FZ200. How Many FZ150 Users will upgrade?

Started Jul 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Stevie Boy Blue
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FZ200. How Many FZ150 Users will upgrade?
Jul 18, 2012

Although I never for one moment doubted that the FZ150 would be replaced this year, I admit I was sceptical of yesterday’s rumour mill, touting the possibility of a new model boasting the same 24x (25 to 600mm) range of zoom but with a much brighter F2.8 aperture at the long end.

Now, however, and as a result of confirmation by DPR, I can fully accept that by increasing the diameter of the lens slightly from that found on the 150, those ingenious Lieca designers have actually pulled it off.

How proud must Panasonic be feeling right now to have long since been associated with a lens manufacturing company par excellence; one that’s arguably second to none in getting a quality job done? Huge congratulations in pulling off such an amazing result are therefore in order here.

Overall, however, cameras are about much more than the lenses with which they’re fitted, and in my experience, Panasonic are second to none at producing the most functionally suitable models for the money I’m prepared to shell out at the time of purchase.

With the impending release of the brand spanking new FZ200 (I’d guess we’ll see it in stores around September/October), I wonder just how many FZ150 users will be tempted by a combination of changes that are hard to ignore.

I recall, for example, mentioning on numerous occasions that any upgrade of the FZ150 would benefit from an improved viewfinder and a repositioning of the image review button, the latter of which I often manage to inadvertently press at inappropriate moments when shooting. Well, as if in answer to my and countless other users of this forum’s requests, it appears those two issues have been addressed along with other tweaks and ‘improvements’ made elsewhere on the upgrade.

For me, one thing would already be a certainty if I were to acquire the FZ200. I would no longer require and therefore wouldn’t hesitate to sell my FZ20. Alas, however, with the emergence of this newfangled F2.8 machine that sports a much longer reach than the old 20’s 12x version, just who would be likely to purchase a 5mp model that’s so long in the tooth?

Funny thing is, when I purchased my much newer FZ150 in November 2011, I honestly believed that it would be long time before Panasonic improved on the model sufficiently for me to consider upgrading. Well, how wrong could I have been?

Just one generation on, and I’m already teetering on the brink of a dilemma; once again awaiting sample image results from a FZ200 that warrants some serious checking out, simply because on paper at least, the newbie appears to be the ideal one-for-all model for a chap like me who resides in the mainly cloudy UK.

If I could actually afford it, I can already see how the FZ200 might be the only superzoom camera I could ever need, prompting the sale of not just my FZ20 but my trusty 28 too, with the FZ150 kept merely as a backup for a while. Oh, the dilemmas I’m about to face! And to think I was actually one of those who always pushed for the return of the F2.8 zoom. Although I didn’t believe I’d ever see that day arrive, it appears that I may have shot myself in the pocket there!

So, despite the likelihood that FZ200 users will have to stop down the new F2.8 lens to at least F4 to F4.5 to achieve the sharpest results from the maximum 600 mm focal length when shooting wildlife images (where DOF may otherwise be too shallow and the need for accurate focus much more important than when using the 150), who will be tempted to trade in their FZ150 for the newcomer on the block?

Kind regards as always

Stevie Boy.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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