best description I can give for the FZ200 is “it’s a camera that is exceptionally favored for people who don’t need a DSLR and yet desire DSLR-type manual options.”    If you just want to turn a camera on and begin pressing the shutter, there are much more managable offerings available.

8:03 pm - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#26 Richard Hannam

Well said Maxx.
Oliver, you might be OK holding on to the 150 as it seems to have a better sensor than the 200.

9:45 pm - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#27 zebarnabe

“the 150 as it seems to have a better
sensor than the 200.”

I might be wrong, but, just compared samples of both taken under the exact same conditions over several ISO settings, they are pretty much exactly the same, even the grain of the noise and yellow blotches creep up at the same pace and with a similar look…

FZ200 sensor is probably a tweaked version of FZ150 to have better and faster readout times with a slightly (very slight) higher sharpening and tweaked NR (just a tiny bit, yellow blotches are reduced at the cost of saturation) by default on JPEG engine.

Basically, FZ200 sensor = FZ150 sensor when comes to pixel output… while the FZ200 JPEGs are just a notch cleaner (it is a very subtle difference)

Sensor wise there is no real advantage when going from FZ150 to FZ200, the lens are the real appeal, but the price makes it an hard choice… maybe FZ250 will have the f/2.8 with a better sensor and a lower price…. maybe not :P

10:01 pm - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#28 Richard Hannam

If you wait for the best version to buy, you’ll be a long time dead!
Best way to get the latest tech is buy it one year after it’s launched.
That way, you’ll be able to have the latest version at half the price…albeit a little late.

10:09 pm - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#29 Harvey

This is also a good review for this camera the zoom is excellent

5:00 am - Thursday, November 1, 2012

#30 Harvey

I like the FZ200. From the review it looks great as an all round cam

5:17 am - Thursday, November 1, 2012

#31 Richard

Anyone who complains about not getting large prints from this camera either hasn’t tried to print large or doesn’t know how to take photos.
I went on a last minute safari to Africa earlier this year and bought a second hand FZ35/38 because I didn’t want to have to keep changing lenses and I left my SLR at home. I read the get started manual on the plane and guessed the rest.
Granted that the weather conditions were perfect for photography and most of the time I could afford to have it on P mode. When I got back I sat with my printer and we chose 15 shots to enlarge to 16 x 20. I can tell you that the photos are pin sharp and the colour so good that the printer didn’t feel the need to photoshop any other than the ones where he wanted to get rid of unwanted branches etc.
Some of the birds and animals were taken from 100 metres or more on full or almost full zoom and you could see every feather and every hair on the animal.
All I can day is that if I could get that quality on a older model I shudder to think what I could achieve on the latest FZ 200 which seems to be superior in every way.
When I read comments about sensor size and not being able to print large sizes I laugh because most people only want to see them on the laptop or Facebook and have never tried to print to anything more than 6 x 4. I think they would be very surprised if they actually tried.

1:10 pm - Sunday, November 4, 2012

#32 gLOW-x

It is funny to see ppl don’t understanding it is BECAUSE there is a small sensor they can make such a small camera with f2.8 constant and 600mm equivalent.
This is the spirit of bridges.

Bigger sensor = bigger lens and body (and price, weight too).

If they can do the same bridge with 6MP only and manual zooming ;)
More than enough for screen and usual prints.

On the other side, Sony is putting 20MP on the same small sensors…

11:55 pm - Sunday, November 4, 2012

#33 fabio

I’m selling my FZ100 for a used almost new FZ200, fz100+ 250€ is that a good deal(ok dont compare to fz150 )

7:51 pm - Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#34 Dean

Too bad Canon did not go this route on the Canon SX50.  The FZ150 outperformed the SX40 and Panasonic has done it again with the FZ200.

8:58 pm - Friday, November 9, 2012

#35 Karl Merton Ferron

Being a pro shooter, I’ve understood and trusted the Lumix high-zoom cameras for years. I used one of the first to cover Hurricane Katrina and pushed it beyond its limits sometimes. But it was a great camera to bring to a place where a journalist needed to work incog. Now I have back and neck issues and need a camera like this to cover the jobs we tend to cover most of the time as I heal from scoliosis. The FZ200 has audio input for using external and wireless mics and the hot shoe is great to use the Pocket Wizard remotes so I can place flashes to emulate ambient light. Yes it would be nice having a 4/3 chip but imagine the lens size to still have a 25-600mm f 2.8 equivalent optical zoom. I have asked my boss to order this as I heal so that I can keep churning out images. I still need my Nikon D3 and D3S to shoot major sporting events, impt general news and specialized portraits but I know the FZ200 will do just fine for 80 pct. of the things we cover.

3:04 pm - Saturday, November 10, 2012

#36 JoePrete

I’m wondering why nobody ever comments on the videos. Mark Goldstein goes through the trouble to link the youtube videos, so that we can get some actual video impressions of the gear, and no one makes use of it. They are of course third parties in the videos, but wouldn’t seeing it in action influence your impression?

btw, I do agree with those who said that people who have the camera a day or two, don’t even have full manual, maybe read the basic guide, assume that that’s all there is to it. Those who take the time to know these cameras do have a lot of fun with them and the get some great shots too. What would it cost to put a 1200MM lens on a canon? Now the SX50 doesn’t sound to expensive any more does it.
...Joe Prete

12:21 am - Thursday, November 22, 2012

#37 dave garrison

Right now, there are a lot of new high megapixel cameras such as the Nikon D800.  I have been looking at the lower priced Nikon D5100.  The Nikon D5200 will have 24 megapixels.  There appear to be a lot of comments about cheap lenses and very powerful sensors.  Wouldn’t a more reasonable approach be to match the lens to the sensor, decide if you like the camera and buy.  So most likely if you are not willing to spend $500 or more on some good glass, maybe its better to save the money and get a 12 megapixel camera with a lens to match.  The nice thing about the Panasonic FZ200 is that this appears to be the case.  It is going to be tempting to go to the local camera store and see if there are any FZ200’s to try out. Are many new dslr owners really benefitting from these huge sensors with their cheap lenses?
The Nikon 18-55mm kit lens photos that Nikon displays really did not impress me that much.  Is the dslr market really what it is hyped up to be if you are not ready to at least spend a couple thousand on some good glass.  Maybe its better to purchase a camera like the Panasonic,  save and buy a camera with a good sensor and some serious lenses later.  Right now, its hard for me to get sold on the dslr market unless I am willing to spend some big bucks.  Thats what makes this camera appealing to me.  Any thoughts about matching lenses to sensors.  For example, if I had a Nikon 12 megapixel sensor.  It would be bigger..  But, in real world examples,  if I took a 13x19 print from a Nikon shot at iso 200 and laid it next to one from a Panosonic fz200 at the same iso.  They were both exposed properly on a tripod.  Would you see that much of a difference?  Would it be worth the extra $500 that you could be spend on Photoshop or some more paper for the printer.  I like to photograph nature and portraits and would like to learn how to do video.  Any thoughts on this.

8:39 pm - Sunday, November 25, 2012

#38 Richard Hannam

This is in reply to Dave Garrison whose post poses a number of issues arguably to big to answer here. However, as brief & as clear as possible, I’ll try anyway. So here goes:-
The fundamental point here is that my FZ200 will do at least 95% of what my top end DSLRs & quality glass will do. The 5% or so it isn’t capable of is what generates revenue for my professional work.
In the final analysis, the larger the sensor then the more control there is over final image quality, providing quality lenses are used…and the photographer is knowledgeable!
And megapixels are not high on the relevance list.
Any of the quality bridge cameras will do a decent job & are ideal for an amateur wanting to learn about techniques.
The choice depends on what you want to photograph. I chose the FZ200 as my casual walk about camera due to its very fast burst mode & equally fast f/2.8 lens. An ideal combo for action shots in a variety of light conditions.
Although my Canon based Speedlite will work on the FZ200, it will only do so in manual mode. So, to save fiddling about, I invested in the excellent Metz 50 flash unit. As usual, access to more powerful & directional flash increases final image quality.
The trick with small sensor cameras is to work at the lowest ISA possible. So a half decent tripod is also handy.
And don’t forget that you can shoot in RAW or a RAW/JPEG combo on the FZ200. This provides an extra dimension of quality control without the need to invest in Photoshop either.
Hope this helps

12:39 am - Monday, November 26, 2012

#39 Fabio

FZ200 state of art bridge camera. period.

2:07 am - Monday, November 26, 2012

#40 Joe Prete


3:04 am - Monday, November 26, 2012

#41 yuri_nahl

Have to agree with Joe Prete’s comment about Fabio’s pics. The proof is the fun and interesting photos. I have owned a DMC FZ-20 for a number of years and have had lots of fun with the super zoom. Frankly I would be too paranoid to haul a more expensive camera around since I take lots of pics at work.

6:06 am - Monday, November 26, 2012

#42 Karl Merton Ferron

In my Youtube channel, I only have one clip of the slow motion that the FZ200 does (and saw that I still have 5-year-old clips from other Lumix cameras and a 6-year-old clip from a Lumix FZ30!). Just edited several clips of a post game press conference for work ... The video quality didn’t look so hot as I’m flubbing around with the AF/MF switch. I like manual focus much better, and use the focus button to anchor the sharpness while shooting. Posted a review, the slow motion and added some image quality pictures onto Amazon at the FZ200 product page as well. I was impressed with some of the in-camera post processing of images, the fact that it has a mic input, have already used Pocket Wizards with the hot shoe, and enjoy 125fps in 720p. It’s more silent than a Leica film camera, barely a sound.

3:17 pm - Monday, November 26, 2012

#43 quiddity

I have the FZ200.  See my comment at .

1:52 am - Wednesday, November 28, 2012

#44 Momof4

I’m just a Mom who whats a High-end superzoom.  I don’t want to carry around extra lenses.  I will use it alot for School Dances, Holidays, School Activties, Cheerleading, Dancing, and Soccer Shots.  I want great pics, a nice zoom, and good video since I don’t want to carry around two camera either.  Should I get this or the Canon SX-50?  Please help!!

4:40 pm - Thursday, November 29, 2012

#45 Fabio

for what I know my Panasonic FZ 200 is Superb, and you should get a chance,check my Flickr

11:39 pm - Thursday, November 29, 2012

#46 Richard

To Momof4
With the Canon you’ll never get a sharp shot at the longer lengths unless you have a tripod so anything over 6oomm is pretty useless.
Fabio’s shots are great and I have an old FZ38 which is really sharp so the FZ200 should be a lot better. I am a Canon fan ( top end DSLR and a great G12 which I love) but in your case having the f2.8 throughout will allow you to use faster shutter speeds which is important for the action shots you will need for your daughter’s activities.

7:46 am - Friday, November 30, 2012

#47 Fabio

To #44
  I’m another Fabio , ok? You described excactly the kind of shooting that the FZ200 was made for, action, low light , indoor. I don’t consider it a superzoom anymore, it’s in the pocket camera zoom range and for nature shots 600 mm is not enough. 
  All others really superzoom will give you sharp pictures in all zoom range, Canon SX50 and Nikon P510 have very good stabilization and don’t need tripods even at 1000 or 1200 mm but they are much darker and demands higher ISOs to get the same speed that you may get with the FZ200 at lower ISOs , for the activties you described 600 mm is enough and the FZ200 is the recommended camera, both for movies and stills.

12:50 pm - Friday, November 30, 2012

#48 Joe Prete

Obviously you have not used the Canon SX50 HS Because if you did, you would know that at 1200MM, the Pictures are sharp as a tack. Even if the shooter is not still, the Dynamic Hybrid (O.I.S.) Optical Image Stabilization takes a picture that you would assume came from a multi thousand dollar Lens. It analyzes the shot and chooses from six types of stabilization and it applies the one best for the cameras movement. I own the camera and have done several tests on it myself, for me to be satisfied, it needs to be incredible, and it is. Hard to believe, but true!!

You should also know, that if the camera is on a tripod, or other solid surface, the O.I.S. shuts down, so that tripod will be your only means of stabilizing it. I’d rather trust the cameras Hybrid Stabilization. Richard, Technology has passed you by my friend.

You should have also told Momof4 that she needs to have the Panasonic DMC FZ200 in Manual or Aperture Priority Mode, and must set it at 2.8 as well, in order to make use of the fast 2.8 Aperture lens. Otherwise, the camera will pick it’s own setting.
She probably won’t know that, unless she is told about it.

For someone who doesn’t print his last name, you need not be very confident in the advice that you are giving. People deserve the right information before they spend their hard earned money on what will probably be the only camera that she buys for many years, or more! Yes, I also own the FZ200 as well. I’m not sure what DSLR you claim to own, but you should know that the DSLR’s do not need O.I.S. units, because they assume that the user knows what he’s doing. Apparently a bad assumption!
... Joe Prete

And Btw, lenses are sharpest a few stops in, NOT at their largest aperture.  You really should know that!!!

11:15 pm - Friday, November 30, 2012

#49 Joe Prete

Will the real FABIO stand up? Fabio, from Brazil is the one that we all know. The other one should use a second initial or a number to avoid confusion. Try to be fair, Fabio has been on these forums for years, and he builds and repairs camera components, so please be a gentleman and help us to distinguish one from the other. We don’t want to start checking IP addresses. 
Thank You,
... Joe Prete

11:26 pm - Friday, November 30, 2012

#50 Joe Prete

Comment #47 Fabio,
I still consider the 600mm Camera range a SUPER ZOOM, the exceptions are only the Fujifim HS20EXR, HS30EXR and the X-S1 at 720mm and 624mm respectively, The Nikon P510 at 1000mm and of course the Canon SX50 HS at 1200mm. Actually, I consider any camera that nears the 500mm area to be in the SUPER-ZOOM range.

Something tells me that Canon reached 1200mm with ease and I would not at all be surprised, if one of these camera makers crowns the current leader. Maybe Canon themselves. We’re looking at technology that was only dreamed about, just a few short years ago. And, I don’t mean to downplay Panasonic’s own POWER OPTICAL IMAGE STABILIZATION. They are all quite advanced, they have small similarities but each company owns it’s own technology.

I totally disagree with the #47 Fabio’s last statement regarding demanding higher ISO’s.  It makes no sense at all.
... Joe Prete

12:06 am - Saturday, December 1, 2012

#51 Fabio Pirovano

sorry I’m the Fabio’s FZ200 lover,I’m very satisfy with this bridge( I got sx10 and sx1 canon and I had FZ100 ),to be easy,you can not found the ISO quality of Olympus ELP1 but really has strong beautiful romantic ISO quality,grain is add value,blacks and colours are outstanding,try it and let me know ; and I love 600mm zoom and f2.8 aperture

1:43 am - Saturday, December 1, 2012

#52 Joe Prete

Unless the Panasonic is in manual or aperture priority, set at F2.8, the picture will have the same exposure at the same ISO’s as the others. Although the systems are different, the requirements for proper exposure remain the same.

1:57 am - Saturday, December 1, 2012


Fabio Pirovano,
Yes, most of us already own the DMC FZ200, and we’ve had the earlier FZ100 or the FZ150. When I started reading this today, Richard was saying to Momof4 that 1200mm Zoom (SX50 HS) could not be hand held for taking sharp pictures. He was basing his opinion on some much older cameras that he’s had, and he doesn’t own the FZ200 or the SX50 HS, yet he’s giving this woman his advice. He claims to own an EOS 1 DX, but I doubt that, and I’m not even sure why he’s hanging around this review and giving advice. I agree the DMC FZ200 is a very nice camera. I’m glad you like it too! I hope Momof4 has enough sense not to listen to Richard, then, maybe someone else can help her.

2:43 am - Saturday, December 1, 2012

#54 quiddity

Joe Prete is WRONG.  The FZ200 has a “Sports” scene mode which chooses a higher shutter speed and a wider aperture.  Unless the artificial lighting is very bright or it is daylight, I expect that the FZ200 would choose an f/2.8 aperture. I expect that other super zoom cameras also have a “Sports” mode, but when zoomed, their lenses would have an aperature smaller than f/2.8 .aperture.

3:34 am - Saturday, December 1, 2012

#55 Fabio

Ok, let’s go back to what Momof4 needs, she needs to take pictures of sports, indoor activities like dancing, she won’t be able to get close to the subjects in many ocasions and of course light won’t be good. Of course the FZ200 will allow her to use lower ISOs , most of the time she will need to zoom in to get the pictures and the 2.8 constant aperture while zooming in will make a great difference in order to freeze the action while keeping ISO at reasonable .
    I had to face that same problem many times with my grandchildren and a FZ200 would be perfect, in fact I’m considering buying one exactly for those ocasions, I had the chance to use one for 2 days and I liked it very much.  I have a Nikon P 510 and a Sony HX200, I also have a Sony HX30 a 500 mm pocket camera and there are many times when that zoom is simply not enough, as always happen one single camera won’t be able to deal with all situations.
  A few years ago 5x zoom was superzoom, them 10x, them 14x, 16x, 20x , 36 x, some people are calling the P510 and the SX50 ultrazooms or megazooms,  certainly they are another category of lenses, and the FZ200 can’t be placed in that category, 600 mm to 1000 or 12000 is too much difference, many people say that 600 is more than enough , wish they could try a Nikon P510 or Canon SX50 both sharp and with excellent stabilization . But that’s just my opinion.
    Hi Joe, this is the brazilian Fabio.

5:51 am - Saturday, December 1, 2012

#56 samheer

Fabio(from Brazil) and Joe Prete, need you help guys to choose from fz150, fz200, sx50hs and P510..for wildlife shooting basically

6:11 pm - Sunday, December 2, 2012


The FZ200 and the SX50 HS are two different cameras. If Five Stars were the highest a camera could be rated, They would both be FIVE STAR cameras. The P510 may be closer to four stars.

If you have the FZ200 and you want to extend the focal length, there is an accessory Telephoto lens that can be added. That would add to the focal length. There are also Close up lens elements that can be added. They screw in the front like filters.

I don’t think that any of the camera manufacturers are finished with their Super-Zoom line of cameras. Just when we think that they’re the best that can be, something better comes along.

At some point, you have to stop watching the technology race, and buy a camera that you can afford. Think about all the pictures you are missing, so many pictures wasted while you wait. Unless you start, you will never get any pictures at all.

The picture starts in the mind, and is then created by the Photographer. It’s not so important which camera he has in his hands, he creates the best picture that he can at that time and place. If you do not have the skill, having the best camera in the world will not help you.

The skill can be learned, but only if you practice. So please stop asking the same questions over and over, and start to practice your picture taking skill. Just pick a camera that you can afford and get started already.

... Joe Prete

8:47 am - Monday, December 3, 2012


Of course some idiots have to set their exposure by a little picture on the dial. What do they do if their scene doesn’t have a picture,
of course they can;t take the picture! They’d be lost using numbers.

10:32 am - Monday, December 3, 2012

#59 Fabio

To #56 Samheer
  If the FZ200 had longer zoom it was easy to recommend it, you can add the telephoto and adapter but that will cost you another US$200 and as far as I could see it’s unvailable, but that is temporary of course.
    My concern about the SX50 is chromatic aberrations that tend to happen a lot in nature photos, the review here makes that very clear, with samples. At the same time Nikon P510 handles them extremelly well, I have one and was impressed by the almost total absence of it, it’s a great camera and if focus was better it would be excellent, price is also a bargain.
    Do you intend to take macro photos too? That’s logical to me if you like nature, but none will give you really good macros. Let me give you more to think about, get the cheapest you find between the SX50 or P510 and a Panasonic ZS20 or even better a Sony HX20/30V ,both of these pocket cameras have better video, better focus and much better macro, you will miss some features that are complemented by the big ones, mainly zoom,you will spend almost the same if you buy just the FZ200.
    Usually nature shots are taken with good light, you can use smaller apertures wich also tends to be sharper. Today’s cameras will satisfy you if you learn how to use them, but none will do everything well, that’s why I carry 3 cameras all the time that for me is like carrying different lenses , even so I still need a camera like the FZ200.

1:26 pm - Monday, December 3, 2012


This guys got nothing to do with his time. He asks the opposite questions at the other camera’s comments. Sending emails and wasting everyones time. Multiple names from the same IP Address,
This is going on too long now. There’s a forum on this site scroll over community it’s there, let him go!

6:41 am - Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#61 Richard Hannam

Very arrogant, unfair & extremely rude of you to refer to the vast majority of photographers as idiots. These are the people who want to have fun. They need automatic modes as they do not, and don’t want to, understand f stops, aperture settings & ISOs. And those auto settings will cater for everything they are likely to need.
Still, you are not the first one to make inappropriate comments in this thread which is meant to be for reviewing the FZ200. Let’s just stick to that from now on.

10:30 am - Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#62 Fabio Pirovano

Richard I agree very appropriate comment!

11:31 am - Tuesday, December 4, 2012


IT WAS ONE PERSON, WHERE DO YOU GET “THE VAST MAJORITY OF PHOTOGRAPHERS? IT’S Samheer Writing the same questions on all the camera reviews, over and over. and these are for comments, not questions. there is a Forum you know. And Nobody was talking to you two

11:49 am - Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Yeah good idea Richard, Samheer is going on with this which one is better thing for two months. Look at the P510 and the SX50 HS and this isn’t the first time. Other names with the same IP address.
Do you want to moderate for a while?

11:56 am - Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#65 Richard Hannam

The ‘vast majority of photographers’ represent the point & shoot buyers. Many of them read & rely on these sites for information.
I would just like those of us who have more advanced knowledge to be able to share it in a clear, relevant & helpful way.
I accept we all have slightly differing views of the same thing. You only have to start a “Which DSLR is best - Canon or Nikon?” discussion to realise how difficult the subject is. But please don’t try & answer that poser here.
Anyway the answer is Canon…isn’t it??????

12:40 pm - Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#66 Karl Merton Ferron

I like the speed of the FZ200 with the 12fps in a one-second burst. It can be hard to shoot with the image stabilizer on, and with the EVF, takes effort to frame and shoot quickly enough. Many times the focus can lock on but sometimes locks somewhere other than where I have aimed. The f/2.8 is nice but it’s odd that I noticed some exposure variance in certain points of the zoom. I wonder *but have no proof* whether the f/2.8 is actual throughout the whole zoom. You may be able to go from say, 1/60th sec. on a typical bridge, to perhaps, 1/160th or 1/200th with this camera. That helps but if you’re talking about soccer/football sports shooting, at least 1/400th sec is a desirable speed.

5:01 pm - Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#67 zebarnabe


Budget bridge (quite nice for the price): Pentax X-5
Best price for top of the line bridge: P510
Best overall bridge (but it isn’t perfect): FZ200
Best ISO behavior, detail resolve power (don’t expect miracles): SX50

However, for this type of camera sensor, travel zoom cameras are a lot better in portability regards, I would prefer the SX240 (or the TZ30, but SX240 is a lot cheaper) with the 20x simply because of the size and weight.

A bit technical but bare with me, I put a TL;DR if you don’t want to read the reasoning behind the statements:
Now, about the F/2.8 aperture, if you have it on P mode, the camera will choose the F/2.8 as needed by the light conditions, it will not pump the ISO without reducing the F-stop first, the lens it’s sharper at F/4.0 or so, so it will prefer that aperture if there is enough light to shoot at the given focal length without blurring the image from the camera shake.

I don’t own a FZ200 so I can’t confirm this, but I own a Lumix camera with i.ISO setting, it will pump the ISO when the aperture alone is not enough to compensate for the subject motion (notice that it is the subject and not the camera shaking).

The reason why people say that you can’t shoot SX50 at 1200mm eq. without a tripod it is simply because with such a small aperture (f/6.5) you would need to expose a lot more than the 1/focal length recommendation (1/1200s).
With optical stabilization you get 3 stops (depends how steady you are though), that’s a 1/150~200s requirement, in a sunny day it is in the realm of possibility to take sharp shots as with f/6.5 you only need around 1/500s of exposure time at ISO 100.
If it is overcast you will need substantially more light, however pumping the ISO to 400 will not damage the resulting image too much, meaning that at 1200mm it should be possible (believing in the optical stabilization reviews) to take sharp and detailed shots at in a heavy overcast or open shade light conditions.
However in these conditions freezing subject motion might be impossible, meaning that even if a fast moving subject is in frame and focused it will be blurred by its movement.

FZ200 in P mode should pick F/2.8 as needed without having to mess with less consistent solutions (read: auto modes). i.ISO should pump the ISO to freeze motion if needed as a moving subject is detected.
SX50 can take shots handheld at 1200mm if there is enough light, you don’t shake at lot and your subject is mostly still.

Hope it helps! Happy shooting!

PS, IMO, replying to R.Hannam tease:
Nikon has the best camera bodies (function and sensor quality wise), but Canon lens range is better priced for what it delivers.

PPS, replying at K.M.Ferron:
At f/2.8 FZ200 suffers a bit from vignetting, meaning that the corners are darker and require a bit more exposure at certain focal lengths, that might what is provoking variations on the exposure. F/2.8 might be constant, but it might not be (and probably it isn’t) T-stop constant through the entire focal length (F-stop represents the ‘hole’ in relation with the focal length, T-stop represents the actual light). Though I don’t own the camera to confirm it.

Geez…. sorry for all the text….

8:00 pm - Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Karl Merton Ferron,
I’ve reviewed, tested and I own The DMC FZ200 camera. It has a constant 2.8 Aperture lens throughout it’s range, however, in order to retain the 2.8 aperture, you must 1) use Aperture Priority Mode, with the Aperture set at F2.8 or 2) set camera in manual exposure mode with the aperture set at F2.8, the camera will then make the proper exposure by adjusting the shutter speed and then the ISO (in that order), and in doing so, it will retain the 2.8 aperture. I’v said this many times in the comments here and on other review forums, and I don’t think it is very hard to understand. If anyone has any doubt that the F2.8 aperture can be retained, one need only look at the Cameras specification page. The earlier models of this camera do not have this feature.

If anyone is having trouble shooting the 12 F.P.S., They should check their other settings (ie, Focus priority will slow it down if it needs to constantly refocus during the shutter burst frame rate. Having image review on will also slow down the rate of shutter firing, as it is showing you each shot after it takes it. Panasonic believes that anyone who reads the camera manual, should have been able to understand this. If not, they are welcome to call their tech support for assistance. They do believe that a person who purchases this piece of equipment, should have at least average intelligence and be able to read the FULL manual.

Your statement about Nikon vs. Canon has a complete lack of relevance and they should understand that these are Two very different companies. ie. How many Camcorders does Nikon make? How many office copiers? Calculators? Printers,? Photo Printers? Adding Machines? * NONE! How many Microscopes does Canon make? Micron Microscopes? IC Steppers? Spotting Scopes? Binocular Scopes?, Rifle Scopes,? Medical equipment? NONE. This is just an example, a fraction of what these companies do. More than half of the worlds integrated circuit boards are punched out on Nikon’s IC Steppers. Compare Apples to Apples okay, and read your Panasonic manual. The full manual, not just The “Getting started” book.
... Joe Prete

... Joe Prete

8:02 pm - Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#69 samsheer

Monetti…I wish to waste no body’s time. Least that of the Cultured and Learned Monetti calls other people with rude names who thing that i am putting the same question for for months. I entered the PB only this December…Mr Monetti there is an ignore list and you will be the first in list of many a people.
.... B/T/W I have bought the fz200 on 7th Dec.
Thanks to Joe Prete and Fabio for their invaluable advise. Joe and Fabio you are great assets to this forum..please keep up the great work

7:14 am - Saturday, December 8, 2012


Good luck with your new camera. Be aware that most of these cameras come with only a very basic guide. The full guide is on the CD/DVD and it’s best to have a printed copy. They are over 200 pages, so if you can’t get one from Panasonic, it’s best to have a Printer Service do it. You will use up all your ink, and it still won’t come out right. I paid the Printer $20.00 and he made it like a book, with covers and coil binding, easy to flip or leave on the page you need.

Most accidents happen on the first days, keep the camera on the table or desk until you get the neck strap on right. Make sure the sides are even, and the slide buckles are about 2 inches from the camera lugs, so it doesn’t slip through. Most important, always use the Neck Strap. When you get a case, one for a small SLR will be easy to carry, with SDHC Cards, Battery etc.

SDHC Cards need to be CLASS 10 (the number encircled with a big C ). If the cards are not fast enough, they can slow down the Buffer Time, and that will slow the camera down. It’s better to get two 16GB cards rather than one 32GB (ie. don’t keep all your eggs in one basket!) Be sure to fully charge the battery before the first use. Also, keep the Camera in AUTO Mode until you get through enough of the manual.

People think these cameras are simple, they are NOT, they are very complex electronics, and if you don’t learn it correctly, you will not receive the full benefit. 600MM is plenty, you don’t need a telephoto adapter, unless you find one very cheap. They cost about $229.00 and they need a $29.00 adapter. The easier way is to use a blind in the area you are shooting, birds etc, put bird seed and water, sit behind something and when there is no movement the birds will come to you. The camera is quiet enough, you won’t scare them away if you keep quiet. A BLIND is just a place to sit and wait and not be obvious.

Use Panasonic’s web site to learn, any videos or tips there will help you (A few calls to customer support will usually earn you a printed manual). Remember to be careful with it, many people try to grab these cameras while you’re busy setting up for a shot. Sometimes it’s good to wrap the strap around your right arm, but be sure that it will not slip off and fall. When you are sure everything is okay with it, you can register it on line, you don’t need to send in the card, just save your papers (and the box).

The tech support line will start the date by your first call. They will ID you by your number. Be careful with it and it will last many years, and once again. So, Good Luck And don’t forget to have fun too.
Best Regards,
Joe Prete

9:52 am - Saturday, December 8, 2012


Congratulations, and good luck with your new camera. Please remember that the little book they give you is very basic. Just enough to see that it works in auto mode. If you can’t get one from Panasonic, it’s best to have it printed.

Failure to read the full guide is the main reason that people think a camera was a bad purchase. These are harder to learn than a DSLR, so have patience until you get that done. Keep it in auto mode so you’ll know everything is working, get it registered, and first ask Panasonic for a book . If you can read it from the computer, fine, just make sure that you understand it.

I’ve been trying to get through on this web site, but I really think they’re asleep at the wheel. You type this big response to some ones question, and it just keeps kicking it back, saying it looks like spam. Oddly enough, the spam gets through fine.
Good Luck Samsheer, I’m glad you finally got it.
Joe Prete

10:36 am - Saturday, December 8, 2012

#72 Joe Prete

Good luck with your new camera. Be aware that most of these cameras come with only a very basic guide. The full guide is on the CD/DVD and it’s best to have a printed copy. They are over 200 pages, so if you can’t get one from Panasonic, it’s best to have a Printer Service do it. You will use up all your ink, and it still won’t come out right. I paid the Printer $20.00 and he made it like a book, with covers and coil binding, easy to flip or leave on the page you need.

Most accidents happen on the first days, keep the camera on the table or desk until you get the neck strap on right. Make sure the sides are even, and the slide buckles are about 2 inches from the camera lugs, so it doesn’t slip through. Most important, always use the Neck Strap. When you get a case, one for a small SLR will be easy to carry, with SDHC Cards, Battery etc.
SDHC Cards need to be CLASS 10 (the number encircled with a big C ). If the cards are not fast enough, they can slow down the Buffer Time, and that will slow the camera down. Also, keep the Camera in AUTO Mode until you get through enough of the manual.

People think these cameras are simple, they are NOT, they are very complex electronics, and if you don’t learn it correctly, you will not receive the full benefit. 600MM is plenty, you don’t need a telephoto adapter, unless you find one very cheap. They cost about $229.00 and they need a $29.00 adapter. The easier way is to use a blind in the area you are shooting, birds etc, put bird seed and water, sit behind something and when there is no movement the birds will come to you. The camera is quiet enough, you won’t scare them away if you keep quiet. A BLIND is just a place to sit and wait and not be obvious.

When you are sure everything is okay with it, you can register it on line, you don’t need to send in the card, just save your papers
So, Good Luck And don’t forget to have fun too.
Best Regards,
Joe Prete

11:06 am - Saturday, December 8, 2012


I don’t know if the original message is going to come through at all.I wanted to tell you, most accidents happen when a camera is new. keep it on the desk until you attach the neck strap. Make the slide buckles about 2 inches up from the camera lugs, and pull them through tight. Use the Neck strap at all times.

Make sure you get fast enough SDHC cards. Class 10 is good. (the number encircled with a big C ). I use LEXAR Professional 400X SDHC UHS-I The read/write Speed is 60 MB/s Try to get a couple of 16GB, rather than one 32GB. (Later on you can choose what you like, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket for now)

The cards have to be fast enough, so they don’t slow down the camera waiting for them to write. I assume you’ve read my messages about using a Printer to make your guide into a coil bound book, with covers. Try to get a book from Panasonic first (a few calls to tech support might help. You may get one for free that way). This was never a problem years ago. Read the manual thoroughly, all of these type of cameras depend on your understanding the manual.

For now, with just the basic book, keep the camera in Auto Mode. Make sure to first fully charge the battery. A small DSLR case is all you’ll need. You want a close fit, but not tight, just close. If the other message shows up, skip it, I think you have everything now. Good Luck, and have some fun too!
Best Regards,
... Joe Prete

11:37 am - Saturday, December 8, 2012

#74 Richard Hannam

To Samsheer & others. I’ve mentioned this before but if you need a really comprehensive & well presented video tutorial on the FZ200, visit & subscribe to Graham Houghton’s series on You Tube. Recently, he’s even started doing a series on the user manual itself. Here’s a link to the first one:
As any of us who use Panasonic products know only too well, their user manuals are so comprehensive, they can be really difficult to follow. Better than than the alternative though.

11:43 am - Saturday, December 8, 2012

#75 Joe Prete

A good tip. Can you believe the complexity of these cameras, and all they give is a “Getting Started” booklet and a CD?
I was able to get one from Panasonic for my first one FZ100,
But these, that have held that $599.00 price, I think a book should be provided. By the time you buy one, or have one printed, you’re already over the 15 day return period! Maybe that’s what they’re counting on. I heard Sony is ONLY posting them on their site. I can’t wait to see the RX1 with no book, and at $2,800.00
... Joe Prete

12:10 pm - Saturday, December 8, 2012

#76 Fabio Pirovano

Shangai,grab another one FZ200 from a friend of mine living there 3550 rmb(440€)

1:25 pm - Saturday, December 8, 2012

#77 Richard Hannam

Cheers Joe. As a pro using high end DSLRs, I’m amazed at the complexity of the FZ200…as well as its simplicity in IA or IA+ mode. Literally something for everyone.
The CD does contain the full manual but reading on a computer screen is not the best way to study it when you need to be constantly flicking through pages.
With cameras at this price point, Panasonic really should provide a hard copy version too.
Mind you, they’re not the only manufacturer to provide instructions on the cheap.
Fortunately, that’s not a problem with my equipment supplier, Canon.

1:40 pm - Saturday, December 8, 2012

#78 Joe Prete

Over the past several weeks, I Bought the G1 X and the SX50 HS,
Both came with the starter booklet and the CD. I requested the full manual for Both and they were sent quickly Both close to 300 pages. At least the Canon’s are similar and the shipped very fast.
$1,200.00 in 6 weeks, how could they deny me the books!

My Nikon DSLR’s, D700 and D3s came with books. My Partner has the D4 and D3x both also came with the books. These are all 5X7 inch manuals. The 8X11’s are easier to read. But all the companies are doing this. Ironic, if you’ve used one Nikon DSLR you can use any of them, you barely need a book. They claim they are conserving paper. I think they are conserving money.

But they should try using a Super Zoom or a Bridge camera for themselves, especially a Sony. The menus go on and on. People have the misconception that they are like “Point and Shoots” of years ago. I don’t think this will change any, and most Pro’s do want something to carry, when they’re not carrying gear. The compact cameras of today are extremely advanced, despite their small sensor (G1 X has a 1.5 inch sensor) But knowing your way around these cameras can produce outstanding results.
... Joe Prete

8:13 pm - Saturday, December 8, 2012

#79 Richard Hannam

Cheers Joe. I don’t understand why Canon, Nikon & some others supply hard copy manuals by default where others won’t under any circumstances.
Fortunately, for those using the FZ200, Graham Houghton’s YouTube videos make any manuals, electronic or otherwise, totally redundant.

10:33 pm - Saturday, December 8, 2012

#80 Joe Prete

I’m on page 63 of the SX50 HS Book, it’s “Facial Recognition” Yea, I would say these cameras are getting a little complicated

I looked at the youtube video, you need real patience to sit through
that, they’re slower than his books!!

... Joe

5:19 am - Sunday, December 9, 2012

#81 Richard Hannam

At least you get a book for the SX50 Joe. And I didn’t know that Graham wrote books.

12:11 pm - Sunday, December 9, 2012

#82 Joe Prete

He wrote the book “The Missing Manual DMC FZ200” But he goes so slow, it’s not an easy read. I saw it Pre release, maybe they patched it up a bit, I hope so. But it seemed like it was aimed at newbies to Photography. He must have some real good patience, or some good prescription medicine. 

... Joe Prete

1:07 pm - Sunday, December 9, 2012

#83 Joe Prete

I hope samsheer is doing okay, with just the Basic guide. Maybe he’s watching the youtube videos. I hope so!

... Joe Prete

1:12 pm - Sunday, December 9, 2012

#84 Richard Hannam

Must have been an interesting read Joe, especially as he hasn’t written a book!

7:23 pm - Sunday, December 9, 2012

#85 Joe Prete

I Guess you’re right, I called Barnes and Noble (BN.COM) and they said “The Missing Manual” is a series, and he’s not the Author.
They have books on the Panasonic FZ cameras, but they’d have to be ordered. They only keep Canon and Nikon in stock now.
All these special order books and videos, they are for beginners anyhow, not something you or I would need.  And this SX50, Facial recognition, is amusing, but who is really going to use it? I do think it’s amazing but so, not necessary. It might be good on a computer, to turn it on. Much better than a password!

Imho. All these Micro sensor cameras, they’re not something to invest any real money in, You can get a full frame Nikon now for under $1,995.00 or, If you want a DX DSLR, the Canon kits start at $449.00 w/18-55 More than enough for a beginner.

Later Richard,

P.S. looks like we have this forum to ourselves now, only 82 posts, the Canon is near 200 and still going!

4:07 am - Monday, December 10, 2012

#86 Karren M

I am after some help. I mainly take photos of aircraft, both flying and static, trains, ships, cars and birds. I learned photography with a pentax K1000, and a Richo KR10M.

My first digital camer was a fz35, which my partner now uses. it was never great for moving aircraft, so I upgraded to a Pentax K200d, the pentax 18-55 and 55-300. While reach is always limited, the biggest problem was dodgy focus. I took over 1000 shots at our major airshow, in one day and very few were sharp. My TZ20 (zs10) was much more successful, but I prefer using a viewfinder and it was quite slow for flying.

I sold the K200 and bought a K5. I also now have a sigma 150-500 for it. I travelled to NZ with it and almost invariably missed shots, mostly wildlife because I had the 18-55 on.

Wanting more flexibility, I opted to buy a Sony HX100v. I was an early adopter, and quickly became disapointed with the “painterly” quality of its images, even though the zoom flexibility is great.

A friend then gave me his cast off Nikon D90, at a good price with the Nikkor 18-55 and 55-300 lens. I fell in love. The images I achieved in side by side comparison with the K5 at our local international airport are excellent. Probably about 90% keepers to the K5’s 70, without adjusting anything.

And this is the crux of the problem. I want focal length flexibility, and relative portability for most of my photography, but I do want reasonable IQ.

In Australia, we don’t have the option to return stuff we aren’t happy with, unless it is non-functioning, so I need to choose carefully.

Should I sell the sony and buy the FZ200, or should I buy a Tamron 18-270 or Sigma 18-250 for the Nikon? I can’t afford the sigma 50-500 or 150-500, or the Nikkor 18-300. I have been looking at 100% crops from the FZ. Is there much difference in Quality between the RAW image quality and JPEG?

I know that burst mode is quite quick, but is the FZ’s focus speed fast enogh to capture more than one image of an F18 flying past the flightline of an airshow?

And finally, is the 600mm focal length truely the equivalent of twice my 300mm lens? My logic here is that if it is, I would have to zoom my DSLR images to 200% to fill the frame as effectively as the FZ’s 200. Is this logic sound?

Sorry about the PhD length post, but I really need your help.

2:45 pm - Tuesday, December 11, 2012

#87 Richard Hannam

Hello Karren M.
I would think there’s more than enough help already on this thread that should answer all your questions & more.

6:58 pm - Tuesday, December 11, 2012

#88 Joe Prete

You’re going in too many directions at one time! Pick one and then we could help you. btw, the D90 is still current production, it’s part of a system. If you go that way, Your friend sold you a logical group. A D90, 18-55 & 55-300 That’s close to $2000.00 in the U.S. Assuming the 55-300MM is a DX VR Lens (VR=Vibration Reducing) The 18-55 Doesn’t really need VR. But you have a whole kit right there! Where do you want to go?
... Joe Prete

11:47 pm - Tuesday, December 11, 2012

#89 Joe Prete

Does anyone here agree with Mark’s rating system?
He rated the FZ150 and the FZ2OO the same
exact score of 23 out of a possible 25 and they
were the same in each category as well.

Also his sample images, have been the same
for every camera, for the longest time. A change
has been long over do, don’t you think?

I agree with the same group for the comparisons, but
I’m really tired of looking at the same pics review after
review. And what’s with the Compact Flash Card anyway?
BORING! How about a change Of pace?
Anyone agree? Just say so, in your comments.
... Joe Prete

4:54 am - Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#90 samsheer

Hi Joe and Richard Hannam. Thanks to both of you. Joe in particular.Joe you informed and cautioned me about lot of things. In fact I am copying your advice to go through it again and again for a good start. I have got the 220 pages manual printed (looks like a treatise) and its off for binding.
Richards thanks for the advise. I have been watching Graham Houghton videos and they have been quite instrumental in making me decide in favor of the fz200. I have even subscribed to his channel and am taking lot of advice from him. He has a great hand and is a great guy who responds very quickly to one’s queries..
Thanks once again ..will get back after Christmas.

3:56 pm - Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#91 Richard Hannam

Thanks Samsheer. Glad to be of help. The camera is certainly much more complex than a DSLR. But it’s like having a bag full of all the DSLRs available and more in one camera. Minus a bit of IQ of course. Just as well or else all the other manufacturers would be out of business. Have a nice Christmas & best wishes for 2013.

6:41 pm - Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#92 Joe Prete

From the Staff and Writers of I’m here to wish you and your families a Healthy and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! We hope that 2013 will be a safer and better year for us all. Please keep this in mind, especially when driving. Some Photo opportunities that we would rather not have, are those of Auto Collisions. So please, keep that in mind while you’re out having a good time. At times we may have differences, but we would still rather have you here with us.  Good Luck and have a Happy 2013 all of you,
... Joe Prete

2:32 am - Tuesday, January 1, 2013

#93 Dwight

Can this camera be a decent portrait camera? Would you trust it to take good indoor/outdoor family photos, wedding pics, ect? It looks like it can handle a lot, and the reviews seem to back up the quality. I am thinking about buying one,or the Panasonic DMC-G3.

6:27 am - Tuesday, January 1, 2013

#94 MARV

this is a great bridge point & shoot camera but i wished it was 1” sensor.

10:17 pm - Friday, January 4, 2013

#95 Richard Hannam

Hey Marv…then it would weigh half a ton & cost £40,000!!

10:52 pm - Friday, January 4, 2013


Take a look at Fabio’s link on post number 39, above. The images are Great! I still look for the larger sensors, but the camera companies are putting out some very capable cameras, built around small sensors. It took them a while, to figure out what most of us were saying about the Mega Pixel level being too high, but once they lowered the MP’s their sensors worked great (Nikon was saying the same thing as us the whole time, and it cost them, but they were right!).

I do notice that lenses and their bases are getting larger, so we don’t see the change all at once, but we still have many cameras to come with the small sensors, and with the results, we don’t have to pay for such a huge sensor in every camera. It’s good do have a choice! This is an excellent camera as is, and so was the FZ100 and FZ150. I think the prices will be coming down right after the next show so be prepared, and know what you need because when the next batch comes out there will be some great deals out there.
... Joe

11:11 pm - Friday, January 4, 2013


How’ve you been? Happy New Year!

How did you figure the weight and cost? I think it can, and will be done eventually, and only add about $125.00 to $150.00 to the cost.Panasonic & Sony are old friends,remember Matsushita?
I don’t think the industry is nearly done changing things around.

I think Nikon said to Canon, hey, remember the good old days??
“Just you & me Kid”  NOT!!! I think the next growth will include Medium Format, & Canon will be an early adopter!  I’m willing to bet, You will see (I hope)
... Joe Prete

12:56 am - Saturday, January 5, 2013


Hey Dwight,
I’m not avoiding you, you really have many things to consider. You have to start with Baby steps. Weddings mean Medium Format, and that means $50,000.00 to start. That’s after 4 years of college and 2 years as an apprentice. You better email me. Someone has given you bad information. Yes the FZ200 is a great camera, but weddings- no way.  The Panny G3 is a keeper, but it has it’s uses too. We’ll talk, but there’s no room here. Write me, okay
... Joe Prete

1:05 am - Saturday, January 5, 2013

#99 Richard Hannam

Provided you’re not looking for truly pro standard results, the FZ200 takes nice portraits…in fact nice anything. But it’s a good idea to invest in a flash gun. I bought the Metz 50 for mine & have got shots which are fine even for my media work. The newspapers & magazines never noticed I wasn’t using my normal Canon 5D or 7D cameras with their expensive Canon ‘L’ lenses!! I would be happy to use the FZ as a back up at a wedding or in most situations. But I do know how to get the best out of it.

1:55 am - Saturday, January 5, 2013

#100 Richard Hannam

TO JOE PRETE. Hi Joe & happy new year to you too.
You are, of course, correct in what you say about developments. That will always be the case. One day the mobile phone will be capable of achieving what mid range DSLR kit can do today!!
I’m doing fine thanks & picked up some really interesting work already this year. For example, I’m using the excellent (and already renowned) video capabilities of my 5D to film presentations on an iPad for onward use on the client’s website.
I’ve never really done filming before. Much the same basics apply with video as to stills but there are also some other video specific techniques to embrace as well.
Be good & take care, Richard

2:02 am - Saturday, January 5, 2013

Entry Tags

hd video, review, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, movie, 12 megapixel, video, RAW, super-zoom, 1920x1080, super zoom, f2.8, wideangle, ultra-zoom, mega-zoom, 12fps, Panasonic, Lumix, 24x, dmc fz200, fz200, DMC-FZ200